Off-road travel in the warm, dry summer is fun, but it is very different from off-roading in the winter with snow and ice on the trail. Many off-road enthusiasts look forward to the snow and cold for an entirely different challenge on the same trails that they conquer in the summer. The preparation for this type of trip is different, and you should have certain additional accessories before you set out on a journey through the backcountry in the snow.
Too often people set out without the ability to recover their truck if it gets stuck. The hike out of the woods could be miles, depending on where you are, and in the cold and snow, hiking anywhere can quickly become too much for you. Basic recovery equipment should be part of your gear for every trip, but if you are traveling alone, you’ll want to have a winch or other method of self-recovery available.
Electric winches are a good option because if the truck does not start, you can still use them to recover the truck. A hitch mount that allows you to use the winch on both the front and the rear of the truck adds versatility to the winch and lowers the cost of having a winch on the truck. Make sure you include a tree strap and a winch cable weight to your kit as well.
The tools in your toolbox are important, but for winter off-roading, you’ll also need items such as a shovel, an ax, a bow saw, and other tools you may need to set up camp in the snow.
In the summertime, you can gather wood easily to make a fire for heat or to cook over. Once a blanket of white snow covers the landscape, gathering wood is not as easy, and you may need to cut up some deadfalls for firewood.
A snow shovel can help you get your truck free if it is stuck and can help you prepare an area for camp if you are staying out for several days.
Often, people do not carry enough supplies. If you plan to be out for the day, you need to bring enough food and water for 48 hours. If you plan to be out for a week, carry additional food and water beyond what you need —if you need to be rescued, people may not know to look for you until you are overdue by a day or two.
Along with food, you should carry a tent, some dry wood, waterproof matches, some space blankets, dry clothing, and a first aid kit.
Chains for Traction
In deep snow, tire chains can help you get more grip and traction. If the base under the snow is ice, you need the chains to bite into the surface and allow you to keep moving forward. If you do not have a good set of chains for your truck, invest in some before taking to the woods in the snow. If the snow is deep along your route, install the chains before you head out. If you are not traversing deep snow, you can wait and put them on if you need them later.
The most important thing to remember when taking an off-road trip in the winter is to find a fellow off-roader to go with. There is safety in numbers, and you are far less likely to get stranded in the woods if you have a friend with a second truck to help pull you out. Be safe and stay together.
Topper World has the accessories you need to get out in the woods this winter. We can help you prepare with the parts, accessories, and tools to get you where you want to go and back again. Come see us today.