• Steven E. Overmyer

What to Pack Before You Hit the Trails

When offroading, the smartest thing you can do is expect the unexpected. A simple inconvenience like a break down or getting stuck can become disastrous if you don’t have the basic tools to help yourself. Before you hit the offroad park for your next adventure, take the time to ensure that you have all of the following items for a worry-free ride.

The basics

At the bare minimum, you should include these items when packing for the trails. You’ll want to bring along a jump starter, a tire repair kit, tow ropes and straps, a tree saver, a spare key, and a flashlight with extra batteries. If your vehicle doesn’t have a winch, bring a come-along or a hi-lift jack. You should also include basic tool and first aid kits, which we’ll discuss in more detail later.

Spare parts

You don’t want to weigh down your vehicle with unnecessary items, but you do want to bring along spares of anything that could leave you stranded if it gives out. Of course, a spare tire (not a donut), tire iron, and hi-lift jack should be included. Make sure you also have extra oil and an oil filter, air and fuel filters, belts, brake lines, fuses, hoses and hose clamps, U-joints, spark plugs, and wiper blades. Even if you’re at an offroad park with a service department, having these spare parts can get you there if you’re out on the trail.

First aid kit

Getting hurt may not be on your off-roading agenda, but in any case, you should be prepared for the worst. Before packing your first aid kit, double-check for the following: alcohol swabs, Band-Aids of various sizes, antiseptic ointment, gauze, burn gel, snake bite gel, cold and hot packs, hand sanitizer, and adhesive tape. If you have to make a call to Poison Control, you’ll want to have activated charcoal and syrup of ipecac on hand as well.

Basic tool kit

Before you hit the trails, throw together a kit filled with these basic tools; they’ll be sure to come in handy at some point during your ride. Most of what to pack is common sense: a variety of wrenches, sockets, ratchets, pliers, wire cutters, and screwdrivers. A large pry bar, mallet, knife, and some axle hub sockets will probably be put to good use as well. These are just a few basics, but feel free to pack more as you see fit; you can never be over-prepared.

Survival gear

The last thing you probably expect is to get stranded in nature’s backyard, but it’s best to be prepared if you find yourself in the worst case scenario. A few basic survival items can make all of the difference when you’re waiting for help. For starters, bring along non-perishable food and plenty of water. Other essentials include a blanket, map, compass, GPS, flares, matches, and a cell phone or CB radio. Sunscreen, bug spray, and a fire starter may also come in handy. A little toilet paper couldn’t hurt, too - if you wind up needing it, you’ll be glad you brought it.

At this point, you may be thinking that it takes a lot of time and space to pack all of the mentioned items, but you’ll be cursing yourself if you wind up stuck on the trails with no way to help yourself. If you left some of the basics at home, don’t worry - Outdoor Powersports' Offroad Park at Crossbar Ranch has a feed store complete with all of the necessities, as well as ATV rentals for your next off roading adventure.

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