Minimalist Rigs

DadJokes

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I don’t think we would go often enough to justify a Turtleback or other similar type of trailer and I’m not even sure that we would use a rooftop tent enough to justify that expense. That’s why I’d describe our needs as minimal compared to some. It’s not based so much on the challenge of minimalism but because I don’t honestly feel we’ll be planning on camping more than a couple of days at a time in between destinations and resupply. As to trails difficulty, nothing more than moderate.

We have a completely stock Jeep (JLUS) and almost nothing to start with. What would be your list of items to consider buying? What modifications would you make?

That should be enough to start the topic so... thoughts?





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Foster_WV

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Overlanding has become Overloading, I like the minimalist approach but we also have a expo trailer for the JLU glamming

I’ve found pack low, try a high clearance hitch carrier instead of a roof rack, if there’s only two try the air mattress made for the rear of a JLU, Plano Totes are American Made and extremely durable/weather resistant, hit up Chick Fila for jelly, ketchup, forks knives etc, LED lights use little power, and a good cooler.


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GuapoJeeper

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One of the reasons we bought our Jeep was to do camping/overlanding. We got a lift and larger tires which isn't necessary but was more of a want for me. We did some other things that help make us more comfortable as we tend to take longer camping trips. We added a tailgate table, a roof rack and will be adding a rtt. The rtt is more of a want as well...definitely not necessary as we have a good tent but it will make camping more enjoyable, especially because we have young boys. One item we added that I was a little hesitant about pulling the trigger on was a ARB fridge, however, it turned out to be one of the best additions to our Jeep. If you are going for shorter trips, a nice cooler will suffice but keeping food for longer durations can be difficult. We also added a Quadratec hitch tray and waterproof bag which has been very good for hauling anything you can't fit or don't want in your cargo area. The waterproof bag is very waterproof so I recommend. A trasharoo is another good buy for camping and a cb or some other communication device for off-roading.
 
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sportsguy

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Communication and recovery equipment is #1. Always. Basic safety coverage there.

Otherwise, IMO, totally open.

I have a Kamp Rite tent/cot, a collection of camp stoves and grills to take along, a couple of sleeping bags for various temperature ranges, a nice inflatable underpaid (exped, not like a full mattress).

allow room for a cooler, cooking gear, food storage, lots of water and extra fuel for things that need them (thinking a small can of alcohol for alcohol stoves, or propane canisters as needed).

I’m not keen on roof top racks and prefer to keep everything I need inside my JLU. Personal preference, but I can certain see the argument for wanting gasoline, trash externalized, etc.

Lift, bigger tires, etc are all personal choice, but getting to more difficult locations may necessitate upgrades.

Look for gear designed for motorcycle camping if you want to go minimalist (where most of my accumulated gear comes from), or hiking - tons of minimalist gear in that category as well.
 
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DadJokes

DadJokes

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Communication and recovery equipment is #1. Always. Basic safety coverage there.

Otherwise, IMO, totally open.

I have a Kamp Rite tent/cot, a collection of camp stoves and grills to take along, a couple of sleeping bags for various temperature ranges, a nice inflatable underpaid (exped, not like a full mattress).

allow room for a cooler, cooking gear, food storage, lots of water and extra fuel for things that need them (thinking a small can of alcohol for alcohol stoves, or propane canisters as needed).

I’m not keen on roof top racks and prefer to keep everything I need inside my JLU. Personal preference, but I can certain see the argument for wanting gasoline, trash externalized, etc.

Lift, bigger tires, etc are all personal choice, but getting to more difficult locations may necessitate upgrades.

Look for gear designed for motorcycle camping if you want to go minimalist (where most of my accumulated gear comes from), or hiking - tons of minimalist gear in that category as well.
My short list is a Garmin Inreach +subscription, bumper/s, winch, recovery gear coffee making ability. Med kit. We have two 20* sleeping bags.

Water. MRE for emergency. Buddy heater, fuel for it, folding shovel, trash container. Cooler, non perishables, max traxx(worthwhile to carry and lose space?), a 4 person tent to have room (options for temps seen?)...

Thanks for the motorcycle/hiking camping gear tip. Good ideas.
 
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Dkretden

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I don’t think we would go often enough to justify a Turtleback or other similar type of trailer and I’m not even sure that we would use a rooftop tent enough to justify that expense. That’s why I’d describe our needs as minimal compared to some. It’s not based so much on the challenge of minimalism but because I don’t honestly feel we’ll be planning on camping more than a couple of days at a time in between destinations and resupply. As to trails difficulty, nothing more than moderate.

We have a completely stock Jeep (JLUS) and almost nothing to start with. What would be your list of items to consider buying? What modifications would you make?

That should be enough to start the topic so... thoughts?
Daniel, I too am in your “minimal” approach. And want to stay “close to stock”. And, we like warm motels better than muddy tents. I will be following this thread to see what others say. But, here is my list for my JL:

1) Roam frame rails ... help as a step for my 5’1” wife too.
2) some trail lights... I’m looking at a 10” bar from Baja designs to light up the night trail,
3) some communication (CB, whatever)
4) a winch — warn Xeon or VR — 10-S
5) Trailgator tailgate table
6) internal rack/shelf: I just bought this one from a couple of local guys: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/bnl-jeep-shop-cargo-shelf.41226/
7) element fire extinguishers ..... amazingly good and terrific form factor to mount under seat
8) smittybilt air compressor .... tons of CFM and portable...... https://www.quadratec.com/p/smittybilt/heavy-duty-air-compressor-kit
9) JT brooks pro air down valves
10) tree hugger and kenetic recovery rope (I got bubba ropes)
11) as much cosmetic stuff as you want
 

Kirk

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I am not going “cheap” but it will be simple ;)
Ursa Minor JL30
2.5” Clayton Overland + lift
Some front runner Wolf packs
And cooler upgrading to a SnoMaster fridge eventually. Other than that just plan on making memories :like:
 

Uhdinator

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So far I have started with the following and always adding things:
2-3 recovery straps
hand winch/come-along
Shovel
hatchet
hand saw
parachute cord
nylon rope
Bungee straps/cords
various sizes zip ties
small spool of wire
duct tape
TeePee
paper towels
gloves
folding chair
hammock w/ rain fly (CRUA Koala full setup)
small sterno stove kit
metal coffee cups
GPS
Canned foods/no cooler required
multitool/gerber/leatherman
flashlight
rain coat

And a Jeep with better tires and improved clearance.

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Hudson

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I’ll echo Sportsguy (who I’ve done some great moto trips with) - find a post about moto camping essentials to help lighten the load. In my last rig, I went the other way and loaded my rig with fridges, extra battery, lots of camp gear. It was too much, the gear overwhelmed everything and I ended up ditching the rig and getting an Airstream for long term camping. For the JLR, I will be using lightweight and minimalist moto camp gear. And don’t discount a good hotel room.

I’ll pack an MSR universal solo stove or a jet boil, Exped mattress (folds up small), MSR or SnoPeak mess kit, sporks, and leave the Coleman stove and large kitchen setup at home. I like Sportsguys Kamp rite but being in a 2 door, I’ll probably opt for my 3 person simple REI tent and a Agnes Down sleeping bag. And some decent stuff able camp pillows. No more RTT, no fridges (a Grizzly 20q cooler will suffice), and keep it simple. If you plan your meals right, you don’t need all that kit stuff.

a bag for recovery gear, two coms systems (CB and GMRS), and maybe a tactical shovel.
 

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The most important thing to have is a plan of what you want to do and where you want to go. And then from there break down things into the need to have and nice to have.

Figure out how many days you plan to be camping for, this will tell you how much food and water to bring, but also factor in restocking while on the trip. Can you or do you want to swing by a store to get fresh ice or more food, ect.

Camping setup, are you going to be setting up a base camp some where or do you plan on being more mobile? Do you want to be packing and unpacking gear? If you ware just kicking the tires on camping i would recommend getting cheap gear at walmart or target like their $50 tents. They will last for a while and do just fine but if you are like "hey this isnt for us" no real loss there. Other option is to sleep inside the jeep, i have found that the twin size air beds fit perfectly in the back and are the same width between the wheel wells so you are not going to fit something that is wider.

cooking gear, this goes hand in hand with your food, a cheap camp stove will serve you well but if you don't plan on much cooking and using ready meals then dont bother.

navigation, maps maps map, paper maps are great backup but get giai or something on your phone or a gps tracker that can give you off line location with saved maps.

recovery gear, best thing is another vehicle, but never go out there with out some kind of recovery gear, winch are good and know how to use them, tree savers straps, snatch block and good solid recovery points. hilift alway good to have

tools are very important, have a good set of tools that will allow you fix things and patch kits that will allow you to limp out, like tire plugs, bailing wire, rtv, jb weld, spare fluids, and a full size matching spare.

general off road jeep mods, this is going to be up to you depending on the type of trails you plan on running, bigger tires make things easier but you require more lift to fit, skid plates are always a good idea so are rocker guards but if you are doing only gravel roads none of that stuff will matter.



my set up:
Jeep:
jlur
35" km3 (knew the trails i wanted to do would require them)
2.5" clayton overland lift (to fit the 35 and get better break over)
rustys diff covers (kind of a must have)
artec steel bumper with superwinch talon 9.5 winch (had winch from prior jeep wanted a good beefy bumper)
rockhard 4x4 rear bumper with tire carrier (needed bumper for the rear and larger tire plus give a hilift mount
rockhard 4x4 gerry can holder and rt off road gerry can ( nice to have extra gas but not needed but can doubles for lawn equipment)
cb radio
t slot rail on dash for radio mic, phone (use giai on that), and go pro
tailgate table

gear carried:
hilift
tow strap
tree saver
snatch block
tool bag w/ tools
air compressor
rapid tire deflator with gauge
leatherman
camp stove
lighter
bedding
clothing
standard tent or air mattress depending on if i want to setup camp or not
propane tanks for stove
cooler many different sized ones pick the one i think will serve me best for size and duration
camp chair
poncho
first aid kit
bug spray
head lamp
 
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DadJokes

DadJokes

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Great advice so far! I hope others find the thread and keep building the knowledge base here. :like:
 
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DadJokes

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LittleDog

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My short list is a Garmin Inreach +subscription, bumper/s, winch, recovery gear coffee making ability. Med kit. We have two 20* sleeping bags.

Water. MRE for emergency. Buddy heater, fuel for it, folding shovel, trash container. Cooler, non perishables, max traxx(worthwhile ti carry and lose space?), a 4 person tent to have room (options for temps seen?)...

Thanks for the motorcycle/hiking camping gear tip. Good ideas.

I second the lightweight moto/hiking camping gear.

You said you have two 20 degree bags, are there only the two of you? Your name is DadJokes, you got kids going with you?

What sort of camping are you thinking of doing? KOA, State Parks, primitive, really off grid? What temperatures and location types are you looking at? Forest, prairie, rocks, sand, grass? What kind of tent? What is your previous camping experience?

The Garmin and winch, recovery stuff sounds like you're going out a bit further than a normal car camper. Is that Buddy Heater the big, square two tank model, or the Little Buddy that sits right on top of a single 1lb propane tank? Either way, you aren't going to get a full night's heat unless you bring a 20lb tank or a whole lot of those little ones, the latter of which you'll have to wastefully toss and replace every resupply, or haul around empties until you make it back home to refill. Lots of bulk and extra logistics. If you're already using a propane stove, they might be good to take the edge off of mornings and before bed.

I use Go Treads instead of Maxtrax, less huge, in both size and price. I think $129 or so for a pair. A pair folded and stacked is maybe a 10x12x8" cube. Or you can wrap them around your spare and ratchet strap them on. I guess they don't look as cool as Maxtrax, but you can still get them in orange.


Come on, man, you've already got a jeep to throw money at, now you're looking at camping gear? Are you a millionaire or what? Seriously though, same as with the jeep, there's basically no price ceiling when it comes to spending on camping equipment. Deciding how much you want to spend is a good idea, but to do that you'll need a basic outline of the types of conditions you plan on being in first.

Make a list, dry run in the backyard, and have fun!
 
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DadJokes

DadJokes

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I second the lightweight moto/hiking camping gear.

You said you have two 20 degree bags, are there only the two of you? Your name is DadJokes, you got kids going with you?

What sort of camping are you thinking of doing? KOA, State Parks, primitive, really off grid? What temperatures and location types are you looking at? Forest, prairie, rocks, sand, grass? What kind of tent? What is your previous camping experience?

The Garmin and winch, recovery stuff sounds like you're going out a bit further than a normal car camper. Is that Buddy Heater the big, square two tank model, or the Little Buddy that sits right on top of a single 1lb propane tank? Either way, you aren't going to get a full night's heat unless you bring a 20lb tank or a whole lot of those little ones, the latter of which you'll have to wastefully toss and replace every resupply, or haul around empties until you make it back home to refill. Lots of bulk and extra logistics. If you're already using a propane stove, they might be good to take the edge off of mornings and before bed.

I use Go Treads instead of Maxtrax, less huge, in both size and price. I think $129 or so for a pair. A pair folded and stacked is maybe a 10x12x8" cube. Or you can wrap them around your spare and ratchet strap them on. I guess they don't look as cool as Maxtrax, but you can still get them in orange.


Come on, man, you've already got a jeep to throw money at, now you're looking at camping gear? Are you a millionaire or what? Seriously though, same as with the jeep, there's basically no price ceiling when it comes to spending on camping equipment. Deciding how much you want to spend is a good idea, but to do that you'll need a basic outline of the types of conditions you plan on being in first.

Make a list, dry run in the backyard, and have fun!
The longer trips may have the kids staying with my ex wife or the grandparents as they are kept busy with activities. The shorter stays may involve flying and renting a vehicle. Changes can happen.

I do not plan to run the heater continuously. Mainly when cleaning up, changing after getting out of the bag and before calling it a night. I’ll just have my face sticking out if I don’t crawl into it lol. Gotta love the morning frost inside. A heater will be a new experience for me and I don’t know the tank details yet.

I have no problem looking into alternatives to popular products as long as the reviews/research support the decision.

The conditions I plan on seeing, primitive to hotels lol, the current gear I own can be made to work. I may like to upgrade as we’ve not been camping for a long time and our means will enable a couple of upgrades that we can test in the backyard.

Yes, I plan on heading west for some remote trails that can take a couple of days to navigate but will plan to have enough resources for longer.
 
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