The Overlander’s Christmas Wish List Part 2 (2020)

Dear Santa,

Well, I’m kinda annoyed. I reluctantly wrote a letter last year asking for wonderful things like time, beautiful weather, health, and a Cummins diesel. And what did you leave under the tree? A six-pack of Corona (we won’t mention the actual Corona) and a pair of flip-flops. Whoop dee doo! So here we go again; despite four decades of disappointment, I am going to make another wish list. And this time, well, you’ve got to pull finger, old boy.


1) Open Borders

No.1 of my all-time favorite top ten; please, Santa, make it so. Open borders, we took them for granted, simply assuming life would stay the way it had. But, now we realise how precious mobility and the freedom of movement really is. You can do it (or how else will you deliver on Christmas Eve, duh).



2) Halite Kracken 100 L Pro Gray

We have the bright orange Kracken; we want the gray Kracken. This bag has been really awesome on the Landy’s roof rack and does the job keeping the outdoor stuff bone dry and dust-free—we all know you can’t get too much of a good thing. The gray Kracken will be stuffed with a wetsuit and fishing gear as I have been dying to get into spearfishing. The bag is perfect for those who enjoy water sports and suffer torrential downpours.

$429 |


3) A Set of Method Wheels, Matte Black

All the cool kids have Method Wheels, and the new Defender has made my Classic Defender look like a Series 3 ambulance from 1972. She needs a modern touch, something from this century, something strong and lightweight and not too bling. Slap those Methods on a chunky set of General Tire X3s, and we will be cool kids again (the Method Wheel MR701 is said to fit the Classic Defender lug pattern).

MR701 $217 each |

General Grabber X3, from $170 each |


4) A Subscription to Overland Journal

I asked last year, and you, Santa, well, you dropped the ball. Premium journalism needs to be nurtured; premium publications deserve support. Stop being a jerk, Santa. Overland Journal is produced five times annually and includes a Gear Guide, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter issue. What more could you want?

$45 |


5) Fjällräven Anorak No.8 (and the Anorak No.8W for her)

Look at this frickin thing! I would travel to cold places just so that I can walk around in this anorak collecting and chopping wood, cutting holes in the ice, building a log home, and growing ice stalactites on my beard. The Anorak is both old skool and high-tech, featuring hard-wearing G-1000 material, and it’s designed to be worn with winter gloves. Large tabs allow the easy operation of zips, and the large kangaroo pocket allows for top or side access. This is a summer and winter Arctic Anorak.

$360-$450 |


6) Tymate Wireless Tire Monitoring System

I love my tires and would rather know, in the very unlikely event, when they are low on pressure rather than when they are flat and rumbling under a steel wheel at 70 mph. I also like the idea of being able to monitor all the important stuff when on the tough road. This monitoring system works with the magic of Bluetooth—no cables, no expensive installation, and it’s is the perfect companion to my Little Black Box Engine Management System. Peace of mind.

$70 |


7) Snomaster Ice Machine

Ice coffee, anywhere. Ice water or Long Island Iced Tea, anywhere. You are truly the world’s greatest overlander (or at least the most prepared) when you can produce a glass of ice cubes in the sweltering desert, beach, or tropical jungle. Women will want you, and men will want to be (with) you.

$800, on sale through December for $550 |


8) Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe

To drag around while wearing my Fjallraven Anorak. Not only can this thing fell a tree and shape a spoon, it could kill a bear—and skin and butcher said bear. I will never kill and butcher a bear with an axe, but a man can dream of being that manly.

$150 |


9) Terra Firma Big Bore Expedition Springs and Shocks

We used these for years, had a long-term relationship, and they never let us down. We made a mistake when we replaced them. I want them back. I am sorry, I was seduced by promises and pretty colors. Forgive me, let’s try one more time. Big Bore is perfect for the expedition Defender, big in every way and full of nitrogen. The springs give you a 2-inch lift, and who doesn’t want to be two inches taller?

Varies |


10) A Vaccine

Look, we have been administered so many vaccines in order to travel the planet; one (or two) more really can’t do that much damage, can it? The way I see it is a vaccine is as important as a passport for future overland travel, and if we can take a jab instead of a deep penetrating swab of the prefrontal cortex every couple of weeks, well, we’ll choose the jab.

Hopefully less the $50 |


11) A 2021 Which is More Like 2019

Need I say more?


Graeme Bell is an author and explorer who has dedicated his life to traveling the planet by land, seeking adventure and unique experiences. Together with his wife and two children, Graeme has spent the last decade living permanently on the road in a self-built Land Rover based camper. They have explored 27 African countries (including West Africa), circumnavigated South America, and driven from Argentina to Alaska, which was followed by an exploration of Europe and Western Asia before returning to explore the Americas. Graeme is the Senior Editor 4WD for Expedition Portal, a member of the Explorers Club, the author of six books, and an Overland Journal contributor since 2015. You can follow Graeme's adventures across the globe on Instagram at graeme.r.bell