ute mountains exploring

Going Bush With Your Ute? You’ll Need These…

The mountains are calling.  Wrestling us from the comfort of our homes and into the unknown.  Calling us through the morning mist, over the mud and through streams.  We head boldly on with the windows lowered and fresh air billowing in, making the hair on our neck stand up.  We are hardened adventurers.  

We’d also really like a nice, hot cup of coffee.  Maybe a blanket spread out on our lap.  In fact, there’s a whole list of stuff we’d like so we thought we’d share it.  If you’re planning on heading bush for a few days then some of it might come in handy. 

Best Coffee Maker for Vehicles

There’s a few options here.  You can get some of those portable plunger type coffee things.  However, the risk of spilling some ground coffee on the lambskin seat covers has us breaking out in a cold sweat.  Luckily, it seems there is a better way.  You can have yourself one of those fancy capsule coffees with the Wacaco Minispresso NZ Portable Pod Expresso Machine.  It takes the same Nespresso capsules as household machines, a neat way to make sure there’s no spillage and you get great coffee.  Perfect.

coffee camping couple
Portable coffee makers give you coffee on the go, wherever you go.

Air Compressor

Hopefully, you only ever need an air compressor because you’ve let some out for a particularly gnarly bit of terrain.  The folk at Club 4x4 recommend the Oasis 12v and it would definitely do the trick but might be a bit of overkill for the typical roadie.  The well-known people at Ironman 4x4 have a couple of options that look more suitable 

Portable Charger

Being unconnected from the internet is one thing but we still need the gadgets powered up.  Not only for emergencies but also so we can take a snap of the great outdoors (to be posted on social media when we are connected again).  There’s a heap of options here and to be honest, we’re not sure what makes one better than the other.  They all hold a charge and dispense a charge.  Probably the main thing is making sure you remember the right leads to connect it to whatever gadget needs juicing.  

portable charger batery
Portable chargers can be lifesavers. Better to bring one along when travelling.

Emergency Locator Beacon

Another item you hopefully never need.  You may not even be planning on going that far but strange things happen all the time, so being a little prepared for the worst is no bad thing.  Emergency Locator Beacons, when activated, send a distress signal via satellite to search and rescue.  It allows them to pinpoint your location and come get you.  That’s pretty outstanding when you think about it for a second.  If you injure yourself in the middle of nowhere and have no way of reaching help, you simply press a button and help comes to you.  Amazing stuff. 

GoPro (or similar)

Capturing your adventures is always fun.  With a GoPro and a good mount, it’s possible to attach the little camera to all parts of your 4x4 and record your exploits.  We’re guessing it just pays to be careful where you attach the camera for fear it gets knocked off.  Getting to the end of a valley, after traversing rivers and rocks, to find it missing would be more than a bit annoying.  

action cameras
Action cameras are compact and resistant, a great companion on road trips.

Rooftop Tent

It’s hard to resist the allure of a good rooftop tent.  They’re great looking, easy to hunker down in and offer amazing levels of comfort.  Go for a softshell or hardshell..or just whatever suits your needs.  They free up a heap of storage space and being off the ground just feels kind of cool and different.  

rooftop tent sunrise
Enjoy the first rays of sunshine from a rooftop tent.

Something to Keep Your Supplies In

Keeping your essential food and drink supplies either warm or cool is easy with the aid of a relatively inexpensive gadget like the Ridge Ryder Thermo Cooler.  You simply set the desired temperature and it’ll either warm up the content or cool them down.  That’s pretty neat and perfect if you’ve stopped at the last fish and chip shop to stock up before turning off the tarmac.  

Sleeping Bag

With sleeping bags there’s a heap of options depending on how expensive you want to go You can spend well over $1000 easily enough.  But do you really need something that keeps you warm during the next ice age?  Is it likely you’ll even venture out if the next few nights are going to be -40?  No worries if you do, there’s a sleeping bag for that.  For everything else, there’s Torpedo 7 and a huge range that’ll get you through. 

comfy sleeping bag
Going bush doesn't mean you have to give up on a good night's sleep.

Driving Lights

Driving in the dark is ok… especially if you can recreate daylight in front of you with some super army strength flood lights attached to your 4x4.  We’ll be honest too, we like the looks of a nice light bar on a 4x4.  There’s a heap to choose from but make sure you gem up on the rules.  Depending on what you go for, there’s some legal compliance stuff to be aware of.


The least glamorous but arguably the most functional and essential bit of kit needed for any mission into the scrub.  We don’t mind a good shovel either and some of them even look pretty cool.  Plus adding it to the side or rear of your 4x4 tells everyone you know how to survive for weeks on rainwater and can hunt with your bare hands.  That’s the look we’re going for anyway.  

shovel back of the car
A shovel can be a very handy in an outdoor adventure.

1st Aid Kit

The first aid kit should be extended to include sandfly repellent and sunscreen.  There’s something about those biting little bugs that can ruin a good mission into the scrub.  Something to soothe bites too.

Cooking Gear

Foraged roadkill eaten raw might be alright for Bear Grylls.  Nothing beats a nice cooked steak though.  Then there’s freshly caught fish demanding to be eaten, so cooking gadgets become a must.  There’s no excuse for not cooking up a storm and eating like a king with everything on offer.  That said, a portable toastie machine would be about the most amazing invention ever if someone has the time.


All the gear you want to use...depends on your tyres.  All the gear you don’t want to use (ie. ELB) might just depend on your tyres too.  Probably the meanest tyre on the market at the moment is the Maxxis RAZR.  It’ll get you to places you want and possibly a few you don’t want.  It’s little brother, the RAZR AT has been causing a bit of a stir also.  We’ve tested both and can’t speak highly enough of them.  

truck tyre mud
To go further with safety, you will need a tyre that you can trust.

Armed with a tablet, coffee machine and all the home comforts needed for camping...heading bush for a few days will be a walk in the park.  Actually, it may be easier than a walk in the park.  Warmer, more comfortable and with better food.  We’ll see you in a few days. 

mountain view from car

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