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Packing for your 4X4 Trip

In this article, we have a look at the kit that you should be carrying in your truck on any trip.

One of the essential pleasures of Overlanding is the high level of self-sufficiency that we enjoy. The ability to travel remotely and set up camp in places that we find along the way is amazing, as is the sense of freedom that this brings.

Whenever you are planning a trip away, whether you are planning on a day trip or an extended expedition over several days or weeks, there are some essential items that you should include in your packing list. We will look into advanced communications systems in a future article and everything that we are going to cover in this article consists of items that you probably already have and don’t require extra expenditure.

When you are travelling remotely and come across trouble rendering your vehicle immobile, whether as a cause of mechanical problems or being stuck, if you have let someone know your intentions, it is nearly always best to remain with your vehicle and stay together in the knowledge that at some stage someone will come looking for you.

As human beings we have a few essential needs, the most important of these being food and shelter.

Here at 4x4 Explorer Adventures, we are Overlanding most of the time and our vehicle has pretty much become our home. We have a fridge/freezer full of food and a drawer dedicated to dry goods. Even if you’re planning on heading out for a day, it is worthwhile taking food for at least two extra days. This is particularly important if you are travelling into an area where your return relies on a river crossing.

Whilst we are never far from water in New Zealand, it is also important to carry sufficient fresh water in containers that you can easily carry. As well as a Jerry can, we always have a couple of two litre plastic bottles, which we refill whenever we need to. Remember that you will be able to survive several days or even weeks without food, although without food, your ability to sustain energetic tasks will be greatly reduced. Without water however, your days will literally be numbered.

There will be occasions when staying with your vehicle is not an option, such as being stuck in a river. If this is the case, you will need to be able to survive without your vehicle for several days.

We are always prepared with everything that we need to enable us to be separated from the vehicle and possibly a long walk out. All that we need in terms of food and shelter is in a “grab bag”. We have a small rucksack with lightweight sleeping bag, warm and waterproof clothing, emergency shelter and food for a few days. This is always kept handy and easily accessible in case things go really bad and we need to abandon the truck.

I use to the term “grab bag”, because if you’re stuck in a river or your vehicle is on fire, you won’t have time to start looking around for things that you need to keep you alive. Have it all in one place, so that you can “grab” it and escape.

This bag also includes a basic first aid kit, headlamp, hand held GPS ,UHF radio and PLB (Personal Location Beacon).

Most of the items that we have listed, you will probably already own and if you don’t, you should. They may well save your life.

The motto of the Boy Scouts is “be prepared”. If you are prepared, it will make your experience of our great outdoors much more enjoyable.

Don’t let any of this put you off getting out there and doing it, just make sure that you are well prepared in case things don’t go as planned.

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