Offroading can be the best or worst experience of your life depending on how prepared you are. You should always travel in a minimum group of two and let friends and/or family know where you're heading and about what time you "expect" to return ;o)

The Basics

These items are good to have in the vehicle at all times and should be the basic minimal requirements.

CB Radio
First Aid Kit (See Safety and Survival below)
Gloves & Old Clothes/Jacket
Basic Personal Essentials (water, food)
Spare Tire, Full Size
Jack/Hi-Lift and tire iron to change your tire
Shovel/Axe/Pick (Combo units available)
Tow straps
Tow Hook (front minimum)
Tree saver
Come-alongs or Winch (optional)
Basic Tool Kit (incl. Spare Fuses, u-Joints, etc...)
Spare Fluids (oil, transmission, gear)
Spare Key for vehicle

Maintenance Checklist

I recommend completing this checklist prior to any offroad excursion and make it a ritual... heckĀ  print off and check this off if you have to but remember to do it or it could cost you $$ and/or leave you stranded ;o)

  • Check engine oil
  • Check transmission oil
  • Check brake fluid
  • Check radiator coolant
  • Check windshield wiper fluid
  • Check fan belts
  • Check hoses
  • Check air cleaner
  • Check seat belts
  • Check tire air pressure (air up to recommended pressure for highway driving, air down at trail head, air up prior to trip home)
  • Check for tire wear or damage
  • Tighten drive shaft u-bolts
  • Check and tighten lug bolts
  • Check for frame cracks
  • Check brake pads & shoes (adequate braking pad material, in good condition and without contamination)
  • Check for loose bolts or nuts throughout vehicle
  • Grease all fittings (u-joints, steering)
  • Check gear oils: transfer case/differentials, replace if necessary
  • Check Winch for proper operation, check winch cable for kinks, frays or damage, straighten winch cable if necessary
  • Check shocks

Most important... pack a camera and good attitude cause you're going to escape the daily grind and have some FUN!!