If you’ve spent any time at all traveling on a motorcycle or in a van, truck, or SUV, you know that storage space is at a premium, and storage solutions and how you organize are critical to a successful overland trip.
The main idea here is to give items that you carry with you, like recovery gear, your first aid kit, your kitchen supplies, tools, and dry provisions, a permanent home inside your rig or in your panniers, so you always know where they are.
The best way to get organized is to lay out all of your gear in your living room, on your driveway, or on your front lawn and begin to categorize your gear – tools, recovery gear, engine lubricants, and similar items might all go in one place. Your first aid kit might have a prominent spot attached to a molle panel, and kitchen items like plates, cups, utensils, your french press, etc., might all go into a labeled storage box. By visualizing the groups of items and seeing how much you actually have, you’ll know a lot more about the types of storage solutions you require to get your rig or bike organized. An added benefit of this exercise is that you can actually see everything at one time and make a decision about whether or not you actually want to carry it with you.
Over the course of my many years of domestic and international travels, I’ve landed on a few great storage systems that really helped me get organized, stay organized, and make my time on the trail and in the backcountry more enjoyable. Let’s take a look at a few storage solutions that I’ve either used or owned over the years and why they work for me. Your mileage may vary, but there is something in this list that every two- and four-wheeled adventurer can use to organize their lives.
Overland Vehicle Storage Solutions
ARB Outback Drawer System
Truck owners rejoice! There is a storage solution that gets you your truck bed back! DECKED truck bed storage drawers are 100% American Made and provide the ultimate access and organization for your tools and gear. With the DECKED system, you can customize your truck and keep your gear organized, weatherproof, and secure while maintaining full bed use. The DECKED DIY toolbox is also durable with a 2000-lb. payload and 200-lb. per drawer rating.
DECKED Gladiator Drawer System
Truck owners rejoice! There is a storage solution that gets you your truck bed back! DECKED truck bed storage drawers are 100% American Made and provide the ultimate access and organization for your tools and gear. With the DECKED system, you can customize your truck and keep your gear organized, weatherproof, and secure while maintaining full bed use. The DECKED DIY tool box is also durable with a 2000-lb. payload and 200-lb. per drawer rating.
Bestop Universal Storage Lock Box
If you’re looking for a locking solution for small items that you normally keep in your center console, you probably want to consider the Universal Storage Lock Box from Bestop. This storage solution fits a variety of vehicles and features a flip-up piano-hinge lid, pick-resistant key lock, and 16-gauge carbon steel construction with ample storage volume. This is a perfect solution for phones, radios, knives, and other small items that could walk away in a vehicle break-in.
Giant Loop Mototrekk Saddlebags
We all know storage space on an ADV moto is nearly non-existent without the addition of panniers and a top case. MotoTrekk Panniers are slim, rugged, dry bag-inspired panniers sized for overnight or multi-day trips. Made of welded waterproof fabric and featuring a roll-top closure, contents stay dry and dirt free. In addition, their integrated mounting system enables them to strap to virtually any motorcycle side luggage racks, working well for both on- and off-road adventures. The MotoTrekk Panniers are perfect for carrying parts, tools, camping gear, food, and cookware for your trips afield.
STEP 22 Gear Pangolin Tool Roll
The Pangolin Tool Roll gives you the best of both worlds. The perfect combination of a convenient carry tool bag and the organization of a tool roll and pouches. Featuring modular configuration, the Pangolin is the perfect purpose-built overland and adventure travel tool kit. You can add and remove tool pouches and wrench rolls as needed, creating the ideal setup no matter what you need to carry. With eight different usable pockets, pouches, and compartments, it is easy to stay organized with even the most complicated set of tools.
Front Runner Outfitters Wolf Pack Pro
The Front Runner Outfitters Wolf Pack storage containers ended up being my main solution for kitchen gadgets and non-perishable food storage, and believe me; I tried a lot of different containers in my years on the road. Most of them were either too heavy or not durable enough for the punishment I put them through on the trail. I’ve owned my Wolf Packs for five years, and I don’t think I’ll ever move to another solution. They are that good. New for 2022, Front Runner refreshed the Wolf Pack with their new Wolf Pack Pro – featuring extra secure latching and water and dust sealing to make sure the dust stays off your food and equipment.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of storage solutions, it should be enough to help you get organized and, make your vehicle safer, more efficient, and help you know where things belong.
Being organized is critical for any type of long-term overland travel, so make sure you don’t overlook this important planning piece.
See you on the trails!