You never plan on things going wrong. What's important is to be prepared. Although you can't prepare for everything, there are important pieces of equipment that can help you out of most situations.
Below are some things that you should consider before embarking on any 4WD adventure (even the easy trails can turn nasty if you get snow or heavy rain):
- Your brain (be smart, don't do stupid stuff - this will get you out of most circumstances)
- A working 4WD vehicle (check it over carefully, hoses, belts, battery, etc. 20 miles from the road isn't a great place to have a dead battery)
- A friend, preferably in another vehicle (never 4WD alone)
- Cell phone
- Radio (either FRS or CB)
- Water and extra food
- Spare tire (that actually has air and fits your vehicle - don't laugh, I only say this because I've seen it before)
- Working jack
- Blankets, warm clothes and rain gear
- Maps of the area
- GPS (or compass if you're old school, but you need to make sure you know how to use it)
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Shovel (maybe even an ax and pick)
- Yank strap
- Spare keys
- Personal ID and emergency bracelet (if needed)
- Fire extinguisher
- Extra gas, oil, etc.
- Emergency whistle and signal mirror
- High-lift jack
- Portable air compressor
- Tire chains (if snow is possible)
Now, I'm not going to go into how you actually 4WD. That you have to figure out yourself. But, if you have what I've listed above (especially your brain and a friend), you can get out of most bad situations.
Whatever you do, have fun and be safe!
Planning on taking a 4WD trip? Please check the trail rating of the adventure you're taking and then the 4WD trail rating guide to ensure you and your vehicle are up to the challenge. You don't want to ruin your adventure by taking on more than you're able. Click on the link below for the 4WD trail rating guide.
What does 4 out of 5 stars mean? And what's the deal with the fear rating? Click on the link below to check out all there is to know about the Experience Arizona rating system.