Safety First: Don't Leave Home Without These UTV Riding Essentials

Do you have the right gear to fix this damage on the trail?

Off-roading can be a dangerous sport. That’s part of the fun, right? However, every owner and rider should put a little effort into riding safely and being prepared. Unfamiliar terrain, inclement weather, mechanical problems, and driver errors can leave you or your friends and family stranded or even injured. Anything can happen on the trail, and you need to be prepared for mishaps. Here is a list of items, that will help riders of all skill levels to expect the unexpected. We recommend you get a set of SuperATV door bags or a cargo box and pack it full of these items.

    A cell phone can get you out of a pinch... and summon pizza.
    A cell phone can get you out of a pinch... and summon pizza.

  1. Cell phone/charger:
  2. You’re going to need it whether calling in the troops for a tow or calling for emergency services. Keep it with you and make sure it has a proper charge before you leave for your ride. It also never hurts to have charger along with you too.

  3. GPS:
  4. Your phone works well if you get service, but if your serious about riding you are probably going to be in places that don’t have cell service. Portable GPS units are getting cheaper every day, and some are as low as $90. Many companies make GPS dash mounts specific for your side by side. Get a GPS and find your way home.

  5. Large First-Aid Kit:
  6. Get a good one and keep it stocked. You need splints, elastic bandages, wraps, antiseptic, cold packs, body warmers, and burn care supplies. Make it home, prevent infection, and possibly even save a life. It is good practice to check it each time you return from a ride to make sure everything inside is still good. Make it a part of your post ride routine.

    A proper first aid kit can really save your skin
    A proper first aid kit can really save your skin

  7. Sunscreen/bug spray:
  8. Why? Because your mom said so, and mother knows best. We aren’t doctors but nobody likes a sunburn, and diseases like Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus are no picnic either. Wear your sunscreen and fight of those skeeters and ticks.

    Keep these nasty guys away
    Keep these nasty guys away

  9. Toilet Paper:
  10. You’re going to need it, and its way better than poison ivy – enough said.

  11. Small battery charging system:
  12. Modern technology has made charging your battery on the go a reality. These are well worth the investment and they are becoming quite portable. That is a major advantage when you are packing up the side by side for your rides. Many models have a built-in light, and they operate just like a set of jumper cables attached to a rechargeable battery. You can pick one up for about $75. Bonus: find one with a USB port that can charge your phone.

    Keep your tires patched and plugged to avoid this.
    Keep your tires patched and plugged to avoid this.

  13. Small air compressor/fix-a-flat/tire repair plugs:
  14. As I’m sure you know -- 4 tires are always better than three. A cheap can of fix-a-flat is always welcome in an emergency but depending on the situation it can damage your rims and be nasty to clean up. If you are going to be responsible for changing your own tires later, you might want to invest in a small portable air compressor. These babies have come a long way. Some battery-powered rechargeable models are not any bigger than a cordless drill and can cost as little as 40 bucks. That is well worth it.

  15. Duct tape/electrical tape/zip ties:
  16. You’re going to need them at some point. The cost and size of these items makes them a no-brainer. We call these items the “holy trinity” of field repairs. The special combo of two types of tape and zip ties might not be a permanent fix for every UTV repair but most of the time it will at least get you back to the trailer. And If you can’t duct it…

    Axe + knife = improvised anything
    Axe + knife = improvised anything including winches.

  17. Knife/camp axe:
  18. Sometimes you need to cut stuff. Enough said.

  19. Fire extinguisher:
  20. While they are rare, fires happen. Having a fire extinguisher handy can mean the difference between a little damage and a totaled machine. Flipped machines can catch fire if the ignition is not turned off immediately, and some recalls on Polaris UTVs remind us that sometimes things that are beyond our control can happen. Be prepared.

Feel prepared yet? Get even more prepared by visiting our DIY Resources page, and learn everything there is to know about riding, your machine, and the industry.