Since mechanical or electrical failures are the most likely ones to deal with on an adventurous holiday, you do need to plan well for spares and tools that will go with. Spares and tools are heavy and often large. For this reason it has to be selected with great care.

The way that I select tools and spares for a long remote trip, is to consider what spares can leave me stranded, what is most likely to break on them and what I should take with to leave me the most options for repairs.

In this particular regard, Land Rovers are indeed great vehicles to have. For example, on my Discovery the same wheel bearing set fits on all four wheels. The same bearing that is used in the tensioner pulley of the main fan belt, is also used as the bearing in the tensioner pulley for the air conditioning and as the main bearing for the alternator. Obviously I will pack in two or three 6203 bearings. Small, dirt cheap, but crucial. It could leave you stranded if you don't have one.

The same goes for a radiator cap. Small, cheap and it could leave you stranded.

On every engine, the items like the alternator, A/C compressor, power steering pump and water pump are driven by belts. On the old motors, V-belts were used and in it was only possible to drive at most two items from one V-belt. However, to save some space, the use of the flat, ribbed belts called “Serpentine Belts” became common and in this case, often all the components are driven by one belt.

While serpentine belts itself are a lot more reliable than V-belts, the disadvantage is that if any of the ancillary components, that it drives, fails you are stranded. In some isolated cases, it could be possible to bypass an item, like a power steering pump for example by using a shorter belt, but obviously that is something that you need to work out before, as it is highly unlikely that you will break down on a road at a spot where a nice selection of belts are hanging on the doringdraad (barbed wire).

Of the ancillary components, the most likely ones to fail are either the water pump or the alternator. On an alternator, the regulator, brushes or bearings are the most likely culprits. You can treat this in more than one way. One is to have the alternator serviced every 100 000 km or so, but I would suggest to take a spare with.

I know this list sounds over the top. All that I can say is that the tools and spares were worth it's weight in gold on almost every trip.  I pride myself that I managed to get us up and running each and every time a breakdown could have stranded us and ruined our trip. There are many tiny 10-second repairs that will leave you stranded if you do not have the tools and spares to solve it - like a broken radiator cap.

It would be arrogant to think that my spotless record will remain forever, so I still need to plan for the day that I am stuck somewhere, with no hope of driving out of there.

Non Negotiable – Any Trip

Spares Fluids Tools
2 Spare Tyres Water – 10L 1/2” Socket Set
2 Fuel Filters Brake Fluid – 1L 1/4” Socket Set
Air Filter Engine Oil – 5L Allen Key Set
Brake and Clutch Seals General Purpose Grease Axle Jack
Cable Ties   Circlip Pliers
Drive Belts – 2 Sets   G-clamp
Electrical Fuses   Hacksaw
Electrical Wire   Hammers
Epoxy Steel   Hi-Lift Jack
Full set of radiator hoses   Honing Tool (brake cylinders)
Hand selected Bolts and Nuts   Map-gas Torch
Hose clamps   Multi-Meter
Insulation Tape   Oil Filter Wrench
Lead Solder   Pliers
Oil Filter   Repair Manual
Pratley Putty   Screw Drivers
Radiator Cap   Side Cutters
Silicone Tape   Spline Key Set
Silver Solder   Torx Key Set
Tensioner Bearings   Tyre Levers
Thermostat   Wheel Compressor
Tyre Plugs and Gaters   Jumper Cables
Water Pump   Recovery Strap with D-shackels
Wire Lugs    

Highly Recommended

Spares Fluids Tools
Alternator Extra Fuel – 20L Wheel Bearing Socket
Starter Gearbox Oil – 5L 12V Cordless Drill
Timing Belt Power Steering Fluid – 1L Crimping Tools
Cylinder Head Valves   Würth Stud Remover
Pushrods (if needed)   Tap and Die set
Cylinder head gasket    
Oil Pump    
Wheel bearing Kit    
Universal Joint    
Viscous Fan coupling