'Just like anything, prepping for an off-road excursion takes planning. While you may think you are well prepared for anything the trail or mother nature may throw at you, careful planning is essential to a safe and enjoyable journey!
While the lists below are a good start, there is no substitute for training and preparedness. Many of the Overland/Outdoor Expos ensure a good representation of highly skilled trainers. One option available to those of us in Western Canada, is ARC Off-Road Training. Their trainers are all certified with the International 4-Wheel Drive Trainer’s Association.
Once your plan comes together and you’re ready to hit the trails or the highway, you might consider leaving your plans with someone not traveling with you. This will give you peace of mind should you encounter unforeseen obstacles on your adventure. Checking in with them at set intervals will also give them peace of mind. If you plan to travel solo, consider a GPS location beacon if your plan will take you to remote or less traveled locations.
Things to consider may include basic personal items, basic tools, and recovery gear.
- Water and food sufficient for all passengers, plus a minimum 24-hour extra supply (MRE’s are a good solution for unexpected delays)
- Clothes to match the forecast, plus rain gear and cold weather items…..Mother Nature doesn’t watch the nightly forecast!
- Personal hygiene items (toilet paper, towels, hand sanitizer)
- Trash receptacle (Pack it in, Pack it out)
- Communication-Cell phone, CB, personal GPS locator beacon
- Good supply of extra batteries ranging in a variety of sizes
- Detailed Maps, Topo Maps, and a Compass. You never know when cell service will be lost and with these analog items, you should never be!
- First aid Kit
- Some form of signally device (flares, signal mirror, whistle)
- Matches, lighters, flint, or any other items necessary for fire starting
- Cooking supplies and fuel even if it’s only a day trip.
- A good basic tool kit containing general tools as well as those specific to the needs of your vehicle
- Full size shovel
- Winch with sufficient accessories (tree hugger, snatch block, clevis, shackles) Not sure what size winch best suits your vehicle? Warn has an excellent resource that recommends your GVW x 1.5.
- Tarp (great for ground cover or shelter)
- Work gloves
- Vehicle fluids (motor oil, transmission fluid, water)
- Jack - HiLift or vehicle specific with solid base for soft terrain. This base could be similar to the AEV Jack Base or as simple as a piece of 2'x 8' lumber
- Maxtrax Traction Boards (doubles as a shovel)
- Kinetic Rope
- Recovery Tow Strap
- Jumper Cables and/or Booster Pack
- Fire extinguisher
- Zip Ties, ratchet straps, duct tape, electrical tape
- Extra fuel
Building your gear lists and finding unique storage options is key to a hassle-free adventure. Consider how you’ll store these items between trips and paring down what you don’t need in your vehicle for the work week. It is also a good practice to have a post trip assessment of items that were redundant or missing and should be added to your next trip.
We are always open to share some of our favorite gear, so don’t hesitate to reach out to explore several options available!