How to pack your 4WD
Packing a 4WD for a big trip is a daunting proposition & exhaustive exercise for some! Trust us though, once you have done it a few times things will get a whole heap easier.
Straight off the bat, keep your load to a bare minimum before you begin packing. Don’t fall into the trap of including more things because you have the space or think ” I might just need this “. Generally, we see most people over pack when on tour with us, in all honesty, it does take numerous trips with your chosen gear and set up to perfect your packing abilities but you will be thankful when you work out the happy medium.
A lighter load is going to give you less stress on the vehicle, your fuel consumption & ultimately your hip pocket! Less load also means less time spent packing and unpacking your car every day. This should be a good consideration when your planning your packing.
Instead of stripping the shed and throwing it all in the 4wd, dont be afraid to write a packing list down on paper and work through an old fashioned list. This is a great way to ensure you pack what you need, but also dont forget that important item when your half way down the highway!
Must have items:
Smart packing starts with the essential items like vehicle spares, tools and recovery equipment. After that, consider your navigational aids – good maps (Electronics & Paper back ups ) and EPIRB beacon if they are required. For any trip within Australia as you should be well aware, water is an essential. However don’t rely on one container or on-board water tank, it’s too easy for a tank to be punctured & your valuable water supplies depleted in an instant.
Always carry some reserves of food and remember basic staples, in the event of an emergency will go a long way. Rice, Flour e.t.c are great to have in the vehicle. Tinned food is great as it wont spoil like fresh food incase a fridge fails.
When packing an off-road vehicle, it’s essential to keep the centre of gravity as low and as close to the axles as possible. That means putting all the heavy stuff – recovery gear, tools and spares – in first, graduating to the lighter equipment on the top. If you’re using a roof rack, use it for the lightest stuff and only sparingly. Cargo barriers in station wagon style vehicles are recommended so you dont end up with unwanted projectiles in the cabin. Off-road travel means plenty of bumps and odd angles so make sure any load is secured!
Dont frget to pack a comprehensive first aid kit, a fire-extinguisher, sunscreen, mozzie repellent & a hat.
Pro tip – If your doing any travel in the warmer months, dont forget a fly net for every passenger in your vehicle!
Here is a basic but handy checklist for you to consider –
Vehicle spares Handy spares
variety of spare hose clamps
spark plugs (petrol)
electrical (zip) ties
spool of insulated electrical wire
strip of wiring connectors
power steering oil
some 12 gauge welding rods
two spare wheels (for outback/remote travel)
tubeless tyre repair kit (if applicable) & tyre valves
Vehicle tools Basic recovery equipment
spanner and socket set to suit your vehicle
flat wooden plank or similar for jacking platform
2 x snatch straps
vice grip pliers
4 x shackles
screwdrivers and allen keys
12 volt check light
trouble light (or torch)
hammer and chisel
12 volt compressor or tyre pump
hammer and chisel
vehicle’s jack and wheel spanner
Camping equipment Personal things
tent & sleeping bags
esky or car fridge
groundsheet & plastic tarps
bucket, plastic containers & bowl
camp stools or seats
toothpaste and brush
gas stove and/or BBQ plate
cooking equipment (including a billy)
any medications you might need
fire lighting gear
tin/plastic mugs and plates
hat and sun glasses
cutting board and BBQ tools
clothes (including rain gear and a good coat)
identification, driver’s licence, cash and credit cards
detergent and laundry powder
water in several containers
emergency food rations
spare vehicle keys
a sense of fun and adventure
comprehensive first aid kit
Now don’t forget this isn’t a comprehensive list of everything you could ever need, but its a good start in packing for any journey off the beaten track!
Safe Travels – Explore WA Team