The essential trail tools.
Tools are an essential part of overlanding. Everyone overlands at their own comfort level and abilities (hopefully) and therefore everyone’s tool kit is different. I am going to introduce my tool kit not to tell you what to get, but to hopefully inspire you to go through and refine your kit.
Only you know the weak points on your vehicle and therefore you know what tools and parts you need. However, many of the below parts are general and should be taken into consideration for most overlanders.
Fuses, zip ties, wire cutters, electrical tape, and wire. Some people like to carry a voltmeter as well. Essential if you have aftermarket wiring done on your vehicle.
Bottle jack and axle cradle. Safer and more convenient method for changing a tire. I prefer this over a floor jack for weight and space savings.
Tire repair kit.
Electric impact wrench. Substantially speeds up any trail repairs.
Full set of wrenches and sockets. You know what you need but at minimum 8mm – 21mm and a socket sized correctly to remove your axle nut (usually a 35-36MM, I carry a 12 point 35MM for a more universal fit).
Vice grips, various sized adjustable wrenches. Usually needed for steering components.
Breaker bar and hammer. For those nuts and bolts that never want to come out.
Quicksteel, JB Weld, duct tape, bailing wire, rescue tape, and thread locker. All these items have their own unique application for temporary trail fixes and should all be considered.
Hoses and belts. This is very vehicle specific, but I have lost power steering and radiator lines in the past. I also keep a tarp for help me stay cleaner under vehicle.
Oils. I strongly recommend some differential fluid in case you flood your axle or break a shaft. I personally carry transmission fluid due to my specific vehicle needs. With larger tires (37+) I would also recommend carrying power steering fluid.
Vehicle specific spare parts. For IFS vehicle I would recommend tie-rod ends and front axle shafts. For solid axles you may consider a spare trackbar as well.
Welding rods and cables. This is last case scenario for me. Welding on the trail requires very minimal equipment (rods, jumper cables, extra cable, a few batteries from friends trucks…).
***I would strongly suggest that if you take any of this equipment, you learn how to use it at home. If you can’t fix it at home, you won’t fix it on the trail.
(Photo depicts all my recovery gear & tools)
This is a LOT of gear (close to 120 pounds)! This list was created for you to get ideas and consider what you need. It may not be practical for you to carry all this gear due to lack of space and it may not be needed. I am lucky enough to have a close group of friends with whom we split gear responsibilities. But don’t be the one that breaks down on an easy trail and doesn’t know what to do!