Well, I'm not so sure if this is exactly a "How to's" checklist, but I do believe to be very important for every off road driver to take into consideration before taking a trip to the trails. Offroaders.com - I have referenced most of this information from another site and will give them credit. I made some changes only to a few items. Explorer4x4.com - In addition, i have updated this list with information referenced from Gerald Jarrett - Trail Equipment Required Items This is also posted on our club site. Offroad Checklist Offroaders Guide to Gearing up for Offroad The Basic List Safety and Survival Beyond the Basic Offroad Checklist Vehicle Recovery Items Tools Checklist Versatile Items For the Vehicle For the Serious Offroader Basic Camping / Extended Stay List 25 Tips to do before going Offroad Basic Tips Always travel in groups of 2 or more vehicles Always alert someone back home where you are going and when you expect to return Take at least a basic supply of tools and gear Pre-departure Maintenance Checklist Check engine oil Check transmission oil Check brake fluid Check radiator coolant for leaks, fluid levels, clean fins, thermostat and radiator cap Check battery for damaged or corroded wiring, clean terminals Check windshield wipers for wear and fluid level Check fan belts for cracks Check hoses for cracks and bulges Check air cleaner Check seat belts Check tire air pressure (air up to recommended pressure for highway driving, air down at trail head, air up prior to trip home) Check tires tread wear or damage (including your full-size spare), look for cuts and missing chunks Check and tighten lug bolts Tighten drive shaft u-bolts Check and tighten lug bolts Check for body/frame cracks Check brake pads & shoes (adequate braking pad material, in good condition and without contamination) Check for loose bolts or nuts throughout vehicle (loose nuts will lead to shearing the studs off) Grease all fittings (u-joints, steering) Check gear oils: transfer case/differentials, replace if necessary Check Winch for proper operation, check winch cable for kinks, frays or damage, straighten winch cable if necessary Check headlights, brake lights, auxiliary lights; make sure they're aimed properly Check suspension including springs, shocks, alignment, wheel bearings and steering linkage The Basic, Minimal Offroad Checklist The minimal list is the basics that you should always carry in your vehicle when offroad. These items are good to have in the vehicle at all times. First Aid Kit (See Safety and Survival below) Basic Personal Essentials (water, food) Spare Tire, Full Size Jack and tire iron to change your tire Tow strap Tree saver Come-alongs Basic Tool Kit Spare Key for vehicle kept on your person Safety and Survival The First Aid Kit First aid kits come in many shapes and sizes. You can buy them, or you can make your own kit. Whether you buy a first aid kit or put one together, make sure it has all the items you may need. Include any personal items, such as medications. Keep ID card (and/or copies), emergency number contact info and medication allergy in your purse, in your vehicle glove box, and in your first aid kit. Here are suggestions for the contents of a first aid kit: Activated Charcoal (use only if instructed by Poison Control Center) Adhesive Tape Antiseptic Ointment Alcohol swabs, individually wrapped Band-Aids (assorted sizes) Blanket Cold Pack Disposable Gloves Gauze Pads and Roller Gauze (assorted sizes) Hand Cleaner Plastic Bags Scissors and Tweezers Small Flashlight and Extra Batteries Syrup of Ipecac (use only if instructed by Poison Control Center) Triangular Bandage Burnaid gel Snake Bite kit Disposable emergency blanket Instant Cold pack Instant Hot pack Medications: IMPORTANT: LOOK AT THE EXPIRATION DATE ON ALL MEDICATION PACKAGES! DO NOT USE ANY MEDICATIONS AFTER THEY EXPIRE. ALSO TEMPERATURE CHANGES AND HUMIDITY CAN CAUSE MEDICATION TO BECOME INEFFECTICE OR DANGEROUS. Anti-diarrhea medication, Tylenol ( fever reducer), Ibuprofen (Nuprin, Motrin, Advil) inflammation reduction, sprains bruises, etc, Benadryl for mild allergic reactions, Epinephrine in the form of an Epi Pen to treat more serious allergic reactions that might otherwise be fatal. Safety Items Safety Glasses Leather Gloves Fire Extinguisher - Should be mounted in the vehicle in an easily accessible location. Flares Tarp Flashlights Matches / lighter Basic Personal Essentials Water - At least 1 Gallon per person, per day if not more. Drier, hotter climates require at least 2 Gallons, per day if not more. Remember: Alcohol doesn't hydrate. In fact alcoholic beverages dehydrate since it take more water to metabolize alcohol than the beverage contains. Plus it may cause you to require the above mentioned First Aid Kit. Food - Bring food for twice the amount of time you are planning on being gone. Should you be delayed and have to spend a night out on the trail, you wont have to worry about going hungry. Good ideas for trail food: trail mix, snacks, beef jerky, fruits, dry/canned food, etc. Extra Cloths - Nobody likes to sit in wet cloths or an extended period of time. Personal items - This includes toilet paper, anti- microbial hand cleaner, etc Sun block Rain Jacket Communication devices - Cell Phone, CB Radio, Amature (Ham) Radio (license required to operate), GMRS/FRS radios Power inverter if necessary (e.g. Cell phone recharger, battery recharger for communication devices and camera) Trash bags - Keep your trails clean Maps, information about the area Compass or GPS Water purification tablets Survival - Seasonal Specific Winter Extra clothing Warm outer layers (jacket, wind breaker) Head gear (warm hat, hooded jacket) Emergency blanket (compact survival type) Summer Sun Block Insect repellant Sunglasses Beyond the Basic Offroad Checklist Vehicle Recovery Items Hilift Jack Tow straps - 2 or more, 2 inch width or wider, 20 foot or longer Towpoints front and rear, frame mounted Tree saver Come-along (one or more) D-rings, Shackles Shovel (standard or military foldup) Axe (at least hand axe or hatchet) Chainsaw and bar oil, 2 cycle engine oil, spare chain (can be handy in recover situations, as well as for trail clearing on wooded trails) Winch Kit: tree strap, hi-lift jack, snatch block, pickle fork, shackle, gloves Pullpal Snow tire chains (if tires don't cut it) Basic Tools Complete Socket Set with SAE (standard) and Metric with 3/8" and 1/2" drives. Deep and standard sockets. Crescent, open end combination box wrenches SAE (standard) and Metric Allen Wrenches Torx sockets (especially if you own a Jeep) Standard & Phillips screwdrivers, large, medium, small Versatile Tools Large Hammer (a.k.a. the "BFH") Pliers (various sizes) Needle Nose Pliers Vice Grips, various sizes Large channel-lock Pliers Pipe wrenches - having 2 medium of these can be useful for tie-rods. Pocket/utility knife or razor blades Crescent wrenches (medium & large) Hacksaw with spare blade A BIG pry bar (or crowbar) or length of strong metal pipe, inside diameter of pipe large enough to slip over a wrench or socket drive for extra leverage. Magnet Specialty Tools Snap ring pliers Air Pressure Gauge Portable air pump Standard Bottle Jack with 12" square wooden platform for use in soft ground 12 volt and battery powered portable tools: Impact wrench, sawzall, drill, spotlight Jumper cables Additional Versatile Items Duct Tape Bailing wire Wood blocks - Useful as chock blocks, jacking platforms, ramps, suspension supports (for broken torsion bars) Hose clamps Bungee cords, several in multiple sizes - good for securing gear, temporary repairs, etc. Small ratchet straps Rope lengths Super glue/epoxy Tank sealant putty Tie wraps Rags Work Gloves, leather For the Vehicle Fluids Engine Oil Brake Fluid Power steering fluid Automatic transmission fluid Coolant or Water Bearing Grease WD-40 JB Weld Starter Fluid Extra gas Funnel, siphon hose Spare Parts / Repair Items Lug Wrench Extra Fan / serpentine belts Hoses, fuel line, brake lines, coolant hoses, hydraulic hoses or plugs (if using a ram assist or full hydro) Spare Fuel filter (if not using a cleanable one) Spare Hi-steer studs (if applicable) Spare Tire Fix-A-Flat and/or Tire Plug kit, plugs Extra Lug nuts, tire star wrench or lug key with key socket Cotter pins / keys - various sizes Valve stems, Valve stem remover Nuts & bolts assorted standard and metric sizes Spare Leaf spring center bolts RTV or Hylomar HPF - form-a-gasket Radiator stop leak - silver flakes in tube Spare Hub (and hub fuses if applicable). Electric fuel pump Coil / electronic ignition Spare Universal Joints (U-joints for drive shaft & axles) Spare Drive Shaft (rear and front) Extra spark plug wire (size of longest wire) Spare points Electronics Repair Kit Volt ohms meter (multimeter) Wire cutters / wire crips / wire strippers (multi-tool) Spare fuses of all sizes and types used in your vehicle Electrical tape Spare wire - lengths of various gauges Spare switches Spare relay if you use relays Spare vehicle sensors - TPS, MAP, etc. Crip on ends (male and female, various gauges) Small pocket sized needle point blow torch (handy for soldering wire) Flux core solder for repairs Wiring Diagram of your vehicle Expanded List Winch and Winch Accessories Onboard Welder, welding supplies, welding gear and misc. metal pieces (for making repairs especially if carrying an on-board welder) Onboard air compressor such as ARB or QuickAir Externally mounted Jerry Can for fuel Spare axles (rear left / right, front left / right) Spare tie rod assemblies (tie rod, drag link, ball joints, ball joint nuts and cotter pins) Spare Idler Arm Parts that have broken twice before (if you can't carry it, you should have upgraded it) Camping List for Extended Stay or Remote Excursions Maps, information about the area Camera and/or Camcorder Compass and/or GPS Hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes (if you are not already wearing them) Duct Tape Flashlight Propane Lanterns Mosquito repellant Lighter, matches Firewood A knife of some sort Toilet paper Towel Water purification pills Backpack/sacks Cooking Pans for breakfast Paper plates Paper towels Folding camping chairs Sleeping bag Sleeping pad or air mattress Stove or grill and fuel Tarps, lots of tarps Tent(s) Bathing suit Flip flops or swimming shoes (no bare feet while swimming) Funky fishing hat Hiking boots Rain jacket Sunglasses Sunblock Soap - Antibacterial Waterless hand scrub and/or Wet Wipes Binoculars Bottle opener Cooler cup Jacket Pocket knife Snacks Trash bag Water Extra keys Compass Sunscreen Hat Sunglasses and/or goggles Ice and ice chest or cooler with beverages and food (cooler with latching top and handles to use as strap point) Camera, case, film and batteries Maps: Sidekick Off Road Maps, state, county, Forestry, BLM Desert Access Guide, etc.