ATV Emergency Kit Essentials You Need
Preparation is crucial for any ATV trip. Accidents can happen at any time with emergency situations budding out of them. When properly prepared, it's a matter of addressing the issue, whether it's human or vehicle-related. It's the times when you aren't ready for that punctured tire or sudden snowstorm that you'll wish you had taken the time to compile an effective kit. How you assemble your kit and where you store it is up to you—many riders split their supplies between the storage box, under the seat compartment, and a backpack. Having multiple areas for items ensures you can bring everything you need. Here is our checklist for packing your emergency kit with all of the essential items.
Repair Equipment and Tools
Even if your four-wheeler is in top condition, anything can happen when you take it out of the bounds of your control. As you ride over snowy hills and rugged landscape, parts on your ATV can break. At some point, this will happen, especially if you ride your ATV on a regular basis. The good news is that this is an expected and manageable issue. You can prepare for commonly broken parts by stocking your emergency supplies with spares. These often include belts, spark plugs, and more. You should also keep a waterproof bag of spare bolts and nuts should any break or unscrew while riding. Throw a tire plug kit in your emergency kit, too. Getting a nail or rock stuck in your tire is an easy fix if you've got plugs on hand.
Tools are vital to make these repairs, as well as helping out others in your group and building shelter for survival if necessary. Your tool supply should include a wrench, flashlight, screwdriver, hammer, a socket set, hand saw, a knife, electrical tape, pliers, a camp ax, and tow straps. Keep them in a waterproof bag so that they don't rust. A good pair of gloves, like Mechanix, is also a general addition to your supplies to make repairs and for other uses without damaging your hands. If you can, bring along a container of gas in case you or someone in the group accidentally runs out. This way, you aren't stuck figuring out how to get the dead ATV back home.
This is definitely not an area to overlook, as it could severely cost you. You'll need more than a standard first aid kit. Make sure you've got a healthy supply of bandages, antiseptic, emergency medications (like Epipens or insulin), ibuprofen, gauze, alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer, and eye wash. Bring a spare pair of contacts if you wear glasses as well. If you injure yourself or someone in the group has a severe allergic reaction, you want to be fully prepared to address the issue quickly and efficiently so you can get off the trails. If you're riding in a wooded area, you'll also need bug spray to repel mosquitos. If you're unable to boil water (though you should pack a kettle if you can), a Life Straw is an awesome addition. You'll be able to drink from just about any water source in the area with one of these. Your first aid items should also include a space blanket if you find yourself unable to get back home and it's very cold outdoors.
Survival Equipment and Supplies
If you and your group have to stick it out until the next day, you want to make the night as comfortable as possible. A tarp can be hung using heavy-duty twine or cable to shield yourself from the elements. Pack paper and cotton balls coated with Vaseline to get a fire going. Waterproof matches and a lighter should be a necessity in your emergency supplies in general. Garbage bags will both keep things dry and help you clean the area up once you head off (leaving trash is always a bad move). If you can, toss a few canned goods in your backpack that you can pop open to eat if you exhaust other food options. Pack a spare battery bank if your phone dies, and if you're out of range of a cell tower, a flare gun will help draw attention to you if you're unable to get out of the area on your own. A satellite phone might be a good investment to have with you as well. With all of these supplies, you can prevent or slow the worst from happening.
As mentioned at the beginning, how you divvy up your emergency supplies is up to you. We recommend packing items you'll use no matter what, like a steel canteen and food, in a backpack for quick access. The larger items like tools can be stored in a storage box secured to the back of your ATV. Smaller items can be stored beneath your seat. Planning storage will prevent cramming everything into one area. With a fully loaded emergency kit like this, you'll be ready to take on any number of accidents and emergency situations.