What to pack when off roading

Hi! It’s Erin again. Last week we took our I25 Custom 4Runner off-roading again. We went on Greer Rd. You can get their off of Buckhorn Road. It was beautiful fall day and it looked like we missed peak color by about a week or so. Some was left, but most of the trees had dropped their leaves already. It was still beautiful, sunny and in the 60’s. Just one of those perfect fall days to get outside and enjoy Colorado. Added bonus, a few small patches of snow were in the shady areas. Our girls were thrilled to get back down to tell their friends they had seen snow.

This time I wanted to focus on what we pack when we go off roading. Keep in mind these are just suggestions, and what might work for us, might not work with your family and where you like to go. You might need additional gear depending on your trip. Always plan ahead! Always check weight limits for all your gear and make sure you get the proper gear for your vehicle. You don’t want your equipment to fail because you thought that “this should work”.  Before you go make sure that your gear is properly stored and secured.

So first things first. It might sound odd, but wear good supportive shoes. I had hiking boots on, Jeff had steel toed work boots and the girls had their running shoes. This is for a couple reasons. One, if you are the driver you don’t want your footwear sliding around. If you are the passenger, you might need to get out to ground guide and you want your feet protected. You never know when you might find a cool trail head you want to go explore. If your vehicle should become disabled, you may have to walk to find help. Many of the places we go have no cell service. In the summer we will throw water shoes/sandals in case we find a creek and the girls want to splash around. We also have a couple pair of work gloves in the 4Runner to protect our hands as well.

Right up there is food and water. We hope nothing ever happens while we are out on the trail, but it’s better to have stuff than not have it. We always have a case of water and two boxes of granola in the back. We back additional food such as cheese, crackers, summer sausage, veggies, and fruit. We also bring our water bottles and an extra jug or two.

The next thing we take is a high jack lift. This is a good idea if you have lifted your vehicle. We have a 3″ lift on our 4Runner. The standard jack that comes with your vehicle may not be able to lift your vehicle because it is sitting higher than stock. On that note we also purchased the same sized spare tire as what is on the vehicle. If you put over sized tires on your vehicle this is something that you might want to consider. If you would ever need to use the spare, it would not match. This could lead to damage to the transfer case and other components of the vehicle.


If you should have to change a tire out on the trail, having a wheel chock could be helpful. A wheel chock is a sturdy piece of material that will help prevent accidental movement when the vehicle is jacked up. We have a piece of wood cut at an angle, but you can purchase one as well. dscn2702

Recovery Equipment

This next group of equipment is in case you roll or need to get yourself or a buddy out unstuck and going again. We have a tow rope, D-Ring Receiver Hitch, Quick Link and Tow Hook. Again, make sure you have checked the weight limits for all your equipment to make sure it can handle your vehicle. Please further research how to use this equipment before you head out on the trail.  Know your personal limits to your skill set and the vehicles too. We want everyone to have fun and stay safe out there.

We also have an axe and shovel with us too. Just handy to have because you never know when you might have to dig yourself out. Look for something that is light and compact. dscn2708

We keep everything in an under the bed storage container. This keeps everything in one place and not bouncing around. We also secure everything with a cargo net. We also keep a couple blankets in the 4Runner at all times too.

Ok, this next piece of equipment is a little personal, but is super handy. When you are out on the trail, indoor plumbing just does not exist. So in the woods it is! This is our little portable “toilet”. Its a ziploc bag. In it is a roll of toilet paper, baby wipes, hand sanitizer and another ziploc bag for used toilet paper. We practice a pack in and pack out. We have two small girls and this has eased some anxiety of having to go outdoors. Just remember to stay at least 200 feet from any water source. dscn2717

The last thing we pack is a couple guide trail books. Make sure you know where you are going! Stay on the trail, don’t trespass on private property. Most of the trails have a contact to check trail conditions. Double check before you head out. This time of year, some trails may be closed for the season or closed because weather conditions have made the trail impassible. So there you have it! An over view of we take out on the trail!


Let’s Go Places!