As overlanders, four wheelers and for that matter, any other outdoor enthusiast, our main playing field will always be the great outdoors, and we have to take care of our natural environment at all cost. It’s not pleasant when travelling off the grid, to have to carry, sometimes for a few days at a time, personal trash around in the back of the truck until you reach civilization and are able to use a trash container to finally ‘unload’. It’s even worse when you have to pick up other trail users’ trash along the way.
I had seen some fellow overland enthusiasts, mainly with Jeeps, carry their trash around in a backpack-like bag mounted on their outside spare tires, unfortunately I didn’t have this option with my truck. However, now that I have completed the build of my overland trailer, I made sure to attach a spare tire on the back bumper, (a used Jeep Wrangler’s aftermarket rear bumper with spare tire mount) so I would be able to carry a spare and eventually attach some kind of a garbage container outside of the vehicle, large enough to be able to stay off-grid for a few days in a row.
The search for this type of gear was actually pretty easy. Through my research on the subject I found the GARB (Garbage and Recycling Bag), a handmade product from the folks at North Bound Expeditions Inc. operating out of New Brunswick. The bag basically straps to a spare tire and is a convenient way to keep trash out of the vehicle and out of nature.
The idea was conceived by two avid overland and outdoors enthusiasts, Virgil Dessouroux and Nick Scott, both full time Canadian Armed Forces members. They make the GARB from scratch in their own homes in their spare time using a solid 1000 denier Cordura material that is UV resistant and water repellant, then cutting, sewing, prepping, assembling, advertising, selling and shipping their innovative product.
The demand for their GARB began to be more than they anticipated, so they decided to hire a seamstress to help put it all together. The GARB that I have purchased was made by hand, piece by piece involving three different people, in each of their own homes located in New Brunswick. Now, you can’t have more “Home Made in Canada” than that.
At first glance, the product feels quite sturdy and the straps are made from a strong thick material with a mix of sturdy metal and plastic buckles. The stitching all around the bag is tight and solid, including around the watertight zippers located outside the bag.
The bag itself is very large, the opening is wide with a tie rope to close it all up, and a flap cover with straps to make it all very tidy. On the outside of the flap, you have a GARB sewn nametag and a square 4x4-ish Velcro’d area to put your own patch(s). They say it can hold two large trash bags side by side and I would agree with that statement. There are six D-rings all around the top opening inside the bag where garbage bags can be tied up to keep them in place, and there are two other sturdy straps with metal buckles inside, so you can further secure your plastic bag, or as shown on their video you could also use these straps to secure a small cord of wood and stuff it all up inside the GARB to keep it dry.
The material at the bottom of the bag is even stronger and there are a couple of drain holes to let liquids out in case an inside bag leaks, or you drive through water, it will drain out of the bag.
Outside the bag there are a couple of zippered pockets and two deep pockets on each side, all large enough to stuff your spare garbage bags or any camping equipment you might need to be readily available. Installation is easy and their website has a video with instructions on how to mount the GARB onto your spare tire with a detailed introduction to the GARB itself and its multi-use ideas. The GARB comes in various colours, mine is Navy Blue and you can order them in Olive Drab, Tan, Black, Coyote Brown, Red, Grey and Orange and, using the same material, they also make a chainsaw bag.
You can stuff up to 35 kg (75 lbs) of gear/trash inside, and the webbing (straps and buckles) are rated with a breaking strength of over 590 kg (1300 lbs).
Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase. It easily hooks up on a spare tire and I’m certain it can be attached many other ways outside of your rig as well. It looks good on the back of my trailer, it keeps trash and odours out of the truck, and appears to be versatile, meaning that I should be able to use it to stow any other type of gear or some campfire wood when not used as a trash carrier.
Remember leave only your footprints on your next overland trip!