GoTreads can be placed in front of tires when your car gets stuck.
GoTreads can be placed in front of tires when your car gets stuck. (Bryan Rogala)

5 Upgrades to Turn Your Car into an Adventure Rig

Get after it with these essential add-ons, from $3.50 to $900


Not many of us have the cash to buy an off-road monster like the EarthCruiser, but there are some simple ways to trick out your current car. Here are five add-ons we found at the recent Overland Expo that will help you build your own adventure rig.

GoTreads ($50)

(Bryan Rogala)

If you’re exploring remote areas, you will get stuck at some point. When you do, you’ll be thankful to have a set of GoTreads on hand. These flexible, high-strength polypropylene copolymer traction devices are simple to use: Just place them in front of the tires that have lost traction and drive forward. They provide the grip you need to free yourself from deep mud or snow, and then fold up for easy storage in the trunk. 

Thrive Freeze-Dried Food ($3.50)

(Bryan Rogala)

Thrive Freeze Dried makes freeze-dried ingredients instead of full meals. With a shelf life of up to 25 years, you don’t have to worry about this stuff going bad—and you should have a couple packages in your truck at all times. We sampled several offerings, including the pineapple chunks, sweet corn, and mango, all of which tasted delicious.

K-Pak Folding Boat ($900)

(Bryan Rogala)

The K-Pak folding boat is a folding canoe-kayak hybrid that weighs a mere 21 pounds, stores in its own backpack, and sets up in four minutes. Basically, there’s no reason to leave it at home. Stuff this thing in the back of your Tacoma or Element (leaving room for bigger toys on top of your car), and break it out to explore that high-mountain lake. Bonus: Apartment dwellers can keep the boat in a closet if you don’t have a garage. 

WaterBrick Storage Containers ($15)

(Bryan Rogala)

WaterBrick makes storage containers for water, food, and ammo, among other things. The best part: The units stack together nicely and are designed to be tied down, which means they’ll help you optimize space and won’t go flying off the roof when the road gets rough. Pet lovers can also use them for dog food.

LuminAID Solar Lights ($23)

(Bryan Rogala)

Architecture graduate students Andrea Sreshta and Anna Stork originally designed LuminAID to help with post-earthquake relief in Haiti. But the tiny, inflatable solar lights have loads of other practical applications. Keep a couple in the glove box and use them to help you change a flat or break them out in your camper to play cards at night.

Lead Photo: Bryan Rogala