Being Ready to Adventure With a Premade Go Box

How often do you finish work on a Friday and think, I just don’t want to go home? Instead, you’d rather just hop on the highway and find some adventure. Having a premade go box and ready items in your vehicle allow this to become a reality. The go box is stocked with everything you might need for an overnight or weekend adventure and can be easily restocked once you’ve traveled back to your home base. The ready gear is items that can be easily stowed out of the way even during day-to-day travel.

ready gear

Everything ready for a quick run into the woods.

There are potentially two ways to go with this. A solo container and a family container. Either way, the case shouldn’t be too large that it cannot be easily inventoried after your adventure. Something as small as a cooler could work if it’s just you. A single large Plano case or Rubbermaid container would work if the family is tagging along. Ideally, you want to keep things to a minimum.

Season and Condition Appropriate Clothing

Pack season appropriate clothing and make sure to rotate it as needed. You don’t want to be stuck with summer clothing and decide to roll out in the middle of December after work. One suggestion would be to have 2 to 3 days worth of season appropriate clothes packed and ready to go in individual smaller bags. That way it’s easy to grab and go or swap out as seasons change.

three season clothing

All the necessary clothes needed for 3 seasons of adventuring.

Along with season appropriate, make sure you’re packing condition appropriate as well. This might be a little harder to pinpoint if you live somewhere the conditions constantly change. Here in Michigan, it would be a safe bet to have items that serve dual purposes. Pack a jacket that can keep you warm and provide some protection from the elements.

packed clothing

Everything packed into a Yukon Outfitters bag.

Stove, Fuel, and Cookware

As far as cooking is concerned, if you aren’t looking to bring along a lot of people then a simple single burner stove and a canister of fuel should suffice for cooking. If you are bringing the family along, then finding a camp stove that fits easily at the bottom of the go box or can be strapped to it may be the answer.

cook set

A cook set big enough at most for 3 people.

When it comes to cookware, think multipurpose. Buy a cook set that can be used to eat or drink out of. Think sporks instead of fork and spoon. When all else fails, pack some paper plates or bowls that can be used to get a fire going. Don’t forget to pack a small container of dish soap to keep everything clean.

Food and Water

For food, we recommend packing some dehydrated meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can supplement some of the breakfast meals with something that isn’t going to spoil easily and can be easily made. Granola bars or packaged oatmeal would work well in this case. Pack some easy to carry snacks in case you decide to get off the beaten path and wander. If you can handle bottled water that isn’t chilled, then a case or two should suffice for the entire trip. Make sure to pack enough water for each person going. This eliminates the need for a cooler to keep water and food cold.

dehydrated food

Food and coffee for a few days of off-road adventuring.

Toiletry Bag and First Aid

This might seem like a no-brainer, but I’m sure it happens frequently. Getting into the middle of nowhere and not having toilet paper could make for an interesting trip. The toiletry bag should contain enough items for 2-3 days. Basic items like soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, glasses/contacts, and any medications needed should be included. If you’re bringing along family ensure you have the necessary items for each person.

med kit sundries

A medical kit is a must, but make sure to pack necessary sundry items as well.

A first aid kit is a must have item even if you’re not planning on weekend getaways. You never know when you or someone else may need it. This is one item where it’s beneficial to potentially more than enough for just one person. Do some research and either build your own kit or buy a premade kit.

Shelter and Sleeping Setup

Depending on your situation will determine what sort of sleep setup you might go with. If you have a family who will be joining you then packing a tent and sleeping bags will be necessary. If it’s just you then a sleeping bag may be all you need. You can always roll out a sleeping bag either on the ground or in the back of your rig if there’s enough room. If having a shelter is what you want, consider a full hammock sleep system, a single person tent, or at the very basic a tarp to string up for some basic protection.

sleep setup

Two different methods of sleeping: a hammock system and blow up mattress.

Everything Else

In this case, everything else includes items that are probably located in various places in your rig. This might include camera equipment, communication devices, or a camp chair. Some of these items can be easily stashed away in a glove box, center console, or maybe in its own storage container. They may even be items that you normally have in your rig day-to-day.

extra stuff

Bonus items that accompany you on the trip or are always in your rig.

Post Adventure Check

Once you’ve returned from your weekend adventure make sure to take stock of what you used. Make a note to replenish your go box as soon as you are able. Ultimately, what you decide to pack is going to depend on the current season (if you have to play that game) and the number of people to factor into your impromptu adventure. Going off by yourself means packing just enough to get you buy versus having a go box ready for multiple people. In the end, you’ll probably come back with some notes on what to pack for next time and maybe even what’s not necessary to take.

Nick Howell

Nick is a lifelong Michigan resident, born and raised. He grew up in Bay City and transplanted to the metro Detroit area after college for work. Seeking more woods and outdoors time, he resolved to get out more. In a spark of creativity, he co-founded Michigan Overland with the intent to travel to parts unknown both within Michigan and abroad.