2012 Jeep Wrangler: How To Not Be Prepared
August 08, 2012
"So have you actually used a winch before?"
"Hey, do you have a portable air compressor we can take? Mine's broken."
"Dang, my water bag is leaking."
"Crap, I forgot the wrenches for the stabilizer bar disconnect."
These are a few quotes from my off-road trip in the Jeep last week. While I knew I wasn't driving a particularly hard trail, it was also obvious that I wasn't as prepared as I should be. My friend and I brought extra food and water and some basic camping gear, but we didn't have any extra tools or equipment.
I suppose this was mostly because I'm not a true off-roader guy; I just get to pretend while I drive our long-term Jeep for a couple weeks.
After the trip, I did some research about the things off-roaders typically bring along. A selective list of gear follows. Feel free to chime in with other suggestions.
Trail jack. This is the big jack that's very common for off-roading. The Hi-Lift brand is pretty popular. It's impressively versatile and can be used for jacking and lifting a vehicle as well as winching.
Tools. You can't bring everything, but the essentials are worthwhile.
Spare parts for your vehicle. Typically the stuff that breaks, like axleshafts, tie-rod ends and U-joints. Extra fuses, hoses and clamps are also a good idea.
Rain gear/overnight camping gear. For when you're really stuck and have to stay longer than expected.
Extra food and water. Same as the reason for rain and camping gear.
Flashlight. A headlamp will allow you to work with both hands.
Gloves. For when you need to make repairs.
Recovery kit. To assist with winching. Snatch block, tree trunk protector, shackles.
Pull-Pal. Used as an anchor point for winching when nothing else is available.
First Aid kit
Tire plug kit
Bailing wire, duct tape, zip ties
Extra fluids (oil, brake, etc)
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor