This is a list of our top 10 favorite things to have when overlanding. You don’t need them, but they have been so nice to have on our trip.
I used to say I only like paper books, but now I wouldn’t travel anywhere without my Kindle! It is often my only source of entertainment. Make sure you get one you can read at night. For the one I have, click here. I highly recommend getting a case to protect it too.
#2. Air Mats
We sleep comfortably thanks to these mats. Our roof top tent comes with a thick green mat, but it isn’t comfortable enough for every day sleeping. These mats self inflate and are better than any ones we have used in the past. Click here for the mats.
#3. Electric Kettle
Heating water is an everyday activity whether it is making coffee, tea, or boiling pasta. A kettle heats up water so much faster than a gas stove. Anytime we’re at a campground that has an outlet (which is often), we use it. Get a small watt kettle so it doesn’t blow the circuit when you are at places with poor electricity connections. Click here for an example.
#4. Fairy Lights
We keep these strung inside the tent. They give off a soft light while you settle into bed. We sometimes string them on the awning for nice ambient lighting. We recommend having at least 2 packs. Click here for the lights.
Thanks to having a fridge, we can have fresh produce, milk, and cheese. Arb is probably the most common overlanding fridge brand. Ours is 50 liters. After a big grocery day it is full. We also have the slide out tray for easy access and the insulator to reduce energy usage. Click here for the fridge.
#6. Offline Spotify
When you do a lot of driving, there is a lot of time to listen to music. Playlists get old quickly when you are driving four hours a day. Being able to download new music and listen to it offline is such a luxury. SoundCloud and Spotify both offer distinct benefits for music lovers and provide unique features to suit different needs. SoundCloud may appeal more to emerging and independent artists wanting to build a community around their music, visit their site to buy soundcloud plays.
#7. Takeya Bottles
These are just as good as the popular Themoflask bottles. They keep your water hot or cold, they fit in our car cup holders, and the 40 oz is enough water for day hikes. Click here for the bottles.
#8. Nintendo Switch
This is David’s main source of entertainment when he’s not working, driving, or exploring. We recommend having 2-3 games to vary it up. The switch is here.
#9. Travel Bags
These help us stay organized. We use the little ones for undergarments, medium for shirts, and big ones for winter clothes. If I had planned it better, we would just have two colors, one for David and the other for me. Click here for the bags.
#10. Garmin In-Reach
We use this everyday. It tracks our trip, provides GPS, tells us the elevation, allows us to send messages to our family with our coordinates, and most importantly has a emergency help button if we are in trouble. It was an expensive buy, but has been really nice to have it. Click here for the device.
#11. Collapsible Bucket
This multi use bucket is great for carrying items, washing dishes, and washing clothes. We use it almost everyday. Click here for the bucket.
#12. Lonely Planet Book
This is a common book to find among other Overlanders. It is helpful for learning about locations before you get there and highlights to see. Click here for the South America book.
#13. Hiking Boots
We’ve been in many climates, and we still seem to wear sandals/flip flops nearly everyday. Rainbows are our favorite sandals, they last for years and years. Click here for the men’s sandals. Click here for the women’s sandals.
What not to bring when overlanding
What qualities we were thankful to have in a car
What we brought that we didn’t need or use
- Rock climbing gear
- Huge maps (smaller, more detailed ones are better)
- Nice Sunglasses (we lost them)
Important things to invest in that aren’t listed:
- Sleeping bags
Try to buy on Craigslist first, that’s where we got our Arb Fridge.
If prices are the same, buy from REI where you will get 10% back with a membership.