Other essential trail gear includes:
• Extra water, food, and clothing: Be prepared to survive the night in case of mechanical failure.
• Two-way communications: Unless your mobile phone uses a satellite, it likely won't work everywhere. CB radios are cheap, portable, and often monitored for emergencies. A CB will also help you keep track of your buddies. Do not count on roadside assistance if you're nowhere near a paved road.
• Tow strap: Another inexpensive item that could save much digging is a tow strap. Make sure it has an appropriate clevis or hook to attach to both vehicles. If you don't bring one, consider a Hi-Lift jack and a folding shovel.
• Fan belt: Having a right-size replacement will speed repair if the original one snaps or flies off.
• Fire extinguisher: There's a greater chance you'll use it on somebody else's rig, but it's cheap insurance. Mount it securely and within the driver's reach, perhaps on the floor ahead of the seat.
• Road flares: In addition to their intended use, they can often help start camp fires or be used as signaling devices for aircraft. Use intelligently in dry conditions.
• Fix-A-Flat: A 4WD vehicle should carry a matching-size spare (properly inflated). As a backup, however, a can of sealant takes up little space. And a small air tank or compressor comes in handy if you anticipate long pavement drives without services after off-roading.
• First-aid kit: One bandage could spare you cleaning all that nice leather or provide meaningful help to fellow trail riders until assistance arrives. Don't forget the bug repellent and sunscreen, as climate dictates.
• Tools: A basic selection, including a fuse puller with spare fuses, flashlight, the right wrench or driver for the fan belt, and gloves for hot parts.
• Water: Mostly for you; a drop for your washer tanks.
While this may seem like a lot of gear for an afternoon adventure or day trip, there's an unofficial rule about off-roading that says those who carry the most equipment suffer the fewest problems-and the ones they do suffer are rectified faster.