Top Ten Essentials for Off-Roaders
Recreation Officials on the Verde Ranger District have closed the following facilities/roads in preparation for the winter season starting on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 through May 1, 2020.
When off-roading we can run into challenges or tough situations. Having the necessary essentials with you can help prevent major disaster in your off-roading experience. Below is a top ten list of essentials every off-roader should have.
1. Recovery Kit (Winch, Straps, Shackles, MAXTRAX, etc.)
-A good recovery kit is a must carry and something that is alway handy to have in case you or somebody else gets stuck. This is extremely important if you are planning on going off-roading on soft terrain, such as: the beach, sand dunes, soft desert washes, mud, snow, etc.
2. Spare Tire & Tire Repair Kit
-This is often overlooked. Most of the time, especially on trucks, people rely on their stock spare tire that has been down there since they bought the vehicle. Sometimes this can be 20+ years, and what is even worse is that most of them times they don’t ever realize that tire is junk until they need it. So, always make sure, you have a good tire that matches the size of the other 4 you have on the vehicle and the necessary tools to change it if needed.
3. Air Deflator & Inflator
-Since deflating tires for traction is a subject of his own, we are not going to talk about that here. Instead, we are going to talk about some of the options that you should carry for that purpose when off-roading. A quick deflator is a tool that you don’t know you need until you use one. It can save you a lot of time and a lot of lost valve stems. When it comes to airing back up, there are a couple of options that we see the most. One is a small air compressor. This option is ok and even if it takes a long time, it will get the job done. The other option and our favorite way to air up tires when out off-roading. Power Tanks are a great option if you want to air up in a quick and painless way. Very portable and easy to use, these CO2 Systems are capable of airing tires very quick and can also provide enough pressure to run air tools.
4. Communications & Navigation
-Knowing where you are and how to get out is a must, that is why having some kind of navigation tool is so important. This tool can be anything from a hand drawn map to a fully-loaded GPS or a fancy phone with a fancy GPS App. Whether you are driving by yourself (Not Recommended) or have a big group of off-roaders with you, communication is key (such cliché). It can be tough leading a group through trails and washes without being able to communicate why you are doing what you are doing to people close to you, or not being able to warn other drivers about some dangerous obstacle that might be coming ahead.
5. Jack and Tool Kit (shovel, knife, zip ties, WD-40, duct tape, etc.)
-Nobody ever likes to break stuff on the trail when out off-roading. So, the only thing worse than breaking something is not having the necessary tools to fix it or at least limp it out of the trail, where it can get loaded either in the back of a flat bed trailer or a tow truck. Your Tool Kit should always include specialty tools, basic wrenches and screwdrivers, a hammer, a pryer, just to name some. Since this is an important topic, we will be talking about this more in-depth within the next couple months on one of our “Tech Time” posts, stay tuned!
6. Light/Fire Source
-Sometimes, spending the night out in the wild is something that you will have to do because of many different reasons. One of them being breaking down in the middle of the night. Wether you broke down during some night-time off-roading or your trail repair extend through the day into the night. Chances are, you will need both light and depending on the season and your location, fire. A good flashlight (with a full battery) can be a life saver in so many ways. It is cheap enough, so, just leave one or two in the vehicle at all times.
7. Jump Starter & Jumper Cables
-Another fun-killer is a dead battery. For some reason, a dead battery can scare and stress out a lot of people, especially spouses. Now a days, jumper boxes have become more accessible and also more powerful and compact. Make sure it is charged and alway carry it with you. Because a dead battery in the middle of no where can expose you and your family to some possible dangers.
8. Fire Extinguisher
-There are a few ways to catch your vehicle on fire, but when it comes to put that fire out. There are not so many ways, specially when out in the wild. Always carry a fire extinguisher, no matter what. It can save your rig, somebody else’s rig or even somebody’s life.
9. Medical Kit
-A good First Aid Kit is something you want to carry around with you not only when out in the outdoors but also around town. Something as simple as a gauze can save you or somebody else from having a wound infected.
10. Fluids for both the operator and the vehicle
-Water of course can be vital for both the people riding in the vehicle as it can be for the vehicle, especially if such vehicle tends to over-heat (Like a Jeep). Having enough basic fluids for you and the vehicle is easy. Bring Water, Fuel, Brake fluid, engine oil, gear oil, trans oil and some power steering fluid to start.
As we stated before, this is OUR list of essentials WE think is best for people doing what we do. If you need help putting your kit together, stop by the shop or give us a call!
Learn more about off-roading from Summit 4×4 Company’s blog.