Adventures are for the adventurous. Mudding, rock crawling, and dune bashing are all well and good. What you don't want to happen is for your next trip to turn into the script for a survival movie.
That's why you need to have the ultimate off-roading emergency kit with you at all times. Unsure what to put in it? Here are your eight must-haves.
If you get stuck, you may have to rely on another vehicle to pull you out. The simplest way to do that is to use a couple of shackles and a snatch strap. Keep the kit in easy reach of the driver's seat.
The snatch strap needs to have a minimum breaking strength of three to four times the weight of the vehicle you plan to use it with. They're made of nylon and are designed to stretch. This helps add a little extra tug to your tow.
Three-and-a-quarter-ton shackles are the right choice for connecting one end of the strap to the recovery point on each vehicle.
When you attach the shackle to the recovery point and strap, make sure you tighten the pin completely. You should then back it off a quarter turn or so. This lets the required flex happen without harming the threads.
A floor mat under a stuck tire isn't going to cut it. What you need is a set of traction ramps. These really come into their own if you get stuck and don't have the help of another vehicle.
Unfold the ramps and wedge them under the tires that are stuck. This gives your vehicle much-needed grip in sandy, muddy or even snowy conditions.
The nylon recovery boards can also double as shovels. That means you can use them to dig out mud or snow from under your wheels. They're also useful for building a fire pit once you're at your new base camp.
Tires are one of the key components that allow your vehicle to join the off-road community. They also often get damaged because they're put through their paces so thoroughly. You should always have a complete tire repair kit in your vehicle.
This should include new valves and dust caps. You should also carry an aerosol or two of specialized tire sealant. These could be a real life-saver in the event of a puncture.
If you're crossing deep sand, you'll need to air down the tires to increase the traction. Large off-road tires often have to go from street pressures above thirty PSI to well below fifteen PSI.
You could carry a deflator to help speed up this process. But, when you drop the pressure, you're going to need to bring it back up later.
You should invest in a quality air compressor that connects to your battery with alligator clips. Some that plug into cigarette lighters can blow fuses. Make sure you've got an air hose that'll reach from the battery to all the wheels.
Getting yourself out of trouble can take time. It may mean darkness has fallen before you've finished fixing a problem. You must have a solid work light with you that will let you see what you’re doing while you carry out a repair.
There are some LED lights available that charge from your vehicle. They also come with useful hooks and magnets. These allow you to position the light where you need it. It also means you can work hands-free even underneath the vehicle.
If you're towing before you go off-road, consider investing in a wireless towing light bar. It will make life on the road considerably easier.
This little beauty means you won't have to rely on another vehicle to jump-start yours. It's affordable and simple. It's made up of a high-capacity lithium-ion battery pack.
You can buy jump starters that will charge off your cigarette lighter. They can even provide power for your smartphone and any other gadgets you might have with you. Remember to make sure it's charged before you set off.
You should always have a complete selection of pliers, wrenches, and drivers with you. When you're off-road, your vehicle is going to be prone to extra bumps and vibrations. These can rattle parts and detach them if they get loose.
If you have a toolkit with you, you'll be able to tighten things up when necessary and move on. The tools should be a match for your vehicle and for the type of terrain you're planning to cover.
Pack engine oil as well as some lubricant spray. You should also throw in a first aid kit and some work gloves.
Don't depend on the tire jack that came with your vehicle. It's quite possible that it won't be up to the job in the conditions you might find yourself in off-road.
Go for a tall jack. Some varieties will do more than raise a vehicle. You can use them as spreaders, clampers or hand winches. Some come with accessories that let you lift a vehicle in deeper sand.
They'll also let you lift from the vehicle's wheel rather than a bumper or frame section. Soon you'll be on the road again. Knowing where you’re heading is essential.
Make it easy on yourself by using a good quality off-road navigation app. These let you track your progress in real-time. They also let you figure out which way to go. This is important when there are similar trails which may look the same.
You can run these apps on your smartphone or tablet. You can also mount those where they're going to be most easy for you to see.
Once you've put together your ultimate off-roading emergency kit, you'll be ready to go on your next big adventure. The items in your kit will help you stay safe and make your life easier if you hit any problems.
Continue reading our blog for more related articles. Find out here about the best ways to properly modify your off-road vehicle.