How we prepare for an overland day trip from shopping and packing to giving the rig the once over.
- Destination and route planning
- Pre trip shopping
- Packing the 4×4
- Gear checklist
- Checking fluids and pressures
- Photo and video plan
- The roof
1. Destination & Route Planning
The first thing we do to prepare for an overland day trip is decide on the destination, it might seem obvious but we tend to stay away from the touristy areas and head for the hills in most cases especially in August which, if you know Spain is the ‘holiday’ month.
We spend quite a bit of time on Google maps seeking out hidden locations and finding routes through the Andalucian campo. Doing it this way helps us avoid traffic and main arterial routes although we do of course utilise main roads to get us fairly close as time is usually short.
Once we’ve found some places of interest we hit Google again, this time through images, reviews [if any] are on Google maps but you tend to get more images through search, we also check out videos too to get an idea of the area.
Lastly, once we’ve settled on a destination the route is planned on the computer using Gaia GPS which is then saved. The tablet is then switched on and any updates performed – Gaia GPS won’t show your latest route on another device unless updates are performed, and for that you need internet connection.
2. Pre Trip Shopping
Shopping is essentially food for the day trip but we’ll also include buying diesel too. We like to have a full tank the day before so we’re ready to hit the road early, buying fuel is one less thing to do on the day.
A trip to the local supermarket is all we need as we like to keep things simple. Sometimes we’ll get some meat from the butchers depending on the time of year and open fire restrictions, a barbeque by a lakeside is always good!
Bread is always on the list as well as soft drinks, AF beer, sliced meat, fruit and yogurt etc. Breakfast consists of overnight oats and there is of course milk for the coffee and tea. It’s easy enough to forget something so the food list is never rushed.
3. Packing the 4×4
Packing the Shogun just for one day is straight forward, we know that all of the basics are already in the rig. It’s prepped up to be a bug out vehicle for five days so all we need is the stuff for the trip such as food, drinks, clothing etc. The Dometic cooler resides in the fridge freezer overnight and is the last thing to be packed.
One person packs the Shogun and the other person packs the cooler, that way there are no crossed wires like “did you remember to pack the milk?”
Spare clothing is kept packed in a rucksack and when it comes to waterproofs and footware such as hiking boots that all goes into the rifle case bolted onto the roof. Then there is the kitchen box with every cooking implement, kettle, insulated mugs, cleaning gear, pans and more.
One person packs the Shogun and the other person packs the cooler, that way there are no crossed wires like “did you remember to pack the milk?” [it happens to the best of us!]. The majority of the vehicle packing is done the day before so even when leaving early the next morning it’s simply a matter of throwing the cooler in the back and remembering your phone, your camera and yourself.
4. Gear Checklist
Taking your time is key, we have rushed packing before and it almost always ends up in something being left behind. It’s thinking about the obvious too, there is nothing worse than arriving at the destination and realising that you’ve forgotton the coffee mugs.
- Spare clothing [waterproofs/boots/swimming gear]
- Kitchen box
- Cooler + food/drink
- Camera / video gear
- Tablet [GPS]
- Water bottles
To have this as a comprehensive list would be too much, items such as first aid kit, usb cables, power pack, fire kit etc are already in the vehicle so packing really is at a minimum to simplify the job.
It’s also worth noting that while we do have two custom fitted usb charging ports in the Shogun there are what seems to be a huge array of devices and batteries that need charging the day before, for that we have a separate check list just in case…
5. Checking Fluids & Pressures
We check the fluids in the Shogun regularly anyway but for the sake of a couple of minutes we check the oil and water levels as well as the tyre pressures before we go on a longer journey, even if it is just for the day.
Tyres can take a bit of a beating when driving offroad and we also carry quite a bit of weight at times so having the peace of mind the pressures are good for me is essential. Good tyre pressure also improves fuel economy and reduces tread wear.
6. Photo & Video Plan
It’s good not to have the pressure of taking photos for clients and my photography is now just a very chilled out hobby… I do make a basic plan though of what I’d like to achieve during the trip.
This usually consists of a few notes scribbled on a piece of paper stuffed into the back of the camera bag for reference later, same applies to ideas for video. Running a website/blog like this one requires a lot of images, then we have personal projects for family etc plus anything else that is happening for the other websites we have. A simple plan is always handy just to jog your memory.
7. The Roof
Lastly, I check the roof bars and all that are attached onto it, the last thing anyone needs are traction boards taking flight at 70mph on the dual carriageway. The boards are tied on with straps until we get some U-bolts, the rifle case is bolted in four places and the Sunseeker awning has security nuts.
All fixtures are checked regularly, it takes a lot to loosen tightened nuts and bolts but we do go offroad weekly so you just never know, better safe than sorry.
A quick word on the weather
Checking the weather always makes sense but weather forecasts are notoriously unreliable no matter where you might be in the world. Certain areas in Andalucia such as the Altiplano de Granada tend to have their own microclimate too do weather can be very hit and miss. We simply prepare for rain anyway just in case.
How do you prepare for an overland day trip?