If you ever find yourself wanting to know absolutely everything about overlanding, just find an avid overlander and ask him about all the equipment he uses during his adventures. He will talk your ear off for hours. Interestingly enough, you might hear about everything from jacked-up suspension systems to the latest solar power arrays but nary a word about the simple cam buckle strap.
There is nothing fancy about a cam buckle strap. It is as simple and utilitarian as can be. Yet it’s one of the most important tools an overlander has in his inventory of equipment and supplies. In fact, some overlanders are so committed to cam straps that they won’t even think about using rope, bungee cords, or chains.
The Cam Buckle Strap Defined
A cam buckle strap is a tiedown strap consisting of two parts: the strap itself (normally made from nylon webbing) and a cam buckle. The cam buckle is a metal buckle through which the open end of the strap is fed and secured.
The big difference between a cam buckle strap and any other type of nylon webbing strap is the buckle itself. If you were to look at a cam strap made by Rollercam, you would see pretty clearly what defines a cam buckle as opposed to a ratchet.
In a cam buckle set up, you have a center cam over which the strap material travels as it passes through the buckle. Above the cam is a toothed latch that grabs and holds the strap in place. In Rollercam’s case, their center cam rotates. This eliminates friction and allows users to pull the straps tighter with less effort.
The All-Purpose Tiedown for Overlanding
Now that you know what a cam buckle strap is, let’s discuss why it’s indispensable to overlanders. By definition, overlanders do not always stick to the road well-traveled. Sometimes they don’t stick to the road at all. They are more than happy to traverse real estate where passenger vehicles rarely go.
This penchant for traveling off-road means that everything in an overlander’s vehicle needs to be secured. Otherwise, unfortunate accidents will happen. For many an overlander, the only way to secure is with cam buckle straps. Here’s why:
- Flexibility – Cam buckle straps are flexible in the sense that there are multiple ways to use them. You can wrap a single strap around the entire load. You can use multiple straps in a custom configuration.
- Security – The cam buckle strap’s design increases the security of any load by allowing the user to tighten the straps down with the optimal amount of force. And unlike rope, cam buckle straps will not loosen up in transit.
- Durability – Nylon webbing material is extremely durable. It is not bothered by water or temperature swings. It is abrasion resistant. Simply put, it can take a lot of punishment and still keep working.
- Strength – Nylon webbing material also boasts an exceptionally high tensile strength. That means cam buckle straps made with the material can handle significant loads with ease.
- Efficiency – The cam buckle makes for efficient use without the need for a lot of effort. You don’t have to be exceptionally strong to tighten down a strap securely. The straps more evenly distribute force across a load, increasing securement efficiency.
There is a lot more to be said about cam buckle straps, but you get the point by now. Of all the tools overlanders keep on their rigs, few are as valuable as the cam buckle strap. The straps are the go-to tie down option to keep things secure no matter how rough the ride.