15 Dec Road Trip Prep Guide
Road trips aren’t like other trips. You’ve got to know where you’re going, how to get there and what you’ll need – because you’ll be bringing most of it with you. Especially if you like to keep your trip flexible, spontaneity lies in being prepared to take any path you’re inspired to follow.
Read on for the Sean & Mittie road trip prep guide. Some overlanders carry more than others. We travel particularly light in an open-air vehicle but we all have to have some essentials.
Whether you like to know exactly where you’re going and how long you’ll want to stay or not, here are the things you’ll want to research before you go
-Get a weather update for the area
-List specific cities and/or towns you want to see so you can plot them on the map.
-Decide whether you want highways, scenic byways or a mixture.
-Check potential routes.
-Once you have your potential route, you might want to calculate the route’s fuel requirements and check fuel prices in the area.
-Err on the side of caution & budget for a little more than you’ll need.
2. Prepare the vehicle
Here’s the checklist we use to ready La Poderosa for her voyage.
-Check tire pressure.
-Check oil, coolant and other fluids, such as clutch and hydrolic steering and have a little motor oil, clutch fluid (if applicable), and steering fluid on hand. In older vehicles, this is even more important.
-Check spare tire, lug nut wrench, and jack.
-A good emergency kit includes: jumper cables, basic tool kit, duct tape and electrical tape, flashlight, a couple of work rags, jerry can and funnel, and an easily-accessible fire extinguisher.
Also check the vehicle’s paperwork ahead of departure – make sure everything expires when you think it does so there won’t be any surprises.
3. Gear and Provisions
Here is where contingency plans factor in. If you are packing food and water for a certain number of days estimating that you’ll want maybe 2 gallons of water a day, you might also want to consider situations in which you’ll be forced to make due with the resources already with you – scenarios such as a remote breakdown, an unusually long stretch between gas stations, and/or protest-related road closures…the overlander has to be prepared for these possibilities – or eventualities, if you’re at it for a while.
Running out of gas may sound silly but it happens – especially if your route takes you through remote areas or into unexpected situations. Topography can also have real implications for fuel consumption on a heavily-laden overland vehicle (reminder not to overpack the vehicle).
We recommend having a couple extra days of water and at least one jerry can – two for remote locations.
A personal emergency kit is an important addition to your normal pack items, and might include an emergency blanket, snacks, and a basic first aid kit.
For a comprehensive & well-thought overland packlist that fits into 3 large plastic containers, check out Overland Bound’s Ultimate Overland Checklist.
What things do you check before you embark on a roadtrip? Did you find my list helpful? Give me feedback in the comments below.