Is there someone special in your life who spends every weekend covered in mud, kilometres away from civilization, with an enormous grin on their face? The kind of person who just smiles quietly to themselves on Monday morning when overhearing a co-worker complain about having to dig their car out of some snow before heading in to the office? A man or woman who actively seeks out getting stuck, just for the challenge of making it home again, axles intact?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, it sounds like you’ll be shopping for an off-road fanatic this holiday season. We’ve put together a list of gift gear that should fit under the tree, the menorah, or maybe in the biggest of stockings, all of it guaranteed to please even the hardest of the hardcore 4x4 fan.
Off-Road Gifts Under $50
Smittybilt Tire Plug Kit – $34.03
Unseen branches and sharp stones can really do a number on tires, and a puncture out on the trail is nothing to take lightly. Sure, you can always swap in a spare, but what do you do when you gouge open a tire for the second time in one day? It’s happened to us – which is why we recommend this affordable tire plug kit as a gift, to go with the compressor that you already gave them last year (right?).
Bucket Boss Tool Roll – $34.94
Tool boxes are nice but they rattle over the bumps and are hard to organize – especially since the wrench you need always seems to be at the very bottom. A tool roll like this durable canvas design from Bucket Boss (which features 22 pockets and 17 loops) simplifies storing tools such as wrenches and sockets when out on the trail, and it’s easy to stuff under a seat to keep it from getting wet or damaged.
Shirt & Swag Club – $32.00 USD a month
This US-based off-road swag setup will happily mail across the border (although it sends two packages every two months to save on postal costs). What’s inside the box? How about an awesome 4x4-related T-shirt plus a bunch of other off-road-related stuff like trail-rated trash bags, stickers, zip-ties, and microfibre towels. It’s a fun surprise to pick up at the mailbox – and since it’s a subscription, it’s the gift that keeps giving, forcing the receiver to keep being nice to you all year long.
ARB E-Z Deflator – $64.78
It’s frustrating sitting in the dirt beside each of your off-roader’s four wheels, patiently waiting as you slowly air down each tire, then check with the pressure gauge, then air down a little bit more again, ad nauseam. A tool like the ARB E-Z Deflator not only dramatically speeds things up by safely removing and holding the valve core, but it also features an integrated pressure gauge.
Simoniz 1700 PSI Electric Power Washer – $179.99
How did you expect your loved one to wash their truck – with a garden hose? Nothing takes care of a mudded-up rig like 1.4 gallons per minute of power-washing fury. Sure, it’s a badge of honour to let the brown stuff dry on the paint, but sometimes there’s a client meeting Monday morning, and it’s hard to explain to someone why they need to wrap their hand in a plastic bag before touching the door handle.
Hi-Lift Jack – $156.99
Think a standard bottle jack is going to cut it when wedged in somewhere nice and tight on a rock face? Think again. Dazzle with this Hi-Lift jack, which offers the leverage, form factor, and versatility required to shift the weight of a vehicle just enough to get it back on track – or change a tire under the worst of conditions. In a pinch, and with the right recovery kit, it can even be used as a makeshift come-along winch.
LED Flood Lights – $295.98
The era of ultra-big, easy-to-break halogen flood lights has long since passed, and in their place are these compact bad boys that leverage LED power to dazzle the trail ahead of with as many lumens as you need. This particular set comes with the brackets required to mount them on a Wrangler, but you can shop around for other windshield mounts for other vehicles to custom fit them onto any vehicle you choose.
ARB Premium Recovery Kit – $533.99
Because everyone gets stuck – and sometimes there’s no one out there to help with a tow. This kit includes a snatch strap that’s good for up to 8,000 kilos, a snatch block come-along to help trailheads winch their way to safety, all by themselves, as well as gloves, a tree protector, and an extension strap to make sure there’s always something close enough to wrap around and rescue.
More Power Puller – $248.75–$272.60 USD
Need something a little more hardcore than a tow strap? The More Power Puller has been providing steel cable rescue with the ability to deadlift 2,700 kilos if necessary using wire rope or synthetic rope, depending on the design. This is the kind of tool that gets passed down from one family member to the next – they’re just that durable – and it’s something no one would ever leave at home after having seen it in action.
Money Is No Object
EarthRoamer XV-LT – $425,000 USD
Feel like sending someone you love off the grid, and then keeping them there indefinitely? Consider giving them the EarthRoamer XV-LT, an extreme luxury camper that is built on a heavy-duty pickup chassis. Featuring off-road-ready features such as low-range four-wheel drive, excellent approach and departure angles, and pretty much any accessory you can afford to add to the custom build process, the XV-LT is unmatched when it comes to surviving pretty much anything man or nature might throw its way.