Gifts For The Off-Roader In Your Life
Photography by Harry Wagner
We know that the off-roader in your life can be tough to shop for. They seemingly have everything for any situation, whether it is helping out someone who is stuck or has a flat tire, or using their winch to pull that old stump out of your front yard. There is always something more that they can use though, and we have assembled a thoughtful list of gift ideas that any wheeler would love to find under the tree on Christmas morning. And if you ARE the off-roader in your family, feel free to leave this page open on the family computer or send the link to this story to your family and friends as a not-so-subtle suggestion on what to get you for the holidays.
Overlanding is all about being comfortable when you are far from civilization, and 4WP carries everything you need to relax when you are far from home. Roof top tents are a safe and comfortable place to sleep, awnings provide shade, and a comfortable chair is always welcome after a long day of exploring. Traction boards and fuel containers are popular overland products to provide security when you are far from home, and eating well when you haven’t seen a store in days is easy with freezer/fridges and camp stoves.
There are plenty of high dollar upgrades like crate axles and long travel suspension systems, but you don’t have to break the bank to add more functionality and capability to a 4×4. There are plenty of items under $100 that should be in every vehicle. From first aid kits and fire extinguishers to flashlights and multi-tools, these are great gifts for any off-roader that leave your wallet empty.
Air Down Ideas
One of the best modifications you can make to any vehicle to make it more capable off-road is to lower the tire pressure. You can do this for free by depressing the valve core, but there are far more elegant solutions that don’t break the bank. Some, like the Smittybilt Rapid Air Deflator and ARB E-Z Deflator have a built-in gauge and quickly deflate the tire by removing (and capturing) the valve core, while others like the Rugged Ridge brass deflators can be set to a specific pressure and will automatically stop deflating. Simplest (and least expensive) of all are the Teraflex deflators that simply function by pressing down the valve core.
After you return to pavement, you need to air your tires back up. Driving at highway speeds with under-inflated tires not only returns poor fuel economy, but the rolling resistance heats up the tire carcass and could lead to premature failure. If you are tired of watching your family and friends shovel quarters into gas station air compressors, consider buying them their own on-board air system this year. They are available at a variety of different price ranges in hard mount and portable models, with the more expensive models typically being faster at filling big tires.
Getting stuck is part of the fun, but it stops being fun when you can’t get unstuck. A winch is likely the first piece of recovery gear that comes to mind, but these are a high dollar purchase. There are plenty of other recovery items though that are just as handy and don’t break the bank. A kinetic strap will stretch like a rubber band and then use that stored energy to pull the mired vehicle free, but you need sturdy recovery points in order to accomplish this. Most straps have eyes on each end, so using a d-ring or soft shackle will be necessary to connect to.
The Hi-Lift Jack is such a ubiquitous piece of recovery gear that it has an entire segment of the off-road market dedicated to accessories to make these jacks more functional. These include handle isolators to keep the jack from rattling on the trail and larger bases to prevent the jack from sinking in soft terrain. There are also numerous different mounting options for everything from roll cages to the hood of a Jeep. The last thing you want is your Hi-Lift flying around when you are driving down a dirt road!
While most drivers are concerned about how many cupholders a vehicle has, off-roaders carry more than just coffee mugs in their vehicles. Winch controllers, tablets and smart phones, fire extinguishers, and tools are just a few of the items that are commonly found in 4x4s. Each of these items needs to be securely kept in place, and vehicles like Jeeps aren’t exactly known for their abundance of storage space. Fortunately there are many affordable products that can maximize interior space.
One of the most appealing aspects of going out on the trail is getting away from the bustle of city life. That means that there aren’t any street lights out in the backcountry though. Upgraded headlights and auxiliary lighting are the best way to ensure that you can see what is ahead of you and also allow other travelers to know that you are coming down the trail.
Keep the wheeler in your life looking sharp and keeping warm this winter with the latest styles from 4WP. Sweatshirts, t-shirts, beanies, baseball caps, 4WP has everything you need to represent your favorite off-road brands. Replace those old shirts and hoodies that are full of welding holes and covered in gear oil after years of shop use. And long before the pandemic we were wearing buffs on the trail to keep the dust out of our lungs when out on the trail.