Overlooked must-have soft-roading supplies for 4x4 trips

Overlooked must-have soft-roading supplies for 4×4 trips

Feature photo by @zschrubb on Instagram

I drive a 2008 Honda Ridgeline which suits my needs for fun, comfort and long family road trips. Recently, while weathering the storm of our stay-at-home order and trying to find some outdoor fun, I discovered a network of non-paved gravel roads which are fun to explore and which weave the Wisconsin countryside with views of farms, hills, creeks.

I’m also planning to take my family on a camping trip where we’ll take my Honda Ridgeline truck on an overland soft-roading trip. This will mostly involve gravel roads in BLM, DNR and other County Highways in hopes of some outdoor fun! The terrain will be gravel roads, filled with sand or mud and if my vehicle gets stuck, I want be prepared to recover back to stable ground.

Honda Ridgeline off-roading
Photo by @triaglehonda65

While we explore these unpaved roads I’m collecting a toolkit of 4×4 supplies which I will carry in my truck in case of a slide-off or need to pull someone else back onto the road.

There’s a lot of supplies that should not be overlooked or forgotten on an off-roading adventure and packing my 4×4 will require planning to have the needed equipment as well as researching a safe route.

I was not provided product or payment for these recommendation of must-have off-roading supplies and the opinions stated here include my own opinions. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Don’t overlook these 4×4 soft-roading trip supplies

If you are sleeping, cooking or using supplies in your vehicle, leveling off your off-road 4×4 with leveling blocks and balance will provide a handy and comfortable straight footing and don’t expect to find rocks nearby to balance your truck.

Air compressor

This can be used to inflate a tire with a slow leak, fill a spare tire or fill an air mattress. If you plan to air-down tour tires, you will need to reinflate them when hitting the pavement and an air compressor is essential for this.

88P Compressor Kit with 16 foot air hose
Air compressor for up to 33 inch tires, available from TireTack.com

Tire deflator

When you drive in sand and rocks, it’s a good idea to give your ride the most comfort and traction by deflating your tires to accommodate for the terrain. Some circumstances need 15 psi and below and a tire deflator can do this quickly and with exacting precision. Air down tires to 20 psi for dirt and gravel roads and 18 psi for sand. Lower tire pressure creates a larger foot print.

0-60 psi tire pressure gauge with pressure release valve from Carid.com
Tire pressure gauge with pressure release valve from Carid.com

Winch recovery kit

Don’t mess with getting stuck. It’s going to happen and you can’t always rely on getting help from a passerby with a winch on their vehicle. Most off-road winch recovery kits include:

  • Winch line dampener (which doubles as the kit bag). “Winching using a Steel Cable is one of the most dangerous aspects of vehicle recovery as the cable stores kinetic energy. If the line or a connection point breaks under pressure, it can become a deadly projectile. Always use a Winch Line Dampener to absorb most of that kinetic energy if a break occurs.”
  • Heavy duty snatch block
  • Tow staps
  • Tree saver strap
  • Heavy duty gloves
  • D-ring shackles
Off Road Recovery Kit
Off-road recovery kit techniques from the Recovery Kit on Amazon

Recovery straps including tree saver and snatch straps

Tree saver, winch strap, tow strap


Shackles or hitch shackle and hitch lock

Hitch shackle for 2 inch receiver
If you don’t have safe tow points on your truck but you do have a hitch receiver, use a hitch shackle

Photo by @h4rdwar3

Electric winch

Electric winch for an off-road truck
Typically, you should buy an electric winch with 2-4 times the pulling weight of your vehicle. For my truck which has a GVW of just under 5,000 lbs, this 10k lb winch is perfect for my needs

High-jack, wheel chocks and jack base

With loose ground when changing a tire, your vehicle’s stock jack set is not going to suffice.

Hi-Lift Jack


For instructions on how to winch from another vehicle or other winch points, here’s information from towmart.com:

If you get stuck, you may have to rely on another vehicle to pull you out. The simplest way to do that is to use a couple of shackles and a snatch strap. Keep the kit in easy reach of the driver’s seat.

The snatch strap needs to have a minimum breaking strength of three to four times the weight of the vehicle you plan to use it with. They’re made of nylon and are designed to stretch. This helps add a little extra tug to your tow.

Three-and-a-quarter-ton shackles are the right choice for connecting one end of the strap to the recovery point on each vehicle.

When you attach the shackle to the recovery point and strap, make sure you tighten the pin completely. You should then back it off a quarter turn or so. This lets the required flex happen without harming the threads. 


Traction mats

These must-have items will get you out of deep mud or sand, sticky wet snow and make sure to get four! Off-road traction mats also double as low profile leveling blocks and don’t forget to turn off tour VTM-4 so your tires spin together on each axle. And don’t plan on using floor mats, you will see these mounted on 4×4 roof racks or bumpers for a good reason!

Photo by @great.white.ridge
Photo by @great.white.ridge

Long or small shovel

Digging out is difficult at best when you encounter a stuck vehicle and is a most important recovery vehicle you’ll be glad to have even for burying compost or a small fire pit.

Small shovel


First-aid medical kit

Off-roading will put you in the middle of nowhere and when an emergency happens, you want to be prepared with first-aid supplies. Plan on this and check and refill used items each excursion. Shop for or make your own full medical kit as a simple first aid kit will not be enough for your OHV adventure.


All-terrain tires

Consult your owners manual for the original equipment size tires to fit your vehicle. In my case, I’ve done a ton of research and am very knowledgable about tires so knowing that my Honda Ridgeline comes with OE size 245/65R17, I’m still able to fit certain brands of 265/65R17 tires with a tread width of 8.5 inches or less. Below is the list of my favorite all-terrain tires for my Honda Ridgeline RTL. I recommend using tirerack.com to purchase new all-terrain tires as they provide free shipping to all lower 48 continental USA States and will ship direct to your local favorite auto shop and have a great selection.

Firestone Destination A/T2

Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015

Hankook Dynapro AT-M


Tools

This may seem obvious but is often overlooked! If you don’t already have a stocked tool bag or box in your four wheel drive supply kit, you can simply buy a full tool set too! Make sure your tool kit includes vice grips, oil for tour truck, extra gasoline, a hatchet and hammer, drivers, sockets, wrenches, gloves, a tire plug kit, pliers, WD-40 or other rust-removal item, lighter or weatherproof matches, headlamp, wire, rope, zip-ties, duct and electric tape and of course a multi tool.

Photo by @zschrubb
Photo by @zschrubb

Fire extinguisher

There’s different kinds of fire extinguishers however on an off-roading 4×4 trails camping trip, you’ll want a B-rated (liquids fire) and C-rated (electrical equipment) fire extinguisher in case of the worst!


Snatch block

Want to double your winch’s recovery power? Yes, a snatch block tool will provide this essential ability.

Snatch block


Grab handles

These support handles can be installed on the inside of your off-road truck on back of head rests, pillars, doors and cross members, to provide grip in those “oh sh!t” moments where passengers will want to grip tight even while buckled.

Universal fit headrest grab handles


Heated blanket

Find a heated thermal blanket which is large enough for two people which plugs into your cigarette lighter to stay warm inside tour vehicle or around the fire.


Jerry can or gas tank

While we plan our off-roading trip route, we may find it handy to have extra gasoline which should always be mounted on the outside of your vehicle.

5 gallon gas can for vehicle with pour spout


Deadman anchor

If you need to winch out of stuck location but you don’t have a second vehicle to assist and you don’t have a tree, giant rock or other super heavy object to anchor your winch to, you will need a deadman anchor. This winch anchor is a tool that lets you create your own winch line anchor point.

Deadman earth anchor

How to use a deadman earth anchor


Additional suggested off-roading supplies (from members of the Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Facebook Group)

  • Change of dry clothes – because you never know when you have to get out and rig a winch line, spot your friend or walk a trail ahead of your truck while it’s raining
  • Two-way radio CB – “not all areas get cell phone reception.”
  • A hat – the sun can be hot as hell!
  • Batteries/flashlights/bug spray/sunscreen
  • Camp chair – to relax and to enjoy the small things in life.
  • Snacks – because when you stop, you’re going to have the munchies.
  • Chain saw (with blade oil, sharpener and eye protection) – for taking down fallen trees on the trail.
  • Manual bow saw and machété 

For more information about must-have Off-road 4×4 supplies, review the Wisconsin Off Highway Vehicle Association’s Safety Checklist:

Click to access ohv%20safety%20checklist.pdf

Off-roading trail tips

Other must-have off-roading supplies resources

You’re ready for an off-roading OHV adventure!

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10 Awesome Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for 2018 #GIVEAWAY

Spring is one of my favorite seasons. Finally, we can get outdoors, spend time in the sun, enjoy a Sunday with mom and take an afternoon walk with friends or family. My favorite Spring Holiday has always been Mother’s Day. Maybe it’s because my mom is so special and I love her so much! This year for Mother’s Day, I’m attending Allgauer’s Mother’s Day Brunch with my mom, my sister and my 3 boys. This “award winning Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch” features “over 100 decadent items ranging from unlimited Bubbly Champagne and Mimosas, Oysters on the Half-Shell…Dozens of Fresh Salads, Hand Carved Meats…Kid’s Buffet and a Never-Ending Dessert Buffet including Baked Alaska!” I love good food and I love spending time with with my mom so this is going to be amazing.

I am happy this year to celebrate our moms by sharing with you this awesome list of gift ideas of my favorite Mother’s Day gift ideas which I hope you find useful and fun!

This post contains affiliate links which I use to keep the office lights on (and coffee.) Read the Disclosure, Terms and Privacy fineprint here, learn about the giveaway rules and note, no product samples were provided for this review and the opinions expressed here are original, unique and my ideas solely.


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10 Best Valentine’s Day gifts to give to a friend

When I was in elementary school, every Valentine’s Day my class would exchange greeting cards and now that I’m all grown up (sort of) I always love giving Valentine’s gifts to those I am close to like friends and family. With the simplicity of online shopping, Valentine’s Day gift giving has never been so easy and so I am happy to present you with my 10 best Valentine’s Day gifts that are perfect to give to a BFF, BAE or close friend. This list is not intended for men or women, him or her but for all! Below each product, you’ll see some manufacturer’s socials too.
 

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This post contains affiliate links which I use to keep the office lights on (and coffee.) Read the Disclosure, Terms and Privacy fineprint here, learn about the giveaway rules and note, product samples were provided to our testing dept. for this review however, opinions are original, unique and our ideas solely.

 

1. Hard Cover Journal

This notebook is perfect for writing, taking down thoughts and come with a 70 sheets for your friend to jot down their ideas. Available for Amazon Prime members for $16.

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2. One Line A Day Memory Book

That’s right. This journal leaves you with just enough space to make a one line entry for each day. There’s 365 daily entry spaces in this book x5 to make five years worth of one-liner entries. Pretty cool gift idea for a friend and available for Amazon Prime members for $11.

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3. Prince – Purple Rain Record

Prince was a one-of-a-kind artist and there will never be another like him. Vinyl is where it’s at from a music listening experience and if you know your friend has a record player, this amazing album is a must-have for any audiophiles collection! Available for $29 in Vinyl format from Amazon.

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4. Portable Charcoal Grill

Everyone likes to grill out right? This amazing portable BBQ grill folds up tight for easy storage and can accommodate cooking for a party of two! It’s small and convenient and locks for easy transport! Available from Amazon for $67 and a perfect gift for the BFF or best buddy in your life!

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5. Echo Dot

This second generation Echo Dot by Amazon featuring Alexa is a must-have for the tech-savvy household. My 6-year-old’s favorite request for Alexa is to make her fart! But seriously, the Echo Dot is an entry point to using Alexa to control so many things for example Alexa will help you with: making a phone call, ordering items on Amazon, chat with you when you are lonely or want to look up information, plays music from Amazon Music or many other music streaming services (Pandora is my fav’) and so much more! Listed at $39 on Amazon, this item is a perfect gift for a friend.


6. Canvas Travel Bag

This rugged backpack doubles as a carry-on and has tons of storage for the on the go friend. Perfect for backpacking, work, traveling, hiking, camping, school or other on-the-go needs. Plus it just looks classy and somewhat old school and for $37 on Amazon, it’s time to gear up!


7. Scented Candle

Send this large candle to a friend who will love filling their home with the scent of balsam fir. This candle may ship from Amazon but it is made in Maine, USA and is high quality and will last a long time too. Available for Amazon Prime members for just $19.

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8. Essential Oil Diffuser

I have this very diffuser and it’s such a joy to use. I can fill it and once it’s empty its auto-shutoff feature kicks in. Use this diffuser with or without the LED lights too, which we love. This is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the friend in your life and for $15 on Amazon with fast shipping for Prime members, it’s quite the deal.


9. Mini-Espresso Maker

This self-contained miniature espresso maker is small and versatile and with no plugs needed, makes the pefect travel companion fort the espresso aficionado in your life! Grab this hand operated wonder as a Valentine’s day gift for a friend or loved one for just $49 on Amazon.

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10. Quality Time

The best gift to give to a friend is your time. Be present. Show up, listen, say hello and spent time with those you love.


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Sources: REALSIMPLE - HouseBeautiful - CountryLiving - Amazon Wishlist