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Off Road Trail Tools

Posted in How To on March 18, 2011
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Photographers: 4WD & SU Staff

We’ve all experienced trail mishaps that required some degree of repairs in order to continue our journeys. Whether it was a loose or missing bolt, a broken bracket, a torn brake line, or a small electrical fire, each instance requires field repairs that are much easier to tackle when you have the tools needed to complete the job.

In addition to this array of trail tools we’ve also included some ideas about how to safely and easily store the necessary tools in your 4x4 as well as a variety of survival tools for when repairs take longer than expected. Read on as we explore these trail tools and their uses.

The Gearsafe replaces the rear-mounted spare-tire bracket on a Jeep, converting the wasted space inside the spare tire/wheel to useful, lockable storage space. The Gearsafe is ideal for 4x4s and trailers.

• Carry emergency tools at the ready or you can lock up your valuables when you leave your vehicle
• Available in various sizes; up to 20-inch wheels and 8-inch standard width with optional depths of 10 and 12 inches

For more information, contact:
Little Boys Off-Road Toys
(866) 604-8021

Premier Power Welder
On-board, in-vehicle welding system from Premier Power Welder

• High-frequency, 100-percent duty cycle welder able to ARC, MIG, and TIG weld just above engine idle
• Premier unit offers battery charging, welding, and 115-volt DC power source capabilities
• Can be used to run power equipment such as grinders, drills, saws, and incandescent lights
• New streamlined control box uses fewer switches for easy operation
• New four stud stiffener mounting system offers easy mounting in cramped spaces and new vehicles

For more information, contact:
Premier Power Welder
(800) 541-1817

Mac’s Black Box
The Mac’s Black Box from Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs is designed to fit the rear cargo area in 2007-and-newer Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited models. It utilizes the factory rear seat bolt holes for mounting, but does not require the removal of the rear seats.

• Quick and easy installation and removal; no drilling required
• Factory floor storage is still accessible due to the Black Box’s innovative tilting design
• Lightweight, powdercoated aluminum construction
• Locking drawer and a separate lock to keep the unit secured in the back of the Jeep

For more information, contact:
Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs
(800) 666-1586

SWAG Off-Road Action Packer Baja Bin
Gear stored in your 4x4 can take a beating. SWAG Off-Road has the answer for storing gear safely with its Action Packer Baja Bin

• Designed to fit the 8-gallon Rubbermaid Action Packer like a glove
• Constructed out of 1/8-inch aluminum, cut on a laser, and formed on a press brake for a precise fit
• Engineered to withstand the abuse of off-road racing
• Weighs only 6 pounds
• Available in two configurations; hinged on one side or dual clasp design for tight clearances
• The top lid rail makes an ideal tie down point for securing loose cargo

For more information, contact:
SWAG Off-Road
(541) 915-2775

Yamaha EF2000iS Portable Generator
Portable power makes a great trail tool. The Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000-watt generator is the perfect size to fit in most 4x4s and offers ample power to handle most repair jobs. It can be used to power lights or electric tools, to charge a portable electric cooler or device, or even to power a laptop or television and DVD player for campsite enjoyment.

• At just 44 pounds the EF2000iS is easy to move, transport, and store
• Super-quiet muffler with USFS-approved spark arrestor
• Compact 2.2 cubic foot size is easy to store and transport
• TwinTech capability — can hook up two EF2000iSs for 3,600 watts of maximum power
• OHV engine with cast-iron cylinder liner
• Efficient, reliable, powerful providing long life and excellent heat dissipation
• Inverter system with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control allows charging or use of products with built-in microcomputers or microcomputer-controlled electric tools
• Gasoline petcock helps prevent carburetor contamination during storage
• Electrical overload breaker prevents generator damage in case of overload
• Includes a 8A12V DC outlet for charging batteries (cables included)

For more information, contact:
(800) 962-7926

Harbor Freight 750-Watt Power Inverter
The Harbor Freight 750-Watt Power Inverter offers 110-volt AC power from a 12-volt battery. Great for use on the road or at home. It offers continuous power up to 750 watts.

• Capable of charging household appliances
• High surge capacity for products that require power up to 1,500 watts to start
• Continuous power up to 750 watts
• Double AC receptacles for connecting multiple loads
• Heavy-duty input cables with alligator clips
• Five-volt, 500-milliamp USB port
• Protection from low/high voltage, low/high temperatures, low/high currents
• Short circuit and overload protection

For more information, contact:
Harbor Freight Tools
(800) 657-8001

Black & Decker Power-It 2-in-1 Automotive 500W Power Inverter
We all hit the trails to get in touch with nature, but sometimes you need mobile power when you’re in remote areas. Enter Black & Decker’s Power-It 2-in-1 Automotive 500-Watt Power Inverter. Get 100 watts to charge portable GPS units or laptops by plugging it into your rig’s 12-volt DC port. Or get 500 watts for heavy-duty tools by connecting it to your 4x4’s battery.

• Has two AC outlets and a USB port
• Warns against vehicle battery drain
• Illuminated icons show ideal applications for selected power supply

For more information, contact:
Black & Decker
(877) 571-2391

Hi-Lift Jack
The venerable Hi-Lift Jack is a trail tool that every 4x4 should carry. It can be used in various recovery and repair situations and the handle can even be used as an emergency sleeve for a bent or broken tie rod.

• Two-piece handle and socket design that is built for extended life
• Offers a rated capacity of 4,660 pounds and a tested capacity of 7,000 pounds
• Climbing pins are manufactured from a specially-processed steel with 125,000-psi tensile strength and 100,000-psi yield
• Steel bar is manufactured from specially rolled, extra high carbon steel with 80,000-pound minimum tensile strength
• The 1 5/16-inch-diameter-by-30-inch-long steel handle is made from 14-gauge high-yield structural tubing with minimum yield of 55,000 psi.
• Every Jack comes complete with an adjustable top clamp/clevis for use in clamping and winching

For more information, contact:
Hi-Lift Jack Company
(800) 233-2051

LiftTrax are pneumatic traction mats designed to offer more confidence while hitting the trail by eliminating the worry of getting stuck. LiftTrax bladders can be filled manually or using an air compressor, a CO2 canister, or a hand-held pump. LiftTrax kits include two 44x20-inch pneumatic traction mats, two pre-installed replaceable bladders, a carry case, two inflation adaptors, and a user manual.

• Features a reinforced, PVC-coated fabric shell that is covered with 1/4-inch-thick rubber ribs for optimum traction
• LiftTrax 4000R is capable of lifting vehicles up to 8,800 pounds; LiftTrax 2500 is capable of lifting vehicles up to 5,500 pounds
• LiftTrax can be connected to each other for extended recovery length

For more information, contact:

Off-Road Trail Tools Wheel Chock
Using wheel chocks during off-road recovery and repair is a good idea. Jacks can slip, especially when used upon uneven surfaces. The wheel chocks from Off-Road Trail Tools are compact and sturdy and can help you complete repairs more safely.

• Wheel chocks are able to be unfolded and laid out horizontal to use as an emergency traction device
• Made in the USA
• Equipped with stainless steel hardware
• Manufactured to be non-rusting and non-sparking
• Bottom surface grips the terrain for traction. Can also be further secured with tent stakes

For more information, contact:
Off-Road Trail Tools
(520) 579-2079

MAXTRAX is an innovative, lightweight vehicle recovery device. It is offered as a complete kit, which includes everything needed for simple 4x4 trail recoveries.

• Includes four MAXTRAX, grounding stakes, linking straps, mounting board, and a sealed case
• Australia-designed and engineered
• Tested in the world’s toughest off-road events and expeditions
• Manufactured from UV-stabilized, flexible, engineering-grade reinforced nylon

For more information, contact:
(443) 955-1279

ARB Speedy Seal
The ARB Speedy Seal tire repair kit includes all the components necessary to repair tubeless radial or cross ply tires, without removing the tire from the vehicle or rim. The kit is packaged in a compact, blow-molded carry case.

• Quality pencil-type tire gauge with dual pressure range and dual chuck
• Spring steel insertion needle
• Lubricant for easier tool insertion
• Additional valve accessories, including valve core tool, spare valves, and valve caps
• Hardened steel reamer tool
• 30 self-vulcanizing repair cords for complete air sealing
• Allen keys
• Quality high-visibility orange blow-molded case to keep contents protected

For more information, contact:
(800) 761-8192

Tyrepliers Hammerhead Beadbreaker
The Tyrepliers Hammerhead Beadbreaker from Extreme Outback Products allows for easy bead breaking and tire removal in the field or shop. It is endorsed and used by the Australian military and even carries a worldwide NATO stocking number.

• For use on all aluminum, steel, and split rims
• Adjustable to fit 4- to 19.5-inch diameters
• Manufactured from electroplated high-quality steel
• Includes a lifetime warranty on workmanship and materials
• Built to withstand continuous use in difficult conditions
• Twenty-two-inch length allows for easy toolbox storage

For more information, contact:
Extreme Outback Products
(707) 447-7711

Smittybilt Air Compressor
The 2781 high-volume air compressor is ideal for off-road vehicles with 35-inch-or-larger tires.

• Inflates a full-size truck tire in less than 1.5 minutes
• Inflates a passenger car tire in less than 30 seconds

For more information, contact:
Pro Comp/Smittybilt
(888) 717-5797

The Source High-Energy Portable Air System
The Source air system is a complete portable air system consisting of an aluminum cylinder of pressurized liquid CO2, which is released as a vapor through The Source Hyper-FLO regulator. The Source will inflate a 33X12.50x15 tire from 10 to 20 psi in just 30 seconds. A full tank can fill 39 tires the same size. Both 5 and 10 pound tanks are available.

• Supplied with a 20-foot, high-quality COMP-FLEX hose, quick connects, tire ball chuck, and a heavy-duty mounting bracket
• Lightweight portable design is easy to carry using the protective handle
• Lightweight aluminum air tanks are powdercoated in black, yellow or polished finish

For more information, contact:
Off-Road Air
(800) 752-4579

FatMax Ratcheting T-Handle Set
The FatMax T-Handle set from Stanley Tools features a professional-grade ratcheting T-Handle with 25 heavy-duty interchangeable components.

For more information, contact:
Stanley Tools
(800) 262-2161

Impact Screwdriver
This impact screwdriver from Spring Tools easily removes any stripped or corroded fasteners.

• Delivers 5,000 pounds of impact
• Includes industrial hardened bits

For more information, contact:
Spring Tools
(800) 356-6966

Hi-Lift Handle-All
The Hi-Lift Handle-All is a multi-functional tool with telescoping handle and four full-sized implements. It is ideal for camping, off-roading, recreation, farming, ranching, and forestry.

• Branded gear bag for storage
• Telescoping implement handle
• Full-sized shovel, sledge hammer, axe, and pick-axe heads

For more information, contact:
Hi-Lift Jack Company
(800) 233-2051

Extreme Outback Products Ultimate Overland Recovery Shovel
The Ultimate Overland Recovery Shovel from Extreme Outback Products is a high-quality three-piece shovel that quickly transforms from a short D-handle shovel into a long-handle shovel.

• Polymer handle with steel-core shaft
• Includes carrying case

For more information, contact:
Extreme Outback Products
(707) 447-7711

Matco Tools Infinium 18V ½-inch Impact Wrench
The Matco Tools Infinium 18V 1/2-inch impact wrench features 425 lb-ft of working torque and weighs less than 7 pounds. Infinium is Matco’s new line of cordless tools developed specifically for professional automotive technicians who require both power and portability to maximize their efficiency.

• Lightweight design and the latest battery-cell technology
• Uses 3.0Ah lithium ion batteries
• Push button fuel gauge helps identify remaining charge

For more information, contact:
(866) 289-8665

The FLEXiT is a hands-free flexible LED task light. Its ultra-thin, flexible silicone body allows an unlimited amount of light projections. It features an electronic switch and circuit, two large neodymium (rare earth) magnets, and a loop to hang or mount the light.

• Uses 16 Lumen Tech LEDs with three light functions (low, medium, and high)
• Durable ABS base holds three AA batteries (included)
• Can be bent into positions to create a focused spot or a broad floodlight
• Bend, fold, or wrap the light on or around objects to position and aim the light
• The FLEXiT measures 0.85 inches thick, 7 inches wide, and 13 inches tall

For more information, contact:
(704) 658-9332

Poly Performance Fire Extinguisher Mount
Poly Performance’s quick release fire extinguisher mount can be secured with either bolts or hose clamps and can be used for any size fire extinguisher (sold separately).

• Mount offers split-second removal to maximize emergency preparedness
• NASA approved
• Innovative way to safely mount a fire extinguisher to any surface

For more information, contact:
Poly Performance
(805) 783-2060

Universal Fire Extinguisher Mount
The NHRA-approved, universal fire-extinguisher mount from Drake Automotive Group is machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum. It features a black-anodized finish and a laser-etched logo.

• Red-anodized, quick-release knob
• Versatile mounting options
• Fits various-sized automobile fire extinguishers
• Clamps and fire extinguisher sold separately

For more information, contact:
Drake Automotive Group
(800) 999-0289

SOL Origin Survival Pack
The SOL Origin combines key high-end survival tools that lock into a sturdy injection molded ABS waterproof carrying case, roughly the size and thickness of a digital camera. The case comes with a lanyard ring, allowing you to wear this essential survival tool around your neck or to attach it to a knapsack or store inside your 4x4. The SOL Origin features seven tools. SOL stands for Survive Outdoors Longer.

• The SOL knife is a folding AUS-8 locking blade with easy-grip handle that comes with a built-in LED light and single-frequency, pea-less whistle that can be heard up to a mile away
• Button compass for navigating
• Rescue Flash Signal Mirror with retro-reflective aiming aid (for signaling)
• SOL Fire Lite, which provides 1000 sparks, and windproof and waterproof SOL tinder
• Steel wire and nylon cord (for gear repair)
• Fishing kit (for food gathering)
• Heavy-duty aluminum foil (for boiling water)
• Waterproof manual containing over 60 survival tips and techniques

For more information, contact:
Adventure Medical Kits
(800) 324-3517

Rugged Ridge Folding Shovel
You never know when you might need to dig out of sand, mud, or snow, or even if you might need to dig a fire pit to keep warm trailside while waiting for repair parts. Rugged Ridge offers its compact folding shovel for just these reasons.

• Constructed of painted gray steel with reinforced hinges
• Folds up and stores easily in your vehicle
• Includes a handy storage case protecting your interior from loose dirt and mud
• Great for trail or campsite

For more information, contact:
Rugged Ridge
(770) 614-6101

CRKT Zilla-Tool Jr.
Back in our December 2009 issue, we reviewed the ground-breaking Zilla-Tool from Columbia River Knife & Tool. The Zilla-Tool Jr. is a petite offspring of that multi-tool, but packs all the versatility of its daddy. It’s a toolbox in your pocket.

• Includes pliers, knife, screwdriver, wire cutter and stripper, and bottle opener
• Comes with pocket clip or nylon sheath
• Weighs only 3.8 ounces

For more information, contact:
Columbia River Knife & Tool
(800) 891-3100

5.11 Tactical DRT Knife
The manufacturer known as 5.11 Tactical Series produces some of the best equipment, tools, and apparel for our men and women in uniform and also offers products to civilian outdoor enthusiasts, too. Its DRT is a folding knife that’s compact, handy, and high-quality.

• Sharp blade is made of AUS-8 stainless steel with black-oxide finish
• Ergonomic handle made of durable fiberglass-reinforced nylon
• Left- or right-handed pocket clip

For more information, contact:
5.11 Tactical Series
(866) 451-1726

Spyderco Tenacious Folder Knife
The Tenacious is the kind of manly man’s knife that makes you feel very masculine — but that’s not to say a woman can’t use it either. It has a good balance between weight and functionality, and makes for a fine trail or camping knife.

• Its 8CR13MOV blade steel is sharp and maintains its edge
• G-10 handle is durable and provides an excellent grip
• Serrated, semi-serrated, or plain edge available

For more information, contact:
(800) 525-7770

CRKT Kommer Brow Tine Fixed Blade
We call this cool knife the cowboy blade. The Kommer Brow Tine is not only a quality hunting knife with a vintage-style handle, it also reminds us of yesteryear, when open country really meant open country.

• Its fixed blade is made of high-carbon 9Cr18MoV stainless steel with a mirror finish.
• Hand-finished stag handle
• Comes with tooled leather sheath

For more information, contact:
Columbia River Knife & Tool
(800) 891-3100

Prolong Super Penetrating Lubricant Spray
Prolong offers super lubricants such as its SPL100 Super Penetrating Lubricant Spray for a variety of automotive uses, including preventing corrosion; freeing rusty parts; and reducing friction on metal surfaces, tools, or equipment exposed to water or inclement weather.
• Formulated with Prolong’s Anti-Friction Metal Treatment advanced technology
• Designed to clean, lubricate, and protect metal surfaces
• Available in a 16-ounce trigger spray bottle, a 12-ounce aerosol can, and a newly-introduced 4-ounce aerosol can for hard-to-reach areas.

For more information, contact:
(800) 540-LUBE (5823)

Delorme GPS with SPOT
The DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w with SPOT allows you to stay in touch from locations around the world even when there’s no cell-phone coverage. The included SPOT device was developed specifically for use with PN-60w. It offers easy wireless connection and the ability to type and send text messages from the field.

• Allows others to track your progress on Google Maps
• In case of emergency, send SOS messages with your GPS location embedded
• Display the widest available array of maps, charts, and aerial imagery
• View cutaway elevation profiles with your position pinpointed
• 3.5 GB internal memory
• GPX support — save waypoints, geocaches, and tracks with no maximum limits, either on device or on SD cards
• New icon-based interface to easily navigate among the PN-60w’s map and function screens

For more information, contact:
(800) 561-5105

Scott Shop Towels
You can’t beat a good roll of paper towels. Whether cleaning grease from your hands or tools, collecting spilled fluids, or simply wiping sweat from your brow, Scott Shop Towels are up to the task. They are tough and absorbent and easily stored in your 4x4.

• Ideal for changing oil, refilling fluids, and general automotive maintenance
• Super strong — even works when wet
• Easily absorbs liquids, oils, and grease
• Regular roll size fits on a standard towel holder for convenient dispensing
• Pop-Up Box size with built-in handle allows you to take the box on the job while keeping rags clean

For more information, contact:
Kimberly-Clark Professional
(800) 443-4231, ext. 2

Gorilla Tape
Gorilla Tape is the ultimate trail tool. Gorilla Tape offers a double-thick adhesive designed to fill up the gaps in rough, uneven surfaces for super strong bite. It is made for surfaces like wood, stone, stucco, plaster, brick, and more.

• Standard-width Gorilla Tape is available in 35- and 12-yard rolls
• Also available in 30-foot-by-1-inch-wide roll for small jobs and new 30-yard-by-almost 3-inch-wide roll for large jobs
• Strong reinforced backing
• Tight weave makes it extra strong, but you can still rip it straight and easy
• Tough all-weather shell

For more information, contact:
Gorilla Tape
(800) 966-3458

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