From Overlanding to Emergency Preparedness: Basic Gear For Any Crisis

Feb 18, 2021
From Overlanding to Emergency Preparedness: Basic Gear For Any Crisis


By Dean Shirley | Edited by J. Fowler

I’ve never consider myself a “prepper.” At least not in the sense of preparing for nuclear fallout or a zombie uprising. I do however consider myself “prepared” when it comes to extreme weather events and natural disasters. Year after year things like tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes strike, often without notice.

In these times of crisis there are people who rise to the occasion. A lot of them are professionals and first responders, but a lot of them are everyday average people just like us. Being overland travel enthusiasts we are uniquely prepared for natural disasters. By building rigs and outfitting ourselves for trips into remote areas our ability to sustain ourselves off-grid means we can also sustain ourselves when we’re home and the grid goes down.

As I write this I am currently working from home because the shop is closed due to the latest ice storm. Much of the nation is also feeling some extra pain from Old Man Winter as places like Texas are experiencing once in a lifetime snowstorms. A lot of the east coast is under ice, and the midwest is seeing sub-zero temps. This means things like power outages are very common across the country. It also means many roads aren’t passable and stores are closed. This can be trouble for the unprepared.

Luckily travelers like us are prepared even if we may not realize it. Below is a list of tips and tricks to help you survive in times of crisis and natural disaster by using the same basic gear you may take on your overland adventures:

  • 12v fridges are a great way to keep essential items like medicine and perishables like milk, meat, and eggs cold when your home power goes out. Limit access to your fridge while the power is off and use your portable fridge as needed - even if it means the occasional trip to the driveway.

  • Alternate power sources like solar and generators are a great way to power essential items like your 12v fridge, radios, and phones when the power goes out. Remember to use them sparingly.

  • Portable bathrooms and showers work just as well in your yard as they do in a campsite. Often times when power goes out so do things like city water. Never hurts to fill up your water storage systems ahead of time - or right now if you can - and keep some clean potable water on standby.

  • Camp stoves and Skottles are a great way to cook food when the power goes out. Just because your microwave isn’t working doesn’t mean you can snack on some popcorn to pass the time or cook a nice warm meal. You can also use camp stoves and Skottles to melt snow and ice into water - although remember to filter or purify it before drinking.

Those are just some quick examples on how you can adapt your overland adventure gear during an emergency to help you not just survive but thrive during any severe weather event.

Another thing to think about is how your four-wheel-drive vehicle is an asset when it is dangerous for other cars to travel. Many hospitals keep a list of volunteer drivers they can call on during winter storms and other disasters. I myself have driven many nurses and doctors to work during blizzards when their normal car couldn’t make the drive. Just another way to pay it forward and give back to the local community.

What about you? Do you have any tips and tricks for using your overland adventure gear during a natural disaster? Is there anything you do to be better prepared? Do you consider emergency preparedness when buying outdoor gear? Let us know. We’d love to hear your trips and tricks!