Gearing up! What do I need?

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Ubiety

NorthWest Region Member Rep Seattle WA
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Educator I

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Washington, USA
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Find someone with camping experience and learn from them. You can learn a lot on internet forums but that does not compare to real life experience.
I have found OB "get-togethers" to be an awesome forum for the exchange of ideas and learning what works best for others.
 
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Anak

Rank V
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Pathfinder I

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Sandy Eggo
That Hi-Lift jack looks awfully shiny and new. If you don't have much experience using one of those I recommend you get acquainted with the tool (Youtube probably has some useful videos.). They have great potential for harm if you don't watch out. There are also a number of accessories that can greatly increase their utility. Most important of all, on that front, is figuring out exactly where and how they can be used to attach to your particular vehicle. I don't think a Ranger comes from the factory with very many places a Hi-Lift can make useful contact. Unless you have made some changes in bumpers or added sliders you probably need to take a critical look at how you would proceed in case you actually needed that jack.
 
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reaver

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Caldwell, ID, USA
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All the recommendations everyone else here has given you already is great advice, and you should really consider listening.

As for me, many of these people have way more experience than me (especially @M Rose)

A few years ago, I was at a similar starting point. Didn't know what gear I needed, or anybody that was into this. I happened to find a guy via reddit that invited me to meet up for a bit before they took off for a day trip, and I chatted for a bit. A few months later, I ended up going on a 4 day trip with a bunch of internet strangers.

I had a blast, and made some great friends.

I took a cheapo air compressor, old mummy bag, an air mattress (I was cold the last night), a cheapo dome tent, and a 3 burner camp stove.

This stuff filled the 5ft bed of my truck.

As I go on more trips, I figure out what works, and what doesn't. What needs refinement and tweaking, and what do we need to support our family on camping trips.

For me alone, the stuff I need to bring is simple.

Fitting the family and our gear for a 3-4 day trip takes some serious packing voodoo.

To help aleve some of packing issues, I just finished building a drawer system. I've now integrated a 40l water tank, pump and faucet system. I have a slide out table to cook on, as our single camp table wasn't enough space to prepare, cook and serve food (I do most of my cooking on a single burner gas one stove now).

I don't have a fridge. I use a 52qt lifetime cooler, and even in 95 degree heat, it has no problems keeping enough ice and food for a family of 3 for 4 days. 95 bucks at Walmart.

I say all this knowing that you've spent lots of money in a bunch of gear already. That's totally fine. Use the stuff that you have. Figure out what needs to change or get added based on difficulties you experience while out and about. Every mod or build I've done is in response to a need for the family, or has been to solve a problem that has come up.

I hope this helps a little bit.
 

TahoePPV

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Waitaminute you made no mention of 6 inch lift, 40” tires, onboard air, or a trasharoo. To be a “real” overlander you also need a drone, YouTube channel and a skottle.

kidding aside, just get out and camp. You’re well beyond most equipment a lot of folks have.

just do it.

and welcome aboard.
 

reaver

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Member I

1,080
Caldwell, ID, USA
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Brian
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Waitaminute you made no mention of 6 inch lift, 40” tires, onboard air, or a trasharoo. To be a “real” overlander you also need a drone, YouTube channel and a skottle.

kidding aside, just get out and camp. You’re well beyond most equipment a lot of folks have.

just do it.

and welcome aboard.
To be fair, I have gobs of camera equipment that I take out as well, but that's not overland related, so didn't bother mentioning mine. I had a drone, but it's sitting at the bottom of a lake.
 

TahoePPV

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To be fair, I have gobs of camera equipment that I take out as well, but that's not overland related, so didn't bother mentioning mine. I had a drone, but it's sitting at the bottom of a lake.
Drone submarines tend to have short service lives.
 
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GLOCKer

Rank I

Contributor III

124
Marietta, Georgia, USA
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John
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Battersby
That Hi-Lift jack looks awfully shiny and new. If you don't have much experience using one of those I recommend you get acquainted with the tool (Youtube probably has some useful videos.). They have great potential for harm if you don't watch out. There are also a number of accessories that can greatly increase their utility. Most important of all, on that front, is figuring out exactly where and how they can be used to attach to your particular vehicle. I don't think a Ranger comes from the factory with very many places a Hi-Lift can make useful contact. Unless you have made some changes in bumpers or added sliders you probably need to take a critical look at how you would proceed in case you actually needed that jack.
My front bumper has provisions for the Hi Lift, and I have an aftermarket hitch receiver that will work well with the HiLift. Sliders are a definite want!!! I don't want to beat my truck up and I'd like some protection on the rockers after seeing someone else's sliders work for them while out on the trail.

Thank you for the warning on the potential dangers involved with using a HiLift.
 
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GLOCKer

Rank I

Contributor III

124
Marietta, Georgia, USA
First Name
John
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Battersby
All the recommendations everyone else here has given you already is great advice, and you should really consider listening.

As for me, many of these people have way more experience than me (especially @M Rose)

A few years ago, I was at a similar starting point. Didn't know what gear I needed, or anybody that was into this. I happened to find a guy via reddit that invited me to meet up for a bit before they took off for a day trip, and I chatted for a bit. A few months later, I ended up going on a 4 day trip with a bunch of internet strangers.

I had a blast, and made some great friends.

I took a cheapo air compressor, old mummy bag, an air mattress (I was cold the last night), a cheapo dome tent, and a 3 burner camp stove.

This stuff filled the 5ft bed of my truck.

As I go on more trips, I figure out what works, and what doesn't. What needs refinement and tweaking, and what do we need to support our family on camping trips.

For me alone, the stuff I need to bring is simple.

Fitting the family and our gear for a 3-4 day trip takes some serious packing voodoo.

To help aleve some of packing issues, I just finished building a drawer system. I've now integrated a 40l water tank, pump and faucet system. I have a slide out table to cook on, as our single camp table wasn't enough space to prepare, cook and serve food (I do most of my cooking on a single burner gas one stove now).

I don't have a fridge. I use a 52qt lifetime cooler, and even in 95 degree heat, it has no problems keeping enough ice and food for a family of 3 for 4 days. 95 bucks at Walmart.

I say all this knowing that you've spent lots of money in a bunch of gear already. That's totally fine. Use the stuff that you have. Figure out what needs to change or get added based on difficulties you experience while out and about. Every mod or build I've done is in response to a need for the family, or has been to solve a problem that has come up.

I hope this helps a little bit.
Yes! A 5ft bed fills up fast!
Luckily a lot of my "camping gear" is just stuff I've had for other things that have been repurposed for camping, so total outlay hasn't been bad. Really, all I've spent money on so far is the RTT (used!) and bed rack (deep discount!), as far as the camping gear is concerned. As for trail gear, I've spent a little money there in the hopes of being prepared and not left stuck on the trail. I also don't want anybody else I'm out with getting stuck too!
 
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MMc

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I am headed today to Baja to drop off stuff to a charity, I’ll be surfing and a bit of exploring. I can match most people here setting up a killer base camp, not this trip. I’ll have a sleeping bag, pad, bivy bag, extra clothing, food,1 burner stove and cook box. I’ll most likely sleep under the stars. I will be surfing a couple time per day. I will have beach umbrella for shade, I’ll be gone a couple of days. It’s not the gear, it’s getting out. You attitude is more important than gear.
“ The worse it gets, the better the story.”
I get stuck a couple time per year and get myself out, it’s part of the experience.
Just Go, screw up, learn. You’ll have a better time doing than staying home.
 
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reaver

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Member I

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Caldwell, ID, USA
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McGahuey
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Yes! A 5ft bed fills up fast!
Luckily a lot of my "camping gear" is just stuff I've had for other things that have been repurposed for camping, so total outlay hasn't been bad. Really, all I've spent money on so far is the RTT (used!) and bed rack (deep discount!), as far as the camping gear is concerned. As for trail gear, I've spent a little money there in the hopes of being prepared and not left stuck on the trail. I also don't want anybody else I'm out with getting stuck too!
Alot of my cping gear was stuff I already had as well (and still have). But like I said, I did run into some convience and comfort issues that needed addressing. Take that first trip I posted about as an example. I learned that air mattresses have zero thermal insulation. My solution was to buy a 3" thick high R Value pad. Took that on two trips in the course of a month were nighttime Temps got into the teens and twenties. No more cold.

I'm a side sleeper though, and this wasn't quite thick enough to be super comfortable. Now, it goes on a 4" foam pad. 20 bucks shipped from home Depot.

My wife and kid don't camp when it's that cold, so I really only need to worry about that stuff for myself.

We use a coleman 4 person instant tent. It's a tad cramped, but it works great. Goes up super quick, and down almost as fast. If it's just me, I usually sleep in the rig (I decided I wanted an SUV and a dedicated rig for overland stuff, so I bought an Xterra).

As far as others getting stuck, for the most part, all you really need is a tow strap, or a snatch strap/snatch rope. For self recovery the winch is great, but it requires a lot of other gear to be used properly and safely, and in a manner that doesn't damage the trees you'll be winching off of.

I'm not even sure if for me, I'm going to even buy a winch. There's an Australian product that turns your wheels into a winch. I may go that route instead, as it allows you to self recover backwards easily as well.

As others have said.... Be careful with that high lift. I've used one on a flat surface, and after that, I won't be buying one. I'll stick with bottle Jack's for lifting axles if I need to pull a tire. I might even get an exhaust jack.
 

Clrussell

Rank I

Enthusiast I

163
Arkansas, USA
First Name
Corbin
Last Name
Russell
I will say when I started I started with left overs from previous buys.
I had a Coleman cook stove, a yeti, a foam sleeping pad for the truck and some blankets. It was all you really “need”.

now I have everything but solar. And yes it’s more convenient and nice to keep it all in the trick all the time.

but you don’t need all the essentials unless you’re really off grid camping.

just get out and enjoy the outdoors!