First 5 items I pack in my 4WD

Someone asked me a great question last week. They said, “Hey Phil, what are the first 5 items you pack in your 4WD before you go on a trip?”. Now, the funny guy inside me said, beer, fridge, chair, dog, and food. FYI, the wife was 6th, she just missed out.

Seriously though, when it comes to preparing for a trip there are five essentials I always pack. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a bush trip, the beach, the national park, or down the road to the shops. These five essential items are a must-have in my opinion. They are always in my 4WD! Here are the first 5 items I pack in my 4WD

My Top 5 items

  1. First Aid Kit
    We purchased an all purpose First Aid Kit that also came with Snake Bite Bandages. Our kit includes an online and offline resource manual that teaches you how to treat a patient for any given health event. It was the best $79.95 we spent so far. 

  2. Jack and Spare Tyre
    This goes without saying. The most common issue you’ll face when travelling is a punctured tyre. Always check your tread and tyre pressures. Adjust your tyre pressures to suit the terrain. Upgrade your jack – it’ll make your life easier.

  3. Fully Charged Phone with Cable
    Did you know that apart from FaceBook, the phone is a great device that will allow you to call for help. Seriously though, make sure your phone provided covers the destinations you plan to travel in, or get a backup sim for another provider.

  4. Air Compressor
    An air-compressor will allow you to adjust your tyre pressures to suit the terrain. I find it useful to blow away dust from critical engine and RV components too.

  5. Water
    Your body’s normal temperature is 36.9 degrees celsius. Your body gets rid of excess heat (cools off) by sweating. The warmer your body becomes – whether caused by work, exercise or air temperature – the more you sweat. The more you sweat, the more moisture you lose.

    For example, a person performing hard work in the sun at 43 degrees C requires 19 litres of water daily. Lack of the required amount of water causes a rapid decline in an individual’s ability to make decisions and to perform tasks efficiently.

    If you are not exerting yourself, you should typically consume 4 to 5 litres of water per person for a person weighing 80kg.

    Are you carrying enough water?

My 4WD Touring Kit

Apart from the above five items, I always tour with my trusty Waeco CFX50 fridge, 2 chairs, my Darche 2m awning, a small table, and a full recovery kit including MaxTrax. If I’m going to a remote destination, I take a satellite phone or PLB (Personal Locator Beacon). In terms of PLB’s there are a few good brands out there like Zoleo, Spot and ACR.

The common theme for me is personal safety. When you are exploring, you inherently place your vehicle and occupants in an environment with heightened risk. It is important to pack and prepare for any disaster. As a rule, when it comes to four-wheel driving, you should expect the worst and hope for the best. First 5 items I pack in my 4WD is always the same, the additional packing depends on other factors.

As a rule, when it comes to four-wheel driving, you should expect the worst and hope for the best.

You’ve broken down - now what

Many off road 4WD incidents stem from poor driver behaviour, whether that be a lack of judgement when towing or overtaking, tiredness, drug or alcohol abuse, or distractions. It is hard to stamp these things out unless every driver takes positive action themselves


Other incidents involve drivers being ill prepared. Many drivers do not consider the road conditions. You must allow for the grade of the road, corrugations, oncoming traffic, weather events, divots, and much more. At some point in time you and your vehicle will become stranded on the side of the road.


The first thing you should do is stay with your vehicle. If you are on a gazetted road, there is a higher chance of being found than if you wander off into the bush.


Drink water! Your body will need it to stay alive. Seek shade and shelter. If you have a way of communicating, use it.


Many drivers towing an RV undertake a towing course which we believe is invaluable. We also think that drivers should consider a basic mechanical course to identify and fix any roadside issues when they travel across Australia.


These are only my suggestions. Your trip will have to take into account your destination, the number of passengers, the roads you intend to travel on, and of course the telecommunication availability. Do your own research and stay safe from the team at Camper Trailers and Hybrids.


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