by Gerald Jarrett

This list is prepared for the purpose of educating oneself on the items needed to be carried onboard in order to confidently enjoy a fourwheeling adventure with your vehicle (the purpose, after all, is to have fun!).
This information represents the collective opinion and consensus of our members, some of whom have many years of fourwheeling experience. If you are new to the sport, welcome! By paying attention to these suggestions your first trip (as well as all those thereafter) will be the exciting experience it is meant to be. This sport is seriously fun and an enjoyable experience as long as you adhere to a few basic, easy, common sense concerns. Happy Trails!
  Initial Presumptions: All of what follows is based on the assumption of a few basic facts. Make sure you and your vehicle meet these three criteria:  A) Your vehicle is in sound mechanical condition: good brakes, tires, belts & hoses, fluid levels, full tank of gas, etc.  B) This is not a sport for hermits. NEVER wheel alone. The sole exception is if you are very familiar with the trail you are on, have run it at least twice before, and are positively sure your vehicle can negotiate the terrain.  C) Contain and strap down anything that will hurt if it hits you. For the same reason that you use a seatbelt even though you do not plan an accident, while offroading you prevent possible injury by containing equipment. As you read the following information, keep in mind that supplies must be contained in some fashion that will prevent bodily injury during rough bouncing, extreme maneuvers and/or vehicle attitudes. If you have never been out yet, trust everyone here that you will be absolutely amazed at what your stock vehicle can do. Trust me. Trust us. Trust the J**pers who stand amazed and dumbfounded after they watch us show'em up on the trail. There may (will) come a time when you're near vertical either up or down -yes, even in your stock 4wd Explorer!- and you do not want unopened Coke cans, tools, and other metal objects impaling your cranium. There are many options. Go to an Army/Navy store or Farm/Ranch supply to get a large old 81mm military shell box to load your trail stuff in, then strap it down to the rear cargo area hooks we have on our vehicles. Or find your own solution. Use real straps, not bungee cords.
The items on this list are not optional. Do not even think of showing up for a run unless you have all of them. If you do, don't follow me. Go find another group. This bare-bones list assumes you are in a group and in case of an emergency you will still have access to the other "Necessary Items" (from the next list) through another group member.

* Water, 1 gallon per person per day minimum, 2 gallon minimum in summer.
* Personal supplies for at least twice the time you plan on being out: If you are going on a morning trip, pack a lunch and trail snacks, beef jerky, fruits, dry/canned food, etc. If you are going on an afternoon or all day trip, assume you may spend the night in the vehicle and pack accordingly: medications, flashlight, batteries, matches/lighter, and blankets & gear appropriate to the environment, area, and season.
* CB
* Fire Extinguisher
* First Aid Kit, ID card, with emergency phone number contact info and medication allergy information.
* Spare Key kept on your person
* Towstrap, at least 20', bare with no metal hooks/brackets attached
* Full Size Spare, lug wrench
* Standard Bottle Jack with 12" square wooden platform for use in soft ground
* Basic Tool Kit
* Fix-A-Flat and/or Tire Plug kit and air compressor (12 volt plug-in or other)
* Trash bag, for your own as well as other's trash
* Towpoints front and rear, frame mounted
Many of our newer vehicles have no good place to attach a towpoint in front. In an emergency a 20' towstrap can be looped through itself around the front crossmember. If this is your situation get a 20' towstrap, not a 30' one. The 30' straps are too thick to go around the top of the crossmember. A "hidden hitch" style receiver with the hitch pin inserted can be utilized as a rear towpoint.

This is the shopping list you really need to fill in order to be properly prepared. You should endeavor to attain these supplies as soon as possible. In a group outing all of these items should be available through one or another vehicle in the group.
* Cellphone
* HiLift Jack
* Work Gloves, Shop Towels
* Hand winch device such as a come along (the HiLift Jack can also be used as a winch)
* Tow and winch supplies: "D"ring/clevis, snatch block (pulley), blanket or heavy towel to lay on the cable while winching
* Extra fluids: oil, transmission fluid, etc.
Complete tool kit including but not limited to:
Socket set with extensions
Crescent wrench
Screwdrivers, std & Philips head
Wire cutters
Baling / safety wire
Pliers: std, needlenose, channel lock
Duct tape
JB Weld
Electrical tape & spare connectors
Utility knife
Hacksaw with spare blade
Jumper Cables
Super Glue/Quickdrying Epoxy
Tank sealant putty
Bungee cords
Shovel, std or military foldup
Axe, at least hand axe/hatchet
Assorted Spare fasteners, nuts, bolts, pop rivets, etc
Spare Parts such as belts, hoses, radiator stop-leak, etc
Map and Compass if you are new or unfamiliar to the area

None of the following items are necessary to get you back home. However, we have large vehicles with plenty of space and there is no reason not to pack a duffel or (soft!) travel bag with these items. If (when) you end up needing any one of these items you will be very happy you brought them all along.
* Work coveralls, cap, golashes/rubber overboots , and plastic tarp to lay on
* Hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes (if you are not already wearing them)
* Toilet paper, Paper Towels, Waterless hand scrub and/or Wet Wipes
* Sunscreen, Insect Repellent
* Change of Clothes
* Camera
* Also a cooler with latching top and handles to use as strap point

These are the fun toys that make wheelin' more enjoyable. Some are expensive, some are not. Some require training. Some you may already have. Get them if you can.
* Camping gear: tent, stove, water purification tablets, etc
* Winch and full winch supply kit
* Onboard air compressor such as ARB or QuickAir
* Externally mounted Jerry Can for fuel
* 12 volt and battery powered portable tools: Impact wrench, drill, spotlight
* Ham radio (license required to operate)
* Onboard welder
* Camcorder
Have a safe and enjoyable experience. See you Off The Road!