Camping and 4x4s go hand in hand. But a good 4×4 isn’t the only thing you should have before exploring the outdoors. More often than not, a lot of preparation is needed to make the camping trip more enjoyable. Particularly if you go deep into the Outback areas.
The preparation for a 4×4 adventure can be a real handful. If you’re making your way to the campsite with a 4×4 trailer, you even have to learn some rules before you go. And of course, you got to have the necessary off-road gear.
The following accessories have become real staples of 4WD camping.
It’s recommended to start building your 4×4 off road accessories collection with the simplest addition – a shovel. It’s one of the most underestimated tools to have, but it’s really handy when you are camping in the bush. Not only can a shovel facilitate the recovery of your vehicle when you are bogged down, but it can also help you quickly set up your tent or a campsite toilet.
The so-called survival shovels have serrated edges which can be used to cut down growth or clear the road. Foldable shovels are helpful if you don’t have a lot of room to spare in your vehicle. But if your 4×4 has some extra storage in the form of a roof rack or an attached trailer, you can afford to take a full-sized shovel with you.
Being able to provide yourself with some shade is a premium when you are off the beaten path. And after you have spent the day driving, you will probably appreciate every bit of cover you can get. Fortunately, you have many options to choose from. The most typical is the batwing awning configuration or a 270 degrees, 11sqm coverage because it provides a lot of shade.
You don’t have to go for that one though. A foxwing (or 180 degree cover) is also very popular as are some tent awning walls and annexes that can increase your shaded space.
Take a closer look at the specifications – you can’t go wrong with lightweight, ripstop, water- and mould-resistant fabric that can withstand UV rays.
These are two basic types of 20-litre flat-sided cans for water and fuel. Traditionally they were used for carrying diesel only, but since they are easy to use, they can become alternative an alternative to water jugs.
Of course, you need a good system of colour-coding to avoid mixing up the two types of jerry cans. The usual rule is: green and white cans are for water, while the reds, yellows and oranges are for fuel. It’s always prudent to have extra fuel and potable water on your trip to the hinterland.
Colour coding can be successfully employed in storage as well. Though, by far the most important feature when it comes to storage boxes is the seal. You want your load safe, dry and dust-free. Regardless of whether your container stores food, clothes or gear, you need a sturdy and impact-resistant case.
Nowadays they also make them stackable. This, along with the colour coding can serve to keep you organised on the road. Keep in mind that sometimes you will need to fetch gear at night when the only light you see would be the one coming from your lamp. So, compartmentalization is key to keep every imaginable item in a predesignated place at all times.
Recovery tracks are the most sought after contraptions in this category. They serve to provide traction and clearance when there is none. It’s a fairly simple piece of gear but useful on the road. Traditionally wood logs were used to get over dodgy patches. Tracks are superior because they do not rot, they can hold very heavy loads and they are lightweight. You just need to do yourself a favour and take them on your trip.
Of course, your off-road recovery gear consists of many other pieces. All sorts of straps, shackles, lift jacks and hitches are needed to save a bogged down vehicle. Off-road vehicles usually have winches that can pull great loads. You can include any of these 4×4 off road accessories in your vehicle, but do make sure you take all of the precautionary measures before using this equipment.
Everyone wants to keep the degree of comfort in the passenger cabin to the highest possible degree. It’s one of the reasons people add mass loaded vinyl to make the ride quieter. Aside from that, there are several accessories that are typical for the off-road bunch.
Take the portable garbage bin for example. It’s a contraption designed to keep your inorganic waste in place until you find an appropriate dumping spot. They are collapsible and their insides are washable.
The same applies to the detachable towing mirror. It allows you to see along all three lanes of a highway when you are towing someone else. Urban drivers rarely use such aftermarket parts unless they operate a business specifically geared toward hauling and towing other vehicles.
In terms of enhancing in-cabin organisation, you can use pouches or car seat organisers to keep your valuables in a predetermined place. Sunglasses, your mobile, GPS device or UHF radio and many other items along those lines. You don’t want to scout the car floor for any of them. Not when you need them right away.