The easiest way to ruin your off-roading getaway is to under-plan for it. You should always know exactly where you’re going with your Super Duty Ford and what to expect when you get there. Pack according to the trip plans and always bring extra water and supplies in the event you end up stranded.
A strong packing list is something that 4x4 newbies commonly overlook. Many are forced to learn the hard way how important it is to be prepared for whatever the trail throws in the path of your prized offroading truck.
It goes without saying that your packing list is going to vary from trip to trip. Obviously, you’ll pack differently for a month long cross country trip than you would for a day trip. That’s why I’m not going to go into your camping gear other than to say that you need it and should consider checking online for a thorough checklist.
Believe me, I know it’s easy to rush things when you’ve got your mind set on leaving the beaten path. Don’t let your eagerness get the best of you though, because sporting your new roof rack or steel bumper won’t look nearly as cool when you’re stuck without sufficient recovery gear.
There are a variety of methods used to get yourself out of sticky situations. Having a friend with a strong bumper winch system is probably my favorite, as I usually try to avoid risky paths unless I’ve got a buddy along to pull me out of trouble. The buddy system is a great idea when off-roading because it takes care of a lot of the worst case scenarios you may face. I also carry recovery tracks to place under the wheels and provide enough traction to climb out of the sand or mud.
One of the most essential parts of my packing list is a tire gauge and portable compressor. As you may know, different terrains dictate different tire pressures. That’s why you should research the area’s terrain and have an idea of what you’ll need your psi at before you even start your trip. Letting the air out before you leave the house will result in poor gas mileage on the road driving your 4x4 to your adventure - so it’s best to use your tire gauge and let out the appropriate amount of air once you’ve arrived.
There are tons of websites out there that document other enthusiasts’ experiences in a given area and they can also tell you things like trail difficulty and just how remote you will be.
It goes without saying that your cellphone can be a life-saver, so make sure that it’s fully charged and that you can charge it further. If you aren’t traveling with 2 separate offroading trucks, you should always take a companion to ride shotgun. What if you break your leg and can’t operate a clutch as a result? In this awful scenario, we’ll assume the cellphone you brought has no signal and you didn’t bring enough water to make it more than a day. Teaching your companion how to drive your 4x4 is essential.
Packing is the first and perhaps most important step to preparing yourself for a journey. Don’t overlook it - start a physical list to be improved upon for future trips. Being prepared could potentially save your life, and it will certainly help to ensure your offroading adventures in your souped-up Ford Super Duty Truck are always a success!