Winter overlanding can offer a completely different adventure with just as much beauty to experience as in warm summer months. Ideal travel spots may be less crowded and roads will be snow-covered giving you a more challenging experience on the trails.
Just as there are always general precautions to take while overlanding, it’s especially important to take a few extra steps during winter months. Unpredictable weather and freezing temperatures can turn any adventure into a dangerous situation if you’re not properly prepared.
We’ve put together a list of additional precautions to consider while overlanding during peak winter months:
Make sure your vehicle is suitable for traveling across snow-covered, icy roads while pulling your trailer. Take the time to prepare your vehicle properly. Go through your winter checklist to confirm all systems are in good working order.
Prepare for subzero temperatures along your route. Bring along appropriate fuel additives to help keep your vehicle’s fuel lines from freezing. You may also consider using a block heater to help keep your vehicle from freezing during times when you’ll be parked for a period of time.
Check your trailer’s propane tank levels before hitting the road and refill if needed. You’ll need propane to cook and for heating fuel if you have a furnace system so be sure each tank is full.
Tis the season to really pack as much extra gear as you can. Your OGT has plenty of room to store extra gear or you can also keep them inside your vehicle. Bring along extensive recovery tools to help get yourself, or others, out of a rough situation.
Items to consider in addition to gear you normally pack:
It’s a great idea to invest in an optional furnace to keep you warm inside your trailer. The Expedition and Pando models offer the Propex furnace, a propane-fueled compact air heater designed to provide an efficient and economical source of heat, independent of the engine. It’s designed to keep you toasty warm even in the coldest temperatures. As a backup, keep an extra blanket or two inside your trailer for emergencies.
Your pack should already include everything you need for overlanding. For winter trips, include an extra set of winter clothing such as an extra hat, gloves, blanket, and jacket in case the weather changes quickly while you’re on a hike. Hand warmers are also great at keeping hands and feet toasty warm as you travel across the cold ground. Be sure to pack additional high-protein snacks such as trail mix or beef jerky.
Stock up your trailer’s fridge, freezer, and pantry to include a few extra days’ worth of food. You never know when an unexpected snow or ice storm could hit leaving you unable to travel for a couple of days.
Never use any additives inside your freshwater tank! Insulating the tank or putting a 12-volt heater on them can help keep lines from freezing and causing damage. Keep a couple of containers of freshwater inside your trailer for emergencies.
Always bring a backup to your main communication system. While you’re in the backcountry, whether alone or with a group, it’s always good to have a way to communicate if help is needed. CB radio systems are a popular way to keep in touch with access to various radio frequencies. Satellite phones, which rely on satellites rather than cell phone towers, are also an option and can be used anywhere in the world. Whatever the option, be sure you have a secondary way of communicating if needed.
While it may seem a little extreme to prepare for the worst, but you’ll be happy you’ve taken these extra steps if you happen to get stranded in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of winter.
Just as there are always general precautions to take while overlanding, it’s especially important to take a few extra steps during the winter months. Unpredictable weather and freezing temperatures can turn any adventure into a dangerous situation if you’re not properly prepared.
It’s really important to plan how your camp kitchen will be set up. Think about it, you’ll be spending your days hiking, fishing, and adventuring so food and how you’ll prepare it should not be an afterthought.