Official Packing for a week on the trail - Overview


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Sandy, Ut
Funny Kurt...I witnessed the Romer setup that year at CM! Maybe Romer will get to do it again with his new Cadillac trailer arriving soon! He will likely see this thread since you linked it on our RS Forum ;)

great thread...I like the soft ARB large bags. Gonna have to look into those.
I've since joked with him a fair bit about it. He's a good sport and obviously trailers worked well for him, enough to buy/import that new one. Trailers work killer for some, I had some great experiences with my trailer/RTT combo back in the day.


.......a few dollars more
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Was just looking for something else and came across this packing thread. I just did the Rubicon for 2 nights and drove the Jeep out to/from the trail. That was a bit daunting but with the help of Teraflex shelf and some creative packing, we did pretty well. We weren't overly comfortable but definitely comfortable enough. Sorry for the lighting in the picture but stuff packed in pretty well for us. Basically the rear lower cargo area was for tents, pads, tools, two chairs, sleeping bags and a cooler. The shelf had two stadium seats (thought these would be clever but they were kind of 'meh') some coats, my wool blanket of many uses ($5 in Tijiuana in 1990 has seen a lot over the years) a zipped together pair of sleeping bags for sleeping with the mrs and our clothing bags behind that. We gave each one of us a backpack sized bag for the trip. Foodstuffs went under the rear seat that we labeled the "pantry" and allowed secure (-ish, it is a soft top Jeep), easy access throughout the trip.

The combo of the JKU softtop and the Teraflex shelf (softtop not recommended for use with the shelf) worked awesome. You had full access to the shelf through the rear or side windows. Very convenient and efficient.

We had a cool opportunity to try out a trailer a little on the trip (just towing from/to and not on the trail). For comfort after 5 days in a Jeep and a 9 hour drive, we stole some available space in the trailer for the trip back to SLC. That was pretty stinking nice as far as getting stuff out our way. I'm not sure how I'd feel about a trailer on the trail but 4 people in a TJ need space and the trailer works pretty well for that. Something to think about if you're thinking about a trailer, I guess. I'm not sure where I'm at with one. Convenient but a pain to drive around at times. The Rubicon was a little more technical this time than when I went in 2013. 2013 trip a trailer would have been totally fine, this year it was a bit much but still doable and a solid solution. I think if you had uber cool backpacking gear (small, light, expensive, etc.) that would be a better solution but that's a pretty significant investment (not that a trailer isn't). To each their own there I guess

Things I loved about the setup for the trip:
Soft Top---access to rear cargo area was great. Late model type top (bigger windows and quieter fabric) was totally fine for 9 hour drives across NV
Rock-Slide Engineering table---that that thing is super convenient. Found all kinds of uses for two table tops. Very compact and efficient in a JKU but quick to deploy, use and stow when you're done.

My wife had a rather clever solution to our kitchen type needs. We had a TailGater rollup for utensils, cups, breakfast stuff, etc. I hung that from the "roll bar" and the soft top bracket so it was easily accessible from the drivers side soft top door. It worked pretty well but was a little bulky due to some of the contents in it. This could be improved on and used pretty heavily.

Things that would need improvement if we did Rubicon or similar in a JKU again:
Cooler---worked out fine but we were OUT of water on our third trail day (2 adults, 16 yr old and 11 yr old). Thanks to Bryson for throwing us a few water bottles :D We froze our 20 oz water bottles as a cooling source and added about 4 lbs of dry ice. Cooler was still cold after the fourth day but wouldn't be after a fifth. ARB fridge would be awesome here but with my varying commitment to the JKU, I haven't wanted to invest in a slide solution for a refrigerator that is required with the Teraflex shelf.

Sleeping pads/bags---They are HUGE! They likely took up about 40% of my cargo space. Combine that with the tents and I'm pretty close to 50-60%? My wife and I were VERY comfortable Exped SIM Comfort Duo 7.5 pad and her and I being non-tent camper fans, that makes sense to use space on. However it was a pretty stiff penalty for size. There's probably something out there as nice but for the $ that worked well for us. We just used a Costco flannel/canvas sleeping bag zipped together and that worked fine. It took up as much space as two sleeping bags so I justified it but it was kind of bulky (but a good barrier from the passenger compartment to the cargo compartment crammed into the shelf and speaker bar in a JKU).


Our 8 day trip wasnt too bad. Basically we just packed more clothes and food.
On the food part. We drove down empty and waited till the last town to get food. Only got enough for a few days while between destinations. Helped alot .