Making the Most of Junk in the Trunk

October 28th, 2014 by David Beran

trail axe

Deciding what to bring with you on your off-roading adventure can be an adventure in itself. Of course, it depends on where you’re going and how long you’ll be there. Besides luxury items, there are essentials you want to pack for every trip. They can be tools, vehicle-related equipment or a stocked emergency kit that could come in handy in a crisis.

The junk you choose to stash in your trunk also varies according to the time of year. Tire chains are appropriate during winter and insect repellent is a summer staple. When Daylight Saving Time ends and it gets darker earlier, flashlights and light sources become necessities. If you’re going to be doing potentially hazardous activities like mountain climbing or river rafting an emergency kit is a must-have.

Situational Tools

Cell phones have revolutionized the way we communicate, but reception can obviously be an issue in remote areas. Reverting to CB radio technology is a great option in case something goes wrong out on the trail. Finding yourself stuck overnight in your 4×4 can be downgraded from a disaster to an adventure if you packed a blanket and ample supplies of food and water. Whether you’re camping, wheeling or rock crawling, here’s a checklist of universal tools that should always be along for the ride.

Vehicle-Related

  • High-lift jack
  • Tow straps, tie-downs and bungee cords
  • Winch
  • Jumper cables
  • Air pressure gauge
  • CB radio – You’re covered if a cell phone doesn’t get reception
  • GPS with USGS chip

Basic Tools

  • Trail axe with sheath – this one also sports a built-in compass, killing two birds with one axe
  • Blanket and extra clothes – you never know when you may be stranded overnight
  • Matches and fire extinguisher – also have dry bags for storing matches and clothes
  • Food and water – power bars between 2400-3600 calories per bar, candy bars
  • Flashlight (with fresh batteries)
  • Shovel – can help you get unstuck
  • Set of tools – include a hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, wrench set, knife, work gloves

firstaidkit

Medical Supplies

When there’s not a doctor in the house, it’s at least great to have the right medical supplies on hand. Simple items like cold packs and aspirin can alleviate pain and save the day.

A first aid kit for the trail should have these basics:

Bandages

  • Variety of bandages and Band-Aids
  • Gauze pads
  • Sterile dressings
  • Adhesive tape

Medications

  • Prescriptions
  • Sanitizer (like Hydrogen Peroxide)
  • Antibiotic ointment (like Neosporin)
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Insect repellent and Calamine lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Aspirin (with and without ibuprofen)

Tools

  • Small scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Sewing kit
  • CPR breathing mask
  • Cotton balls
  • Turkey baster (to flush out open wounds)
  • Instant cold pack

 

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About the Author: David Beran

As a professional inkspiller living in Los Angeles, I’ve written in industries ranging from entertainment to employment to automotive. Terrain I cover includes off-road events and races, budget builds, custom mods, EVs and the latest innovations in aftermarket 4x4 parts. I’m always eager to learn about new trends in 4x4s and my motto is “go off-road or go home.” Google+ is the destination for my dispatches: https://plus.google.com/+DavidBeran/posts.

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