This is always the first question asked. What should we bring? Though we have been doing this for a very long time, I find it much easier to start the week of the trip and make a list. No matter how many times I say I have this down pat, something will be forgotten or not done. It does become a routine after you have done it a few times, but it is much easier to keep a list handy. Something you can reprint from your computer or maybe just keep a copy in a notebook. It’s not complicated, it’s just some things we consider necessary.
It is especially important to us as the owners of Looney Jeep Adventures, that our customers have an enjoyable, memorable and safe experience as they come along on a trail ride with us. In most instances, we are prepared for whatever arises because we have encountered it already, so therefore, we would like to address some of the important things to consider when going overlanding for one day or for several days.
To make it easier, we are going to share a printable list that you can use to get yourself started. Now remember, everyone is different. Some have kids, some have pets, some have special needs. Some may be going solo and sometimes that is even more important to be prepared for.
Let’s go over some of the things on this list.
FOOD: We usually start by figuring the days we will be off road. Let’s say leaving Friday, full day on Saturday and heading home on Sunday. We list what meals we will be needing by day for our time out there. If you aren’t leaving till Friday afternoon, you basically figure a dinner when you settle for the night. All day means breakfast, lunch and dinner. Going home on Sunday means, probably won’t need a dinner. Don’t forget snacks. You get the picture. Make a list of meals you want to have and then the ingredients needed to prepare them. It can be as simple or complicated as you want them to be.
WATER: We cannot stress enough how important this is. Bring enough for everyone including your pets. General rule is one gallon per day, per person.
KITCHEN SUPPLIES: Now you are going to need cooking supplies to cook your meals. Again, this can be simple or elaborate. Your choice. Pans, cooking stove, coffee pot, etc. Dishes can be paper plates or whatever you choose. Paper must be packed out. Other types must be washed. Utensils, oils, spices etc. We have a kit to always keep that kind of stuff in the camping kitchen. Remember your bottled propane for cooking. There are instances where you cannot have an open fire.
Your cooling source for your food, whether it be a cooler with ice or a fridge. Remember hot weather tends to make ice go fast, so pack well. Nothing worse than soggy, floating sandwiches.
CLOTHING: We usually do a weather check ahead of time to see what the best clothing will be, but we recommend a variety. You can layer if it is cold in the morning or evening and slowly strip off a layer as it warms. If you are expecting cold, be prepared with jackets etc. It is better to over pack than freeze. Again. Figure your days, take things according to your needs. Some choose to wear the same outfit for the trip, some change daily. Your preference.
TOILETRIES: Personal supplies are just that. Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant etc. Whatever you choose to have on hand. It’s the same as you would pack on any vacation, minus the built-in bathroom and shower. We carry Shower pouches that we buy online. It’s like a pretreated washcloth in a pouch. Some overlanders have a shower system on their vehicle. Like we said, it’s your choice.
SLEEPING SUPPLIES: Bedding is exactly that. Whether you have a rooftop tent, pop up or a sleeping bag on the ground, it is essential to have a sleeping bag or blankets etc. to be comfortable. That applies to everyone in your party, including your pets.
YOUR PET: Pet supplies to keep your pet fed, watered and comfortable on the journey is just as important. An uncomfortable, unhappy pet can really mess up a good vacation.
BATHROOM: What you use for a bathroom is again, your choice. We use an annex below our rooftop tent. Many purchase a small, inexpensive pop-up privacy tent. Inside it can be as elaborate as a portable toilet or a bucket. Whatever goes in in, must be packed out. The privacy tent also offers you a place to wash up or change. If you choose the shovel method, that is fine also, but no white flowers (toilet paper) can be left behind. Please keep that in mind and remember, the desert doesn’t have a lot of trees to hide behind.
MISC: Chairs, chargers, batteries, lights, flashlights, books, games etc. sort of speaks for itself.
VEHICLE SAFETY: We recommend you carry some tools and some recovery gear. You know your rig. A winch isn’t something we require, but it can be a game changer. We are equipped if you aren’t, so don’t let that stop you from going. We are happy to answer any questions.
COMMUNICATION: GMRS Radios, Phones or a satellite radio is something you should think about. We have extra radios for those you need them and don’t own them. It is important that the group can communicate with each other, so we know what’s ahead and when someone needs something. Cell service is not something that is always available once you leave the main road. Be prepared for that.
FUEL: Extra gas is something we recommend. It is not something you want to run out of in the middle of nowhere. You know your tank size and we can usually tell you the distance of the trail. That way you can make a rough estimate of the gas you will need.
TIRES: Air compressor. When we travel on rough terrain, we air our tires down to get better traction on rocks and sand and a better ride. That means airing up when the trail ends, and you are going back on pavement. We have one, if you don’t.
This may seem like a lot, but once you get your own system down it really isn’t. The main thing we strive for is safety out there.
Be sure to go over your vehicle. Check nuts and bolts and make sure everything is secure.
FIRST AID: We highly recommend that you get some form of first aid kit to carry with you. You can buy a pre-packed kit or you can make your own, Again, safety first.
We really would love to share and adventure with you. Feel free to contact us with any questions. That’s what we are here for. No question is too small. Looney Jeep Adventures is here to help you “GET OUT THERE!”