Every year it seems like Four Wheeler throws together some sort of holiday gift guide with items that may or may not be of interest. This year I decided to put in a little extra effort, ya know, my own personal touch. So I scribbled my very own wish list, the same one I’m sending off to Santa this year. That’s right, these are the gifts I want to find under my tree come Christmas morning! So if you have some greenbacks burning a hole in your pocket and you’re feeling extra generous this year, go ahead and send me one or two of my gift ideas. But look, I know cash has been kinda tight so I’ll understand if I only find the same lump of coal that Santa puts in my stocking every year. Hey, I’m a regular 4x4 kind of guy and if I want it as a gift, it’s very likely just about any 4x4 enthusiast would too. So if you’re shopping for someone else besides me, feel free to steal my gift ideas for them. Trust me, they’ll want this stuff more than new socks and underwear.
#1: Best Creeper Ever
This mechanic’s creeper is named the Rough Rider because it works great where no other creeper has gone before… outdoors and off the pavement! But happy mechanics, farmers, truckers, police officers, RV’ers, off-road, auto enthusiasts, and aircraft owners who have been forced to get out and get under in less-than ideal situations just call it the “off-road creeper.” The 5 3/8-inch-diameter wheels let it roll over just about anything in the way without getting stuck. You’ll never go back to your crappy old creeper once you’ve been on the Rough Rider.
#2: Fullsize Mutitool
It’s a wrench and a prybar. All someone needs to do is add a hammer face to the Kobalt 15-inch chrome vanadium steel adjustable ironworkers wrench and it would be a dream tool. It’s awesome for aligning holes before inserting bolts, pounding them home, and then tightening them.
#3: Long Distance Collect Caller
Want to reach out and touch something at 1,000-plus yards with the knock-down force of a freight train? Then ask Santa for the Barrett Model 99 .50 BMG. This single-shot bolt-action .50 caliber rifle uses the same round as the famed Browning “Ma Duce” machine gun. It’s capable of blasting holes through nearly anything, including engine blocks. Don’t forget to ask Santa for a high-power scope and a case of ammo too, at $5-$10 a round it ain’t cheap to fire the Barrett Model 99.
#4: Off-Roader’s Pocket Tool
We all should have a pocket multi-tool but there are many different kinds out there to choose from. The Leatherman Surge just so happens to be the perfect pocket tool for the 4x4 enthusiast. With 21 tools in one it includes all the features you might need when a small problem arises on the trail or at the campsite.
#5: Top Truck Carnage
Need a break from your significant other’s daily soaps and talk shows. Sit back, have a beer and some popcorn and catch the latest Four Wheeler Top Truck Challenge video. The TTC 2011 video is a two disk set that covers the truck pull, frame twister, mud bog, hill climb, obstacle course, mini Rubicon, and the famed tank trap.
#6: Go Anywhere Camera
Cameras and four-wheeling have never played well together. The camera always seems to lose to sand, mud, dirt, water, and dropping. So as off-road enthusiasts we all tend to go through cameras. Not anymore though, any of the Olympus Stylus Tough Series Cameras are a great gift idea for the ‘wheeler that loves to capture the moments. They’re all shockproof and waterproof. You really have to try to hurt ‘em.
#7: Go Anywhere Phone
Every four-wheeler needs a bomb-proof cell phone and you can’t get much better element resistance than a Casio Mil-Spec phone. The Casio GZ One Commando, Ravine, and Brigade cell phones are water, shock, and dust resistant. They even include tools tailor-made for outdoor activities such as a compass, a pedometer, a thermometer, and tide tables.
#8: Boil Away
The ability to boil water quickly can be pretty handy when you’re camping. It doesn’t get much faster or easier than boiling water with a Jet Boil Personal Cooking System (PCS). It’s compact and can be used to kill bacteria in woods water, cook freeze-dried meals, or simply make a fresh cup-o-joe.
#9: Tool One-Upmanship
We all have that snooty buddy that claims his Snap-On or Matco tools are far superior to our lower-cost tools. But wouldn’t it be fun to shut him up? Now you can. None of your buddies are likely to have any titanium tools so they’ll be especially impressed when you whip out your titanium ½-inch ratchet. Other tools are also available.
MSRP: $ 819.95
It doesn’t get much more turnkey than a Ford Raptor. It’s well optioned, very comfortable, extremely capable, and can haul ass over some of the roughest terrain you can find. If you are buying me (or anyone) a truck for the holidays you can’t go wrong with a Ford Raptor SVT F-150. It’s the ½-ton truck everyone loves.
#11: iPhone Dyno
The Dash Boss plugs into the OBD port on your ’96-up vehicle and feeds into your iPhone via Bluetooth. You can use the Dash Boss to measure 0-60, ¼-mile, and 60-0 times among other things. Any electronics tweaker or performance enthusiast will enjoy having a Dash Boss.
#12: Wheelie Green Envy
Call me crazy, I like these green 17x9 Method desert truck beadlocks. Currently they are only offered in machined aluminum but I think the company should offer them in the same color green that some of the race drivers run. For now you would have to have them painted or powder coated yourself.
MSRP: $345 (plus paint)
#13: Jack Mate
Many 4x4 enthusiasts have a Hi-Lift Jack. To make that Hi-Lift more useful they’ll appreciate a Rescue 42 JackMate. The JackMate slides over either end of the jack bar and is attached with a quick-release pin. As a top clamp, the JackMate dramatically increases the jacks winching, clamping, and crushing capabilities. As a replacement jack base, the JackMate is engineered to bite into boards or logs to help prevent the jack from sinking in mud, sand, ice, and snow.
#14: RC Camp 4x4
If you’re looking for a fun camp toy that you can also chase the neighbor kids with, the Traxxas Slash 4x4 is the only way to go. It’s a brushless-motored RC car so it’s really fast. It comes complete with a controller, battery, and charger. The Slash 4x4 looks and drives just like a real Pro-4 short-course race truck, only it’s less expensive, easier to maintain, and a lot smaller.
#15: Your Last Axles
RCV Performance offers unbreakable axle shafts for almost every common 4x4 front axle. But if you are buying them for me I’ll take the non-unit-bearing Dana 44 front shafts for a ’74-’79 Wagoneer. All of the company’s CV-style shafts come with a “You break it, we replace it!” warranty, and that’s something you don’t see every day on a quality axle part.
#16: Tool Parking
If you’re shopping for me, I don’t really need the Harbor Freight 13-drawer red roller cabinet (PN 90320), I already own one (if you’re asking though, I wouldn’t mind upgrading to the larger 56-inch version PN 67681). For the price it’s a great rolling tool chest if you need a lot of tool storage space. It regularly goes on sale for several hundred dollars less than the suggested retail price.
#17: Budget HID
If you like night wheeling like I do then you need HID off-road lights. They’re way brighter than a typical halogen lamp. And now you don’t have to pay the premium HID price thanks to Rugged Ridge. The 5-inch two-light kit (PN 15205.54) even includes a switch and a wiring harness and will throw plenty of lumens down your path. A 7-inch version is also available.
#18: Clean Fire Fighter
HalGuard premium fire extinguishers contain a clean extinguishing agent that rapidly turns into a gas, and quickly attacks fires without leaving any residue to clean up, or any danger of electric shock. The H3R 2.5-pound HG250R extinguisher can easily be mounted in a Jeep. It’s compact, lightweight, easy to use, rechargeable, made in the USA, and it comes with a 5-year limited warranty. Several sizes and colors (including chrome) are also available.
#19: Forever Air
I want an air compressor that lasts. For that you need to look to the oiled pumps. The Craftsman Professional 27-gallon air compressor (PN WLB1982713) delivers 5.8 SCFM at 90 PSI. The oil-lubricated pump is belt-driven by a heavy-duty 1.9hp induction motor and produces up to 150 psi. There is no assembly required and it comes with a 1 year limited warranty.
#20: Wide View Welding
If you’re welding on a 4x4 you want a wide field of vision because sometimes you’ll find yourself in tight quarters. The Lincoln Viking 3350 welding helmet features a large 3.74x3.34-inch auto-darkening viewing area. It’s available in several different paint schemes including Black, Patriot, Tribal, Terracuda, Motorhead, and Mojo. Me? I’ll take the simple black or Tribal version.