Now that you have built or bought the vehicle to take where you want to go. You will need to prepare it and yourself to get there and back safely. No matter what type of off-roading you plan on doing , there are certain items which your vehicle should always have on board. As your off-roading experience develops you will become more knowledgeable of your vehicle and your needs. You can ask any off-roader and they will all have some sort of story about helping someone out who was not prepared for the situation they were in. Helping each other is part of off-roading, but being prepared before you go is a personal responsibility which we must all do to make our trips enjoyable and safe. Below you will find all list of basic items which we suggest to help you prepare for your next off-road adventure.
1} Basic repair manual
A basic reference specific for your vehicle, the Haynes manuals are a good cheap source. They will get dirty, so don't use an expensive shop manual for field use.
2} Fire Extinguisher
We recommend an A,B,C type, get one large enough to accomplish a small fire or a couple of smaller ones. Depending on vehicle space.
3} Portable Lighting
At least 1 flashlight, and some sort of rechargeable work/spot light.
4} First Aid Kit
Get a basic kit which will fit your personal needs. Also remember any meds., or allegies you or anyone in your party may need. Write down blood types or carry dog tags just in case of an emercency.
5} Tow Hooks
Make sure your vehicle is equipped front and rear with some sort of recovery point. A lot of the newer vehicle due not have rear tow hooks but due have receiver hitches. So a receiver shackle can solve this problem.
6} Tow Straps
We recommend carrying several of different lengths. [ normally 20 & 30 ft. length ] Use only quality straps and remember to keep them clean. The dirt will break the nylon strap down if not cleaned. Get ones with sewn loops not preattached hooks, the hooks become projectiles when the straps break. And make sure they are strong enough for your vehicle.
7} Tree Saver
Strap normally 6 or 15 ft. which is used to attach to an anchor point.
8} D-Rings or Shackles
Used to attach straps and winch cable hooks to your vehicle & anchor point.
We recommended a 10 to 15 ft length with one end pre-attached and the other with a moveable clevis grab hook. Use the chain to move logs and other items from your path.
10} Vehicle Jack
Remember if you have installed a suspension or larger tires the factory jack may not be tall enough now. The Hi-Lift jack is a popular up grade and has many other uses also. Always follow safe jack practice when operating them.
11} Booster Cables
Use cables which are long enough to reach and have enough amperage for your batteries.
12} Tool Kit
At minimum you will need basic sockets , screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches. Your tool kit should be base on your mechanical knowledge. Enough tools to accomplish what you can fix yourself.
13} Pioneer Kit
Includes ax, shovel, pry bar/digging iron, Maddox. If to be carried on the outside of the vehicle get ones with the fiberglass handles so the sun doesn't break down the handles. If you have room get a long handle shovel with the pointed tip. Square tips are not good for digging and the longer handle sure makes it a little easier.
14} Misc. Hardware
A good selection of nuts & bolts to fit your vehicle. Electrical connectors, & tape. Duct tape and some mechanics wire are always helpful to.
15} Vehicle Spare Parts
Extra belts, hoses, bulbs, spark plugs, Dist. Cap/rotor, plug wires, oil, coolant, etc.. When you do these types of maintanice repairs keep the old parts for trail spares instead of buying new parts as long as they have some life left to them they will get you home.
16} Tie Downs/ Bungee Cords
Always secure items carried in your vehicle in case of roll over.
Small quantities of brake fluid , carb cleaner, hand cleaner, JB Weld, or other epoxy, and a good penetrating oil.
18} Personal clothing
An extra change of clothing and blanket in case you have to stay somewhere and your vehicle does not run. Never sleep in a vehicle left running over night, due to carbon monoxide.
The Hi-Lift Jack and there are other hand operated devices which can be used to recover a vehicle by hand . Or your can invest in a electric winch and bumper mount to add in your recovery. Check with manufactures for vehicle recommendation, normally 1.5 to 2 times over the GVW of the vehicle is what you want.
CB radio with weather channel, or other radios to talk with other vehicles in your party.