Man On a Mission
I agree, Sounds very well thought out, Compressors and Fridges are some things that require serious thought and again buy the best you can afford but on less serious items save the money and spend it where it needs to be spent,People have been putting some sort of traction boards or mats under their tires for decades (think aircraft landing strip aluminum planks in WWII), so the concept isn't new.
Winch & winch line: Warn M8000 winch with Winchline.com synthetic cable (just switched it over from the steel cable which got a kink in it). I wasn't going to go cheap on a winch (bought the winch about ten years ago).
Tires: ******** Cepek Fun Country II (which are wearing faster than I'd like). They weren't the cheapest or the most expensive. Traction wise they're excellent.
Traction boards: X-Bull. Got four of them; final cost about $150 vs. $600 for four Maxtrax. Have used them once so far (in the snow). They did fine. If Maxtrax were more reasonably prices I'd get them, but this is a $450 dollar difference.
Dry suit (going to drive to the Arctic Ocean in August and will do a little kayaking): cost almost $600 for the dry suit (my most recent big purchase related to Overlanding). They have them much more expensive, but for the limited time I'll be using this thing, this'll do just fine (it will keep me dry if I take a dunk in the Arctic Ocean, just like the more expensive ones).
Vehicle: 1998 Jeep TJ (heavily modified).
Trailer: Modified HF trailer frame with custom tub.
High-Lift Jack: an actual High-Lift jack (the knock-offs aren't really any cheaper, so why go there?)
Not everyone can buy the expensive stuff (and just because something is more expensive it doesn't mean it is better). And not every Overlander has an unlimited budget. Many of us have to pick-and-choose our purchases, and it can't be "All or Nothing" (as in "I buy the most expensive thing, or I don't get it anything all"). It is called making compromises. And for me and these traction boards, $150 vs. $600 ($450 difference - that would buy and entry level AR-15) is a big deal, especially for what they are (plastic boards with nubs - no moving parts).
I still don't have an electric fridge (some day - till then still using a cooler that takes ice), nor an expensive RTT (I'm using a double sized tent-cot on my homemade trailer), or an off-road teardrop (the one I want is "only" $18,000). A lot of my hand tools are from Harbor Freight (don't by their electric hand tools though). I'm not complaining - one step at a time.
I also have to budget and pick-and-choose for other things like my guns, furniture (go figure - my wife isn't into Jeeps and guns or Overlanding near as much as I am), fixing up the house (need to replace some windows upstairs), vacations/trips, etc.
I did buy top of the range Fridge's and Compressors, and my Hi-Lift's but the rest of my gear is nothing flash, I bought the same Brand Winch as fitted to SAS Vehicles cost me about $450.00 where as the warn version of it costs about 2.5 to 3K and in a recent winch shoot out the model I bought fared better, So I'm not buying in to all the Hype, I also have hand Winches for lesser problems.