How to Stay Organized When Overlanding

Overlanding is an adventure that focuses on a journey into the great outdoors. It is a way for people to camp in some of the most remote locations in the world. Some journeys may only take a few days to complete, others can take weeks, months, or even years. As a result, it is important to ensure that you have plenty of storage space in your vehicle. After all, you will need to bring a lot of gear and supplies on your epic adventure.

The last thing you want to happen is to run out of food, fuel, water, or anything else that is important ensuring your survival.

Storage Solutions

If you are wondering how to stay organized overlanding, you are not alone. Your choice in storage solutions really come down to the type of vehicle that you will be using on your overlanding journey.

SUVs are one of the more popular choices for an expedition, trucks are also a very popular choice. The types of storage solutions that you will choose, will be different if you have a truck, Jeep, or SUV.

Roof Racks

Regardless of whether you are driving a truck, Jeep, or SUV, it is important that you use a roof rack. A good sturdy roof rack will give you plenty of extra storage space on top of the vehicle, as well as a place to sleep (If you wish).

If the vehicle you are overlanding with does not come with a factory installed roof rack, then an aftermarket roof rack can be found quite easily. The problem with quality after market roof racks, is they can be expensive, and sometimes require professional installation.

If you plan to use a roof top tent, or any kind of roof storage, a roof rack is the first upgrade you should save for.

Drawer Systems

Although more common in trucks, you may also find a number of popular drawer systems for SUVs. A drawer system is just like a drawer in your dresser, but it uses heavy-duty slides.

These slides allow you to pull out the drawer in order to access its contents without having to move everything in your cargo area around in order to get to it. Not only do these provide excellent storage space, but they also can pull double duty as a sleeping platform, or a kitchen for your journey.

Many people have found it much easier and cheaper to build a custom bed slide then trying to find an aftermarket solution.

Soft Cases

Soft cases are the most cost effective solution for storage when overlanding. Manufactured of nylon, these lightweight yet durable bags or cases have a lot of versatility. They have plenty of zippers and pockets, and more than enough space to store whatever you need.

Since they are soft, once you have used all of the contents, you can simply roll them up and store them away in order to create more room. The only downfall is that they are not very good at stacking.

Hard Cases

Hard cases are a very important part of any overlanding journey. You will find a number of different sizes and shapes to choose from. Good hard cases can be found in both aluminum and plastic materials. Moreover, while some of these include waterproof seals, others just provide a minimal amount of protection from the elements.

You need to determine how much protection from the elements you will need when you choose to purchase your hard cases.

If this is your first overland adventure, consider buying enough plastic totes with lids to get the job done. This will allow you to test storage ideas before purchasing expensive but more durable hard cases designed for expeditions.

Important Overland Storage:

  • First Aid Supplies Storage
  • Fire Extinguisher Storage
  • Tool Storage
  • Vehicle Parts Storage
  • Fuel Storage
  • Water Storage
  • Food Storage
  • Camping Supplies Storage
  • Cooking Equipment Storage

First Aid Storage

One of the first things that you need to think of when it comes to an overland journey, is your first aid kit. While it may be possible to survive with a basic first aid kit purchased from any local big box store, these basic kits may not provide you with the necessary tools you need for your extreme journey.

It is generally recommended that you have several different first-aid kits, and keep them well protected in a storage container. Since these are important, you must make sure that they are stored in a manner that is readily accessible.

Fire Extinguisher Storage

It is amazing how often a first-time overlander forgets to pack a fire extinguisher. In dry times of the year, a campfire can quickly get out of control. Worst of all, if a fire starts in your engine bay, you can quickly act to mitigate a large loss.

It is important to carry a fire extinguisher (Many Fire Extinguishers) with you at all times. Just like the first aid storage, you need to make sure that it is readily accessible.

Generally, your best option is a floor mount system that places the fire extinguisher in an easy-to-access position.

Tool Storage

When you are out and about, there is a good chance that you might break some parts of your vehicle. It is important to make sure that you have plenty of tools to fix anything on your vehicle that may get damaged.

Nothing is worse than finding out at the most inopportune moment, that you do not have the proper tool for the job. You will therefore need a good tool storage system. These are generally hard cases, that are also water-resistant, or waterproof.

Parts Storage

Anything can go wrong when you are out in the backcountry. When you least expect that something may break on your vehicle, and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere. Every good overlander knows that you should always keep spare parts with you so that you have them in case they are needed.

At a bare minimum, you will need to carry fan belts, fuses, relays, an extra set of wheel bearings, a spare wheel and tire, and maybe spare drive shafts or drive shaft yokes.

It will also be important to bring extra fluid like:

  • Oil
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Coolant

All of these items should be kept in a hard case so that they do not roll around and damage anything else in the vehicle.

Fuel Storage

You can never have enough fuel when you are out in the backcountry. Since you are not driving on any roads, the chances of coming across a gas station are very slim.

As a result, you do not want to be left stranded in the middle of nowhere without any fuel. In order to prevent this, it is important to always pack an extra two or three Jerry cans full of fuel, just in case they are needed.

Water Storage

As the saying goes, humans can live for a long period of time without any food, but they cannot go more than three days without having any water. Depending on how much fat reserves you have in your body, it is possible to survive for up to 30 days without having any form of nutritional sustenance.

But water is important to survival so therefore we need to make sure that there is plenty of extra water stored in our overlanding vehicle.

Along with storage containers, you should also make sure you bring a good water filter with you just in case it is needed.

Cooking Equipment Storage

Let’s face it unless you truly want to rough it, you will not be cooking your food on the end of a stick the entire journey.

You may want to eat any number of possible things along the way, so therefore you need to make sure that you have some cooking utensils and equipment.

There is nothing better than waking up to a warm meal that was cooked over a hot stove. A good place to store your stove, and other cooking equipment is a must-have for any overland journey.

Food Storage

You will also need to make sure that you have plenty of food for your trip. Although it may be possible to survive off the land for part of your journey depending on the location, you will need some form of grocery-bought food at some point.

As a result, you will need to include some form of food storage in your over landing vehicle.

Camping Gear Storage

Last but certainly not least, is your camping gear itself. Sure, you could simply sleep in the front seat of your over landing vehicle the entire trip, but what is the fun in that.

If it is the summer, and the weather is good, you may want to bring a hammock with you to sleep in at nighttime. Likewise, you will also need to bring sleeping bags, a tent, and other necessary essentials.

Ensuring that you have the proper storage space for all of your camping gear is crucial to the success of any over landing expedition.

In the end, you need to make sure that you have plenty of gear for your overlanding expedition. But, you want to also make sure that you stick to the essential gear, rather than attempting to bring as much with you as you can fit.

Recent Posts