How to Build an Off-Road Survival Kit for when Things Go Bad July 17, 2014

survival-kit Off-roading is a great way to enjoy not only your truck, but nature as well. The further off the beaten trail you go, the more fun it is. There’s nothing quite like finding a long-forgotten trail and taking it to see where you end up. Maybe you’ll find an old logging factory or even a forgotten mine. What you don’t want to find is trouble in the way of a break down or worse yet, an accident. A problem on the trail could leave you stranded for a few days as you hike your way out and if you don’t have the proper supplies that could turn into a nightmare. What you need is an off-road survival kit filled with the necessities to get you back safely so you can live to off-road another day. RELATED: How to go Camping With Your Truck


First things first, you need water. If you’re on your own 1 liter of water should suffice, but add more for each person with you. You can skimp on a lot of things, but water isn’t one of them. Your best bet is to keep a liter bottle of water with you and cycle it out regularly.

Energy Bars

energybar It’s best to plan for 72 hours in the wild so that translates to 3 days worth of food. In other words, keep 6-10 protein and energy bars with you. While it’s not a good idea to make energy bars your new daily meal, they’re a great source of the stuff you need to keep going for a few days, they store well, and take up very little space.

Additional Clothing

Depending on the season, you probably want to add some extra clothing into your kit. If it’s spring or fall you should assume that nights will get very cold and if it’s winter it’s a pretty safe bet that it’ll be cold all the time. Pack some additional clothing to make sure you’ll be warm for extended periods of time outside, and even in the summer bring a change of clothes with you in case what you’re wearing is damaged or some other unforeseeable event.


Cold hard cash. Keep $100 on you, as this can be used to get a tow company to come get your truck or to pay for a ride back to civilization. Don’t assume that your credit and bank cards are accepted everywhere, since they’re really not. Cash talks and that means you might be able to turn a few day walk into an expensive ride, then so be it. Keep the money in $10 and $20 bills to make the need for change unnecessary.


You should always have a flashlight in your truck, but above that you need a decent headlamp, too. A headlamp helps keep your hands free so you can do repairs on your truck and do other hand-intensive tasks, like starting a fire.

Paper Map and Compass

Always have a map of the area you’re off-roading in with you. Even better, mark off where you are and any major landmarks that can help with navigation. Pair this with a decent compass and you have your way out of the woods if things get bad. Compass_and_Map While most of us have GPS in our phones and on our dashes, don’t rely on this. If you were to, say, get stuck in a water crossing that ended up being deeper than expected, or if you rolled in it, your electronics could be toast, only leaving you with the good old analog methods of navigation.


At least 100ft of paracord is vital to keep with you. You can use this for anything from tying down damaged pieces in the bed to lashing a shelter together. It’s really strong stuff, so make sure to keep some handy. SEE ALSO: 5 Tips For Excellent Trail Etiquette

Survival Knife

We’re not talking about a Rambo knife that has a hollow handle filled with silly things here, instead we’re talking about a good, solid knife that has a long, sharp edge and a sturdy butt-end that can be hammered and struck with a rock or wood. A survival knife can prepare fire wood, clean game, and even serve as personal defense. Ideally this will be on your belt whenever you off-road.


Speaking of things on your belt, you need a quality multi-tool with you, too. The combination of useful tools in a small package is necessary for minor truck repairs up to first-aid uses. Choose a good multi-tool and keep it with you, ideally all the time.

Fire Starter

A simple flint and steel is all you need here. It’s small, light, and generally not dangerous when stored. Unlike a lighter or matches, flint and steel can’t randomly catch fire and never runs out of fuel. Learn how to start a fire using flint and steel like you would in the wild. This way, you’re prepared if it’s getting cold out and nobody’s come looking for you yet.

First-Aid Kit

A basic truck first-aid kit is all you need here. You can get as wild or simple as you please, but make sure it has the basics, including any daily medication you need to keep you going to 3 days. firstaidkit The more you include in a first-aid kit the better. A lot can go wrong on the trail and if you’re miles away from help, you need to be your own help and a good first-aid kit can be just that.

Rain Poncho

Guys tend to think they don’t need umbrellas or ponchos, but when you’re stuck on the trail for a few days, keeping dry moves from a comfort issue to a health one. Along with this a poncho makes a great shelter that can keep you and your gear dry while you sleep.

Emergency Blanket

This should be a part of your first-aid kit, but it’s worth mentioning by itself, too. A good emergency blanket can keep you warm when it’s cold and you can’t get a fire started. When you’re alone in the woods body heat is not something you want to waste, and this can make sure you don’t.

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