Off-roading is a thrilling adventure for a lot of people. It’s a pastime that gives people a place where they can blow off steam and let loose in the great outdoors. If you are new to the world of offroading, you are probably looking at all the tools and accessories you should have to make sure your next mudding or crawling adventure goes off without a hitch.
While this list might seem a bit overwhelming, it contains several items of great importance to your time on the trails. The majority of the list is made up of items that will help with any mechanical or other hazardous situations that you may encounter out in the wilderness.
In this article, we’ve narrowed down 7 accessories or tools you should have for your offroad vehicle.
7 Tools & Accessories You Must Have for Your Off-road Vehicle
1. Tire Deflators
Whether you are a new or seasoned off-roader, you probably have already heard that deflating your tires a bit gives your vehicle better traction and helps you to get out of sticky situations that may arise.
Just lowering your tire pressure by 20-30% from the average street pressure gives you up to 250% more traction when it comes to soft surfaces. This will allow your vehicle to easily glide over mud, snow, soft sand, and even rocks.
Of course, if you do not have a tire deflator, trying to take the air out of your tire can take a long time. The easiest and most consistent thing to do is have an automatic tire deflator on hand for this task.
2. Recovery Kit
Another must-have offroad item is a recovery kit. Why is a recovery kit so crucial? When offroading, you will occasionally find yourself getting stuck, so you will need a recovery kit to help get you unstuck in these situations. A recovery kit will give you all the tools you need to do just that. It’s an essential piece of the offroading lifestyle.
Your recovery kit should contain a recovery strap — sometimes called snatch straps. More specifically, a 20,000 lb. rated strap as this is the ultimate breaking strength. Your strap should have loops sewn into the ends instead of metal hooks. Recovery straps are different from regular towing straps. Recovery straps are at least 2 inches and available in 20 and 30 ft. lengths. Ideally, you want one of each size, but buying just 1 to start to add to your recovery kit is sufficient.
While some off-road vehicles do come with a winch (or the owner has put one on), most don’t. If you get stuck, you’ll have to rely on another vehicle to get you out. To do that, you will need a snatch strap with the minimum breaking point being 3 to 4 times the weight of the off-road vehicle you intend to use it with.
Snatch straps are made from nylon and are intended to stretch to reduce the loads on your vehicle’s recovery points. Three-and-a-quarter-ton shackles are used for connecting one end of the snatch strap to each vehicle.
3. Portable Air Compressor
A portable air compressor goes hand in hand with a tire deflator. If you lower your tire pressure when you’re out on the trails, you’ll need to be able to fill them back up before you drive home.
There are many options out there for portable air compressors — some will fit in a small bag, while others can be attached to your vehicle permanently. Whichever you choose, stay clear of the ones that need a cigarette lighter to operate — they take too long. You should consider one in a waterproof case to keep it protected from the elements — in or out of use.
4. Hi-Lift Jacks
If you ask any offroad store what off-road gear you must have, they will always recommend picking up a hi-lift jack. These jacks are very versatile, but they can be dangerous if you do not know what you are doing.
Hi-lift jacks will help you change your tires and do other repairs to your vehicle while you are out there on the trail. These are perfect for emergency pit stops out in the dirt and sand, unlike some other jacks that wouldn’t be able to support your vehicle’s weight or ride height.
There is one drawback to hi-lift jacks — the lifting point (the nose) is flat and straight, which becomes a problem for cured or rounded bumpers. Adapters exist that will work to get around this problem, however, so make sure you have all the tools you need to finish the job right..
5. Jump Starter
Unless you are someone who is constantly checking the charge, it can be difficult to tell when your vehicle’s battery is going to need a replacement. If you’re plugging in many gadgets — like deflators, air compressors, GPS systems, and your cell phone — you’re only increasing the likelihood of draining your battery.
Jump starters are one of those pieces of equipment that can be overlooked when it’s not something you are used to thinking about. Having a jump starter will allow you to jump-start your vehicle without the need for another vehicle. You will not need someone else to give you a jump, which is crucial when you are out on the trail solo.
6. Work Gloves
Do not forget to pick up some work gloves! Working on your off-road vehicle while on the trails can be challenging work and rough on the hands. Digging up mud, clearing gravel or sand, or doing any type of maintenance on the underside of your vehicle can take its toll on your hands. Having a pair of work gloves will keep your hands protected and allow you to maintain the grip on tools when you are using them, even when oil and sand are involved. Plus, it’ll keep your hands clean so you don’t track grime into your truck..
7. Quality GPS
One thing you should always have when off-roading is a quality GPS. Knowing where you are and where you are going is extremely important when going off-road, and unfortunately, using a paper map isn’t going to cut it. You could use the CPS system found on your cell phone, but then you’re running the risk of draining your battery quicker than you would like – a dangerous proposition if you ever end up stranded.
The quality of GPS systems is better today than ever — especially when it comes to offroading. These days you can find systems that display the main trail and any smaller trails within the area that don’t always show up on a basic mapping system.
Take Your Off-Roading to the Next Level
Whether you’re new to off-roading or an experienced mudder, Mach1 Motorsports has the knowledge to supply you with aftermarket parts and the latest diagnostics equipment. We are focused on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction, meeting and exceeding your expectations.
Customer service is job number one for us. We promise to be honest and not push you to purchase something you don’t need. We want you to tell your friends about us and come back whenever you need parts, service, or diagnostics.
We will keep your off-road vehicle running like new and ensure that it is repaired correctly so you never get stuck out on the trail. Contact us today to learn what we can do to help you get out on the trails, enjoying the fresh air and challenge of mudding, climbing, or just taking a trail ride.