Off-roading can be a fun adventure to tackle during the weekend, and wheeling can get your adrenaline pumping and provide you with some of the best memories on the road—but it comes with its challenges. From rough terrains to the general unknown, these all impose dangers to your vehicle and your passengers. That’s why it’s best to bring along a few essential items with you for a safer and smoother ride.
If you’re planning to drive off-road, make sure to prepare your Subaru to tackle the grand adventure off the pavement with the following items.
A winch is a unique tool with a traction mechanism that’ll become a reliable assistant while driving off-road as it can free your car from mud or snow captivity. It can also help you remove your car quickly if it gets stuck in a quagmire, water, and other areas of impassibility that are common with open spaces. All you need is a stationary object and fasten its end to your vehicle.
Using a winch usually involves massive forces, meaning failure can be deadly to both your vehicle—and yourself. If you don’t want to pay to get your Subaru’s timing belt replaced again, your safest bet is to drive out using a Maxtrax. It’s a nylon recovery board doubling a shovel, helping you drive out from the mud, sand, and snow, or use them to excavate your wheels.
The simplest way to add traction when driving on slippery off-road trails is to drop the air pressure in your tires with an air compressor. Generally, 20 PSI is an excellent all-around figure for most vehicles. However, on standard equipment, you can go below 8 PSI in sand, snow, and mud. Just keep an eye out for rocks and other obstacles when driving to avoid further damage. Air compressors can also bring your tires’ air pressure up when needed.
You don’t need to rely on other cars to jump-start your own anymore if your battery depletes while on the road. A simple and affordable lithium-ion battery pack can do the job. Plus, it can also charge off your cigarette lighter, providing portable energy for your phone and other gadgets. Just ensure you keep it charged.
Always pack a spare tire, no matter the venture you’re going on. After all, the last thing you want to happen is to be left with a flat tire, nowhere to go, or worse—no tires. Make sure to bring one or two in your venture as you’ll never know how much damage your tires can endure while off-road.
All the work you’ll be doing when your car experiences any issues while off-road can be damaging to your hand, especially when you need to do it in wet and small spaces surrounded by sharp edges. Luckily protecting your hands is easy. All you need are heavy-duty and leather-palmed gloves for wincing and regular work gloves for everything else.
First Aid Kit
Wheeling on a trail can be exciting but also dangerous. That’s why you’ll need a comprehensive first aid kit with you on board. It’s easy to take a simple fall, cut, or twist an ankle. Plus, emergency services can take a while to reach you when you’re off-road—even if you have cell phone service or citizens’ band.
So, it’s best to be prepared. You can buy a pre-packed first aid kit at the store or make one yourself. Make sure it includes bandages, rubbing alcohol, and water purification tablets in case you get stuck somewhere really far.
When you leave the pavement, you can never know what’s going to happen next. Sure, your Subaru may be plenty capable—but there are always things on the trail that can issue to drivers with different experiences—and the tools mentioned can save you from most off-road mishaps. So, gear up and pack appropriately for the ride.