Words and Photos by Shane Quinnell, Videos by Tarryn Quinnell, Team Tane
In order to help get you out on your own adventure, we are proud to present our versatile Packing special. Most useful of all we have spent hours compiling a checklist of all the items we brought with us on Suzuki Africa Sky High as a template that you can use for your own weekend getaway or overland adventure. It is in Excel format so you can edit it to your own gear. To get the list, simply sign up to our emailer below and we will send it within a few days. In addition we have compiled some useful tips to get you started.
Like anything else, overland packing comes in all shapes and sizes. From the modest ‘just chuck a few things in the car,’ to far more sophisticated Tetras tactics where every single item has its place depending on size and shape. Driving a petite Suzuki Jimny with loads of gear, overland and mountaineering, on a long seven-month trip, and wanting easy travel deep in the bowels of Africa where it is impossible to find anything, we set the Tetras packing game’s difficulty level to Jedi.
Even so, we managed without a problem and therefore so can you. Our biggest tactic was implementing the Mont Bell philosophy ‘Light is Fast,’ check out the blog here. We also used other strategies to get our gear in our Jimny with less hassle, our top seven top tips are explained here;
- Pack Necessities and few Niceties – Most people take mounds of things they never use. Think hard before you pack that luxurious hair dryer or make-up set. Here are examples of necessities:
- Vehicle tools and spares;
- Emergency equipment; communications, first aid;
- Basic living supplies; camping, kitchen and cooking;
- Food and water;
- Maps and navigation;
- Toilet paper!
- Pack Early – It is much easier to cut things down with time to think. Put what you think you need aside a week before you leave. Come back to it with a few days left and cut as much as you can when you have had time to think;
- Packing Infrastructure – It is MUCH easier to pack with some form of infrastructure. In our case this means draws, pockets (including seat, dash and back door), external jerry can mounts and fridge rails built by Wizerd. You save loads of space finding things is easier. If you don’t have drawers and even if you do, use plastic boxes or ammo crates to compartmentalise;
- Think Light – Pack like a hiker or biker not a trucker. Aim to get small foldable or lightweight equipment to save space and weight. Every kilo you can save will help limit the stress on your suspension which in a small vehicle is a major consideration. Opposite Lock, Front Runner and Sea to Summit have lots of great gadgets for the road;
- Be Sneaky – Use all the space you have. Under and behind the seats, beside your drawer system, roof racks, all of it. Most people think their cars are full long before they are. If a Jimny driver says they full, there is likely not a centimetre unused.
- Play – It’s very unlikely you won the game the first time you played Tetras. Packing your car is the same, it will take a few turns and you’ll get better at it the more times you try.
- Plan – Put some thought in to what will be used most to least, this determines how accessible things need to be. Pack the big stuff first then add the smaller items to the remaining space being careful to make sure you can get it out again.
A few things which you might not think of which in our case have been invaluable are; a spray skirt on our Front Runner rooftop tent which give covered living space and privacy when stopped, legless potjie and foldup tripod legs, large flexible Front Runner water sack and LifeStraw expedition water filter which can fit around other objects, external racks for gas and jerry cans designed and built for us by Wizerd, moving your rooftop tent to add space in front and open backwards and then using the space in front for a duffel bag or other goods.
Most importantly, enjoy your packing experience. It can be stressful trying to find pack and fit everything around work and life commitments but we are sure these tips and our packing list will help. Try them out and let us know how it goes. Most importantly think of the end goal and the amazing things you are bound to experience once you’re packed and put a smile on your dial. There is a big world to explore!
Don’t Believe You Can Fit Your Life into a Jimny? Watch This!
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