What To Bring To Get You Home
Nothing replaces a quality set of tools. Nothing replaces the right spare part you happen to need at that moment, either. That's why being prepared for the worst possible situation is your best means of trail survival. But what tools and parts do you carry? While this will vary from vehicle-to-vehicle and also depend on individual needs, we decided to offer a list of the items we carry for short and long trail runs. Use this list of tools and equipment as a guide for building your own stash of necessary goods for your rig.
We published a similar list a few years back and readers have requested that a return of the article appear as an update. This is simply a list of all of the necessary tools, parts, and accessories you could carry with you. By all means, you may not need all of these items for every trip, but if you participate in extended adventures away from civilization and out of mobile-phone range then it might be a good idea to carry everything you can. Remember that each item you include adds more weight to your vehicle. If you 'wheel with the same group of guys every time try to spread out the spares and tools that will be needed so each vehicle carries a portion of the gear.
Remember that the trail is not a place to carry out parts installations or tackle routine maintenance. Stuff like this should be completed before you even leave home. The better running condition your 4x4 is in before you hit the trail the better your chances are of making it home in a running vehicle.
The Every Trip Stuff
This stuff goes everywhere with my 4x4. I used to keep most of it in a plastic box but the bottom kept wearing out and the box would crack. Now I store most of it in MasterCraft tool duffle bags, which are much stronger than the plastic crate and are also easier to stow. Although I have 'wheeled with just the "Every Trip Stuff" on board I prefer having my whole tool kit along for the ride. This stuff may save my ass in an emergency but it's no replacement for being properly prepared.
Survival gear (see list for items included)
Zip-ties (variety of sizes)
JB-80 or other H2O-penetrating lubricant
RTV silicone or gasket maker
Multi-tool pocket knife
Flashlight or headlamp
Matches or lighter
Small socket set
4-in-1 Torx screwdriver
Channel Lock pliers
Large and small adjustable wrenches
Tire repair kit with valve core tool and spare valve cores
Air pressure gauge
Air hose and chuck (for OBA system)
Shop rags or paper towels