Expect the unexpected and be prepared for it.
The following Suggested “ 4WD Tour Equipment & Spares ” is a guide and you are not required to carry all equipment or spares listed. This is provided as a reference to support your pre-trip preparation and for your information to expect the unexpected and be prepared for it.
Efficient use of load space makes all the difference on tours. The speed at which a vehicle can be unpacked and repacked, the ease of finding equipment and having everything in its rightful place is one of the pleasures of off-road adventuring.
Large containers required to hold vehicle spares, tools, lighting, general camping equipment, food and kitchen equipment should be designed to do the job so that camping does not become a chore. For example, a single box containing kitchenware and food will be too awkward to pack and too heavy to load. A series of smaller containers are more practical and, if designed to fit efficiently onto a vehicle, while remaining accessible, can remain in the vehicle for the entire tour.
- Travelling into remote areas, always travel in groups of 2 or more vehicles
- Have the right communications to suit the areas you are traveling (HF radios or Satphone). Always alert someone on you travel itinerary, where you are going and when you expect to return
- Take a first aid kit, tools and recovery equipment to suit the area and the terrain. (see The Basic, Minimal Offroad Checklist)
Pre-departure Maintenance Checklist
- Check engine oil
- Check transmission oil
- Check brake fluid
- Check radiator coolant
- Check windshield wiper fluid
- Check fan belts
- Check hoses
- Check air cleaner
- Check seat belts
- Check tyre pressure (air up to recommended pressure for highway driving, air down to suit the terrain, air up prior to trip home)
- Check for tyre wear or damage
- Tighten drive shaft u-bolts
- Check and tighten lug bolts
- Check for frame cracks
- Check brake pads & shoes (adequate braking pad material, in good condition and without contamination)
- Check for loose bolts or nuts throughout vehicle
- Grease all fittings (u-joints, steering)
- Check gear oils: transfer case/differentials, replace if necessary
- Check Winch for proper operation, check winch cable for kinks, frays or damage, straighten winch cable if necessary
- Check equipment and supplies
Basic Personal Essentials
- Water – At least 2-6 lts per person, per day if not more. Drier, hotter climates may require more. Remember: alcohol doesn’t hydrate. In fact alcoholic beverages dehydrate since it takes more water to metabolize alcohol than the beverage contains.
- Food – Bring food for twice the amount of time you are planning on being away.
- Extra Cloths – Nobody likes to sit in wet cloths for an extended period of time.
- Personal items – This includes toilet paper, anti- microbial hand cleaner, etc
- Sun block
- Wet weather jacket
- Communication devices – Cell Phone, UHF Radio, HF radios, Satphones.
- Power inverter if necessary (e.g. Cell phone recharger, battery recharger for communication devices and camera)
- Rubbish bags,
- Maps, information about the area,
- Compass or GPS,
- Water purification tablets.
Survival – Seasonal Specific
- Extra clothing
- Warm outer layers (jacket, wind breaker)
- Head gear (warm hat, hooded jacket)
- Emergency blanket (compact survival type)
- Sun Block
- Insect repellant
The Basic, Minimal Offroad Checklist
The minimal list is the basics that you should always carry in your vehicle when traveling offroad. These items are good to have in the vehicle at all times.
- First Aid Kit (See Safety and Survival below),
- Communications (UHF, HF and Satphone),
- Basic Personal Essentials (water, food)
- Spare Tyre, workable tyre changing equipment,
- Tow strap,
- Recovery equipment (at a minimum snatch strap or maxtrax),
- Basic Tool Kit
- Spare Key for vehicle
Safety and Survival ~ The First Aid Kit
First aid kits come in many shapes and sizes. You can buy them, or you can make your own kit. Whether you buy a first aid kit or put one together, make sure it has all the items you may need. Always important to include any personal medications, to last more than your expected journey.
Here are suggestions for the contents of a first aid kit:
- Adhesive Tape,
- Antiseptic Ointment,
- Alcohol swabs, individually wrapped,
- Band-Aids (assorted sizes),
- Hand Cleaner and Disposable Gloves,
- Gauze Dressing Pads (assorted sizes),
- Plastic Bags,
- Scissors and Tweezers,
- Small Flashlight and Extra Batteries,
- Triangular Bandage,
- Burnaid cream,
- Snake Bite kit,
- Disposable emergency blanket,
- Instant Cold pack and Hot pack,
- Dehydration Formula,
- Medications, paracetamol.
- Safety Glasses,
- Leather Gloves,
- Fire Extinguisher – Should be mounted in the vehicle in an easily accessible location,
- matches / lighter,
- Maps, information about the area,
- Compass or GPS,
- Duct Tape,
- Mosquito repellant,
- Lighter, matches,
- Toilet paper,
- Water purification tablets,
- Cooler with beverages,
- Plates, cups, knife/folk/spoon,
- Paper towels,
- Folding chairs,
- Sleeping bag/blankets,
- Sleeping pad or air mattress,
- Stove or grill and fuel,
- Tarps, lots of tarps,
- Light weight Tent, easy to set up and pack away,
- Swim suit,
- Flip flops (thongs) or swimming shoes (no bare feet),
- Hiking shoes,
- Wet weather jacket,
- Bottle opener,
- Pocket knife,
- Strong Rubbish bags,
- Extra keys,
- Fridge or dry ice and cooler,
- Camera, case, film and batteries,
More advanced checklist
What goes beyond the basic checklist are items that depend on many factors. Factors like what form of offroading you will be doing, your driving style, the terrain you will encounter, how much room you have for packing gear, how remote you will be traveling, how long you will be gone as well as many other factors you should consider. However three primary things you should gear up for are Safety and Survival, Vehicle Recovery and Vehicle Breakage.
Vehicle Recovery ~ Recovery Items, at a minimum
- Snatch Strap Kit,
- Tow straps – 2 or more, 2 inch width or wider, 20 foot or longer,
- Workable tyre changing equipment.
- Vehicle rated recovery points bolted to the chassis,
- If vehicle mounted winch is fitted: tree trunk protection, snatch block (8t), 4.7t bow shackle, gloves.
Basic Tools: are the essential tool sets that consist of a variety of sizes and combinations of commonly used tools such as socket sets, wrench sets, Allen wrenches and screw drivers. Your tool sets should cover the variety of sizes found in your vehicle.
- Complete Socket Set, to suit your vehicle,
- Open end combination box wrenches,
- Allen Keys
- Standard & Phillips screwdrivers, large, medium, small.
Versatile Tools:are those that have many uses.
- Pliers (various sizes),
- Needle Nose Pliers,
- Vice Grips, various sizes
- Utility knife or razor blades
Specialty Tools: include
- Snap ring pliers,
- Tyre Pressure Gauge,
- Portable Air Compressor
- Jumper Leads.
- Duct Tape,
- Wood blocks – Useful as wheel chokes, jacking plate and suspension supports.
- Ockey Straps, several in multiple sizes – good for securing gear, temporary repairs,
- Rope lengths,
- Super glue,
- Tie wraps,
- Work Gloves, leather.
- Engine Oil,
- Brake Fluid,
- Power steering fluid,
- Automatic transmission fluid,
- Coolant or Water,
- Bearing Grease,
- Starter Fluid,
- Funnel, siphon hose,
Spare Parts / Repair Items
- Extra Fan / serpentine belts,
- Hoses, fuel line, coolant hoses,
- Two Spare Tyres (one on rim – one off rim),
- Tyre repair kits, tyres plugs,
- Valve stems, Valve stem remover,
- Tyre tube, to place inside a damage tyre casing,
- Nuts & bolts assorted standard and metric sizes,
- Radiator stop leak,
- Extra spark plug
- Spare points
Electronics Repair Kit
- Wire cutters / wire crips / wire strippers (multi-tool),
- Spare fuses of all sizes and types used in your vehicle,
- Electrical tape,
- Spare light bulbs,
- Spare wire – lengths of various gauges,
- Spare switches,
- Spare relay if you use relays,
- Crip on ends (male and female, various gauges).