Off-Roading Checklist : What You Must Not Forget

off road checklist

Taking your vehicle off-roading can be an exhilarating adventure. But you must make sure you’re properly prepared for the trip. You won’t only need the right vehicle, but you also need to have the proper gear for off-roading.

Let’s take a look at our off-roading checklist to make sure that you have taken everything you need for a great day off-road. We recommend you to follow this checklist every time you go out for off-roading.

Checklist for Off-Roading


1. Pre-departure Maintenance Checklist

Before you hit the road, be sure to do the pre-departure checklist. Ensure that your vehicle is in sound mechanical condition. Closely inspect the inside and outside of your vehicle and make sure that all parts of the vehicle are in good working condition.

  • Check engine oil & Transmission oil
  • Check brake fluid
  • Check windshield wiper fluid
  • Check fan belts
  • Check hoses and bolts
  • Check Winch for proper operation
  • Check winch for damage, kinks or frays
  • straighten winch cable if necessary
  • Make sure the winch gear and motor are in working condition.
  • Check air cleaner & radiator coolant
  • Check seat belts are working properly
  • Check for frame cracks
  • View springs, alignment and steering linkages
  • Check the headlights, brake lights, and auxiliary lights
  • Check tire air pressure
  • Check tire for signs of wear or damage
  • Tighten drive shaft u-bolts
  • Check and tighten lug bolts
  • Grease all fittings
  • Check the carburetor, PCV valve, pumps, and spark plugs.
  • Check the case and shifter
  • Check the muffler and tailpipes.
  • Check brake pads & shoes for signs of wear and tear
  • Check for loose bolts or nuts throughout the vehicle
  • Clean battery terminals; check for corroded or damaged wiring.
  • Check gear oils: transfer case/differentials, replace if needed
  • Check shocks to make sure that its perfect.

2. The Basic, Minimal Offroad Checklist

This list contains the items that you should always carry in your vehicle when you’re going offroad.  It’s good to have the items in the vehicle at all times.

  • Basic Personal Essentials (food, water)
  • First Aid Kit (See Safety and Survival below)
  • Full size spare tire
  • All Terrain Tire
  • Tire iron and Jack to change your tire
  • Tow strap and Tree Saver
  • Come-along winch (a hand-operated winch)
  • Basic Tool Kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Plastic bags and Blankets
  • Scissors/knives
  • Compass/GPS
  • Spare Keys for vehicle
  • Safety Glasses and Gloves

3. Beyond the Basic Offroad Checklist

Vehicle Recovery
  • Hi-lift Jack and Tow Straps
  • D-rings, Shackles and Tree Saver
  • Come-along (one or more)
  • spare chain, Shovel and Pull-pal
  • Chainsaw and bar oil, 2 cycle engine oil,
  • Winch Kit: snatch block, tree strap, hi-lift jack, shackle, pickle fork, gloves, Snow tire chains (if tires don’t cut it)
Basic Tools
  • Allen Wrenches
  • Complete Socket Set
  • Torx sockets (especially if you own a Jeep)
  • Crescent, open end combination box wrenches SAE (standard) and Metric
  • Phillips & Standard screwdrivers
Versatile Tools
  • Pipe Wrenches
  • Large Hammer
  • Razor blades/ Utility Knife
  • Pliers of various sizes
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Magnet
  • Vice grips of various sizes
  • Medium & large Crescent wrenches
  • Large Channel-lock Pliers.
Specialty Tools
  • Jumper cables
  • Air Pressure Gauge
  • Snap ring pliers
  • Portable air pump

4. Additional Items Checklist

Versatile Items
  • Electrical Tape
  • Duct Tape
  • Bailing wire
  • wood blocks
  • Ramps
  • Jacking platforms
  • Super glue, Rope Lengths
  • Rags, Epoxy and Tie wraps
  • Leatherwork Gloves
  • Multiple sizes  bungee cords
For the Vehicle
  • Engine Oil & Extra gas
  • Starter Fluid & Brake Fluid
  • Bearing Grease & Power steering fluid
  • Automatic transmission fluid
  • Funnel, siphon hose
  • WD-40, Coolant or Water
  • Spare Parts / Repair Items
  • Spare Tire, Lug Wrench
  • Tire repair kits and plugs
  • Extra Fan/serpentine belts
  • Extra Lug nuts, tire star wrench
  • Electric fuel pump
  • Spare points
  • Spare Universal Joints
  • Hoses, fuel line, coolant hoses
  • Cotter pins and keys of various sizes
  • Valve stems & Valve stem remover
  • Rare and front Spare Drive Shaft
  • Extra spark plug wire
  • Radiator stop leak – silver flakes in tube
  • Nuts & bolts assorted standard and metric sizes
  • Hylomar HPF or RTV – form-a-gasket
  • Spare Hub
  • Coil / electronic ignition
Electronics Repair Kit
  • Electrical tape
  • Multimeter, Multi-tool
  • Spare fuses of all sizes and types used in your vehicle
  • Wiring Diagram of your vehicle
  • Spare wire – lengths of various gauges
  • Spare switches
  • Flux core solder for repairs
  • Spare relay if you use relays
  • Small pocket sized needlepoint blowtorch
  • crip on ends
Expanded List
  • Off Road Winch.
  • Onboard Air
  • Onboard Welder, welding gear and welding supplies
  • Spare axles
  • Spare Idler Arm
  • Spare tie rod assemblies
  • Parts that have broken two times before

5. Safety and Survival Checklist

The First Aid Kit
  • Triangular Bandage, Adhesive Tape
  • Antiseptic Ointment
  • Alcohol swabs, individually wrapped
  • Band-Aids & Disposable Gloves
  • Blanket, Disposable emergency blanket
  • Roller Gauze & Gauze Pads
  • Plastic Bags, Hand Cleaner
  • Tweezers & Scissors
  • Small Flashlight and Extra Batteries
  • Syrup of Ipecac & Activated Charcoal (use only if instructed by Poison Control Center)
  • Burnaid gel, Snake Bite Kit
  • Instant Cold and Hot pack
Safety Items
  • Leather Gloves and Safety Glasses
  • Flashlights, Matches/lighter
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Tarp
  • Flares
  • Basic Personal Essentials
  • Food, Water
  • Toilet paper, anti-microbial hand cleaner etc
  • Extra Cloths, Rain Jacket
  • Tablets (Water purification)
  • Communication devices( CB Radio, Cell Phone etc)
  • Sunblock
  • Maps, GPS or Compass
  • Trash bags
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunglasses
  • Power Inverter
  • Warm outer layer (winter season)
  • Headgear, Emergency Blanket( Winter season)

I hope this off-roading checklist will help you to be prepared for off-roading trips properly.

Note: If you plan to buy a winch, then you can read our reviews of top winches from top manufacturers:

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