The Gear Pacific Overlander Uses to Build Badass Trucks
Thinking about designing your own rig? Here are some tips from a pro.
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It’s safe to say we’re obsessed with overlanding. Combine the self-sufficiency of the pursuit with the sweet gear needed to live out of your truck for days on end in the middle of the wilderness, and we’re smitten. Mason Schreck understands the allure of overlanding as much as anyone. He’s the founder of Los Angeles–based Pacific Overlander, a first-of-its-kind company that rents off-road-capable and fully equipped trucks and SUVs.
“We’ve been building out trucks so we could sleep in them on surf trips through Big Sur and Baja for years,” Schreck says. “We just didn’t call it ‘overlanding’ back then.”
Schreck started Pacific Overlander in 2016 after a surf trip through Chile in a less-than-optimal camper van that didn’t have the 4WD capabilities to handle rough terrain or a burly enough rooftop tent to handle strong winds.
“The idea was to build and rent fully capable vehicles so people don’t have to own their own,” Schreck says, adding that he started the business with his own personal vehicles—his dad’s Defender, his wife’s Land Cruiser, and his own Tacoma. He now has a fleet of six Toyotas and Jeeps, and they’re fully equipped with the best overlanding gear on the market. Here are Schreck’s top picks for the gear to put on your own truck, in his own words.
Autohome Columbus Variant Rooftop Tent (From $2,600)
This tent deploys in seconds and packs up nearly as fast. It’s also really comfortable and pretty reasonably priced for a top-of-the-line clamshell tent.
Front Runner Camp Kitchen Utensil Set ($69)
Loose silverware is a problem when you’re bumping down desert roads. You can build a custom case to carry your utensils, or you can get this full set that includes all the cutlery and serving utensils needed to cook and feed four people. The roll-up design is packable and secure.
ARB 37 Quart Fridge/Freezer ($850)
Having a fridge in your truck means you can have cold beer on day four of your trip. Since this ARB model is also a freezer, it means you can also have ice cream. The 37-quart size is big enough for a week but not so big that it takes up all your space.
Maxtrax MKII ($325)
You may never have to use them, but these plastic trays warrant a place in your truck for the peace of mind they provide. Slide them under your tires when you hit sand or mud, and they will give your vehicle the traction it needs to get out of a sticky situation.
Toyo Tires Open Country A/T II Tires ($169)
This is the upgrade that will transform your stock Forerunner into a capable off-road vehicle. The tires are versatile enough to be on your truck every day, but they give you really good clearance for off-road. These are on all of our rentals.
Front Runner Expander Camp Chair ($63)
This chair folds up into a sleek square, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it’s really lightweight and nicely made. It’s a great chair at half the price of others out there.