What Items Should You Carry on the Trail

What Items Should You Carry on the Trail

Most people are aware that there are some essential items that should be kept in a vehicle…a cell phone and a spare tire come to mind. There are however several other items which while they may not be required, could come in helpful in an emergency. This article will highlight some of those specific items.

Safety and Survival Items

Be prepared for any situation by keeping these basic items in your vehicle. Best of all is that you probably already have most, if not all of them. These essential items will let you take care of basic needs and keep you safe no matter the situation.

    1. First Aid Kit, Setup for treatment of scrapes, cuts, burns, bites, eye injuries, major wounds, sprains.
    2. 2 gallons of drinking water for every full day expected on the trail.
    3. Emergency thermal waterproof blanket.
    4. Fire Extinguisher with a Multi-Class rating or A, B, and C rating. Halon is outlawed for sale, known to deplete ozone.
    5. 2 Lighters and waterproof matches, all stored in a waterproof container.
    6. Warm Jacket, warm change of clothes for each person.
    7. 2 Flashlights, one for back up is a good idea even if you carry extra batteries, bulbs and switches go bad too.
    8. Road flares, cheap signaling devices, just don’t light the forest on fire by the burning dripping material.
    9. Tarp, a cheap easy weather cover for your vehicle or yourself. Comes in handy to work under the vehicle too.
    10. Energy or Power Bars, put half a dozen or so in a plastic bag, throw them in your vehicle and forget about them. You could live off 1 or 2 a day with water if you had to.
    11. Compass, Map, or GPS/Mapping GPS
    12. CB Radio, you would be surprised by the range you can get from a high location with a decent CB Radio for off-road.
    13. Multi-purpose Knife

Trail Aids

  1. Pull-along or vehicle winch, I strongly recommend picking one of the Best Winch for 4×4 but if you’re on a budget the Pull-along could save the day.
  2. Second Vehicle and a Buddy, Never attempt a trail alone unless your Superman and can pick up your vehicle after you are pinned under it and fly to the hospital.
  3. Kinetic recovery rope or chain, I recommend a strap, chains long enough to be useful are very heavy to haul in your vehicle. Use a strap rated 4 times your vehicle GVW and a minimum of 30 feet long.
  4. Axe or Chainsaw for clearing blocked trail only. You need a permit to cut wood in a National Forest.
  5. Shovel, you may find it necessary to caress Mother Natures’ skin to free your vehicle. Also provides a substitute for flushing if you get my meaning.
  6. Hand tools, know what common tools are needed on your vehicle, and metric or standard.
  7. Traction is everything for the off-road, but it’s not easy to find traction these days. Thankfully, traction boards are here!
  8. Hi-Lift Jack, factory jack won’t do jack when you’re twisted up crawling through rocks and pop a bead. Can be used as a winch also, read the directions that came with your Hi-Lift.
  9. Full-size spare tire, don’t even think of using a spare more than two smaller ones unless you enjoy overhauling axles and transfer cases. Tire plug kit, spray can of ether do blow tire beads on, seek experience to do so, or pick portable tire inflator for off-road tires.
  10. Jumper Cables, 12 gauge electrical wire, mechanics wire, electrical tape, nylon zip ties, misc. hose clamps and of course duct tape.
  11. 2qts engine oil, 2qts gear oil, 2qts automatic transmission fluid if you have automatic, 1-pint brake fluid.
  12. Spray lubricate, Spray brake cleaner, works great for drying inside of wet distributor. Aluma-seal, a tube silicone.
  13. Belt(s) and hoses misc nuts, bolts, and other possible useful hardware.

Be prepared for any situation by keeping these basic items in your vehicle. Best of all is that you probably already have most, if not all of them. These essential items will let you take care of basic needs and keep you safe no matter the situation.

About the author

Matthew Brodie

Hi there! This blog was created to share my off-roading, gear-related knowledge with those interested in the field. I’ve worked as mechanic for years and have been a devoted off-roader for as long. Now, I’ve decided to combine the two and share my experience with passionate audience. I do not claim to know it all – but when something new hits the surface, I will be on it to research its ups and downs. Call me an off-roading nerd if you like, and as long as you can find something useful in here – you are heartedly welcome!

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