Off-roading can feel like a battle of man vs. nature. Rugged terrain, wide rivers, and the unpredictability of nature give any off-roading trip an extra dose of adrenaline. On the other hand, these same things can also leave you in some dangerous scenarios, namely if you end up stranded in the middle of nowhere.
But the possibility of danger shouldn’t keep you at home; it should just teach you to be ready for all eventualities. Here are five things to add to your off-roading survival list.
A Basic Survival Kit
In a survival scenario, such as getting stranded in the woods with an incapacitated rig, you are your first priority. If you aren’t safe, you can’t get your 4x4 up and running to get yourself home again. A basic survival kit should include:
- A first aid kit
- Extra water
- Non-perishable food
- A flashlight and batteries
- A whistle
- Extra medication
- Blankets and a rain-poncho
It might seem like overkill to pack this much for a day outing, but remember: no one goes out expecting to end up stranded. Just keep a pack with this gear in your 4x4 at all times, and you’ll always be ready.
The most likely emergency situation you’ll run into when you’re off-roading will involve getting your vehicle stuck. That’s why investing in recovery equipment is essential when you’re modifying your vehicle for off-roading.
Along with 4WD winches, be sure you have a land anchor, recovery straps, and tree-saving straps. You can’t foresee how or where you’ll get stuck, so you’ll have to prepare for several different recovery scenarios.
A Jump Box
If your battery dies in the wilderness, there may not be anyone around to help jump-start your car. That leaves you without the ability to drive, without light, and—most significantly—without heat or cool air.
Lugging a 40-pound jump box with you everywhere you go isn’t exactly convenient, but it can be a lifesaver if you’re stuck. And if your car’s battery allows, you can always rely on a lighter pocket jump-starter.
A Tool Kit
Sometimes, the issue is a little more complicated than a dead battery. And it’s not exactly easy to get a tow truck out into the wilderness. For those scenarios, you should be ready to make simple repairs with a kit containing a few basic tools, such as:
- A socket set
- Allen wrenches
- Different-sized screwdrivers
- A knife
- Work gloves
Additionally, make sure you have a tire patch kit for the unlikely event that you run into an obstacle your heavy-duty off-road tires can’t handle.
One of the best things to add to your off-roading survival list isn’t a thing; it’s a person. If your 4x4 gets stuck, another person in their own vehicle can help you recover it. If you get hurt, they can help keep you safe while you figure out how to get help. That way, you can both get out of harm’s way more quickly, increasing your chances of survival.