Off-roading is a great way to explore the unknown. Whether you’re taking on the mountains or prairies, you want to make sure your vehicle can handle the terrain. Having the right equipment can be the difference between a weekend of fun and getting stuck in the middle of nowhere. Here are our must-have recommendations.
Off-Road Wheels & Tires
If you’re new to off-roading, you probably want 37 inch all terrain tires, a standard size that can take on all types of terrain. If you move up in size with your tires, you may need to adjust your axles or transmission so you don’t lose power and efficiency. If you know that you’ll be taking on a wetter terrain, mud tires can be a great investment, but all-terrain tires let you do more and won’t be as noisy on the road.
Lift Kits & Winches
Lift kits are a great way to add clearance to your vehicle. The lift kit Fox includes high-performance shocks that give you a smooth ride on the road and predictability when you’re off-roading. You’re not required to have a winch, but this Smittybilt x20 increases your chance to get out of a tough spot or help a friend.
It might be summer in the valley, but as you move up in altitude, the weather can change. You may even want winter survival gear in some areas where you are off-road. At the very least, include good gloves, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and goggles when you are off-road. This can prevent injury to your eyes and limbs from debris or other hazards.
When you’re off-roading, you may need to make emergency repairs, so keep a few tools in your vehicle that can help you back to the fun. Build a tool kit that fits your vehicle. Don’t rely on a standard roadside assistance kit. Make sure your spare tire is in good working condition each time you go out. And if you get too far from your campsite, you’ll want to make sure to have water and energy bars in case you do get stuck. Add an extra phone charger or CB radio, just in case. Flashlights, with working batteries, are another must-have when you’re off-roading.
The gear in and on your vehicle is important, but it’s also important to know where you’re off-roading and to learn the rules where you’re going. Some public lands have noise limits and public safety rules. You may even need a permit to off-road in some areas. Be polite when you’re off-roading. You aren’t the only person who may be using the routes. You should be aware of your environmental footprint. Erosion can be a concern in some areas. The natural flora doesn’t regrow overnight. Know how to communicate your intentions with other vehicles or persons who you are traveling with or come across. You may also want to let someone at home know where you’re going. If you don’t check in, they can send help.
Enjoy off-roading when you’re prepared with the right equipment and mindset.