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The Gearzette
8 off the grid essentials

8 off the grid essentials

- June 28, 2022

For hardcore overlanders, there is something alluring about travelling ‘off' the proverbial map, to those remote corners without cellphone coverage, running water and flush toilets. There where self-sufficiency is the name of the game. This is becoming increasingly difficult as network coverage spreads and ever more campsites are being upgraded with permanent facilities. Perhaps that makes heading off the grid even more special. Plan on going self-sufficient, here is a shortlist of must-haves

© Benjamin Hardman

1. Roof Rack with Expedition rails

Packing efficiency starts with a good roof rack system. A rack such as the Slimline II Roof Rack allows you to create more space inside your vehicle by storing everything from camping gear and kitchen supplies to clothing in our Wolf Pack Pro and Typhoon Bag and loading them securely on the roof. Then, take the next step and upgrade your Front Runner Roof Rack by adding expedition-style side rails. Side rails add extra cargo support without adding too much weight or additional wind resistance. The rail also lets you mount expedition accessories such as the Front Runner Double Jerry Can Holder to the edge of your rack for easy accessibility.​

© Craig Kolesky

2. Roof Top Tent​ 

If you’re not planning on sleeping on the ground next to your vehicle, a roof top tent is a game-changer. Not only does it negate the major hassle of pitching (and breaking down) a tent, but it also keeps you off the cold ground. Our Roof Top Tent weighs only 43kg and sleeps two comfortably. It is made out of water-repellent, durable 260g poly-cotton ripstop fabric and features a full-coverage, waterproof and UV-resistant rainfly. In addition, it has a low profile which helps to minimize wind resistance and adds to fuel efficiency.

© Craig Kolesky

​3. Sat phone / SPOT X safety device​ 

While being out of cellular coverage is almost fundamental to being off-the-grid, it is important that you are equipped to be able to reach the outside world for assistance in emergencies and keep loved ones updated on the progress of your expedition. The SPOT X is a super useful little piece of kit. It provides 2-way satellite messaging, features a neat on-device keyboard and connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth to access your contacts and communicate.

© Craig Kolesky

4. 42l Water Tank​ 

Perhaps the first rule of off-the-grid self-sufficiency is to have enough drinking water. The Pro Water Tank’s 42L (11.1 gal) capacity means you can stay out longer. It is easily accessible on your roof rack and with the smart addition of accessories, such as the Tap Extension Bracket and Hose Kit For Tap Extension Bracket it allows you to extend your water tank tap away from your vehicle to make turn it into a hand handy camp shower.​​

5. Wolf Pack Pro Recovery Kit

Whether travelling in convoy or as a solo vehicle, adequate recovery gear for the terrain you’re heading into is highly recommended. Packed conveniently in the versatile Wolf Pack Pro, this kit features essentials to cover various recovering situations and terrains, including a Snatch Strap, Winch Extension Strap, Tree Trunk Protector and Bridle as well as Shackles and Gloves.​

© Craig Kolesky

6. Extra Fuel​ 

Going long and far very often means travelling further than your vehicle's standard range for a full tank. While a built-in long-range fuel tank is ideal, if you plan your refuel stops correctly you can get far with the 2x 20l jerry cans. Mount them to the side rail of your rack with the double Jerry can holder, which offers a smart no rattle, no wear solution. Add a Jiggler Siphon for convenient refueling. This multipurpose hose mechanism pumps liquid easily by jiggling the hose up and down to start the flow.

© Front Runner

7. Power up​ 

There are various portable power sources available for the intrepid overland. Generators tend to be noisy and require additional fuel, while solar panels require good hours of sunlight exposure. These all have their place, and you need to carefully assess your power needs before investing. A great option for portability and ease of use is the Dometic PLB40 Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate battery. It delivers high levels of mobile power – up to 40 hours – on a single charge. It was designed specifically for powering powered coolers and other 12V appliances while being off grid.​

© Craig Kolesky

8. BBQ / Fire Pit

Our BBQ / Fire Pit doubles as a grill on which to cook or a firepit for ambience (and warmth!). The neat unit sets up in less than 30 seconds and keeps the fire safely off the ground for camping in those sensitive areas where it’s not safe (or legal) to make fire on the ground though. Constructed from durable 3CR12 stainless steel, it is corrosion resistant and packs away neatly in a Wolf Pack or Wolf Pack Pro to be loaded on your roof rack.