The challenge we all face is how to bring everything you need given the amount of room you have in your vehicle, assuming that's what you're using on the trail. We have a few tips to get you started, but you should customize this list as you see fit.
The most important things you can bring are things that keep you safe. You shouldn't be thirsty or hungry, and you should be prepared to either walk out or sleep on the trail if you break down and don't have a friend to drive you out. Here are some things to consider.
- Enough water for everyone in the vehicle for the entire day, plus a bit more for emergencies
- Enough food for the entire day, plus a bit more for emergencies
- First aid kit
- Bug spray
- Lip balm
- Shoes you could walk in all day
- GPS unit with your trails preloaded
- Extra gas if you're going somewhere remote or on a long trail, and a way to pour it or siphon it to your gas tank
Some things make it easier to take your vehicle offroad, and the more modifications you have the more you have to bring. Bringing another person as a spotter or another vehicle and driver are probably the best things you can do.
- If you have a winch, also bring the remote, gloves, D-rings, a snatch block, and tree strap
- If you don't have a winch, bring a Hi-Lift Jack and winching kit so you can use it as a winch
- Air down your tires for a smoother ride and better performance in rocks, and a way to air up when you're done (experiment with the PSI you use, but be careful not to air down too far)
It would be best to bring an extra part to completely rebuild anything that went wrong with your vehicle, but that's not possible. You can only bring the essentials, and that's different for each vehicle.
- Full-sized spare tire
- Jack that is big enough to allow you to change a tire (Hi-Lift Jack or something else)
- Locking lug nuts key
- Quart of oil
- Power steering fluid
- Duct tape
- Self-fusing silicone tape
- Bailing wire
- Ratchet straps
- Zip ties
- Wire connectors and electrical tape
- Spare axle shafts
- Things you need to clean out your differential and change an axle shaft
- Spare key
Bottom line, you want you and your passengers to have a good time on the trail. Bring the comforts of home and camping out on the trail.
- Camp chairs for everyone
- Stool to use when you need to sit low to the ground, or to use as a foot stool
- Hand wipes
- Small canopy or sun shade
- Carrier for a water bottle if you decide to go on a short hike
- Snacks (these will get all over the seats and floor of your vehicle, so choose wisely)
- Good cooler that will keep drinks and food cold all day (or spring for a fridge in your vehicle for the ultimate comfort)
- Extra clothes and shoes for everyone (you wouldn't be the first one to slip and fall in a mud puddle)
- Light jackets and heavier jackets for everyone, in case you're out well after dark when it can get cold
Lastly, bring a camera that will take photos as well as videos so you can record the fun you had.