It is not news that the world changed its views when it comes to travel. Nevertheless, this does not stop outdoor adventurers who want to explore the wild and enjoy the miracles and challenges nature offers. Solo adventuring or vacationing in small groups is the new reality we are slowly adapting to, and, luckily, we have the means to do it. Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) have become a constant for off-road enthusiasts, campers, explorers, and all those who want to get far from the madding crowd to have fun and rebalance. Even if a UTV can carry up to six family members, it does not mean you can throw your backpacks in the back and go. It would be best if you still considered comfort and safety first. Today we will discuss the top UTV essentials you need to consider in your adventure kit.
1. Riding Permits
If you own a UTV or ATV, you already know you cannot ride them on public roads. For an off-road, high in the mountains adventure with your friends or family, you need to get the necessary documents and paperwork to ride solely in the designated area. You can enjoy countless UTV trails across the United States, but you need to make sure your vehicle is ready for a vacation there, and everybody in your group has all the permits in perfect order.
2. Camping and Survival Gear
The main difference between an SUV and a UTV is that the latter allows you to reach areas so remote, few people even know they exist. Built to help you conquer the most challenging terrains, your UTVs will take you and your fellow adventurers where you want to spend your vacation. However, camping in a remote location is not a picnic in the park, so you have to be ready for it. Make sure you don’t forget some of the following items:
- Enough food and water;
- Cooking kit;
- Thermal blankets/tarp;
- Waterproof clothes and thermal apparel;
- First-aid kit;
- A stash of batteries to power up radios, GPS units, phones, flashlights, etc.
- All-season fire starters;
- Extra gas tanks, etc.
A UTV provides its riders with inherent safety as it can carry a lot of cargo. For this reason, it is better to over-pack rather than under-pack. If you travel in a larger group, make sure everybody brings enough supplies to help you all face the challenges in place, from extreme weather to a potential animal attack, a child getting a cold, or a UTV stuck in the mud.
3. UTV Tools, Parts, and Accessories
UTVs hardly break in off-road conditions because their design makes them resilient to almost any challenge you can imagine. However, it would help if you prepare your UTV for an adventure in the middle of nowhere in advance.
Our first recommendation is to upgrade your vehicle with a hard rooftop, roll cage, windshield, and side doors, especially if you plan to spend more than a week riding and exploring uncharted wild territories. Next, it would be irresponsible to spend your off-road vacation riding your UTV without having at least one spare tire per vehicle, and some professional U.S. made wheel studs and nut kits. A torque wrench for tightening is also a mandatory accessory to bring. But let’s see what other UTV parts, gear, and accessories you should pack to ensure a safe and comfortable ride:
- Winch and tow strap – no matter how powerful your UTV is, you need these parts to get out of a muddy situation;
- An extra spark plug;
- Extra LED lights for night riding and for solving small mechanical issues if they occur at night;
- A portable 12-volt air compressor and a simple tire patch kit.
Your UTV probably already has some specific tools to help you fix minor issues, so don’t forget them! Moreover, you should bring spares for the things that are likely to wear out.
4. Safety Gear for Riding in the Wilderness
One of the golden rules of UTV riding in remote areas is always to have companions. We don’t mean just passengers in your vehicle, but other UTV riders to share the fun with and help you in moments of need. However, even if you ride alone or at a party, you still need to bring, wear, and use UTV-specific safety gear. We don’t mean the long-sleeve fleece jacket you enjoy while spending the night in the tent, but pro-designed apparel to protect you while you explore the Forbidden Forest.
- Helmet – get a certified one that covers your entire head, especially if you spend your vacation crawling rocks, exploring canyons, or riding steep hills;
- Goggles and gloves – when you ride in forests, deserts, and other wild landscapes, protecting your face, eyes, and hands is mandatory;
- Harnesses instead of stock belts – before you plan your off-road adventure, make sure you upgrade your UTV with pro seats and 4-point harnesses instead of factory-made seat belts; seats and harnesses improve your safety and riding comfort.
- Long protection pants and boots – think about motorcycle riders and consider wearing armored apparel, especially when you ride extremely difficult terrains.
- Reinforced jacket (similar to the ones worn by bikers).
We know you are planning a week of summer fun, fresh air, spectacular landscapes, and thrilling rides with your gang, but never trade safety for anything else!
5. Communication and Navigation Systems for All Your Needs
Keeping in touch with your group members all the time can make the difference between a fun adventure and a tragedy. We know you are ready, but before you start planning the actual trip, let’s see some items you need not forget:
- Radio systems to allow communication among all UTVs taking the trip together;
- Mobile phones (and chargers, preferably the solar-powered kind);
- GPS tracking systems;
- A walkie-talkie system in case you travel to an area with poor or no phone signal;
- Detailed maps, a compass, etc.
We live in a hi-tech world, and we usually take communication and navigation for granted in urban environments. In the wilderness, however, things are not predictable. Ensure you, your family, and your friends can communicate permanently and come to each other’s help if needed.
Have you considered a UTV adventure as a travel & fun solution this year? What other safety, comfort, and entertainment suggestions do you have for people who want to explore UTV trails and remote areas?