Let’s call it off-roading, overlanding or just car camping. Whether it’s a hobby or just a means of getting further into the mountains, with the right equipment you can make it safer, easier and more comfortable. With over two decades of overland driving experience, this is the equipment I swear on that will serve as a gift to enhance the driving experience for anyone with an off-road vehicle.
OnX Offroad App ($ 30)
(Photo: OnX Maps)
This navigation app shows you accessible paths and then guides you through them. This may be a simple matter, but it is also one that enables the recipient to better enjoy their 4×4.
2-tube tire inflator / deflator ($ 175)
(Photo: Adventure Imports)
Give away traction, ride quality, comfort and safety – all in one package. When driving off-road, a driver has to drastically reduce the tire pressure. When they return to the pavement, these tires need to be inflated to a reasonable pressure. By deflating two tires at the same time (and connecting them to any air hose to inflate them), this tool makes both jobs faster and easier. More importantly, the large tires that most SUVs are fitted with make these vehicles incredibly sensitive to pressure differentials. By adjusting the tire pressure via an axle, the Indeflate truck offers safer and more predictable handling.
MaxTrax MkII Traction Board ($ 325)
(Photo: Adventure Imports)
Getting stuck in sand, mud or snow is not an “if” for people driving their vehicles through remote areas – it is a “when”. MaxTrax turns the task of breaking away from something difficult and dangerous into an easy task. Just slide these boards under your tires and you have traction to drive over them slowly. Anyone who is out and about in the field will appreciate a set. Plus, you can count on them to make it home.
FrontRunner Wolf Pack Cargo Box ($ 40)
Packing tools, rescue gear, and camping gear can be disorganized very quickly. FrontRunner’s Wolf Pack cargo boxes are stacked to make efficient use of the limited space. They are equipped with securely lockable lids and are made of durable plastic. I use these to organize the bed of my truck while driving and pull it out at night to act as a step stool for getting in and out of the roof tent.
DMOS Delta Shovel ($ 239)
(Photo: DMOS Collective)
A shovel is a hell of a nice thing in your truck, but carrying one big enough to actually do the job can be a real challenge. The Delta collapses to little more than the size of its blade and yet expands into a scoop that is just as sturdy as the non-packable alternative. I use mine to make sure the bonfires are thoroughly extinguished and to dig latrine pits on virtually every camping trip I take.
ARB Weekender Recovery Kit ($ 128)
(Photo: ARB 4×4)
If you ever get stuck more than your MaxTrax can handle, you will need to get the help of another vehicle to pull your vehicle out of the obstruction. This is impossible without a life belt and restraints, and it is never a good idea to rely on someone else’s equipment to carry out such a dangerous task.
Factor 55 Flatlink E winch shackle bracket ($ 159)
(Photo: Faktor 55)
Are you buying a gift for someone who has installed a winch on their SUV? The open hooks, which are standard on most, are usually the weakest link in this system, and they just dangle loosely there, which is likely to drive the owner crazy with rattles and clinks. This piece of billet aluminum solves both of these problems by providing a closed shackle mount that perfectly fits the fairlead of the winch. Compared to Factor55’s standard Flatlink, the E offers a certain degree of versatility in its connection options. Available in a range of colors, it also brings some sparkle to the front of any truck.
KC Flex Era 3 Light ($ 400 for 2)
Measuring just 3.5 inches in diameter and illuminating one lux at 650 yards, the KC Flex Era 3 is the current king of pod lights. But it’s not just its performance or its small size that make the Flex Era 3 special – it can also adapt to virtually any lighting requirement. Adding a snap-on filter for $ 12 transforms the beam pattern from point to flood (one lux at 325 meters) and turns it into ideal fog lights. Panels are available in different colors so that the recipient can assign them to his truck. They fit perfectly with an otherwise standard vehicle as they can easily be mounted as trench lights. On a heavily modified 4×4, the Flex Era 3 fits into virtually any aftermarket bumper to act as a cornering light and amplify the rays your receiver may already have.
Support outside of online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. For the past several years, Outside Online has reported groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you posted on the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous reporting helps fuel important debates about wellness, travel and adventure, and provides readers with an accessible gateway to new passions in the outdoors. Time outside is important – and we can help you get the most of it. Providing a financial contribution to Outside Online takes just minutes, and it ensures we can continue to deliver the breakthrough, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you will support us. Many thanks.
Main photo: Wes Siler
Thank you so much!
You are now subscribed to Gear Fix
We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.
You can find more newsletters on our newsletter registration page.