10 Must-Have Safety Items for Overlanders

Before embarking on your next overland adventure, ensure the journey is memorable because of the thrilling exploration --- not due to something going wrong in the wilderness. It's imperative to plan for dangers encountered during extended travel, as critical issues can arise at any moment. Ensure successful travel by packing safety equipment that will be essential in an emergency.

Extra Containers of Fuel

Gas cans

Due to the unpredictable nature of extended travel, it is imperative to have a five gallon can of fuel in your stockpile of essentials. Off-roads can't use just 'any' ole' gas can either, due the movement and harsh conditions on board an off-road vehicle. Many prefer metal cans, like the NATO style cans you can find at some surplus stores.

Weatherproof Lighter

Weatherproof lighter

A reliable lighter is an inexpensive item that could be a valuable component for the journey. Find one that is wind-proof, waterproof and durable. A hands-free option can be used as a heat source, so while not necessary, it could provide heat in an emergency.

Water Storage Tank

Water tank

It is crucial to have access to clean drinking water. A five gallon container made specifically for overlanding is imperative. Choose something low maintenance and lightweight tat can be stored in the rear cargo area, over the wheel well or underneath the vehicle in a tank that fits in the spare tire well. Another option is affix it to the bumper.

LED Lantern

LED lantern

A compact, portable lantern is useful to create a decent amount of light in an emergency, especially if still working on a repair that continues after sundown.

First Aid Kit

First aid kit

There are pre-made kits available and it’s easy to stock one yourself.

Items should include:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Saline solution
  • Band-aids
  • Dressing tape
  • Wound dressing
  • Elastic support bandage
  • Triangular bandage
  • Gauze
  • Alcohol wipes
  • A thermal blanket
  • Waterproof poncho
  • General medications such as aspirin, cortisone, electrolyte power packs, etc.

Recovery Equipment


Count on getting stuck at some point off-road. For that reason, it is imperative to equip the vehicle with tools that can help to keep the expedition moving. A winch provides a technical advantage that cannot be matched. Traction plates are essential for getting out of mud or sand. Proper training for using these items goes a long way and could prove useful.

An ArkPak Portable Power Pack

Ark 9 reasons

This versatile portable power pack could be the difference between being stuck in a remote area or arriving safely to your destination. It provides continuous power for days, and can be recharged using a vehicle socket, its built-in plug or via a solar panel. This essential component of wilderness travel can serve as a jump starter and be used to power or recharge a host of devices.



A GPS system, outfitted with a topographic map can help the vehicle through rough terrain. It’s always good idea to have an alternate guide to navigate deep into the wilderness, as service could be spotty or nonexistent. An atlas or map and a compass should do the trick.

Tools and Extra Parts

Extra tools

A compact, yet comprehensive kit filled with useful items is important to have on hand. Avoid adding unnecessary weight by including only the essentials: an extra engine belt, fuel filter, upper and lower radiator hoses. Having a jack and a spare tire in good condition is vital, as flats are one of the most common issues while on the road.

Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguisher

A five-pound extinguisher is important, and in some countries, required travel gear. Mounting within reach of the driver is optimal.

Part of the draw of overlanding is exploring the unknown. Prepping to arrive safely at a destination is a paramount part of the experience, and the better prepared the caravan is to deal with issues confronted while on the road, the greater the experience will be.

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