Take These With You When Off Roading
Actually these tools are not just the right choice when off roading, but if it starts to snow or rain you should have some tools with you just in case you could be stuck in the mud, snow or sand. These tools are the right choice to help you get out of being stuck where your tires are spinning and you aren’t going anywhere. Whether you find it corny or a good idea, the Boy Scout Motto of “Be Prepared” is something you should adhere to when you head out, especially in foul weather or if heading to a location to enjoy some off roading experiences.
Shovel – While you might think we would start you off with some fancy item, one of the most important items you can have in your vehicle in case you get stuck is a shovel. This item can dig and scoop so that you can get your wheels turning again or you can free up an area of the vehicle to head up over an incline or decline. While you could use your hands, it will be much easier to get dug out if you have shovel in your vehicle. You can even cut down the handle so it fits in your car easily or have one that is foldable.
Carpet, Cardboard or Wood – While this sounds simple and not like a real tool, these items go hand in hand with the shovel. Once you remove the sand or mud away from the driving tires you can put the carpet, cardboard or wood in front of the tire and it will be able to gain the traction needed to get you out of a sticky situation. If you did forget these things some branches can do the trick as well and remember to ease on your accelerator so you tire has some grip to get out of the mud and muck.
Maxtrax MKII – These are molded plastic tracks that can do a much better job than the wood, cardboard or carpet could at all. This item is perfect for getting you out of any stuck situation and if you do a lot of off roading you should seriously consider using this item instead of the scraps mentioned in the previous paragraph. The end of the Maxtrax can even be used as a shovel if need to be the right tool for the job of getting you out.
Hi-Lift Jack – This is a necessity for the off road enthusiast, especially one who has taken the time and money to lift their ride up and put it on a larger set of wheels. The factory provided jack will not get the job done for you and a hi-lift jack will do the job when you set it on a piece of cardboard or on the Maxtrax. This type of jack is good for lifting a stuck tire or as a come along winch when needed to be and offers you a variety of uses including lifting your tire so it can be changed when you run over an obstacle that punctures the tire.
Tow Strap – This is an extremely important tool, especially if you are off roading with others in your group. This strap can be used by one of you to free the other from a mud bog or a snow drift. It’s important to have the right tow strap so make sure yours have tow hooks and is rated for at least 10,000 pounds otherwise it may be inadequate to complete the job of freeing you from a bank of snow or the mud bog you tried to cross.
Winch – There are times you may head out on your own to do some off roading, even though it’s not advisable, but if you do, or you take a friend and you are the only vehicle on the trails you will find that a winch can be a lifesaver to make sure you can get your vehicle out of the mud. It’s a good idea to make sure you buy a winch that is rated to be at least thirty percent higher than the weight of your vehicle to ensure you will have one strong enough to pull you out of the mud or snow.
Snow Chains – If it’s snowing or the forecast calls for snow it’s a good idea to put these on before you need them. The snow chains sold today are more like cables than chains and can be quickly installed to make sure you have the grip you need with the road gets slick with snow or ice. You will want to wear some gloves when installing the chains, but once you have them on you can drive on the snow covered roads with some form of confidence in your vehicle.