Overlanding is going for a drive and being self-sufficient within the means of your vehicle. The journey is the principal goal. It doesn’t have to be hard or uncomfortable, anyone can rough it! It can include sleeping in a tent or a hotel, but essentially, it’s the journey, remote locations – off the beaten tourist track.
So, if you have the desire to Overland what do you need?
Whether it’s a 2-hour journey to see some green lanes (Wales; Strata Florida or the Lake Districts ‘Old Coach Road’) or a 7-day tour of the NC500, we will help you feel prepared for the adventure ahead.
Here are the 7 essentials for overlanding in the UK, we feel you need to consider.
The Route and your Vehicles Readiness – Capability; There are many route apps including GAIA – Google Maps – Wikiloc and iOverlander. Taking time to plan your route including your desired rest stops will help to plan and budget your trip. Trailwise 2 funded by the Green Lane Association identifies all open Green Lanes in the UK. Before any long journey it is advised you should check all levels and tyres at a minimum. Terrain Tamer Filter Kits are quality parts that will give you peace of mind! UK Green Lanes are just that, lanes. It is sensible to consider giving your vehicle more ground clearance and lifting the suspension, likewise, putting underbody protection underneath. But connectivity and stopping – tyres and brakes are your priority. Are you certain your vehicle will stop with the added weight you have in cargo? Terrain Tamer heavy duty brake pads and discs will ensure your stop – when you want to stop!
Cooking (Water, Food) – One of the big differences between overlanding and off-roading is that overlanding is a longer journey. Thus, overlanding requires careful food preparation to ensure you can always eat on the go. However, how you prepare your food will depend on your preferences. For instance, is your plan to use a wood fire to heat food, or do you want to bring a portable oven? Both options can work, so stock up on either set of supplies ahead of time, so you’re ready to eat in the wild. Luckily, you can find what you need for both preferences at Ironman 4×4, including portable fire pits and camp ovens. In addition, keep your food fresh with an Ironman 4×4 fridge, get space-efficient storage containers for homing your camp kitchen and sundries. And don’t forget about utensils and seating, so you can enjoy your food in a comfortable environment.
Safety (Vehicle Recovery and Personal Security) – At Ironman 4×4, we carry electric off-road winches because they rank among the most helpful vehicle upgrades for overlanding. One of our winches will provide a quick solution if your vehicle gets stuck. For example, if you’re at a problematic incline in the terrain, anchoring a winch to a solid tree or another reliable spot will allow you to easily move the vehicle. This problem-solving equipment is a must, especially if traveling into the wild with your vehicle. Like winches, sturdy shovels must be on your overlanding gear checklist because they will get you out of tricky situations. For example, if you need to clear snow from the path ahead of you or dig your tire out of some sandy terrain, a shovel is the quickest solution. A recovery shovel will also help with dirt, mud, or rocks that are causing you trouble. Beyond being essential vehicle recovery tools, shovels are necessary for making your campsite toilet. This is why our online shop at Ironman 4×4 features Relief Packages with both a shovel and a toilet for your trip. This gear allows you to swiftly dig a hole for your latrine, which you can cover back up with your shovel when you leave.
Your list of must-have gear for overlanding must also include personal safety supplies. These supplies will lend a hand in the unfortunate case of an injury. From cuts to headaches, you want to be ready with the right supplies. Basic first aid will provide the immediate temporary care you need for most minor injuries. Plasters, tweezers, antiseptic, paracetamol, ibuprofen, and hygiene products.
Driving your vehicle on the overlanding terrain can be a wonderful experience, but that wonder can swiftly dissipate if you are running the wrong tire pressure. Airing down your tires for a more comfortable, safer ride is essential when off the tarmac. Your air compressor will allow you to reinflate your tires to street pressure once you’re back on the tarmac. Using the right tires and inspecting for damages before going on the trip is important, but you should also bring along an air compressor.
The air compressors at Ironman 4×4 come in handy if your tires lose air pressure, as you must refill them to ensure stable, safe performance. An air compressor onboard is also useful for inflating air mattresses and Stand-Up Paddle Boards. Unless you want the hassle of manually inflating air mattresses, an air compressor is the way to go.
Sleep (Shelter and Storage) – Overlanding focuses on moving in most cases daily. Drive, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. Sleep Systems and shelter for your comfort and enjoyment need thought. Mainly, you will need a good tent that will withstand the elements and has the space you need to rest comfortably. The roof top tents at Ironman 4×4 are specifically designed to attach to your vehicle’s roof, ensuring transportation and setup are simple. Additionally, an awning can double up as a shelter to cook under and on a clear and dry night offer a great under the stars bivvy. And don’t forget clothes storage and bedding or sleeping bags. If you last minute throw your bedding in the vehicle and it’s raining on arrival. The transfer of kit runs the risk of getting wet. Storage and movement convenience most certainly needs pre-thought.
Warmth (Clothing). Driving comfortably will keep you happy and healthy. Sweating whilst camping and keeping clean in the clothes you carry requires forethought. Wearing clothes that have good layers and that wick sweat are essential. On a cold night camping can be miserable but dressed correctly camping under the canvas is a special experience. Lighting a campfire off the floor in an Ironman 4×4 fire pit will help to keep you warm. Be warned once you get cold, it’s hard to get warm again. Keep warm. Wear a hat/light a fire.
Budget – Fuel; Travelling and budgeting especially with fuel the price that it may seem like it does not to be said. Daily we need food and shelter. If you have outlaid for a tent and have your food ticked off your only other essential spends (not holding out on savings for breakages) are fuel to get you to where you need to go and camp sites. A good amount of research will show campsites in National Parks for as low as £8 per adult a night. Granted there are Rivers and Wild Swims here so, no showers. Just the basics.
Weather (Visibility – Lighting) – traditional British weather…. we all know and appreciate, is usually rain. Whilst a winch will help if you’re stuck, upgrades for better visibility are essential too. If you’re dealing with low visibility, you shouldn’t drive randomly across the terrain and hope for the best. At Ironman 4×4, you can find the right winch bumper or roof rack to mount a light kit to. Illuminating the path ahead of you to see obstructions, wildlife, and other hazards in your way. You can also optimize lighting with different solutions, including side lights, spotlights and LED Light bars are another common tool for illuminating dark terrain at night or helping in low-visibility weather. Even when you’re not driving, good lighting is a must when you go overlanding. After all, you will need suitable light at your campsite. Illuminating the campsite with lighting equipment from Ironman 4×4 ensures you can move around more comfortably and safely. Plus, it’s always nice to see what you’re doing.