Best place to purchase overlanding gear?

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NovaBound

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Hey guys, fairly new to the overlanding community. I’m at a place where I’m looking to purchase shovels, axes, first aid kits etc etc to store on my basket. Looking very high quality. Thank you for any suggestions beforehandView attachment 66144
Curious on what responses will be posted here.

Me personally, I’ve been finding most of the gear I purchase on Amazon.
 

Qmed Joe

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Curious on what responses will be posted here.

Me personally, I’ve been finding most of the gear I purchase on Amazon.
Any specific brands? I’d rather pay the money once when it’s good quality vs having to buy it again.
 
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NovaBound

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Any specific brands? I’d rather pay the money once when it’s good quality cvs having to buy it again.
I’ve just started to build my lists/collection, using other threads and recommendations from this forum as my starting point. I’ve been starting small until I know what direction i want to head with my vehicle mods.

My rig is still stock, but have a great selection of camping gear already. And I just picked up a midland cb radio.... but haven’t used it yet, so I can’t report back.
 
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Ben Cleveland

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I don't like to buy overland branded gear, or from overland specific companies, with some exceptions. Its like buying "tactical" gear. Or any other trendy thing that manufacturing companies are capitalizing on.

Of course, there's some stuff out there that's super specific, and only available from an industry specific company, because the overland and offroad community are the only ones that would buy it. Your road shower is a great example. Super high quality piece of equipment.

Everything you mentioned though, is NOT overland specific. You can get perfectly high quality shovels, axes and first aid kits from a myriad of places, and spend less than half what you would from an overland specific supplier. Shovels and axes? Kobalt brand from Lowes. Its a perfect combo of sturdy and budget friendly, and Lowes offers a lifetime warranty on the kobalt brand. I'm often not a fan of mid-grade brands like that, but I love kobalt hand tools (power tools is different). I was an account manager for a large professional landscaping company for a long time, and that was our favorite brand to buy.
Overland specific: https://www.deadmanoffroad.com/collections/all/products/crazy-beaver-murder-spork
Lowes: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-Short-Handle-Fiberglass-Digging-Shovel/50299433

The murder spork is cool and all, but I've never encountered a digging scenario where I felt like I needed anything other than a simple shovel. Also, I'd love to point out, that design is EXCLUSIVE to offroading. Never seen that design anywhere else. Who does more digging, landscapers buying shovels from lowes, or offroaders? Just something to think about, and it sort of highlights the point I made about companies capitalizing on something trendy (overlanding).

First aid kits? Don't have much to offer there, I think it depends largely on your skill level and the kit that matches, and whether you want to buy a ready made kit or put something together yourself. If I were buying a ready made kit, I'd probably look for a very complete one with some good trauma care stuff in it. For me, my wife's a nurse, we have small first aid kits in our vehicles she put together, and we're eventually putting together a large trip kit in a pelican case.

Looking for the best high quality out there? Overlanding is practically the combination of a TON of skillsets and specific tools from professional industries. Towing/recovery, emergency response/SAR, military, logging, police, fire, and people in the Australian outback (because that's where a lot of our gear trends came from), cartographers, professional explorers. When I am doing research on THE BEST, I try to completely bypass overlanding, and find the closest profession that has a similar needs, and I find out what they're doing. The interesting thing is most of those groups of people actually use a combination of:
1) professional grade equipment that makes something overland branded look like a budget toy
2) Very normal, commonly available items like tools from Home Depot or Lowes.


As a practical addition, most of the stuff I purchase is also from amazon. I just go off of amazon reviews, and number of reviews. I don't buy stuff that's obviously chinese manufactured crap, i just get something decent that a lot of people have bought and reviewed well. I find most of my needs for overlanding are either a vehicle specific upgrade, or fall into the "normal commonly available item" category.
 

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@Qmed Joe
Hey guys, fairly new to the overlanding community. I’m at a place where I’m looking to purchase shovels, axes, first aid kits etc etc to store on my basket. Looking very high quality. Thank you for any suggestions beforehand
Shovels and Axes may require a lot of personal exploration to find what is right for you. I don't yet carry a fullsize axe but I've carried an old German Hatchet for 20 years. Came to me by way of a family friend who passed down her father's tools to me when he passed. Fantastic weighting, ductile on the hammer face but cutting edge stays sharp, and feels right in my hand. Shovel I carry a shorty that I picked up from a garage sale. It was in rough shape from storage but had not been used much and was still sharp. the handle was all splintered up and unusable. Worked a deal brought it home and replaced the handle with a Hickory handle which I sized and added a D-Handle which I prefer for control when moving Mud/Snow. I'd suggest trying out what ever you are considering to be sure that it works well for you.

First aid kit should grow with your training and adventures. Good discussion on kits here https://www.overlandbound.com/forums/threads/overland-safety-first-aid-kits.314/
Places I'd suggest checking out based your mention of "very high quality":
Boort
 

NovaBound

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I don't like to buy overland branded gear, or from overland specific companies, with some exceptions. Its like buying "tactical" gear. Or any other trendy thing that manufacturing companies are capitalizing on.

Of course, there's some stuff out there that's super specific, and only available from an industry specific company, because the overland and offroad community are the only ones that would buy it. Your road shower is a great example. Super high quality piece of equipment.

Everything you mentioned though, is NOT overland specific. You can get perfectly high quality shovels, axes and first aid kits from a myriad of places, and spend less than half what you would from an overland specific supplier. Shovels and axes? Kobalt brand from Lowes. Its a perfect combo of sturdy and budget friendly, and Lowes offers a lifetime warranty on the kobalt brand. I'm often not a fan of mid-grade brands like that, but I love kobalt hand tools (power tools is different). I was an account manager for a large professional landscaping company for a long time, and that was our favorite brand to buy.
Overland specific: https://www.deadmanoffroad.com/collections/all/products/crazy-beaver-murder-spork
Lowes: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-Short-Handle-Fiberglass-Digging-Shovel/50299433

The murder spork is cool and all, but I've never encountered a digging scenario where I felt like I needed anything other than a simple shovel. Also, I'd love to point out, that design is EXCLUSIVE to offroading. Never seen that design anywhere else. Who does more digging, landscapers buying shovels from lowes, or offroaders? Just something to think about, and it sort of highlights the point I made about companies capitalizing on something trendy (overlanding).

First aid kits? Don't have much to offer there, I think it depends largely on your skill level and the kit that matches, and whether you want to buy a ready made kit or put something together yourself. If I were buying a ready made kit, I'd probably look for a very complete one with some good trauma care stuff in it. For me, my wife's a nurse, we have small first aid kits in our vehicles she put together, and we're eventually putting together a large trip kit in a pelican case.

Looking for the best high quality out there? Overlanding is practically the combination of a TON of skillsets and specific tools from professional industries. Towing/recovery, emergency response/SAR, military, logging, police, fire, and people in the Australian outback (because that's where a lot of our gear trends came from), cartographers, professional explorers. When I am doing research on THE BEST, I try to completely bypass overlanding, and find the closest profession that has a similar needs, and I find out what they're doing. The interesting thing is most of those groups of people actually use a combination of:
1) professional grade equipment that makes something overland branded look like a budget toy
2) Very normal, commonly available items like tools from Home Depot or Lowes.


As a practical addition, most of the stuff I purchase is also from amazon. I just go off of amazon reviews, and number of reviews. I don't buy stuff that's obviously chinese manufactured crap, i just get something decent that a lot of people have bought and reviewed well. I find most of my needs for overlanding are either a vehicle specific upgrade, or fall into the "normal commonly available item" category.
I was lookin at these on Amazon:

Bully Tools 92510 12-Gauge Round Point Shovel with Fiberglass D-Grip Handle

But the Lowe’s one is cheaper and I have no idea on quality of Bully Tools.
 
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Qmed Joe

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I highly recommend a few shake-down trips to figure out what you want/need first.... and then let the fun begin!!!!
Yep, I’ve been to Montezuma Co and I frequent the eastern Tenn/Western NC areas. As far as my suspension goes I only need to order rear springs to deal with the added weight of my camper shell and sleeping set up and rack with batwing awning and Road shower. I’m saving up for a rear swing out tire carrier. I just recently came across Blueridge Overlanding gear.
 
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Qmed Joe

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I don't like to buy overland branded gear, or from overland specific companies, with some exceptions. Its like buying "tactical" gear. Or any other trendy thing that manufacturing companies are capitalizing on.

Of course, there's some stuff out there that's super specific, and only available from an industry specific company, because the overland and offroad community are the only ones that would buy it. Your road shower is a great example. Super high quality piece of equipment.

Everything you mentioned though, is NOT overland specific. You can get perfectly high quality shovels, axes and first aid kits from a myriad of places, and spend less than half what you would from an overland specific supplier. Shovels and axes? Kobalt brand from Lowes. Its a perfect combo of sturdy and budget friendly, and Lowes offers a lifetime warranty on the kobalt brand. I'm often not a fan of mid-grade brands like that, but I love kobalt hand tools (power tools is different). I was an account manager for a large professional landscaping company for a long time, and that was our favorite brand to buy.
Overland specific: https://www.deadmanoffroad.com/collections/all/products/crazy-beaver-murder-spork
Lowes: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-Short-Handle-Fiberglass-Digging-Shovel/50299433

The murder spork is cool and all, but I've never encountered a digging scenario where I felt like I needed anything other than a simple shovel. Also, I'd love to point out, that design is EXCLUSIVE to offroading. Never seen that design anywhere else. Who does more digging, landscapers buying shovels from lowes, or offroaders? Just something to think about, and it sort of highlights the point I made about companies capitalizing on something trendy (overlanding).

First aid kits? Don't have much to offer there, I think it depends largely on your skill level and the kit that matches, and whether you want to buy a ready made kit or put something together yourself. If I were buying a ready made kit, I'd probably look for a very complete one with some good trauma care stuff in it. For me, my wife's a nurse, we have small first aid kits in our vehicles she put together, and we're eventually putting together a large trip kit in a pelican case.

Looking for the best high quality out there? Overlanding is practically the combination of a TON of skillsets and specific tools from professional industries. Towing/recovery, emergency response/SAR, military, logging, police, fire, and people in the Australian outback (because that's where a lot of our gear trends came from), cartographers, professional explorers. When I am doing research on THE BEST, I try to completely bypass overlanding, and find the closest profession that has a similar needs, and I find out what they're doing. The interesting thing is most of those groups of people actually use a combination of:
1) professional grade equipment that makes something overland branded look like a budget toy
2) Very normal, commonly available items like tools from Home Depot or Lowes.


As a practical addition, most of the stuff I purchase is also from amazon. I just go off of amazon reviews, and number of reviews. I don't buy stuff that's obviously chinese manufactured crap, i just get something decent that a lot of people have bought and reviewed well. I find most of my needs for overlanding are either a vehicle specific upgrade, or fall into the "normal commonly available item" category.
Thank you for this. You’re absolutely right! A good quality shovel doesn’t need be expensive. I do like those axes from Sweden. (I can’t remember the name of them.) their on the pricey side but very high quality. Not sure they’ll outlast one from Lowe’s. Probably not. Thank you again for the tips!
 

Contributor I

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I don't like to buy overland branded gear, or from overland specific companies, with some exceptions. Its like buying "tactical" gear. Or any other trendy thing that manufacturing companies are capitalizing on.

Of course, there's some stuff out there that's super specific, and only available from an industry specific company, because the overland and offroad community are the only ones that would buy it. Your road shower is a great example. Super high quality piece of equipment.

Everything you mentioned though, is NOT overland specific. You can get perfectly high quality shovels, axes and first aid kits from a myriad of places, and spend less than half what you would from an overland specific supplier. Shovels and axes? Kobalt brand from Lowes. Its a perfect combo of sturdy and budget friendly, and Lowes offers a lifetime warranty on the kobalt brand. I'm often not a fan of mid-grade brands like that, but I love kobalt hand tools (power tools is different). I was an account manager for a large professional landscaping company for a long time, and that was our favorite brand to buy.
Overland specific: Krazy Beaver Murder Spork
Lowes: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-Short-Handle-Fiberglass-Digging-Shovel/50299433

The murder spork is cool and all, but I've never encountered a digging scenario where I felt like I needed anything other than a simple shovel. Also, I'd love to point out, that design is EXCLUSIVE to offroading. Never seen that design anywhere else. Who does more digging, landscapers buying shovels from lowes, or offroaders? Just something to think about, and it sort of highlights the point I made about companies capitalizing on something trendy (overlanding).

First aid kits? Don't have much to offer there, I think it depends largely on your skill level and the kit that matches, and whether you want to buy a ready made kit or put something together yourself. If I were buying a ready made kit, I'd probably look for a very complete one with some good trauma care stuff in it. For me, my wife's a nurse, we have small first aid kits in our vehicles she put together, and we're eventually putting together a large trip kit in a pelican case.

Looking for the best high quality out there? Overlanding is practically the combination of a TON of skillsets and specific tools from professional industries. Towing/recovery, emergency response/SAR, military, logging, police, fire, and people in the Australian outback (because that's where a lot of our gear trends came from), cartographers, professional explorers. When I am doing research on THE BEST, I try to completely bypass overlanding, and find the closest profession that has a similar needs, and I find out what they're doing. The interesting thing is most of those groups of people actually use a combination of:
1) professional grade equipment that makes something overland branded look like a budget toy
2) Very normal, commonly available items like tools from Home Depot or Lowes.


As a practical addition, most of the stuff I purchase is also from amazon. I just go off of amazon reviews, and number of reviews. I don't buy stuff that's obviously chinese manufactured crap, i just get something decent that a lot of people have bought and reviewed well. I find most of my needs for overlanding are either a vehicle specific upgrade, or fall into the "normal commonly available item" category.
I think I have exactly what you want there is this company called Putco operate out of Ankeny, Iowa. They are a truck part company and just came out with a rack for overlanding I will link it so you can see for yourself VentureTEC Rack, choose your vehicle
 

1Louder

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First Aid kit you can either DIY or by a pre-packaged one. All of the later list what they have. Mine is DIY in an orange plastic ammo can.

Shovels etc, I dunno mine is from Lowes.

Other "Overland Gear" well any good camping/outdoor store should suffice. The thing I will say is if you go to a local merchant, ask them for advice, get good advice, please BUY from them! Don't be "that guy" who soaks up a bunch of time from a subject matter expert and then buys it from Amazon while in the store because it is $10 cheaper.

Besides the 1-2 local stores which I like I shop at Amazon, REI, and a few other places. Like someone else mentioned go out and camp/overland. Then you can find what works for you and what you may need. Look at what others have. Camp with others. I have gone through tons of gear through the years.
 
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Lead K9

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The member that suggested the shake-down trips was spot on! You really need to know what you need before you start buying stuff. For example, all the Swedish axes are pretty good stuff. However I would not buy one just to bolt to the outside of my Jeep. If you are into bush craft or something else that involves axe use, they are excellent. But they are waste to sit in the elements on the outside of a rig for the off-chance you might need to cut something. If your real purpose is to clear trails, a saw maybe be a much better option for you than solely an axe. The same can be said for other tools.

Your best bet is to get out there, especially with experienced people. Encounter some obstacles and determine what would have made it easier to overcome them. See what other people are using in those scenarios and what you like and don't like about how they tackle them. Maybe you will be able to use some of their gear to help you determine what is best for you.

I tend to appreciate the rigs that are put together from experience. You know the owner has been there and done that, not just threw a credit card at it. The additions to those vehicles are well-thought out and functional.

Good luck in your adventures!
 
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Lead K9

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I forgot to add something. Learn how to use the gear you have. It is great to have a fully stocked first-aid kit, but unfortunate if you don't know how to use it properly. The same can be said for an axe or anything else. Sure, you might encounter someone on the trail that can use your stuff in an emergency. But you are buying it for your needs. So be sure to educate yourself on how best to do things.
 
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Road

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I agree with others here who've said you don't need 'overland' branded gear to have high quality. In fact, a lot of newer overland branded gear sold by third party vendors is the same product available from a multitude of third party vendors and is just private label product.

Whether you really want high-quality or are after good decent gear, there's a lot of folk who were into what I call the "overland bling" look who are now selling their stuff after realizing they never use it, spent too much, or their wife/partner isn't into 'overlanding' as much as they are, or they've moved on to another hobby. Some great deals out there on never-used/barely-used gear. I bought my rooftop tent and several other items that way at drastically reduced prices.

- Shovel: I use a long-handled shovel from the local Farmer's Union more than any other shovel I own. I have room to carry it, so prefer it over a short-handled shovel. I have a brand new murder spork I'm probably gonna sell or use as a workshop prize.

- Axes: I've used axes for decades and always went for the local hardware store brand, which nowadays is usually a three pounder made in Mexico. When I moved to Maine in the 70's I started using Snow & Nealley axes and mauls, which were made in Maine and highly-regarded. They sold out and their product started being made overseas. I hear it's being made in the US again, though I'm not sure where. The link above is to their amzn store. Here's some interesting history, if you're interested in their stuff: History of Snow & Nealley.

Now I much prefer Gränsfors Bruk axes and hatchets over all others. Legendary Swedish steel, easier to make sharp and easier to keep sharp. They will most definitely outlast an axe from a big box store. Read up on Swedish steel and you'll see why it gets the respect it has since the Middle Ages.

I've learned over the years that good cutting tools expected to last is one place worth spending extra pesos.

- Jacks: I use a scissor jack more than anything, though have a farm jack and know how to use it. I wouldn't get a Hi-lift (farm jack) unless you go to a serious recovery workshop and learn the do's and don'ts of farm jacks,

- Traction ladders: I have both Maxtrax and Traction Jack and always reach for the less expensive Traction Jack first because they fold in half, are easier to store, and are more versatile in a wider range of uses.

- First Aid Kits: I've used and own a bunch of both pre-made and homemade kits. I like the MyMedic.com kits the best for pre-made. Though as mentioned, if experienced with first aid and the outdoors, it's less expensive and more specifically tailored to your skill set and knowledge to build your own.

- Storage: if strapping to your roof or basket, I think this is another area where it's worth paying a few more bucks for longer-lasting, more weatherproof gear, IF planning on using it for a long time, like years and if you are on the road a lot. I prefer Zarges K470 Cases myself, and have four of them in a couple different sizes, though like the bear-resistant ones best of the K470 series. Expensive, will outlast me and my kid, but rugged and will keep my food safe when in active bear territory. Approved for leaving out in places where rangers fine you for leaving a cooler or food out where it might attract bears.

I really like my Front Runner Outfitters Wolf Packs and Cub Packs, too, and their Monsoon Bag is a phenomenal piece of kit for outside rooftop storage. The Wolf and Cub Packs are straight-sided, stack and strap down really well, and can be used up top without modification. Front Runner Stratchit Straps are great bits of kit, too. I use mine all the time.

I also have a few of the much more affordable Plano 56 Quart Totes, which are quite handy, and if you use some D-shaped EPDM Rubber Seal in the lid, you can make them tighter to the weather and use them up top for storage. They are thinner, more flexible, plastic, though, so take that into consideration in how you use them and what you store in them.

The key to good, flexible storage, to my way of thinking, is to have multiples of the same thing so they stack better and can be interchanged, maximizing available space.

As also mentioned by others, I would get out there with your vehicle, find out more about where you like to go and what your needs are based on the style of travel you enjoy most, then start filling the gaps with the right gear. A lot of it can be cross-purposed from other trades. It certainly doesn't have to be expensive to be high-quality, though often is. The trick is determining which gear is worth the expense.

Good luck, let us know what you end up doing.
 
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1Louder

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The “Road” has spoken! Great info. Hope to share a beverage with you one day.
 
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1Louder

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Thanks, man! You always have great info to add, yourself. I didn't quite make it to AZ this last adventure, but am looking forward to meeting up with you for that beverage someday.
We have a lot of similar gear. :) I kept thinking you were going to make it out of western Texas but you seemed pretty content there. Anyway, back to gear talk. Here's my old article on different storage box options and what are my favorite, Storage Solutions - 4X Overland Adventures
 
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