A colorful but also useful lantern. A coffee maker that… just always works. A bug-free hammock swinging between two tall fir trees as a soft wind sings you to sleep. While overlanding can often focus on the rigs that get us to the destination, once on site, it is often the little things that can be the difference between comfort and frustration.
Camp kit bits must also combine small size, versatility, and reliable performance to make it on our gear list. We especially like items that work well for smaller vehicles or adventure motorcycles. Here are some of our favorite products that reliably take a getaway from good to great.
Sea To Summit Air Chair
The Sea To Summit Air Chair combines the convenience of a simple strap-supported chair with the comfort of your sleeping pad. Vióla: The comfiest compact inflatable chair you can imagine. Simple and effective.
Snow Peak Takibi Fire & Grill
Do you Takibi? We love Snow Peak’s cool folding Takibi fire pits. Now, they’ve taken it a step further with a full-on folding cooking and grilling setup – and it still all folds flat into a canvas carry bag for easy transport. This portable fire pit keeps ash to a minimum, all but eliminates burn scars, and gives you everything you need to cook delicious meals over your campfire.
GCI Outdoor Master Cook Station
If you’re planning longer and longer excursions, be sure to pack everything, including the kitchen sink – and the kitchen. The GCI Master Cook Station is a fold-up kitchen that includes a sink with a drain, multiple shelves, a lantern hook, and a spacious food prep area that can hold a large dual-burner stove. It packs down flat for easy transport and storage. Now you’re cooking!
REI Co-op Pack-Away Bins
REI’s Pack-Away bins are the overlander’s storage and organizing friend. Available in multiple sizes, the Pack-Away bins are soft-sided, so you can wedge them into a trunk or pickup bed with ease. They hold a lot of gear, from clothes to whole camp kits. You can further expand your organization with the Pack-Away Cubes that fit inside perfectly. Lots of handles make them easy to carry when full, and they roll up when not in use.
MSRP: Varies with size
Hi-Lift Off-Road Winch Kit
Did you know you can use your Hi-Lift Jack as a winch? With Hi-Lift’s Off-Road Kit, all the bits you need to extract your rig from trouble without a traditional winch are in the bag, including chains, straps, pins, hooks – even gloves. It may take a bit longer than a powered winch, but at least you won’t need to call for rescue.
BruTrek Basecamp French Press
For many campers, the day doesn’t start until the coffee is made. Most French presses can break easily under the rigors of camping and don’t keep the coffee hot for long. BruTrek’s Basecamp French Press is double insulated, super tough, and highly reliable. Done brewing? Screw on the lid and take the leftover java with you – you know you’re going to need it.
BioLite Alpenglow 500 Lantern
There are as many camping lanterns out there as there are stars in the sky, but BioLite’s Alpenglow 500 Lantern mixes in a fair bit of fun. Just shake it for multiple colored light modes, candle mode, and even a fireworks mode! The light is nicely flat and diffused and highly adjustable for color, intensity, and color pattern changes. A hook on the bottom makes it easy to hang in a tent, kitchen pole, or on a tree branch. Phone dying? Plug it into the lantern for a fresh charge.
ENO Jungle Rest Hammock
Nothing ruins a hammock siesta like some flying forest critter crawling on you. Rest in bug-free comfort with the ENO Jungle Rest hammock from REI. The built-in bug screen keeps the stinging multitudes out while letting air and light in. Plus, it packs up in seconds. Snooze in peace!