What To Carry In Your 4×4 and Equipping Your Vehicle Prepared by Rick Russell, Sidekick Off Road, Chino CA

What you should carry and how your vehicle should be equipped when you leave the safety of the pavement to venture into the backcountry will depend on the difficulty of the trip and, of course, how long you intend to stay. Based on many years of experience I have categorized “What to Carry” and “Equipping Your Vehicle” by trail difficulty. There is no need to carry extra axles on a picnic to a frequently visited campground in your local Forest. This is not meant to be a complete list but rather a place for you to start when you develop your own list.

“Easy Difficulty” 4WD TRIPS On “Easy” 4WD trips two-wheel drive is usually acceptable with high ground clearance. Four wheel drive (4WD) makes the trip safer and there will be less tire spinning.

Vehicle Maintenance Check Fan belts Hoses, Engine oil, Transmission oil, Brake fluid, Radiator coolant, Seat belts, Tire air pressure (also check spare), Tire wear - 60% worn or better, Basic 4WD Equipment, Basic tool box, First aid kit, Air pressure gauge, Fire extinguisher, DC air pump, Spare tire, Tire jack, Duct tape, Tow strap, Shovel, Tire sealer inflate, Rags, Flashlight and extra batteries, 40 channel CB (portable type OK), Trash bag Additional Items to consider carrying on Easy 4WD Trips: Binoculars, Bottle opener, Cooler cup, Jacket, hat, Pocket knife, Snacks Trash bag, Water, Extra keys, Compass, Sunglasses and/or goggles, Ice and ice chest or cooler, Camera, case, film and batteries, Maps: Sidekick Off Road Maps, state, county, Forestry, BLM Desert Access Guide, etc.

Snow tire chains (winter), Tune-up items (i.e., points, plugs)

Basic Tool Box: 3/8” drive socket set 3/8”” Crescent wrench - small & medium, Electrical tape, Allen wrenches, Pliers, Standard & Phillips screw drivers, Open end/box wrenches 3/8” to 3/4”

“More Difficult” 4WD TRIPS: On More Difficult Trips 4WD, low air pressure, and some experience driving off road is best. For experienced ATV & motorcycle drivers only.

Additional items to carry on more difficult trails: 40 channel walkie talkie (as spare CB)Hydraulic jack or hi-lift jack, Off highway lights: non-street legal type, Tools, Extra flashlight, Grease, Gloves and hand cleaner, Jumper cables, Tire star wrench, Full size shovel, WD-40 spray, Brake fluid, Power steering fluid, Motor oil, Bungie cords, Extra gas & funnel, Short Cable or chain with hooks on both ends: use to attach to vehicles without hooks or a hitch

Expanded tool box: Spare Parts For Trail Repairs, Bring anything that's broken twice, Electrical wire #16, #10, Lug nuts, Assorted nuts & bolts, Valve stem, Fuel line hose, Radiator hose, Front hub or flange, Spark plugs, Coil/electronic ignition Tire repair kit, Fan belt (water pump), Tie wraps, Electric fuel pump, Fuses, U-joints (drive shaft & axles), Radiator stop leak - silver flakes in tube, Larger special application nuts (i.e., back of transfer case on Jeeps), Extra spark plug wire - 2 of longest

Vehicle Upgrades Tires: upgrade to 31” Adjust air pressure - check with mfgr. - we use: Sand/Dirt: 8-12 lb.; Rocks/Dirt: 15-18 lb. Snow/Mud: depends on tire tread Lift kit only if required for 31” tires Front tow hook Rear hitch or tow hooks Skid plates under transmission/transfer case Rear posi-traction recommended

“Most Difficult” 4WD TRIPS Four wheel drive vehicles with a rear locker is required. In addition a locker or limited slip in the front differential make the drive safer. Low air pressure, roll bar, off highway experience, and a buddy vehicle are important. Plus: “You can never whimper over body damage.” ATVs and motorcycles the “Most Difficult” routes are for experienced ATV & M/C drivers.

Optional hard parts you may consider carrying for “Most Difficult” trails Axles, Alternator, Transfer case, Spindle Bearings, Drive shaft, Spider gears, Ring & pinion, Starter & solenoid, Tie rods & ends

Expanded Tool Box Deep sockets 3/8””” drive set w/smaller socket sizes, Metric sockets 10mm, 12mm (3/8””””, 9/16”, 5/8”, 11/16”, Welding rod & hood Winch Kit: Tree strap, Hi-lift jack, Snatch block, Pickle fork, Shackle, Gloves

Extended Maintenance: Checklist U-joints Brakes Loose bolts or nuts Shocks Grease: Steering/U-joints Gear oils: transfer case/differentials

Additional Vehicle Upgrades for “Most Difficult” trails


off-road_gear.txt · Last modified: 2010/06/16 13:42 (external edit)
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