9 Off-Roading Essentials : To get the best shots, every photographer knows they have to be willing to get off the beaten path.
Sometimes your photo lies where no road will take you. And, for that, why not try off-roading? Off-roading requires more than just owning a four-wheel drive vehicle and a having great sense of adventure.
To ensure a safe trip, you’ll need to invest in special gear for your truck and make sure you pack enough emergency equipment and provisions. Before you head out on your first off-road adventure — where you’re sure to nab a one-of-a-kind shot — check out this list of must-have items.
The first essential item on most experienced off-roaders list is the right tires. You want your tires to be adequate for the types of terrain you’re likely to encounter, whether its rock, sand or mud. Talk to experienced off-roaders in your area about what size and type of tires they recommend, and then shop around for the best prices on websites like TireBuyer.com. Firestone, for example, sells an all-terrain tire starting at $105/tire.
A winch mounted on the front of your truck is necessary when you get stuck in mud or in a ditch. With a self-recovery winch, you can attach a cable to a stable object and pull your vehicle out. Now, you’ll likely need training to properly operate a dependable winch, especially since inexpensive models are prone to failure.
3. Hi-Lift Jack
A hi-lift jack is specifically designed for off-roading with a larger base for unstable ground and a taller lift. This jack can also serve as a spreader, clamper or hand winch. Popular Mechanics recommends the Hi-Lift Jack X-Treme, which retails for around $130.
4. Suspension Lift-Kit
If you are installing larger off-roading tires, you’ll need to get a suspension lift-kit. Suspension lift is also the shock absorber that let’s you go over rougher terrain without damaging your vehicle. Be sure to invest in a high-quality suspension lift-kit. The money you spend here will extend the life of your vehicle and allow for a more comfortable off-roading experience.
5. Fire Extinguisher
Install a fire extinguisher rated for liquids and electrical equipment in your truck. The H3R Performance Fire Extinguisher is small and designed specifically for vehicles.
6. Alternative Communication Devices
Your smartphone might prove useless for communication once you get far enough into the wilderness. Consider buying a CB radio for the truck and a pair of sturdy walkie talkies for when you’re out of the vehicle.
7. Emergency Kit
Gather together emergency items in a waterproof bag or box. Include a powerful flashlight, food and water, a solar charger, crank-powered radio, seat-belt cutter, glass breaker, flares, blankets and a first-aid kit.
8. Shock Absorbent Gear Case
You don’t want to get out to the perfect spot, only to find that your camera equipment has been damaged from the rough ride. Store your equipment in a foam-filled hard case that’s waterproof. A tripod or mini tripod is a very useful tool while off-road to help you capture great shots and hard-to-reach angles.
9. Tow and Snatch Straps
For predicaments that your winch can’t get you out of, you’ll want to have proper tow and snatch straps in order to recover your vehicle.