Off-roading is a passion for many Americans. With so many stunning places to explore in this country and vehicles capable of taking you there, why wouldn’t you love hitting the trails?
If you’ve recently purchased a vehicle from your local Jeep dealer and you’re planning on getting into off-roading, you’ll need to gather some supplies.
Taking your wheels off the pavement and heading out on an adventure is fun and exciting. But any trip can quickly turn sour if you don’t have the essentials you need.
Run through this list of necessities and start to pull together your supplies. It might take a little bit of time, but boy will you be glad you did it.
First of all, you should always have a set of tools handy. Whether you need to make an adjustment or fix a part that’s come loose, your tool box will definitely get plenty of use.
It’s a good idea to include a socket set, wrenches, an LED flashlight, a tire gauge, a volt tester, a screwdriver with assorted bits, and a knife.
Those are just the basics though. Get well acquainted with your Jeep and add regularly used tools as you go.
Spare Tire and High Lift Jack
It is nearly inevitable that you will end up with a flat out on the trail at some point. When your pressure is lowered and you’re attacking extremely uneven terrain, your tires are more likely to bite the dust.
That’s why you should always have a spare ready to go. It’s also worth investing in a high lift jack. It’s a heavy duty, versatile jack that you can use in all sort of tricky situations.
Air Compressor with Jumper Cables
Sometimes a tire just needs a little boost to get the pressure back up to normal. And you need a way to re-inflate your tires when you return from the trail to the pavement.
That’s why it’s important to have an air compressor available. You can quickly adjust pressure and avoid a flat whenever possible.
The other great thing is that many units have built-in jumper cables. Get two in one and save space in your Jeep.
Unexpected things can happen while you’re out on the trail. You might spend longer than you think because you have to pull a friend out a jam. Or you might simply lose track of time because you’re having such a blast.
Whatever the case is, you don’t want to run out of gas because chances are, you’ll be stuck in a pretty remote area for awhile.
Bringing along a backup can of gas can save you a major headache when you suddenly realize that the fuel gauge is pointing to “E.”
Duck Tape and Zip Ties
Does this really need an explanation? Whatever it is that’s broken, you can pretty much guarantee a fix if you’ve got duck tape and a few zip ties on your side. Secure that part back in place, and be on your merry way.
When you get into a bind, it’s important to have what you need to recover your Jeep and move forward.
In many situations, like getting out of mud or sand, a recovery strap is the best tool to use. It’s also one of the most affordable tools you can buy for off-roading.
Get the kind with loops on each end instead of metal hooks. The loops are safer because you don’t have to worry about hooks flying your direction if the strap breaks.
You can also find recovery straps with special coating for particular circumstances. For instance, several companies have ones that are geared toward use in mud.
You’ll definitely want to pick up some D rings so your vehicle can be easily hooked up for a pull. They’re inexpensive and easy to attach to your Jeep. And they’ll make a world of difference when you need to be hauled out of a tight spot.
Though it’s certainly an investment, a winch is one of the most valuable tools you can have for off-roading. Not only does it allow you to pull yourself out of sticky situations, but you can also help out your friends when they need it.
Even with a winch, there are still times when you may not be able to find anything solid to anchor you . This often happens to people when they’re off-roading in desert areas where there aren’t any trees or rocks.
In such a case, a ground anchor can be incredibly helpful. You use it to make your own anchor point so you can winch yourself out.
Though it’s good to have the big guns on hand, you wouldn’t believe how many times a simple solution like a shovel will get you back on track. With a little muscle and a little time, you can dig your way right out of a lot of messy areas.
Water and Food
One of the most important things you can have with you when you’re off-roading is plenty of water. When you’re out on there on a sunny day, it’s easy to become dehydrated, even without realizing.
And dehydration leads to fatigue and unclear thinking. You want your mind and body to be functioning at their best when you’re making decisions, so drink lots of H2O throughout the day.
Also have extra available in case you have to stay put somewhere. Along the same line, stowing some food is a smart way to go. Throw a few energy bars in just in case.
Gloves come in handy all the time. Whether you’re using a shovel or putting tension on a recovery strap, keeping your hands protected is key.
If you injure your them, it will make everything more difficult, including driving. So be sure to throw on your gloves before tackling anything with your hands.
Spare Set of Clothes
Digging or pulling your Jeep out of a mess can leave you feeling like Swamp Thing. No one likes to be covered in wet mud for the whole day.
If you’ve got a spare set of clothes tucked away, it’s no problem. Just change up your duds and get back behind the wheel.
First Aid Kit
Unfortunately, injuries do happen when you’re off-roading. Most of the time, they’re minor scrapes and bruises, but sometimes they can be more serious.
When you’re far away from the closest hospital, it’s critical that you have basic medical supplies with you. If you or someone else gets injured, you’ll have what you need to keep the situation under control until you reach the nearest medical facility.
Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but having a fire extinguisher at the ready is one of the first tips any off-roader will give you.
If something extreme should happen to your vehicle and it catches fire, it’s vital that you have a way to put out the flames before they spread.
Using an extinguisher is the fastest and easiest way to keep you, your group, and the environment you’re traveling in safe.