What to Bring Off-Roading [Complete List]

It doesn’t matter if you are off-roading in beautiful Utah or close by in desert terrain, rocky mountain roads, dry valleys, or natural canyons – you need to bring certain items – in case of any unplanned emergency. Disaster strikes as quickly as lightning; ask any experienced off-roader. What items do you need to bring when off-roading?

What do you need to bring when off-roading? Bring items that can help you in emergencies, like a vehicle breaking down or a person getting injured or sick. These include first-aid kits, tool kits, emergency kits, and vehicle fluid kits. Personal and camping kits are required for comfort.

Jeep off roading in a wooded area.

There is nothing worse than getting sick, injured, or stuck in the wild openness of nature when busy off-roading. I correct myself; there is something worse than this, not packing some essential items before exploring the great outdoors. Here are some of the items you need to bring along when wheel spinning off on your off-roading adventure.

What To Bring When Off-Roading?

Off-roading can provide you with some of the most exhilarating experiences of your life. Nothing beats spending time in nature with your trusty 4×4 and a partner or friend.

The tails side of the coin is that it could also be the source of your most testing and downright unpleasant experiences when an emergency strikes.

Vehicle breakdowns and injuries spring to mind. Bringing certain items with you on your trip can potentially save the day in some form or other and keep the memories on the positive side.

The following kits are just guidelines, good one’s I might add, that will put your mind at ease before taking on mother nature.

You can add some items or remove some if you want to. However, if you come close to kitting yourself out with the following, your chances of survival increase dramatically.

 Here’s what to bring to your off-roading party:

Essential Off Roading Gear

The following items need to be in your vehicle on every single trip. We will call them the minimum basic things to bring on challenging trips.

Recovery Gear

First Aid Kit

You can buy a kit or makeup one yourself. Always remember to include personal medication and the following:

  • Band-Aids (various sizes)
  • Antiseptic Ointment
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Triangular Bandage
  • Adhesive Tape
  • Alcohol Swabs
  • Roller Gauze
  • Gauze Pads
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Blanket
  • Hand Cleaner
  • Cold Pack
  • Disposable Emergency Blanket
  • Activated Charcoal (use on instruction by Poison Control Centre)
  • Syrup Of Ipecac (use on instruction by Poison Control Centre)
  • Instant Hot Pack
  • Instant Cold Pack
  • Plastic Bags
  • Burn-Aid Gel
  • Small Emergency Flashlight with Extra Batteries
  • Snake Bite Kit
  • Epi-Pen (Epinephrine to treat serious allergic reactions)
  • Anti-Diarrhea Medication
  • Fever Reducing Medicine (Tylenol)
  • Inflammation Reducing Medicine (Ibuprofen-Motrin-Advil)
  • Mild Allergic Reaction Medicine (Benadryl)

You could buy all of this individually and create your own first-aid kit, but this is a great all-inclusive pack that will cover almost everything you need.

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Tool Kits

Listed below are tools that can be required in a vehicle emergency, handy to have when needing to do repairs, rescuing, or maintenance:

  • Wrenches
  • Lug Nut Wrench
  • Sockets
  • Torx Sockets (If you own a Jeep)
  • Screwdrivers
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Channel Lock Pliers
  • Snap Ring Pliers
  • Nuts & Bolts (Assorted)
  • Vice Grips
  • Spare Tire
  • Tire Repair Kit
  • Spare Wiper Blades
  • Tank Sealant Putty
  • Wire Cutters
  • D-Rings
  • Shackles
  • Tow Straps
  • Zip Ties
  • Bailing Wire
  • Bungee Cord
  • Spare Spark Plugs
  • Spare Fuses
  • Duct Tape
  • Portable Air Pump
  • Jumper Cables
  • Utility Knife
  • Work Gloves
  • Pry Bar/Metal Pipe (Used over wrench or socket drive creating extra leverage)
  • Wood Blocks (Used as jacking platforms, ramps, suspension support)
  • Air Pressure Gauge
  • Super Glue
  • Shovel
  • Chainsaw (Optional)
  • Magnet
  • Flares
  • Axe/Bowsaw
  • Windshield Scraper (Cold areas)
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Winch Kit
  • High-Lift Jack
  • Tree Saver
  • Come-Along
  • Hoses
  • Fuel Line
  • Coolant Hoses
  • Lug Nut Wrench
  • Cotter Pins
  • Valve Stems & Valve Stem Remover
  • Coil
  • Spare Drive Shaft
  • Universal Joints

Vehicle Fluid Kit

According to J.D. Power, gasoline has a shelf life of 3-6 months, diesel a year, before it starts to degrade. Try to fill extra cans of fuel with new fuel, as you don’t want any problems on your trip. Ensure the following is on your vehicle:

  • Brake Fluid
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Engine Oil
  • Automatic Transmission Oil
  • Coolant
  • Water
  • WD-40
  • Extra Gas
  • Starter Fluid
  • Funnel
  • Siphon Hose

Personal Kit

You can add any comfort items to the list; here’s just a basic example of what a personal kit should contain:

  • Water (As much as you can pack, minimum of one gallon per person per day – hotter climates require more stock)
  • Food Stock (Pack in double the amount needed per day, for in case of any emergency – canned foods, fruits, trail mix, non-perishables)
  • Clothes (warm and cool clothes, night temperatures tend to be very low in desert areas)
  • Rain Jacket (Full on rain kit)
  • Wind Breaker Jacket/Parka
  • Sun Block
  • GPS
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Power Inverter (Cell phone charger, battery charger)
  • Communication Devices (Cell phone, satellite phone, FRS/GMRS radios)
  • Physical Maps
  • Trash Bags
  • Protective Eye Gear
  • Toilet Paper
  • Insect Repellant (Especially in summer)
  • Headgear (warm hat or a hooded jacket in winter – cap or brim hat in summer)
  • Dust Mask (For Desert Areas)

Camping/Overnight Kit

When planning on staying a night in the wilderness, or if you are camping along the way as you are off-roading, add the following items to your personal kit list:

  • Spare Keys
  • Propane Lanterns
  • Flashlight
  • Knife
  • Towel
  • Cooler
  • Lighter/Waterproof Matches
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Air Mattress
  • Tent (If not equipped with a tent on the roof)
  • Backpacks
  • Tarps
  • Hiking Boots
  • Cooler Cup
  • Swimming Shoes
  • Paper Plates
  • Paper Towels
  • Folding Camp Chairs
  • Bottle Opener
  • Snacks
  • Cooking Pan
  • Binoculars
  • Stove & Grill (Fuel)
  • Ice Chest Cooler
  • Firewood (Small Axe)
  • Bathing Suit

It seems like a very tall order getting the kits assembled, but you will have the time to add to your kits when not off-roading. If you leave out an item here or there, it’s not the end of the world.

Until you need that specific item that you thought you’d never need. In the wild, anything can happen and usually does. Ask any experienced off-roader to show you what they bring along when going on an off-road trip, and you will see most of the items listed above.

Being overly prepared is a good thing, and most of the kits you leave in the 4×4 until the next trip. Just make sure to check your first aid kit for items that may have an expiry date and replace them immediately. The same goes for extra fuel.


Some might say that the above-listed kits are a bit overboard. Surely, you will never use all of the items? Well, we pay insurance on our houses in case something happens, which never happens for most homeowners. It’s always the guy that cancels his insurance whose house burns down.

Equipping yourself and your off-road vehicle with the listed items will give you maximum insurance should something bad happen on your adventure.

James with daughter on the trails

About James...

Hi, I’m James. If I’m not working on this site, you can often find me outdoors roaming the trails. I’m an avid hiker, mountain biker, and overlander. I’m excited to share my passion for the outdoors with you.