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Off Road Survival Guide

Truck accessories that you need to hit the trails right!

Off-Road Essentials
So, you’ve got your beefy, lifted suspension and you’ve added some knobby off-road tires - now what? If you’re not someone whose goal it is to take home trophies at the local truck show, it’s time to get dirty. Now, we’re not suggesting that you go hardcore rock-crawling your first time out; but a quick romp through the hills and mud can be enough to get your adrenaline pumping in a major way. I mean honestly, what could be more fun than flying through the hills at full- throttle, goin’ sideways around corners and throwin’ mud all over the guys behind you?

The Basics Before you get started, there’s a few things you’ll need to know.

First: Private property means private property. Find a legitimate trail or ask permission before you go tearing through people’s back yards. Remember the Tread Lightly® pledge and be kind to the environment.

Second: Bigfoot™ and the guys on TV are professionals and make things look very simple. Take it easy and don’t go too crazy until you get a feel for your truck.

Third: Bring some friends along. Whether they’re in their own trucks or simply riding along, there’s strength in numbers – and you never know when you might need a hand.

Off-Roading Essentials

Hitch and Winch
1. A winch is an essential part of any good off road rig.
Okay, with those formalities out of the way, let’s talk about some of the essentials that you’ll need for your off-road adventure. Your number one priority should be adding a front-mount and/or rear-mount hitch (such as those available from Hidden Hitch®), and a heavy-duty power winch system like those available from Superwinch. This one-two punch delivers a knock-out blow to just about any off-roading mishap you might encounter. Say you or your buddy slide off of the trail and get buried in too much mud for the truck to handle. With your winch and a stable, secure mounting point (like a thick tree trunk or another vehicle) you can quickly and easily pull the truck back to safety (Fig 1).

Off Road Recovery Kit
Off-Road Recovery Kit
2. An Off-Road Recovery Kit has all the winch accessories you'll need to get out of most any jam.
As a companion piece to your winch, it’s a good idea to get an off-road recovery kit like the one available from Pro Comp®. These kits typically contain heavy-duty tow straps, gloves and a spot light to help you get the most out of your winch system. Tow straps are incredibly handy for pulling vehicles out of ditches and mud. They’re made of heavy-duty nylon so they’re lighter and take up less room than chains and are easier to route around vehicle frames to gain a stronger, more secure hold. And, unlike the steel cable on the winch, tow straps are easy on tree trunks and eliminate the risk of the steel cord cutting the tree (Fig 2).

Tire Gauge and Compressor
Gauge and Compressor
3. An accurate gauge is needed to air down your tires for maximum off-road traction.
For maximum traction on the trail, most off-road experts recommend airing down (deflating) your tires. Pro Comp® offers a 0-60 PSI air-down tire gauge with auto bleeder valve to safely, evenly and effectively bring your tires down to the desired pressure. But what happens when you have to go back on the road? To solve this problem (and save your expensive tires from unnecessary wear), Stylin’ Trucks now offers convenient portable air compressor systems that are specifically designed to re-inflate your tires back to their original PSI before you hit the pavement (Fig 3).

Grille Guard or Light Bar

Off-Road Grille Guard
4. A good, solid grille guard is a must to protect your front end from stray branches and trees.
Another great piece of equipment for off-road machines is a front grille guard or light bar. Westin®, KC HiLites® and Pro Comp® all offer grille guards and light bars in a variety of shapes, styles and finishes. Westin®, for example, makes its rugged front grille guards and bull bars from chrome-plated or black powder coated stainless steel tubing for maximum durability. These guards protect your vehicle’s bumper, grille and headlights when you’re tearing through the brush (Fig 4).

Speaking of lights, if you plan on driving after dark you’d better add some powerful off-road driving lamps. KC HiLites® and Pro Comp® both offer long-range lamps that provide superior lighting for illuminating far down the trail. These 5”- 6” lights include 55W- 150W bulbs with a highly reflective inner light bezel for a tightly focused beam of light. Most also come with light covers to protect your lamps when they’re not being used.

In Conclusion
Now that you’re geared up with all the essential off-road hardware; it’s time to head out on the trails and get muddy. But don’t forget your camera, you’re sure to have some great pictures to show your friends when you get back.

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Related Links:
  • Pro Comp Lift Kits and Accessories
  • Westin Grille Guards
  • Off Road Lighting
  • Truck Accessories
  • Back to Stylin' Trucks Articles page
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