Offroad Essentials: 10 Items Every Offroader Should Consider Carrying
Offroading is a great
activity for the motorsports enthusiasts' family to get away from
the hustle and busy of daily life and enjoy some outdoor
adventures. However, no matter if you're a family who prefers
two-wheeled fun or likes to pack together in the family wagon, AKA
UTV, there are some essentials that every offroader should
consider packing along. Below is a list of 10 items that can come
in very handy and possibly save a disastrous off road trip and
possibly save someone's life. Most of the items on this list are
applicable to all types of vehicles (dirt bike/ATV/UTV) while a
couple may be vehicle specific, depending on your year/make/model
1) Backpack/Hydration Pack
While most UTVs and even some
ATVs have some room/space for storage, the space is often very
small, limiting the amount of stuff you can carry. A backpack,
especially one with a [mageProductLink sku="261-4012-000-000"
title=""]hydration pack[/mageProductLink], should be the first item
on anyone's offroad essentials list. Starting with a good backpack
will provide a way to carry all the items on this list in one
convenient and easy to use/get to location. A backpack is
especially useful on those rare occasions when you have to abandon
your vehicle and trek back to camp. The addition of a hydration
bladder means that if you get stranded somewhere you'll have
water/fluid on hand to help keep your hydrated.
2) First Aid Kit
A basic first aid kit
could be a life saver. You can buy kits already assembled like the
[mageProductLink sku="049-451-2112f" title=""]2 Gallon First Aid
Pack[/mageProductLink] offered by Rotopax which comes with
everything from knuckle bandages to insect sting relief pads, and
can be secured to almost any vehicle via the Rotopax mount system. But if
you want to keep it light and build your own kit a few key items to
pack along are: bandages of assorted sizes, a roll of gauze,
antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone, aspirin, and
3) Tow Strap
A tow strap can come in very
handy for dislodging an ATV from a mud pit, pulling a UTV out of a
ditch, or towing a broke down dirt bike back to camp for repairs.
Available in various lengths and breaking strengths there are
plenty of options when choosing a tow strap. If you're going to be
riding motorcycles then something like the [mageProductLink
sku="334-0001" title=""]MSR Pro Tow Strap[/mageProductLink] is
perfectly fine with its 1,500 pound capacity. However, if you're
going to be running around on heavier machines then something like
the [mageProductLink sku="315-6652" title=""]Quad Boss Heavy Duty
2" Tow Strap[/mageProductLink] would be more useful with its 2,500
pound working limit.
4) Cell Phone Charger/Power Supply Device
While you don't have control
over your cell phone reception when out in the back country, what
you do have control over is your phone's battery. Nothing is worse
than being stranded or in an emergency situation and you phone
doesn't have enough juice to place a call or stay on the line long
enough to explain the situation or give your location. While your
dirt bike might not have a battery that you can hook up a USB power
port/outlet to, carrying around the [mageProductLink sku="321-3003"
title=""]Antigravity Batteries Micro Start XP-3 Personal Power
Supply[/mageProductLink] can get you out of a lot of situations.
Weighing in at only 12 ounces and measuring only 5" L x 2.8" W x 1"
H, this little thing packs quite the punch. Aside from coming with
a 4-into-1 USB charger cable for charging most mobile devices, the
XP-3 also includes a built-in flashlight and, jumper cables to help
jump start just about any vehicle with a 12 volt battery. Even when
you're not offroading, you find planet of reasons to carry the XP-3
around with you to charge or power a wide assortment of
electronics, like a laptop.
5) Tire Repair Kit/Air Compressor/CO2
Chances are at some point in
your adventures either you or someone in your group will end up
with a flat tire. If you ride dirt bikes then carrying a spare tube
is a smart idea. However, if you're going to be riding with a mix
of dirt bikes and ATVs/UTVS, which run tubeless tires, then
[mageProductLink sku="315-1507" title=""]Bikemaster's Tube and Tire
Kit[/mageProductLink] will be more applicable. Offering a mix of
patches for tubes and plugs for tubeless tires the kit comes with
everything you need to get a tire fixed. While the kit does include
individual CO2 canisters for inflating tires, depending on the
size, some tires could require multiple canisters. Therefore the
[mageProductLink sku="353-018117" title=""]Slime Tire Compressor
kit[/mageProductLink] is another option to consider. The mini air
compressor in this kit is small and light enough to easily
fit/carry in a backpack (it measures 6"H x 6"W x 2 1/4"D) and comes
with several accessories like fuse alligator clips, a lighter
adapter, and a direct pre-wire lead, which means you can plug it
into the 12v adapter outlet found on most utility ATVs and UTVs, or
just connect it directly to the battery.
6) Tool Kit/Additional Screwdrivers
Just as important as having a
first aid kit to handle your injuries is packing a tool kit to
handle your vehicle's injuries and ailments. Tools can get heavy
real quick; therefore its best to carry just the bare essentials
that you know will fit with the most common fasteners on your
vehicle. CruzTools offers a
variety of tool kits outfitted with a great assortment of tools.
For dirt bike riders a fender mount tool bag is a smart buy as it
frees up space in your backpack by securing the tools to your
fender. One thing many people often overlook with their tool kit is
dealing with tire repairs. If you have to replace or patch a tube
then you'll need to pull the tire from the rim and that's why it's
important to carry a couple of mini tire irons like the
[mageProductLink sku="334-0490" title=""]Fanny Pack size tire
iron[/mageProductLink] from MSR.
7) Spare Belt
A broken drive
belt on your UTV can leave you dead in the water. While drive
belts are consumable products that need to be replaced over time,
with care and following your owner's manual on how to properly
drive your UTV, the belt will last much longer. But to ensure you
don't get stranded it's not a bad idea to carry a spare belt or
two-you never know when your belt is going to give.
8) Zip Ties/Safety Wire/Duct Tape
Any offroad MacGyver worth his
weight in dirt knows the limitless capabilities of these three
simple items: zip ties, [mageProductLink sku="l200-0201lb"
title=""]safety wire[/mageProductLink], and duct tape. From
securing a broken muffler to taping up a splintered fender, having
these three things in your tool bag can help you get out of a
pretty much any jam. Here's a helpful tip, instead of carrying
around a big roll of duct tape, pull a section of tape off the roll
and wrap it around the shaft of screwdriver. You could even split
the duct tape lengthwise in two strips, that way you'll have plenty
of tape to help you get out of any sticky situations.
9) Clear/Tinted Lenses
If you do find yourself broke
down, depending on the severity of the repair or situation it could
be hours before you're back on the trail, which can mean the loss
of daylight. Nothing is more miserable than riding/driving with
poor visibility. And if you only have tinted goggles or lenses
for daytime riding you could be in for a very long trip back to
camp, squinting as you try to make your way along a poorly lit
trail. Not only is it dangerous to try to operate an offroad
vehicle without proper eye protection, in some states it's illegal.
Having both clear and tinted glasses or goggles will ensure you'll
be able to safely see in all light conditions and will protect your
eyes from flying debris.
10) Spark Plug(s)/Spark Plug Wrench
Spark plugs can foul pretty easily depending on the riding conditions and the type of vehicle you're on. The great thing about spark plugs is that they are compact and carrying two or three extra doesn't require much space. Just be sure you have a [mageProductLink sku="315-0335" title=""]spark plug wrench[/mageProductLink] in your tool kit so you can easily remove and install the plugs.