Overlanding enthusiasts spend much of their time on the road, divided between the inside of a vehicle and the great outdoors. Their lifestyle demands a lot of gear but also requires the ability to store and transport that gear in small spaces.
If you’ve got an overlanding fanatic or two on your holiday gift list, you might be wondering how to satisfy your inner benefactor with their needs. Everything an overlander owns must serve a purpose (or two) — making picking out a suitable present a challenge. So, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of gift-worthy gadgets geared toward those who lead more adventurous lives.
FOR SERIOUS OFF-ROADERS: TERRAFIRMA WINCH RECOVERY KIT
Why we picked it: When you take the road less traveled, you risk your vehicle getting stuck. Designed for use with a standard steel winch cable, the Terrafirma Winch Recovery Kit has everything you need to get yourself out of a sticky situation. The kit includes gloves, a snatch block for your winch wire, and a tree strap rated to 26,000 pounds. It retails for $150.
FOR CAMPFIRE LOVERS: THE HELINOX CHAIR TWO ROCKER
Why we picked it: If you enjoy relaxing beside a campfire at the end of your day, settling back in a rocking camp chair is hard to beat. The Helinox Chair Two Rocker weighs less than 5 pounds and breaks down into a compact package ideal for transport. A single shock-corded pole structure makes for easy assembly, and the 600 weave polyester seat is both weather- and UV-resistant. With a 320-pound weight capacity and a stuff sack that doubles as a pillow, it’s hard to justify leaving this one behind. The Chair Two Rocker costs $180.
FOR BACKCOUNTRY ENTHUSIASTS: THE SOL HYBRID 3 KIT
Why we picked it: When you spend time in the backcountry, it’s essential to prepare for the unexpected. SOL’s Hybrid 3 Kit holds a little bit of everything you’d want in an emergency, including medical supplies, survival tools and items to repair gear. The ultralight nylon bag keeps items organized and contains a detachable pouch for short trips away from camp. The SOL Hybrid 3 Kit measures 7-by-6-by-2.5 inches, making it small enough to stash under the driver’s seat or tuck into the lid of a backpack. The SOL Hybrid 3 costs $60.
What’s inside: Bandage materials, duct tape, cable ties, shears, safety pins, over-the-counter medications, emergency blankets, compass, fire starter, headlamp, rescue flash, whistle, nylon cord, Tinder-Quik fire starters and wound-care supplies
FOR OFF-GRID ADVENTURERS: THE SPOT X SATELLITE MESSENGER
Why we picked it: Spending time off the grid often means leaving cell service behind. The Spot X provides two-way satellite messaging when you’re out of reliable cell range. The Spot X app connects the device to your smartphone via Bluetooth so you can access and communicate with your contacts. In a life-threatening situation, you can use the Spot X as a standalone communication device due to its dedicated mobile number. Other features include a built-in compass with programmable waypoints and cloud-based mapping with tracking intervals. The Spot X retails for $200.
FOR TECH GURUS: THE HYDRALIGHT SUPERCELL LANTERN
Why we picked it: The Hydralight Supercell Lantern is both charger and light source featuring battery-free technology. Users can activate two HCL1 Energy Cells with water to generate power. Internal storage provides fast USB charging of small electronic devices. The lantern’s 32 LED lights can illuminate large areas, and its rugged and portable design makes it ideal for outdoor environments. The Hydralight Supercell Lantern and Charger retails for $150.
FOR ECO-CONSCIOUS CAMPERS: KHALA AND CO’S MECHAK FIRESTARTERS
Why we picked it: If you’re trying to be more environmentally conscious, consider trading in commercial plastic-wrapped chemical fire starters for Khala and CO’s eco-friendly Mechak Hempwick Firestarter alternatives. Mechaks are constructed from clean-burning hemp-cotton fabric and infused with locally-sourced beeswax, making an efficient and long-lasting fire starter. One pack costs $5 and includes a bundle of strands, each measuring 3 feet in length.
FOR TRUCK DRIVERS: THE LEENTU UTE LIGHTWEIGHT POP-UP CAMPER
Why we picked it: The Leentu UTE Pop-up Camper is a convenient lightweight option for midsize trucks. The camper is constructed from monocoque aluminum composite with honeycomb core composite panels and aluminum alloy. Its design keeps the target weight under 300 pounds for most trucks. The standard package includes a tent, built-in storage, interior LED lighting and a 2-inch foam mattress. Upgrade options include solar panels, a roof fan, windows and a side access door. The Leentu UTE starts at $7,000.
FOR JEEP DRIVERS: FRONT RUNNER JL 4 DOOR EXTREME ROOF RACK KIT
Why we picked it: Front Runner recently launched the Jeep Wrangler JL 4 Door Extreme Roof Rack Kit, designed for the fourth generation off-road vehicle. It’s available as either a full or half-roof rack and includes all the necessary components for mounting the brand’s Slimline II cargo rack. While the Jeep Wrangler is a competent adventure vehicle, its limited interior space is a big downside. This product is a viable solution and places zero weight on the hard top itself by evenly dispersing the cargo load across the sports bars and Jeep body. The roof rack system weighs 86 pounds and costs $1,685.
FOR FULL-TIME OVERLANDERS: ARB PORTABLE TRAVEL FRIDGE AND FREEZER
Why we picked it: For those who live, eat and drink on the road, a reliable, portable fridge is essential. The ARB 50 Quart Portable Fridge and Freezer can maintain below-freezing temperatures in environments up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It draws an intermittent 1.35 amps per hour from a 12-volt power source, making it energy-efficient. The product includes AC and DC power cords and an integrated battery-protection system (12/24v DC). The ARB 50 Quart Fridge costs $990.
FOR ANY OVERLANDER: TICKETS TO OVERLAND EXPO WEST 2020
Why we picked it: For the adventurer who’s fully stocked on gear, consider giving the gift of adventure. Overland Expos are the world’s ultimate events for DIY adventure travel enthusiasts. The event includes a weekend of on-site camping and showcases the latest in overlanding gear. Vendors display drool-worthy overlanding rigs you’re encouraged to explore. The Overland Experience package offers the opportunity to enroll in off-road driving and vehicle-recovery classes. Participants also take part in educational programs and discussions, and hear experts from all over the world.
Overland Expo West is the next event in the series and is scheduled to take place in Flagstaff, Ariz., May 15-17, 2020. Tickets for the Overland Experience start at $360 per vehicle.