In your vehicle
Some ideas for the road
Have a full tank of gas and refuel if possible just before you go off-road.
Vehicle should be in good running condition - this sounds so obvious, but it is amazing how many people have engine warning lights flashing on their dash before they even leave the payment. This could easily be a recipe for disaster.
Good tires are a must - Desert roads can tear up tires in no time.
When living in the desert, the batteries in your vehicle are only good for about 2 years. Don't get stuck because of a dead battery.
Have good spare tire and extra gas. Traveling back roads drops your gas mileage dramatically.
The days of "all off-road people" being good guys are long gone. There are enough not-so-nice guys running around on the back roads that you need to be aware of what is going on around you. Thieves are targeting trail heads for vehicle break-ins and thefts. At a trail head there are usually other people around to assist you in case of an emergency, but when you are 20 miles from the nearest road, up a dry wash, in the middle of nowhere, you are usually on your own. A few things that might be of help:
- Locking lug nuts - Vehicles will not move very far or fast with no tires.
- Locking gas cap - A full tank of gas is no help if someone siphons it all out.
- Locking hood latch - Vehicles are hard to start with no batteries.
Obviously if someone is intent on doing damage to your vehicle, there is nothing you can do to stop them, but at least you can slow down or deter the average thief.
Some of the things you might want to keep in your vehicle in case of emergencies:
- Spare gas
- Spare water
- Hi-lift jack
- Spare tire with keys for locking lug nuts
- Spare keys
- Tow strap
- Jumper cables
- Flashlights with spare batteries
- Emergency flares
- Tool kit
- Duct tape
- Trash bags
- Change of clothes
- First Aid kit - Take a basic First Aid course