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Fall Gear Essentials—Editors’ Picks for 2023

It’s barely perceptible at first, the shortening of the days. You might notice it here and there in the background—the colder, darker mornings, a shift in the angle of the sunlight, unconsciously scooting a little closer to the campfire. Fall is my favorite time to explore off-grid. Most of the crowds from the peak travel season have dissipated, the trails have been cleared of obstacles, the nights are pleasantly cool for sleeping, and even most of the insects have scrammed. The sky is clear of summer haze (or wildfire smoke), so the stars shine through all the brighter. Fall also puts particular demands on your gear. When your day can run from tropical to arctic in the span of a few hours, your storage, camp kitchen, sleeping arrangement, clothing, and even recovery gear all need to keep up. Our editorial team has collected a curated selection of our favorite fall gear essentials that will help you make the most of your autumnal adventures.

Overland Journal Senior Editor, Ashley Giordano

North Face Thermoball Insulated Traction Mule V Shoe

North Face Thermoball Insulated Traction Mule V Shoe

As temperatures drop here in Scotland, marking the beginning of one of my favorite seasons of the year, out come the sweaters, cozy socks, and my pair of insulated North Face Traction Mules. The rubber outsole provides a satisfying barrier between my feet and the cool camper floor, while the top of my toes are protected by the North Face’s Thermoball Eco insulation, a synthetic alternative to down that uses 100 percent recycled fabrics and fill.

$59 | thenorthface.com

GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip

At 4.8 ounces, this expanding silicone pour-over funnel is lightweight and collapses to 1-inch in height, making it the perfect piece of kit for both overlanding, backpacking, and any other outdoor activity requiring a small and easy-to-tote piece of coffee gear. As the Java Drip uses any brand of #4 filter, the funnel comes in especially handy when we’re trying to conserve water and want to avoid rinsing a French press full of coffee grounds.

$15 | gsioutdoors.com

Wild Guide Scotland

A product of Wild Things Publishing, which prints various guides to the UK and Europe (including books specific to wild swimming), Wild Guide Scotland has been our go-to for trip planning. The index is organized by locations best suited for beach visits, glens and mountain scenery; ancient remains and ruins, wild camping, caves, caverns, and sea stacks. Plenty of photos allow readers to plan idyllic stops featuring a hearty dose of the magic Scotland has to offer.

$24 | wildguidescotland.com

Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece Jacket

After my husband picked up Patagonia’s Better Sweater, I was immediately jealous and found a women’s version on sale (matching tracksuits, here we come!). It was meant to be—this sweater has become a wardrobe staple, keeping me warm in Iceland, Canada, and during winter in Southern Africa. The full-zip, 100 percent recycled polyester fleece can be too stuffy for sweat-inducing activities but works nicely for everything else. Note the slim fit is indeed on the smaller side, so size up.

$159 | patagonia.com

Step 22 Stingray Flat Box Mini

Step 22’s flat boxes have been our travel companions for years, so it was easy to tote them along to faraway lands in our Overland Explorer Vehicles Alpine camper. We access our two sturdy minis daily as they house essentials such as coffee beans, a grinder, and a French press, while the other holds a variety of herbs, oils, and spices. The smooth bottom allows us to slide the boxes easily without surface scratching.

$80 | step22gear.com

Overland Journal 4WD Editor, Graeme Bell

Dometic Go Hydration Water Jug

The 11-liter Dometic Go Hydration Water Jug is an innovative new take on an age-old concept, and we have had the pleasure of using this water container over the last six months. Two portable Dometic Go containers occupy the same dimensions and space as a conventional NATO steel jerry can. The jug features openings for filling and decanting (with a Nalgene-compatible thread). A USB chargeable faucet ($100) is also available to take this jug to the next level of convenience.

$70 | Dometic Go Hydration Water Jug

Garmin Tread 8-inch Powersport Navigator with Group Ride Radio and PowerSwitch

We installed the Garmin Tread XL Powersport into two vehicles ahead of a journey to the Arctic Ocean in the winter of 2023. This rugged GPS device boasts IP67 weather resistance and features a 10-inch touchscreen. The Tread gave us the ability to navigate our route on roads and tracks using turn-by-turn guidance and to utilize preloaded iOverlander points of interest. The Group Ride Radio proved invaluable for communication between vehicles, and tracking each vehicle offered security and convenience.

$1,500 | garmin.com

Lacrosse Ursa MS Boots

The Lacrosse Ursa MS Boots are as tough as nails, designed as hunting boots for mountain conditions. They features an upper made of abrasive-resistant SuperFabric and Tec Tuff and a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex liner. The Vibram outsole maintains its performance at low temperatures and stands up to extreme conditions. All this toughness means the Ursa MS boot is firm and uncompromising; we suggest the addition of a padded insole (such as a Superfeet insole) for those with sensitive feet.

$300 | lacrossefootwear.com

Camelbak Multibev 22-ounce Bottle

This attractive and practical insulated dual-purpose bottle has become a go-to for on-the-road hydration. The Multibev bottle and screw-off cup with silicone lid features a double wall vacuum insulated stainless steel body, a powder coat finish, and a non-slip silicone base. The leak-proof Pak Cap tucks the “Roll and Fold” Lid neatly out of sight until paired with the removable cup for coffee on the go or a cold campfire drink.

$39 | camelbak.com

Kuiu Tiburon Pants

The Tiburon pants have proven excellent in even the hottest climates (we tested these pants during an overland journey from Phoenix, AZ, to Michoacan, MX, in the peak of summer) while offering comfort and durability. A stand-out feature of these tech-packed pants is the ventilation zips at the outer thigh, offering not only ventilation but also extra volume for movement and comfort. The attractive Tiburon pants are UPF 50+ rated and feature elastic-free two-way stretch dot air fabric.

$149 | kuiu.com

Overland Journal Associate Editor Stephan Edwards

Kelty Bestie Camp Blanket

You can use a versatile camp blanket to snuggle up to a loved one around the campfire on a chilly morning or swap it out with your foot-constraining sleeping bag for a lightweight covering on warmer nights in the tent. Kelty’s Bestie weighs just 1.5 pounds, so it’s easy to toss in the rig. Generously sized at 75.5 inches x 42.1 inches and filled with Cloudloft synthetic insulation, the Bestie will up your cozy factor by an order of magnitude.

$29.95 | kelty.com

iKamper Skycamp 3.0 Rooftop Tent

iKamper has been continuously updating its Skycamp line of rooftop tents, and the 3.0 is the latest version to hit roof racks here in North America. With its king-size bed, hybrid hard-shell construction, and easy-folding mechanism, the four-season Skycamp 3.0 boasts a lot of features that we look for in a roof tent. The roof-mounted Skyview window makes for easy sheltered stargazing, and iKamper’s signature world map printed on the interior inspires new travels.

From $4,199 | ikamper.com

UCO Candelier Candle Lantern

The great Bob Mould once sang that he could “see a little light”, no small thing in the darkening days of autumn. In a world overrun with LEDs, why not spark a little light of your own with the UCO Candelier candle lantern? There’s nothing quite like a real fire to set the right mood in camp, and the Candelier’s 5000 BTUs of output can even warm up your bagel and will burn for up to 9 hours.

$44.99 | ucogear.com

Tusk Handgrip Heaters

Motorcycling after August in the northern latitudes where I live can be a heavy exercise in managing the warmth in your extremities. Treat yourself to a new set of handgrips on your ADV bike, and add Tusk’s super-affordable and easy-to-install grip heater kit to keep your mitts toasty without breaking the bank. The switch offers two heat settings, and the elements only draw a modest 1.7 Amps to protect the life of your battery.

$30.25 | Tusk Grip Heaters

Danner Light II Boots

Just because you’re roughing it doesn’t mean you can’t rock a little bit of style at the same time. The Danner Light II is a premium boot that looks equally at home at the club and on the trail. But don’t let the tailored design and smooth Nubuck leather fool you into thinking it’s a lightweight—this heavy-duty hiker also features a waterproof Gore-Tex liner. I have a particularly narrow foot, so I appreciate the snug fit (Danner recommends ordering the EE sizes for folks with wider trotters). These made-in-Portland, Oregon boots are also eligible for Danner’s Recrafting service, which you might need in a decade or so, given Danner’s reputation for durability.

$440 | danner.com

Our No Compromise Clause: We do not accept advertorial content or allow advertising to influence our coverage, and our contributors are guaranteed editorial independence. Overland International may earn a small commission from affiliate links included in this article. We appreciate your support.

Stephan Edwards is the associate editor of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. He and his wife, Julie, once bought an old Land Rover sight unseen from strangers on the internet in a country they'd never been to and drove it through half of Africa. After living in Botswana for two years, Stephan now makes camp at the foot of a round mountain in Missoula, Montana. He still drives that Land Rover every day. An anthropologist in his former life and a lover of all things automotive, Stephan is a staunch advocate for public lands and his writing and photography have appeared in Road & Track, Overland Journal, and Adventure Journal. Find him at @venturesomeoverland on Instagram.