Tag: survival kit

The Ten Most Underrated Off-Road Jeep Accessories

When it comes to outfitting my 2012 Oscar Mike edition Jeep Wrangler, I’m an accessories fanatic. When I hit the sheets at night, I don’t dream of sheep, or unicorns, or cuddly puppies. I dream about an Injen deep water snorkel install, or a brand new set of Barricade rivet style flare fenders, or a Garvin Expedition roof rack. I see me behind the wheel of the Jeep, traversing some mud-covered backwoods trail with brand new 40” Mickey Thompson Baja MTZP3 mud terrain tires (mudders) that cost me more than the monthly mortgage. I see a state-of-the-art Magellan eXplorist TRX7 off-road GPS navigation system mounted above the dash and even a Condition Zero center console pistol mount for my Colt .45 Model 1911. I dream about a new soft top and RedRock grille inserts and expensive wheel kits to replace the standard ones I currently use.

But then, these are the glory accessories. The expensive, not-necessarily-required-for-the-four-wheeling-off-road-Jeep-experience gadgets. At the same time, these are useful tools that provide a specific degree of utility, but they are also the tools that look good, feel good, and admittedly, lighten your bank account. They are the accoutrements that turn heads while pulling into the mega-mart parking lot, and that become the envy of your off-road meetup group.

But what about the unsung heroes of the Jeep accessory world? The stuff that isn’t necessarily glamorous when installed and/or stored in your Jeep, but that you absolutely must have if you’re going to venture out into the wild? Recently, the editors at touristdigest.com asked me to come up with the ten most underrated off-road Jeep accessories out there on the market today. Sure I have my own strong opinions on the matter, but in the interest of comprehensiveness, I approached as many Jeep enthusiasts I could muster up and posed the question, “What accessories can you absolutely not survive without?” I also consulted with publications as varied as Popular Mechanics and Outsideonline.com. In the end, this is the final list I came up with.

  1. Shovel. That’s right, your basic shovel. I prefer the military variety that folds in on itself and that you can carry on your rear tire tool mount. Trust me, you play in the mud, you’re gonna eventually have to dig yourself and your Jeep out of it.
  2. The winch. The addition of this accessory is debatable due to its cost, its weight (hard on the gas mileage), and its relative danger in the hands of the inexperienced off-roadster (watch out for cut off digits), but let’s face it, you will get stuck. Get a winch.
  3. Tire changing kit. Most Jeeps come with these tools as a standard accessories, including a wheel lug wrench and a spare tire jack handle. But for my money, I would invest in a roadside emergency repair kit that includes a booster cable, carbon steel cross wrench, emergency lamp with strobe function, insulation tape, and more.
  4. Duct tape. What more need be said?
    Don’t let a whiny friend ruin a trip… With enough duct tape, there’s no problem that can’t be solved!
  5. Automatic tire deflator. Negotiating sand and/or rock means deflating your tires from the street savvy 30 psi to 15 psi or less. An automatic tire deflator screws onto the valve stem and removes as much or as little air as you want. Easy peasy.
  6. Heavy Duty Direct Drive Tire Inflator. It only makes sense that if your tires are deflated for off-road action, they’re going to require inflation when you finally get back to on-road reality. A small, portable compressor can be powered by your Jeep battery or another 12 volt source.
  7. Cable hoist or come along. Take it from one who knoweth, keep one of these in your onboard tool box. While 4-wheeling in the rugged hills surrounding Chianti in beautiful, central Italy, my buddy and I buried his Jeep in mud. He didn’t have a winch handy, but he did have the less romantic version of the winch on hand—the come along. It took some time and manpower, but we freed the Jeep and soon were enjoying some red wine and roast pork sandwiches in a nearby village.
  8. First aid kit. The one sponsored by Jeep actually attaches to your roll bar. It contains everything from Ibuprofen, to Band-Aids, to the equipment you’ll need to suture a laceration, including medical scissors, stitching material, and surgical tape. Don’t leave home without it.
  9. Zip ties. Yup, you read it right. Zip ties. In fact, zip ties are so popular, I should chuck this writing thing and start a zip tie factory. The 10” variety are the most useful. They can be used for everything from holding engine components together, especially hoses, to hanging packs and bags from the roll bar. I currently use zip ties to consolidate my unplugged electrical wires and conduits after removing the hardtop.
  10. Repurposed ammo boxes. Mine used to hold .50 caliber rounds including tracers. But now they hold all sorts of small tools and accessories like screwdrivers, wrenches, electrical tape, flashlights, batteries, and more. They’re rough and ready, hold a ton of stuff, and they look cool as hell. Use a bicycle lock to secure them to the Jeep interior when the top is off.

Okay, this list is not exhaustive by any means. Other popular non-glam accessories include pliers, mallets, fire extinguisher, basic tool kit, socket wrench set, walkie-talkies, flashlights, freeze dried food pouches, spare batteries, fire making equipment, and additional Geri cans for extra water and fuel. Listen, when it comes to outfitting your Jeep with underrated accessories that are purely utilitarian in nature and that might even save your life one day, there is no right or wrong choice. There is only careful planning.

Creating Your Own Survival Kit from Things Around the House

Image Via: home stead survival

In this day and age, it is a wise move to have a survival kit stashed around your house just in case. While there probably won’t be a zombie apocalypse anytime in the near future, there are a hundred reasons why you still might need such a kit. Keeping one handy just means you are well-prepared and ready for emergencies. Like Ben Franklin said, “If you fail to prepare, then you prepare to fail.”

There are many expensive survival kits you can purchase online or in stores that are ready to go, but you can save quite a bit of money by putting one together yourself. Plus, you can customize it to your exact needs: consider the survival scenarios that are most likely to occur in your geographic region, store a month’s supply of a special medication you require, or select food options to your personal taste.

In fact, you just might have everything you need for a survival kit in your house right now! You wouldn’t even have to go out and buy anything, just walk around your house and gather some items. Below is a list that could help you out in your preparation for constructing your own private survival kit.

A Duffel Bag or Backpack
We all have an old duffel bag lying around the house from our trips to the gym that we don’t use anymore. Perhaps you have a backpack from you or your kids’ school days just sitting in the closet. Both these storage items are perfect to contain your survival kit. Blow off all the dust and shake out all the cobwebs. Your survival kit is about to take off.

You could get one of these babies for $200+, or you could pull most of the same stuff out of your garage. Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/137782069829388992/

Medical Supplies
Having basic medical supplies in your survival kit is a good step in preparing for what could go wrong. Take some band-aids, rubbing alcohol, tweezers, a towel, ibuprofen, Tylenol, and anything else you believe could come in handy. It is always a good habit to store these in small plastic bags, especially anything that is liquid. You don’t want loose items floating around in your duffel bag. Keep everything as tidy as you can so you can locate it quickly in a pinch. Also, packing a bit of toilet paper might be a very good thing.

Food and Drinks
You want to be sure to pick food items that can last for at least a year to store in your bag. There are probably cans of fruits and vegetables in the back of your pantry that you have forgotten all about that would be perfect for a survival kit. Be sure to pack a can opener as well otherwise you might be beating yourself up later on.

Beef jerky can last a long time and provide you with much-needed protein. Also, a perfect addition to your survival kit would be protein powder. Just being able to mix it with bottled water could provide you with an instant meal replacement.

Right or wrong, cash is king in our world today. Having a few hundred dollars on hand in your survival kit will give you a bit of spending money if there is an emergency.

Knife or Gun
Unfortunately, bad things happen in this world (they might already be happening if you’re utilizing this kit!). If you don’t have some sort of weapon in your survival kit, then you are putting yourself and your family at risk of being victims. Even if you don’t believe in guns, one could save your life someday in an emergency. Just because you don’t like them doesn’t mean that other unsavory characters won’t be packing.

Matches or a Lighter
You probably have extra lighters laying around your house right at this moment. Throw a few those into your survival kit. In addition, having a few candles and a flashlight could be beneficial down the road as well.

Extra Clothes and Blankets
We all have a closet full of clothes that we seldom wear. Throw in some of these into your survival kit. If there is an emergency, you don’t want to be stuck wearing the same dirty clothes each day. Additionally, depending on where you live, extreme temperatures could become a very real threat to your survival.

Create a Bag for Each Member of the Family
Don’t just think ahead for yourself. Having enough food and water for everyone is essential for surviving, so make sure you have enough in your kits to last you awhile. Prepare an individual kit for every member of the family. Of course, with kids, you may not want to include weapons into their bag, but they may have ideas about other things they can store in there. I’m willing to bet they’d enjoy creating their own, and parents can use the opportunity to initiate a “thinking ahead and being prepared” lesson in a hands-on, more-fun manner.