Have you recently returned from your last off-road camping trip and realizing you were drastically unprepared with camping tools and camping lights? Maybe you’re searching to upgrade your vehicle headlights or add trail lights and LED bars to find everything around your campsite’s barbeque pit, but everything you’re searching for is fairly affordable but the more expensive it is, the longer it lasts.
We’ve compiled a short gear list of essential camping gear and off-road lights for your pickup or SUV. Tools and lights that make your camping experience easier and more enjoyable.
Headlamps & handheld flashlights
Changing your vehicle’s old halogen headlights to LED bulbs will transform your off-roading experience tenfold during those low-lit dawn hours. It’s so easy that you can do it yourself or it takes just a few minutes if done by a professional. Having updated headlamps is smart if you begin to start off-roading often on the weekends, and always check their tightness after crawling heavy trails.
Headlamps are key, especially around dinner time or if you’re running back to the tent for your sweater. There are one-size-fits all headlamps available online or at your local sporting goods store. Rechargeable models are the most reliable and convenient, and they are way better than walking around holding a flashlight like a Scooby-Doo character.
Hatchet or machete? Why not both?
If you’ve read the book Hatchet, then you know why having one in the woods is so important. Have one with your tools in case you have to fetch wood for the fire or have to smash your way out of a sticky situation. A machete will work just as well for quick wood retrieval or brush clearing but having both doesn’t hurt.
LED light bars & propane lamps
Good lighting is everything in the dark and more than likely, you’ll be camping in a place with limited to no street lights. If you are, you’re not really “camping” but having a propane lamp for your kitchen site and rooftop LED bars makes the nighttime duties easy to handle. Check out our LED light bar reviews to learn more. If you’re wondering what propane lamp to buy, consider Coleman products. They are highly rated and for the price, you get your money’s worth.
Cooler & food storage
Having a sizable cooler for food and drinks is a must. Especially if you’re going for a 3-5 day excursion. No doubt the Yeti brand is the way to go for long-lasting coldness and even their cooler bags are great for keeping drinks cold and easily transportable. Dry foods should be kept in clear bin containers. This keeps other animals from getting into your dry goods, and if you have compartmentalized your vehicle, you can easily pull food boxes out and conceal them when no longer needed.
Sweater & extra blanket
Sleeping outside is refreshing until the temperature drops after midnight. Always have a waterproof tent and sleeping bag, but most of all bring an extra sweater and blanket. Sometimes your sleeping bag won’t cut it and having a few extra layers is wise.
Camera & camera tripod
Camping pictures make your times outdoors last forever and for the camera enthusiasts looking for high-quality photos outside of their smartphone, having a DSLR camera and tripod for your camping trip is game-changing. Content is king, even if you’re anti-social and wish to hoard all your family and friend pictures to yourself on a hard drive. Nature and wildlife photos are a thrill and if you love nighttime sky photography, you can capture the galaxy when doing long exposure photos with your camera and tripod. Plus, you can take those appealing nighttime truck photos sporting your new LED headlights.
4×4 traction board
You will cross gravel and most likely sugar sand and mud. 4×4 or not, trucks and SUVs get stuck. Go prepared with a traction board. Get the hard grip your vehicle needs to get free from slippery terrain and attach a traction board to your roof rack for quick access.
Spare tire & tools
If you’re going deep into the wilderness, a spare tire and tire changing tools are the most important. Unless you can call AAA or call your helicopter to pick you up, changing a tire is a must-know for off-roaders. Have a durable spare tire that matches your other three as well as an electric air pump The possibilities of receiving a flat tire are higher than normal when going off-road, so be prepared.
You don’t need an entire toolbox but if you have compartment space beneath your seats or around the bed of your truck, carry a handful of tools. Essentials like a crescent wrench, Allen wrench, vice-grips, needle nose pliers, screwdrivers, and a socket set. You never know what tools you might need during a breakdown but anything that can assist in disconnecting cables and wires or working on engine parts can save you time and money in hiring somebody. Read up about the possible breakdowns that can happen when off-roading to know ahead of time how to handle it.
Gas & water canisters
Extra gas cans and a five-gallon water jug can get you far throughout your travels. Extra fuel matters if you are going deep and need to make it back without refilling at a gas station. Always calculate your trail mileage to see how many extra gas jugs you will need. It’s common to have 10-to-15 extra gallons on hand, but even a small five-gallon jug is handy.
A 5-gallon water jug per person is ideal for 2 to 4 day trip periods. Potable water for cooking, cleaning dishes, and a quick freshwater washdown after a hot day, square water jug canisters are best for stability and compact storage.
Save money on off-roading tools, but don’t sacrifice quality for a deal
Our list of off-roading tools and light products for camping, if you search for truck tool deals, you’re bound to save some cash, but always keep in mind that you truly do get what you paid for when it comes to LED truck bars and off-road tools for trail camping. Make a strong attempt to stick to durable materials from well-known brands rather than settling for equipment or tools because of its price tag.