Solo Vehicle Dependent Exploration, Travel & Adventure

Overlanders Personal Carry List

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A list of important items we carried on ourselves for the 8 month overland trip through remote parts of the former USSR. The gear got a lot of heavy use everyday and never faultered so comes recommended. We liked it so much, we have it all on us now here in Indonesia.

What do you carry on long trips? Leave your comments below.


Passport – Kept on us in trouser pocket or in Lisa’s handbag. Not the end of the world if they go missing but a huge inconvenience and very costly if you have current visas stamped in.

International Driving Licence – Cheap and easy to aquire, take two. Keep one with your passport and the other to hand for the inevitable Police check. If you get caught speeding or another infringement leave them keep your licence and don’t pay the fine at the bank. You will probably be out of the country by the time your 30 or 60 day limit is up anyway.

Wallet – Bi-fold wallet with local currency and a small amount of USD. One debit and one credit card along with a list of emergency numbers, colour copy of both passports, strip of water purification tablets and a small pack of waterproof matches.

Keys – sounds obvious but we added a few little extras. We both carried igntion and door keys along with a set for the trailer. Attached to the keyring was a hidden cash pill which we rolled $50 USD notes into and a Sandisk16GB USB thumb drive. On the drive we had high quality scanned copies of all documents including original visas, emergency numbers and vehicle repair manuals (including regional language versions).

Zippo Lighter – lighting stoves, campfires, cigars and a whole host of other uses. Found to be pretty windproof and even a little water resistant. Keep a spare flint in with the wool.

Gerber STL 2.5 Knife  – Strong, Thin, Light. A cheap folding pocket knife that conforms with European carry limits. This knife has seen daily use throughout our trip from eating shashlik to helping repair punctures. For a £10 blade it has performed admirably.

Sonim XP3.2 cell phone – Not a smartphone but tough and reliable. If all you want is call and text in a rough environment, this may fit your needs. Excellent battery life in use or standby. We used country Sim cards with no problem. Alarm and calculator features used most often.

Oakley Polarised Sunglasses – I have been using Oakley eye protection for the last 16 years and they get a good deal of use. My current set has seen me through Morocco, West Africa, europe and North Asia as well as countless trips across the UK. 6 years on they are still performing, even as I write this from Indonesia. Coupled with great customer service (UK) I am unlikely to be buying any other brand in the near future.

Gerber Crux multi-tool – Carried on my belt. Versitile multi-tool, mostly used the pliers and screwdrivers along with scissors. Quite heavy but comfortable to use.

Nitecore MT26 Torch – Not strictly a carry item but kept close to hand in the cab and in the roof tent at night. With variable power settings it is a smallish multi-function tool which we used regularly to spot wildcamps in the dark among other general duties. It was most used in northeast Russia on the 800 Lumen setting to scan for wildlife during the night.

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2 responses

  1. ×2 on Petzl headlamp and paracord.

    Might include duct tape and small bottle of Gorilla glue.

    Also a big fan of baby-wipes for degreasing after a session of maintenance.

    03/06/2015 at 09:48

  2. Si

    Passport (plus copy), wallet, swiss army huntsman, petzl head torch, 2m para cord, 330ml bubble up (or similar).

    28/10/2013 at 07:51

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