If you aren’t a mechanic don’t worry – by the end of a six month expedition you will be!

Working practices, particularly in Africa, will ensure that you quickly learn what is and isn’t appropriate treatment at the hands of a mechanic. Tools are of particular importance – there is no faster way of ruining a bolt than using an ill-fitting spanner, or worse a hammer on it.

It would be foolhardy not to carry at least a basic set of tools which you can either use yourself or lend, under your watchful eye, to a local mechanic. Ideally you should at least include everything you need to carry out a vehicle service.

Consider the advantages of including a 220v inverter which will allow you to run power tools; this isn’t an essential item, but if you include a drill and angle grinder in your tool kit you can be sure you’ll use them at some point.

Tools are heavy, and should therefore be packed as low as possible in the vehicle. Think about vibration from bad roads and how it might affect tools – lining storage boxes with rubber or old carpet can reduce wear and tear on your tools.

Vehicle and Workshop Manuals

What you take will be determined by your experience – a beginner should at least set out with the appropriate Haynes manual. While electronic copies are available (see the downloads section) don’t rely on exclusively on these as the you may not have any power when you need them.

Socket Set

A good quality branded socket set combining metric and AF sockets is a sound investment; broadly speaking the more you pay the longer these tools will last

Tool Box


  • Set of good metric open ended/ring spanners – a must.
  • Set of Allen keys
  • Pliers, thin nosed pliers
  • Set of good screwdrivers
  • One big adjustable wrench and one little one
  • A Hammer
  • Oil filter remover
  • Metal File

Electric Tools for use with 240 v mains/inverter

  • Multimeter – useful for all sorts of electrical jobs, some even involving your own car…
  • Electric drill and set of bits
  • Angle grinder with assorted discs – thin ones are great for cutting metal.
  • Soldering Iron with solder

Components, Useful Additions

  • Assorted nuts, screws, washers and bolts – essential.
  • fuses, wire etc – essential.
  • Electrical connectors and crimping tool.
  • Electrical tape.
  • Big roll of Gaffer tape – a million uses
  • Hose repair tape.
  • Silicon Sealant
  • Superglue
  • Araldite
  • Swarfega – nice but not essential
  • Work gloves
  • Overalls – only for the must fastidious
  • Workshop Manuals