10 Essential Safety items for off road driving – Off road safety kit

Byron Miller
- Last Updated: July 15, 2019

If you’re like me, you want to hop in the Jeep and head to the mountains and thinking nothing of it. In a perfect world, sure, you could do this, but the reality is, you need to be prepared. This simple off road safety gear list will help you be prepared for anything to comes up while on the trails and exploring overland.

Off Road Safety Gear

Here are some items to build out an off road safety kit that you should have on yourself / in your vehicle before you adventure out on those trails. Safety is important. We want you, your friends and your family to have an enjoyable time and these ten essential items for off road safety may make the difference between a fun adventure or getting stuck on the trails.

Don’t leave home without these essential off road driving safety items:

Heavy Duty Flashlight

You never know what you’re going to run into and how late you may be out. Nothing is worse than trying to swap out tires in the dark or fix your vehicle trying to use your phone as a flashlight simply. Invest in a quality heavy duty flashlight to keep in your vehicle.

Rain Gear

Weather can change on a dime, especially in the rocky mountains. It can be a beautiful sunny day when you leave in the morning and a torrential storm by the afternoon.  Pack good rain gear you can rely on to stay dry. If not a full rain suit then at least a nice rain jacket with hood. I prefer the Marmot rain jacket since it is breathable, it keeps me dry, is lightweight and comfortable.

Fire Extinguisher

You will be putting your vehicle through extreme climates, extreme temperatures, and extreme conditions. An easily accessible fire extinguisher can save not only your life but also your vehicle.

Spare Tire

Never leave for the trails without a spare tire and make sure that spare tire is the same size as the ones on your vehicle. Make sure it’s in good shape, isn’t dry-rotted and is aired up.  Your spare tire should be in rotation with your other tires as part of your regular maintenance. While a spare tire isn’t your typical “Safety item” it’s worth repeating over and over here since it is probably the most important item you know you can rely on. While your out trail riding or rock crawling a pinched tire can get you stranded, but the spare will get you home. That is the best safety you should be able to depend on.

If you’re looking for options on tires, check out our in-depth article on choosing off road tires for your Jeep

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Portable Utility Shovel

Sometimes you just need to dig something out, move some dirt or fill in some holes. Whether you’re out in the sane or up in the mountains – a simple utility shovel can save you time in everything from getting unstuck to using a tool to remove debris. Often portable shovels are convertible for picks, trowels, and shovels making them immensely useful for getting unstuck. Here are some great off road shovel and axe kits.

Maps & Guidebooks.

Don’t make the mistake of purely relying on electronic devices. Having printed maps and quality guidebooks are essential in being prepared.  Cell phones die, Car GPS’s are often severely out of date, and sometimes you may just get stuck with no electricity and charged devices, and a guide book or map will save the day.

We love the in-depth trails guidebooks, check out our review of the Colorado Trails series books.

First Aid Kit, Bug repellent & Sunscreen.

Pretty self-explanatory, but make sure you bring one. There are lots of great ultra-portable kits that include everything from snake bite treatment to quality bandaids and common over the counter medicines. While out wheeling nothing beats having bandages, gauze and advice/aspirin as needed. If you’re way out in the southwest or desert areas – you may want snake bite kits.  Bug repellent and sunscreen will protect you from annoying sun burns and critters that light to bite and sting. If you’re driving out in the open, these essentials will be the difference between an enjoying adventure or a miserable experience that can’t end soon enough.


Gloves will save your sanity. They will save your day.  You will love yourself for having a pair of a quality mechanic or outdoor gloves on you at all times. Gloves are an essential part of your off road safety kit.

There is nothing worse than tearing your hands up trying to work on replacing a flat tire or burning your hands working on a hot engine or poking your hands trying to move around rocks. Invest in a good pair of quality gloves to keep in your vehicle at all times. I prefer the high dexterity style gloves vs. those classic heavy leather “dad gloves.”

Water & Snacks

Be prepared. Bring a gallon of water for everyone on the trip. Whether you’re wheeling in the high desert or high summits, you will go through more water than you expect. You don’t want to be dehydrated and not thinking well while maneuvering and driving.  Stay hydrated and make sure to have plenty of healthy snacks on hand.

We love the hydro flask style water bottles and can’t recommend them enough.

Car Jack, Jack Plate/Piece of wood.

Your vehicle should already include a jack hopefully, or you may have invested in one that mounts on your hood and roof but don’t forget a plate or decent piece of wood to use to stabilize your jack as necessary. There is nothing worse than being stuck and needing to jack up your vehicle but having nothing stable to rely on. If you’re looking for a car jack to help get over rocks & obstacles much larger than a factory jack for swapping wheels, these are the most common ones.

We hope you have a safe and sound off-roading experience. Being prepared isn’t just the motto of the boy scouts, its what keeps off roading safe and fun for everyone. Starting building out your off road safety kit today!

Have something we should add to this list? Drop us a comment below and let us know what other off road safety gear we should add!

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