Part of being a Ford pickup truck owner is taking it out in hard-to-reach areas. Not every car can cross rocky or uneven terrain, and vehicles that can may not be able to carry all the equipment needed for a particular activity. That’s where pickup trucks come in handy. They can carry incredible amounts of weight and travel over rough conditions that many vehicles cannot. Still, for those who plan to take their Ford trucks off-road, consider which equipment to bring with you. This essential equipment to take on your off-road adventure will prepare you for any situation or issue that might occur.
While the items in this list are in no specific order, a recovery kit is absolutely necessary for an off-road trip. These kits offer certain perks like snatch straps, snatch blocks, storage bags, bow shackles, winch extension straps, tree trunk protector, recovery dampers, recovery gloves, and more, depending on which one you buy. Snatch straps should offer a minimum breaking strength approximately three to four times your vehicle’s weight to stretch, reduce momentary loads on the recovery points, and add more towing power. Every other part helps secure the recovery kit in place when recovering the vehicle. Keep it in your cabin, glove compartment, or anywhere within reach.
Off-roading can be a tiring, hands-on activity. After all, you’re driving continuously over rough terrain that you may not be accustomed to. Work gloves will not only make your drive easier and provide a better grip for your hands on the wheel, but they will also help when you need to make repairs. Heavy-duty or leather gloves will provide the support you need to do any repairs in your truck and add some light protection for your hands.
Another important piece of equipment to bring along is a toolset. A wide variety of wrenches, drivers, pliers, and other hand tools are essential to fix any minor repair or issue you may experience. While you should make sure your truck is good to go before you set off on your trip, off-roading can lead to various problems you did not initially expect. Each bump or vibration can loosen parts that you may need to tighten or fix. Regardless if you use it or not, it’s good to bring just in case.
While you should always make sure your battery is charged before an off-road expedition, you may still face battery-related issues. It depends on where you are, but you may not come across another vehicle on the trail. Fortunately, you don’t need to rely on one to jump your battery. Consider bringing a portable jump starter. They are easy to use and charge. Just make sure to fully charge it, like any other portable device, before you leave.
Naturally, proper off-road capability means lowering the air pressure in your tires. Approximately 15 to 20 PSI will give you the best traction over rocks and rough terrain, and you can go even lower when driving over sand, snow, or mud. Keep in mind, though, that the lower your tire pressure is, the greater the risk of damage to your wheels. No matter what, you can control the air pressure at any time with an air compressor. These small, reasonably priced devices connect to your battery to provide enough compressed air to fill all four tires.
Tire Repair Kit
It’s extremely important to keep your tires properly conditioned, too. Off-road drives can easily damage your tires. It makes sense, given that you’re driving over rough or naturally uneven terrain. While all-terrain and mud tires can mitigate damages, these conditions can still damage them. Always take precautions, and keep a tire repair kit in your truck.
It’s important to always go off-roading during daylight hours, but sometimes you can lose track of time. That’s why a flashlight is crucial for off-roading after dark. A flashlight will let you see any necessary repairs or issues that you couldn’t in the dark. Be sure to get an LED flashlight for the brightest and strongest light available. You can also invest in a work light that has magnets and hooks for hands-free use. Like many other items on this list, you can charge your light at home or from your truck so that it’s ready to use at any given time.
Of course, you never know if you’ll become stuck in the sand, mud, snow, or other conditions. Shovels are essential to adding traction to your tires. While you can use it to clear away soft debris, you can also use it to add items like sticks and rocks under your tires to give them more traction. Consider a folding shovel to store anywhere in your cabin or bed.
You can also opt for traction mats or boards. These act as traction placeholders and ramps if you find yourself stuck. Although you should never travel alone, these will ensure you can free yourself without the need for another vehicle. To use traction mats, simply unfold the ramps and wedge them under the tires. This will allow you to drive out of any muddy, snowy, or sandy conditions with ease. Just don’t forget them when you leave!
While so many people rely on their smartphones to navigate them, these devices don’t do much good when traveling out in the wilderness where reception can be poor. That’s why it is important to invest in an aftermarket navigation system for your vehicle if it doesn’t already have one. There are many to choose from that sit right on the dash of your truck.
Your vehicle can work perfectly fine during your drive, but issues can always arise. One of these is that you can simply run out of gas. Common sense dictates that you would fill up beforehand, but depending on your vehicle, how far the trail or campsite is, and how long you’re out, this initial tank can soon disappear. Therefore, take precautions, and bring an extra tank of gas with you in your bed or cabin. It’s better to prepare for the worst and not need it than to be unprepared at the worst possible moment.
Lastly, while most other items on this list act as first-aid for your car, you shouldn’t forget about yourself. Take this opportunity to pack personal essentials, like a first-aid kit, extra food, and water. You should prepare for an off-road trip similarly to a sporting competition: You want to fuel your vehicle as much as yourself. Keep these extras in your vehicle just in case you need them.
For any off-road excursion, make sure you have the right parts on your truck for the job. Fortunately, here at Specialty Performance Parts, we carry the top Ford F150 accessories to add to your F-series truck. Specifically, check out our Raptor accessories to give your truck the power and lighting capability it needs for a great off-road experience.