How to Prepare Your Jeep for Off-Road Adventures
Owning a Jeep means having the ability to go almost anywhere. With tried and tested off-road capabilities, you are under no obligation to stay on the well-worn path. Going off-road does require you to take a few more things into account. When you are out in the backcountry there are no tow trucks and no convenience stores. Here are four items that you need to bring on your next off-road adventure.
This simple item can come in handy in a number of instances. Whether it is stacking rocks to get over the next obstacle or digging out of a sandpit, you’ll want a shovel that can move material efficiently. If you have a roof rack on your Jeep look for a shovel with a fiberglass shaft to withstand the elements. For those of you carrying your shovel inside the vehicle, go for a folding or collapsing shovel that takes up less room in your kit. In either case, your off-road shovel should have pointed blade, which makes it much easier to move material.
Air Pressure Gauge
Nothing changes the ride characteristics of your Jeep like changing the tire pressure. When driving on the road, it makes sense to have the tires aired up to manufacturer recommendations, but on the trail, you’ll want to drop the pressure. Lower tire pressure aids the suspension to give a more compliant ride and provides more traction in slippery conditions. Look for a gauge that allows you to remove pressure while still having the gauge attached. When airing down your tires, feel free to experiment. Start by letting out five psi and see how that feels. In really tough situations, such as deep sand, you may end up with as little as 10 psi in your tires.
First Aid Kit
Every vehicle that is going off-road should have a first aid kit on board. While off-roading you’ll be out of the vehicle scouting the route and there is a higher chance of injury or interaction with poisonous insects and plants. Your first aid kit should contain wound care supplies (gauze, alcohol wipes, bandages), allergy medication, and pain management medication. Be aware that medications go bad over time, so check all expiration dates before your trip. Also, if you use something out of the first aid kit, replace it as soon as you get home. Don’t think you will remember the next time you take out the kit.
You should always be off-roading with another vehicle and a prime reason for this is vehicle recovery. If you or your companions get stuck on an obstacle, the recovery kit will help get them unstuck. A basic recovery kit should contain a nylon tow strap, D shackles for attaching to the vehicle, and a good pair of leather gloves. This kit won’t get you out of every situation, but not having it on board could result in a very long walk.
Off-roading is an exciting adventure but there are a few more risks than driving on the highway. With the right gear, preparation and experience, you can discover a whole new world behind the wheel of your Jeep.