What piece of gear made the biggest improvement to your experience?

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BIG4570

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CSG

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Tires or toilets. Either is critical. Putting KO2's on my two-wheel drive van made a big difference in how it performs on roads where the old Michelins (LT all season tread) struggled.
 
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bmwguru

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For me and the family it was the Coleman instant tent

https://www.coleman.com/8-person-instant-tent/2000023236.html?cgid=coleman-tentsandshelters-instant#start=5

I can set it up by myself so the wife and kids can do other things, and for the past 10 years it's actually preformed really well. The sad part is the seams are starting to go and I think I'm going to have to replace it soon. Maybe time for that RTT
Take a look at the Gazelle pop up tents. I have a T4 and love it.
 

Mike W

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First thing that comes to mind is my fridge, but maybe because I was just replying to another thread about them. It opens up a lot more possibilities for the food I can take and I kinda hate dealing with ice and wet food.
 

Anak

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A little Black Diamond LED lantern/flashlight.

I still have fond memories of my Coleman lanterns, but I much prefer the compact size and relative durability of the LED lantern. And it doesn't draw the bugs like the gas lanterns. It's not likely to damage the tent either. Or burn an incautious Varmint.

Lots of win in that one little change.
 

billum v2.0

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I would say fridge and roof top tent. A good meal and a good night's rest every night gets you recharged properly for another day.
Don't have a fridge, but the RTT is the game changer for us. Wife came on exactly zero trips in the 25 some years I backpacked. She's made AND enjoyed several since the RTT purchase.

For me, the concept of stooping to camping out of a vehicle was blasphemy, confirmation of the softness of middle age (dammit) and indoctrination to official pantywastedness (not sure of precise spelling on that last one).

What was I thinking all those years? The first night I slept on a real mattress (as opposed to a foam egg crate), ate real food (instead of reconstituted flavored sawdust) cooked in cast iron (not the 2mm thick tin "skillet" that doubled as the lid to the 2mm walled tin contraption I referred to as a pot.......that was on sale for eleventy hundred $$$ at REI) on a stove that didn't tip over if a mouse passed wind..............

Ground tent, backpack, nesting pots, Whisperlite stove, the whole kit and kaboodle went on Craigslist the day after the first trip.

Will confess, disappointed how quickly I've embraced my pantywastedness.
 

CSG

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First thing that comes to mind is my fridge, but maybe because I was just replying to another thread about them. It opens up a lot more possibilities for the food I can take and I kinda hate dealing with ice and wet food.
Have you tried frozen water bottles? Not quite as surrounding as ice but I've had good success with the .5 liter bottles in my little Yeti. Of course, I'm only out in the LX 2-3 nights tops. The van has a compressor fridge and that is civilized.
 
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Mike W

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Have you tried frozen water bottles? Not quite as surrounding as ice but I've had good success with the .5 liter bottles in my little Yeti. Of course, I'm only out in the LX 2-3 nights tops. The van has a compressor fridge and that is civilized.
I have, but when you are on the road for long enough it becomes hard to find good ice. Gas station ice is the least space efficient ice ever and barely frozen, so that is worthless. Some hotel ice is ok, but same basic issue, you have to put it in something, ziplock bags leak and ... ya... I don't miss those days.
 
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CSG

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I think if one regularly travels more than a few days at a time, a fridge becomes a requirement. But I don't like living out of my LX. Longer trips are in my van which is self-contained except for toilet and shower (but carries a porta potti and a portable shower).
 
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Scout

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For me and the family it was the Coleman instant tent

https://www.coleman.com/8-person-instant-tent/2000023236.html?cgid=coleman-tentsandshelters-instant#start=5

I can set it up by myself so the wife and kids can do other things, and for the past 10 years it's actually preformed really well. The sad part is the seams are starting to go and I think I'm going to have to replace it soon. Maybe time for that RTT

I have one of these also..Love the ease of set up/tear down..I haven't brought it overlanding yet because the 1 thing that made the difference for me was the cover I built for the bed of my truck..Huge difference.. However, now that we have 2 dogs again, we're thinking it may be a bit crowded in the bed.. May have to go to the tent..
 
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