It’s easy to throw all caution into the wind and simply jump in your 4WD and hit the tracks with reckless abandon, just like they do in the ads on TV, with the wind in your hair and dust in your wake, and nothing but the open dirt road ahead of you. We’re the reality police and are here to remind you, particularly if you are on your own or in a small group of 1 or 2 other 4WD’s, that bringing a handful of essentials on the tracks with you is critical for not only the safety of the group, but the likelihood of getting your 4WD out of there in one piece, if at all!
Our essentials list is fairly short but it covers the extreme basics you need to ensure you have the tools at your disposal to dig, pull, lift and simply drive your 4WD to firm terrain without needing to call for air support or a tow truck.
A Long-Handled Shovel
When a short shovel will do the job, a long handle will do it better, there is no doubt that a small folding style shovel is handy to pack away in your vehicle, usually finding itself in a position for digging a temporary latrine. When trying to move bulk amounts of fill out from underneath the non-rolling parts of your 4WD, comes up a little short. Excuse the pun!
By equipping your setup with a long-handled shovel, you allow yourself the option to clear away soil, mud and debris from underneath your frame rails, diffs and even body panels.
Jack and base plate
The next MUST HAVE accessory, you need to bring with you on the tracks is a reliable offroad Jack and jacking base! The Hercules Jack + Base combo is perfect by allowing a massive lifting source of up to 1050kg a whipping 1050mm up off the ground. Obviously a Hercules Jack puts out a lot of force, but this is wasted if the jack sinks into the soft surface you are stuck in, the Jack Base offers a much larger footprint to prevent the jack from sinking deep into sand or mud.
An offroad jack can be stashed easily on a set of roof racks alongside its partner in crime the long-handled shovel using a Jack and shovel holder, which fastens directly to your roof rack for convenient access, particularly when your 4WD is buried deep in the muck!
Not only is this practical, but it looks extremely cool too!
Snatch Strap Kit
When all else fails you will probably need a bit of a pull free from trouble, many people instantly think of needing a winch when stuck in these particular situations. But you’d be surprised to discover that a Snatch strap Kit will get your 4WD out of 95% of tricky situations when you are off the beaten track – by storing the kinetic energy from a towing vehicles, forward momentum, a snatch strap works by bungee pulling your vehicle in a slow and controlled manner out of the sticky situation.
A snatch strap is one of the most critical accessories you need to bring on the track with you, and by kitting your 4WD up with a rated snatch strap kit, you and your mates will never really be stuck!
Tyre Deflator + Air Compressor
It’s an old grey beard trick to let your tyres down when driving offroad! and despite what conventional wisdom might suggest, the extra grip doesn’t come from the sidewalls bagging out and giving extra width to your tyres. It actually allows your tyre to gain additional length contacting the surface, which means your vehicle can gain an additional 200% grip.
But wait there is more!
By letting your tyre pressures down you allow your tyre’s Carcass to flex and contort to the track surface, giving your 4WD the ability to climb walls and steps better than the human fly!
In our opinion, the fastest and easiest way to drop your 4WD’s tyre pressures down is by using an Adventure Kings Kwiky Tyre Deflator to dump air pressures down with 100% control and accuracy!
But what goes down must come up!
When you are done with having all the extra off road traction and need to get your pressures back up to highway pressures for highway speeds, then you need to get your hands on a 12v Air compressor like the Thumper MKII or Thumper Max either of these can get your pressures back up to factory recommended pressure in next to no time at all!
This is the last but certainly not the least important accessory to add to your 4WD. By using a handy UHF radio you gain cordless and costless communication that is completely legal for on road use!
A UHF radio also doesn’t require reception towers, which comes in handy even if you are using a “premium phone supplier”, in many situations the ability to call for help on any number of the registered 80 channels to anyone within 20 odd kilometers with a working UHF radio!
Not only are UHF radios cost free to operate, they are great for keeping in touch with convoys, and even for keeping in communication with a spotter for commnunication during recoveries and even tough sections of track.
That concludes our epic list of MUST HAVE items for heading out in the bush, for more information on any of the equipment suggested, head to www.4WDSupacentre.com.au call us on 1800 88 39 64 or even drop into one of our stores to speak with an expert in person!