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How to Prepare for Off-Roading: 5 Items You Need

Off-roading, an adventurous activity that blends thrill and exploration, invites people to experience the outdoors like never before. However, stepping off the beaten path and into the wilderness requires more than just a rugged vehicle; you need to be well-prepared for the unpredictable terrains and conditions you may encounter. 

Preparing for off-roading is a process that involves not only equipping your vehicle but also ensuring that you have the necessary gear for a safe and enjoyable journey. Whether you are an experienced adventurer or new to the world of off-road exploration, we are here to provide you with practical off-roading tips and highlight the essential items that will support you in your thrilling escapades.

This article is the first in our series on how to prepare for off-roading, focusing on the vital gear necessary for a successful off-road journey. The series will delve into different aspects of off-roading preparation, from vehicle upgrades to driving techniques, ensuring that you’re well-equipped for whatever challenges the off-road trails may throw your way. Let’s buckle up and get started.

Table of Contents

How to Prepare for Off-Roading: Bring a Portable Air Compressor

morrflate mega quad on jeep

As you prepare for off-roading, a reliable portable air compressor is an important piece of equipment. Different off-road terrain requires different tire pressures for optimal traction and control. 

Hence, having a portable air compressor becomes essential for off-roaders to quickly and efficiently adjust their vehicle’s tire pressure according to the terrain…

morrflate tensix mega quad with jeep

A standout product in the off-roading air compressor market is the MORRFlate TenSix Air Compressor – a neon green compressor that’s easy to spot and even easier to use! It’s a high-capacity, efficient, and robust device designed to cater to all your portable off-road air needs. The bright green color is eye-catching, to be sure, and ensures you can see it on dark mornings or nights when you need to air up and air down your tires.

What sets the TenSix apart is its incredible efficiency when used in combination with the MORRFlate Mega Quad Kit. By allowing the air to flow into 4 tires simultaneously, it can optimally utilize a full 8-12 CFM of airflow without creating any bottlenecks or back pressures on your compressor. That means you can air up or air down your tires much faster. Nice!

Additionally, with this setup from MORRFlate, you can equalize the pressure in all of your tires. You can also move air from one tire to another, say, from a spare tire to one of the tires on your vehicle or trailer.

As you can see in my video above, this unit really couldn’t be any easier to use. And boy, is it effective! 

sportsrig trailstomper micro trailer on the trail

Obviously, in my video, I used the MORRFlate setup to air up and air down the tires on my Jeep, but since the TenSix can do its duties for six tires, it’s the ideal option if you tow a trailer. This is especially true if you have a rugged off-road trailer like the SportsRig TrailStomper shown above that can be towed by a UTV.

With a lightweight setup like this, you can explore the roughest, toughest trails with your UTV and your trailer in tow. But this often means navigating some nasty terrain…

trailstomper off road

Sure, trailers like the TrailStomper are purpose-built to handle difficult trails, but if you travel off-road long enough, you’ll encounter flat tires, snow, ice, mud, and so forth that necessitate having a high-powered compressor with you.

So, no matter if you travel on-road or off, with a trailer or without, investing in a good air compressor is a no-brainer!




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You Need a Recovery Kit, Too


As you prepare for off-roading, your gear set is not complete without a comprehensive recovery kit. A recovery kit serves as your lifeline when you find your vehicle stuck or in challenging situations that are part and parcel of an off-road adventure.

We highly recommend the Tackle Tuff Premium Off-Road Recovery Kit. This kit is meticulously designed to pull you out of any tight spot, be it in mud, dirt, rocks, or sand. Tackle Tuff is the brand you can trust to bring you safely back home when the terrain becomes challenging.

The Tackle Tuff recovery kit includes a Premium Snatch Block, two Premium Shackles, a Premium Recovery Strap, a Tree Saver Strap, Kevlar Reinforced Work Gloves, and a purpose-built Carrying Case that doubles as a Line Dampener.

How to Prepare for Off-Roading: Get a Set of Recovery Boards

Maxtrax Recovery Boards

Embracing the unpredictable nature of off-roading adventures means being prepared for a variety of terrains – from muddy inclines to sandy landscapes, and even snowy paths. That’s where recovery boards come into play. These lifesavers provide essential traction, aiding in freeing a vehicle stuck in less forgiving terrains, making them essential gear for off-roading.

A leading choice for us is the MAXTRAX recovery boards. The latest model is recognized as a benchmark in the market and distinguishes itself with its legendary durability, wide color variety, user-friendly design, and innovative mounting options. Additionally, six glove-friendly handles on the boards facilitate easy handling.

Crafted from high-quality, engineering-grade nylon, the MAXTRAX promises not to break, crack, or stress after use, ensuring a long-lasting lifespan that will serve you for many adventures to come. This resilience, combined with a UV-stable material that prevents degradation in the sun, makes it an optimal choice regardless of the climate or conditions you’re facing.

GPS (and Paper Maps) Will Come in Handy


When setting off on your off-roading adventure, one of the fundamental tools to include in your preparation kit is a reliable GPS system. While paper maps serve as a helpful backup, a digital mapping system provides real-time updates and precise location tracking to enhance your navigational abilities.

A top-rated choice among outdoor enthusiasts is GAIA GPS, a versatile app that offers both online and offline maps and trail guides, equipping you for adventures in even the most remote terrains. Whether you’re navigating through unmarked trails or looking for the perfect camping spot, Gaia GPS will confidently guide you on your journey.

But Gaia GPS isn’t just a static map; it’s also an interactive tool to plan your trip. The app’s route planner lets you create and adjust routes on the fly, ensuring your off-roading experience is as spontaneous as you wish it to be. In addition, its weather prediction feature keeps you informed about changing conditions, and the in-app wildfire activity monitor adds an extra layer of safety.

How to Prepare for Off-Roading: Bring a Toolkit

Auto mechanic tool kit.

Image by Elena Gurova via iStock

When off-roading, it’s important to be prepared for unexpected mechanical breakdowns or issues that could occur with your vehicle. You’re often in remote areas, far from professional help, which is why bringing along a well-equipped toolkit is essential.

Here are some crucial tools to include in your off-roading toolkit:

  • Jack: Useful for lifting your vehicle during a tire change or to free the vehicle if it’s stuck.
  • Jumper Cables: If your vehicle’s battery dies, you’ll need these to get it started again.
  • Socket Set: Various sizes of sockets are useful for tightening or loosening bolts during repairs.
  • Screwdrivers: These are basic tools for various repairs and adjustments.
  • Wrench Set: For any repairs that involve nuts and bolts, wrenches are necessary.
  • Tire Repair Kit: In case of a puncture or leak, a tire repair kit can get you moving again.
  • Spare Fluids: This includes oil, coolant, and other fluids your vehicle may need.

This list gives you a starting point, but the exact contents of your toolkit may vary depending on your vehicle and the terrain you’ll be tackling. For a comprehensive guide to stocking your off-roading toolkit, check out this detailed article from MotorTrend.

How to Prepare for Off-Roading: FAQs

What are the Risks of Off-Roading?

Off-roading is an exhilarating and rewarding activity, but it does come with risks. These include potential vehicle damage from rough terrain, getting stuck in remote areas, getting lost, and experiencing extreme weather conditions. Personal injuries can also occur from vehicle rollovers or accidents. Proper preparation, training, and equipment can mitigate these risks.

How Do I Prepare for Off-Roading?

Preparation for off-roading includes understanding your vehicle’s capabilities, planning your route in advance, and checking the weather conditions. It’s also important to have the right gear, including a well-equipped toolkit, recovery equipment, and a first aid kit. Additionally, always inform someone not in your party about your off-roading plan and expected return time.

How Can I Improve My Off-Road Capability?

Improving your off-road capability involves both skills and vehicle modifications. Regular practice in different terrains can help enhance your driving skills. Understanding how to use your vehicle’s 4WD system effectively can also make a significant difference. 

When it comes to vehicle modifications, upgrading tires, suspension, and underbody protection are often the first steps. Consider professional training or joining an off-roading club to gain knowledge and experience.

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