What to Pack for your Off-Road Expeditions
Off-roading expeditions, whether through well-beaten trails or treacherous terrain, demand the same thing: appropriate and quality gear. Proper equipment is the backbone of any successful four-wheeling trip. It will allow you to overcome any situation you encounter out in the middle of nowhere.
In this post, we will share with you 10 essential off-roading gear that will inspire confidence on the trail. And as you shop for gear, don’t forget that what you wear for your Overlanding trips is equally essential. Scroll through our unique off-road apparel and make an order today. Did we mention that we offer free shipping?
One of the first purchases an off-roading beginner needs to make is a set of traction boards. Also known as traction mats, they are positioned under spinning wheels to provide grip when stuck in sand, mud, or snow.
You'll want a product that will serve you for years, so choose a quality board that doesn’t wear down, even under constant use. Ideally, it should have UV-resistant properties and be capable of bearing significant weight.
Tire Repair Kit
While most off-roaders are excited to invest in big, cool, and rugged Overlanding accessories, they must remember the simple but functional tire repair kit. This underrated off-roading gear can help you escape the worst nightmare: having two flat tires.
To mitigate such risks and get your jeep back in the game, get an off-road tire repair kit and learn how to use it. These kits usually include a T-handle tool, needle-nose pliers, valve stems, interior tire patches, and self-vulcanizing plugs.
Mechanic Tool Set
When your off-road beast breaks down in the wild, mechanics won’t fix your vehicle. If you aren’t adventuring with a buddy that knows how to spin wrenches, you’ll need some basic skills to diagnose and repair what’s broken.
Pack a quality mechanics toolkit that includes wrenches, ratchets, sockets, pliers, screwdrivers, adjustable wrenches, socket extensions, spark plug sockets, drive adapters, and Allen keys. Just make sure they are the correct size for your vehicle.
Portable Air Compressor and Deflator
The easiest way to give your tires a better grip when exploring beyond civilization is to release some air pressure. A tire deflator will allow you to drop the pressure quickly, depending on the terrain you encounter.
Get a deflator that has an accurate pressure reading and corrosion-resistant properties. Of course, you’ll also need an air compressor to fill the tires back up when you’re ready to head home or after you fix a puncture. To save space, get a tool that has both functions in one.
Bring a winch if you don’t expect to find other four-wheelers on the trail you’re exploring. This off-roading essential will allow you to self-recover when all other options fail. You can also use it to get fellow drivers out of sticky situations.
To self-recover, attach the winch cable to a solid anchor such as a strong, healthy tree or earth anchor, and use the power of the winch motor to pull your 4x4 out of the mess. Since a winch can be dangerous if misused, learn how to operate it before you set off.
When laying your recovery boards, you’ll likely need to clear some debris to position the mats. A shovel will make this super easier. And when you don’t have other self-recovery tools, you can use them to dig a path and extract yourself.
If you spend a few nights on the trail, you’ll need the shovel to dig a latrine or fire pit or defend yourself against wild animals. Use a purpose-built shovel for off-road recovery, as it can take significant abuse.
An ARB recovery jack or Hi-lift jack will help you tackle the trickiest of recovery missions. While hydraulic jacks are only used for lifting, Hi-Lift designs are more versatile and can be used to lift, winch, pull, clamp, spread, and hoist.
Whichever option you pick, make sure it’s made from quality materials and has a load capacity high enough for the vehicle. A quality tool gives you peace of mind while under the rig during field maintenance.
Any seasoned 4-wheeling enthusiast suggests you shouldn’t rely on the headlights and fog lights. Quality off-road lights will help you illuminate the trail in pitch darkness, navigate hazards, and work quickly and efficiently when fixing your vehicle in the dark.
Whether you prefer bar or pod-style lights, shop for a product with an intense beam, a consistent beam pattern, and rugged housing. They should be waterproof, rainproof, submersible, and UV resistant.
Portable Solar Power Station
A solar power station will provide portable and clean electricity when you plan to extend your backcountry stay. These emission-free generators serve multiple purposes, from charging your gadgets and running small appliances like coolers to powering fans.
In addition, they can charge cameras, drones, and small music systems. Some can even restore your vehicle’s depleted battery. Many come with a built-in LED flashlight, which can light up the campsite or emit an SOS signal during an emergency.
First Aid Kit
Finally, on your off-roading gear list, add a first aid kit that’s designed for vehicle-based adventure. In case of an accident, it will help you tend to yourself and anyone else on board before you can get professional help.
In addition to essentials for treating minor cuts, scrapes, burns, tummy troubles, and headaches, it should have a glass breaker, seat belt cutter, and a tourniquet. Further, it should be portable with a protective carrying case that’s easy to access.
Pack Like a Seasoned Off-roader
Bringing the proper gear on an off-roading trip will give you peace of mind knowing you can escape a mess when the mud hits the fan. However, ensure you know how to use every tool in your off-road gear list. Plus, it’s wise to assess the scenarios you might encounter on the route you’ll be exploring and then practice overcoming them using your equipment.