Anything can happen when you’re out on the trail, so when off-roading throws you a curveball, it’s good to be prepared with a comprehensive Jeep tool kit. A proper tool kit will have everything you might need to deal with common off-roading mishaps – getting stuck, puncturing a tire, running out of gas, sustaining a minor injury – all in one convenient, easy-to-access spot. Granted, essentials like your spare tire and jack are going to be accounted for from the factory, but there are plenty of tools and accessories that it’s on you to pack.
In this article, we’re going to be looking at what to keep in a Jeep tool kit, highlighting the essential items that just might be the difference between a fun day driving the trails, and a long wait for assistance.
Table of contents
First Aid Kit
This one is pretty basic. If you’re not driving with a high-quality first aid kit, you’re flirting with disaster. Cuts and scrapes come with the territory, and the sooner you can dress a wound, the better. Assuming you haven’t sprung for Jeep’s cool, albeit expensive, first aid kit, we recommend keeping this Swiss Safe kit in your vehicle. It’s affordable and comes fully stocked with just about anything you could ever need to dress a minor wound in the field, including bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, first aid tape, sheers, tweezers, a whistle, compass, and even an emergency glow stick.
Another basic essential, a flashlight is an absolute must-have for your Jeep tool kit, because sometimes, mishaps strike after dark. You’ve probably already got a few spares lying around, but in case you don’t, we recommend you go and get yourself one of these GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight two-packs. LEDs are cool, long-lasting, and bright; these tiny flashlights are rated for up to 1,040 lumens, which is enough to light up an entire room, or focus on an object up to 1,000 feet away, depending on how you adjust the zoom lens. Best of all, they’re water resistant, so a little rain is no trouble at all.
While we’re on the subject of illumination, sometimes – say, if you’re trying to install your spare tire on the side of the trail – you don’t have a free hand to hold a flashlight. That’s why we might also recommend keeping these GearLight LED Headlamps in your Jeep tool kit. Rated for up to 586 lumens, these headlamps are bright enough to light up everything immediately in front of you, and then some, and like the GearLight flashlights listed above, they’re water resistant.
Sometimes, you get in over your head and you need to rely on someone else to pull you out. That’s why a good recovery strap, like this one from Rhino USA, is worth adding to your kit. It’s 30 feet long, lightweight, and bright green so you can spot it easily in the field. More importantly, its poly/silk webbing and triple-reinforced loop ends give it a stout 31,518-pound break strength, which should be more than enough for the sort of peak loads you might subject it to as you’re getting yourself unstuck.
Why rely on a good Samaritan for help getting unstuck when you can dig yourself out? A shovel is an excellent item to keep in your Jeep tool kit, and we can hardly say enough great things about this folding shovel from Rhino USA. Made of powder-coated carbon steel, this shovel collapses to just 9” by 6” when not in use, and it even has a couple of other handy functions: a pickax, and a saw. It’s a survivalist’s dream tool.
Anyone who’s been driving for a few years has run their vehicle out of gas once or twice, and out on the trail, where your engine’s working extra hard and you’re more concerned with making it up that next incline, it’s even more likely. That’s why we recommend keeping this 5-gallon gas can with you. It’s a high-quality metal gas “jerry” can that exceeds the portable fuel container requirements put forth by CARB and the EPA, and it looks great. As sturdy as it is, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend just tossing it in a bag and letting it slide around, though. There are plenty of great jerry can holder options like this one.
Battery Jumper/Air Compressor
Make sure you’re ready to respond to a flat battery – or a flat tire – by keeping a good jump starter/air compressor combo unit in your Jeep tool kit. This unit from DEWALT is an excellent choice, rated at 700 instant starting amps, with a peak amperage of 1,400, so you can rest assured you’ve got the grunt to get your Jeep going again. It features smart circuitry that sounds an alarm if you accidentally connect the cables in reverse, and there’s an LED-lit screen onboard for using the built-in air compressor, which can inflate up to 120 psi…not that you’ll be inflating your Jeep’s tires to 120 psi.
If you encounter a mishap out on the trail and all else fails, you might have to wait around awhile for assistance. That’s why we highly recommend topping your Jeep tool kit off with a good water can, like this true military-grade jug from Scepter. It’s BPA-free, and made from rugged, durable, food-grade material, with a total capacity of 5 gallons – enough to last a good long while with sparing use. And hey, if it’s good enough for the military, it’s probably good enough for you.
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