Essential off-road driving accessories

Car Technology Driving
A Toyota Land Cruiser 200 goes off-road

There are a fair number of 4×4 owners who would never dream of taking their all terrain vehicles off-road. This may be because they are worried about the prospect of a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Some people also fear that their vehicles are not actually up to the task of making it across particularly bad ground. However, it is possible to reduce the impact of off-road mishaps by equipping your vehicle with some of the accessories listed in this article.

Off-road tyres

It is quite unlikely that the tyres originally fitted to your 4×4 vehicle will be up to the rigours of serious off-roading. You would be well advised to look for replacements that guarantee a higher level of grip and traction in off-road conditions. It would also be sensible to keep a spare tyre in your vehicle, just in case you are unlucky enough to have a puncture. Most new cars no longer come with a proper spare tyre, which may not be a big deal for city driving when you are not far from a tyre shop, but can be a much more serious problem when you are hundreds of miles from anywhere.

Jack & lug wrench

If you’re going to change a tyre then you will need a jack. You might even choose to invest in an electric model, to ensure that the task doesn’t take too much of a physical toll.  And it’s advisable to use a lug wrench in order to properly loosen and tighten the lug nuts on the wheels. Many original equipment lug wrenches are not really up to the job and can break easily, so you may need ditch it and invest in a heavy-duty replacement.

Vehicle protectors

It is quite common for stones and other small pieces of debris to fly up and hit the lights of off-road vehicles, so you would be well advised to purchase protectors for the front and rear of your vehicle. You might also like to invest in bonnet defenders, which should prevent stones from causing costly dents or scratches.

Satellite navigation device

It is quite possible that you’ll have so much fun exploring the rural environment that you completely lose your bearings. This won’t be a worry if you have a satellite navigation system at hand. Just follow the on-screen directions and you’ll soon be back on the roads. You should also take a traditional map, in case your satnav malfunctions or runs out of batteries.

Shovel & traction aids

Off-road vehicles go green laningIf you don’t like the thought of being stuck in the mud then it would be sensible to maintain a relatively low speed during your off-road adventure. If the worst does happen then do not make the rookie mistake of spinning your wheels at full throttle. Instead, you should attempt to extricate your vehicle with a shovel and some carpet-covered planks. If you’re really struggling then it may be best to use a trusty high lift jack and strong recovery line.

Mobile phone

It is absolutely essential that you are able to make mobile contact with trusted friends, family and perhaps (but hopefully not) the emergency services when you’re off-roading. They will be able to provide much needed assistance in the event of an accident or navigational problem. To be on the safe side you ensure that your phone has extensive network coverage.

A Land Rover Defender going off-road in a river

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