With the ATV riding season already here, I thought I would post a guide on some of the gear/practices I have used in my riding experiences. I also have included stuff from other riders and from people on this forum. It is pretty extensive and I am sure a lot more can be added. Hope you all enjoy it and have a safe riding season.
SHOVEL – Use a small portable one
There’s the Army Style Shovel that can be folded in threes for easy storage. These can be found at Army Surplus stores or local venders.
An avalanche shovel is also another choice. Light weight and portable. They can be found at your local snow machine dealers or sports stores.
Small and easy to store. DO NOT GO CHEAP OR YOU WILL GET CHEAP!! Used for to cut brush, small trees, clearing the trail, fuel for emergency fires, etc. This can help with getting your rig out of mud for traction or prying. You can also cut a good size log and bury it for a ground anchor if you don’t have a tree or rock to anchor to or a fabricated ground anchor. May be used for making a wood bridge like the one at Buffalo Mine Road!!!
Chainsaws are nice, but add bulk and weight. On top of that you need to carry bar-oil, tools, extra chain and fuel for it.
Great for a many of things. Gerber, Estwing and Fiskars all make great axes from small to large size.
Ratchet Straps are good for a lot of things. The can be used to secure gear to your rig or other sorts of applications. Ratchet Straps can be used as well to help reseat a popped bead. To do this, wrap it all the way around the tire, CENTERED, in the middle of the tread pattern. Tighten it down until the air in the tire sets the bead on the rim. Loosen it up once the bead is set.
Tow straps for pulling buddies out of the stuck or towing them back to the trail head. DON’T JERK a quad out of the mud. This just increases the chances of causing some unexpected damage to the machine.
Stretchy Tow Strap
Sportsman’s Warhouse sales a Stretchy Tow Strap for about twenty bucks. I have used it a few times to pull buddies from the mud and they are easy to wrap around the rack of your quad as oppose to wrapping a non stretch one a few times around, but I still carry both with me.
Bungee Cords (Various sizes/lengths)
Bungee cords are great for all sorts of situations and strap down needs. Get various sizes/lengths to help meet the need.
Rope material, length and diameter size is a choice you must make for yourself to fit your needs. 550 Cord (aka parachute cord) in the length of 100 feet suits me just fine. It is great for tying down things, rigging a tarp for a rain fly, lashing up a meat pole, setting up a blind, etc. Learn some knots and some lashing skills and PRACTICE!!
3/8 Drive Sockets
Buy a QUALITY set!! Or you can check all your nuts/bolts on your quad and get the sockets that match to what is on the machine. Doing this saves you weight and space and is tailored for your ATV as oppose to having a full socket kit BUT having a full socket set may help out a buddy who doesn’t necessarily have the same bolt/nut sizes you do. Having socket extenders are nice too. Don’t FORGET the spark plug as well; make sure you a have deep sized spark plug socket to help out!!
Interchangeable Screwdriver Kit (Get A Quality One!!)
Again get a good one! Same info as mentioned above.
Box End Wrenches
Same as above!
Medium Sized Vise Grips
Pliers/Needle Nose/Wire Cutters
You can usually substitute all three of these with a Gerber/Leatherman Multi-Tool. Wire cutters also make a great clean snip when trimming zip-ties.
Small ATV Jumper Cables
You can buy some or make them yourself. To make them all you need is low voltage wire and some medium sized alligator clips. Crimp em’ together and you are good to go!
Used for oil/gas/diff/coolant changes and/or fill ups. Get a small one; you don’t need a huge one. On a note about funnels you may also want to carry a funnel called “Mr. Funnel”. It is actually a fuel/water separator and removes all the containments in the fuel. May be good to have on hand in case you get dirt/water into your fuel tank from a dump or roll over. My buddy has used his and he says it works great. AIH sales them for a reasonable price. The small one is all you really need.
Carry an assortment that meets the needs of your ATV. Don’t won’t to blow a fuse and not have an extra one.
This should be done before hand, but use it on all your electrical connections. It also plays a big part in preventive maintenance. It is used to help prevent corrosion by sealing out moisture. It can also be used to apply to the rubber boot on the spark plug, and in a pinch help grease small moving parts if need be.
RTV is basically rubber in a tube. It does a great job of sealing leaking SMALL holes, cracks etc. Give it some time to dry though. Most dry in a few hours, general rule though it takes 24 hours to cure.
Get the red shop type you see mechanics use.
Can be used for anything!! Nuff Said!
Used for protecting wires that are frayed or exposed to the elements. Can use to keep spliced wiring together and protected. Also great for routing wires or keeping them out of the way of moving parts or on your handle bars.
High Pressure/High Temp/Self-Fussing Tape
There are a ton of applications and uses for this tape. It can withstand low/high temps, high pressures and can be used even underwater.
JB Weld used for “cold welding” material together. Loctite for bolts, screws, etc.
Aerokroil is for loosening up bolts and such. It is penetrating oil and works great. WD40 is pretty much self explanatory.
Have an assortment on hand varying in size. I would recommend using heavy-duty long zip-ties. Used for a lot of different reasons.
A very handy all around tool!! I prefer Gerber over Leatherman but both work great. Most come with a file, knife, small awls, wire cutters built into the needle nose. I usually keep this on my belt as I ride for easy access. Can replace the need to having a set of pliers, needle nose and wire cutters, saving space and weight.
To beat your buddy with after he gets stuck for the third time!! Great for banging out that stuck bolt that needs to be replaced, tent stakes, hammering in a ground anchor, etc. Alternative is using a strong hand sized rock that is lying about.
An assortment of spare nuts and bolts is good to have JUST in case you need to replace a busted up bolt or missing nut.
Can be used for making clips, such as c-clips, or other forms of fashion.
Carry some spares….never know when you gotta clamp a line down.
Make your own. All you really need is about 5 feet of clear plastic good size diameter tubing. Make sure it is clear, that way you can see the fuel/fluid coming, and you’re not swallowing a bunch of mid grade 87. Get the tubing at Lowes or AIH. AIH sells one that has a brass coupling at the end with a marble on the inside. All you have to do is shake it up and down and it creates the vacuum for you.
Small Pry/Breaker Bar
They come in all sorts of makes and sizes. Find one that you think you may need.
TIRE REPAIR KIT-
CO2 Tire Inflator
I am not a big fan of these, but they are light weight and do not take up much room. On the down side though is that once you use up your CO2 cartages you’re out, so carry spares. You may also run into the problem if the CO2 cartage doesn’t fill the tire enough with air, due to not seeing a popped bead, hole, etc. And by the time you buy them over the years you’ve just paid for a 12v portable air compressor.
12V Air Compressor
Unlimited air unlike CO2 cartages. Runs off your AC Adapter/battery connectors and they are very light and small. Slime sells a kit at Wal-Mart for pretty cheap that comes with a bottle of slime, the compressor, tire pressure gauge, and a little box to put it all in.
Tire Pressure Gauge
Get one that measures LOW pressure between 1-20psi. 10-50psi is over kill and from my experience and others DOES NOT give an accurate reading. FYI the slime kit I purchased from Wal-Mart comes with a tire pressure gauge that read between 10-50psi.
Plug Kit –Plugs/Plunger & Tire Reamer
Used for those nasty punctures on the trail. Carry a few plugs. Make sure you have a Plug Plunger and a Tire Reamer. Know how to use them. Slime and other companies sell kits that are used for ATV tires.
Spare Valve Cap/Valve Stem/Valve Core/Valve Wrench
Handy to have if you bust/lose any of these often over looked tire parts. Having a valve wrench is handy as well to make a replacing easy.
Just in case you need to jack up your rig for any repairs or other insane situations you may be in.
Slime is a great tire sealant that can be handy while riding. A typical ATV tire may take 24-32 ounces of Slime to work properly, sometimes less. Make sure you get TUBELESS Slime!! And always read the manufactory’s instructions to properly apply. Slimes website has a great FAQ posted. Fix-A-Flat will work in a pinch, but I would HIGHLY recommend NOT using it. Another company to look into for all tire repairs needs is Safety Seal.
Carry enough for a change or two if you are planning to be out for days at a time. Bring a funnel to make transfer easy.
Filters – Oil/Air/Fuel
Carry spare ones. It is NOT easy trying to clean an Air filter or oil filer while on the trail. You may be able to rig your portable air compressor to shoot air out of its nozzle to clean up a air filter if you don’t have an extra one on hand. Water works too, just make sure it is clean and DON’T use your drinking water. Find a clear running stream instead.
Gallon Size Zip-Loc Bags
Used to catch oil/differential during changes. When you have caught all the fluid you can start a fire and burn it. It’s better than leaving it soak into the ground or running into water sources. You can also collect it in the bags and transfer it to the empty oil bottle you just used to put your new oil in your quad. Use a funnel to keep the transfer clean. This SHOULD be the preferred method. Keep it clean people.
Helps to remove water from fuel.
MISC PARTS –
Spare Bulbs for all your lights
Extra Starter Rope
Having extra starter rope may come in handy if you snap your cord while trying to start your quad. If you don’t have one and need one try using 550 cord and jerry rig it to your rig.
Packet of Fitted Gaskets
There are different materials to be used for gaskets such as fiber, cork, high temperature rubber etc. You can buy them in sheets in variable sizes and thickness. Make sure you have a sharp razor with you to cut it out for the shape/size you need for whatever you are using it for.
Keep your manual with you. Never know when you may need it and can be useful for troubleshooting issues with your quad. Don’t won’t to get it wet or destroyed?? Make copies of it, or download the pdf file online and print it out and take it with you.
Flat tanks are awesome!! They can be strapped to the front/back of your quad. Sense the tank is designed to be flat; you reclaim a lot of space that can be used for strapping more gear on top of the flat tank. If you have both the front and back full of bags, gear, etc, they do make REAR mounted gas racks that hang off the back of your ATV that are designed specifically for flat gas tanks. These are a bit pricier than normal gas jugs, but are well worth it. I have a 5 gallon one and LOVE IT!! Just beware some tend to leak fuel, like the Koplin Flat Tank I have. There is a lot of information on the net to fix this issue.
Regular Gas Jugs-
They work as well but I think they claim too much valuable rack space and are a pain in the butt to strap down. Rear gas tank holders are made for these as well and some are sold as kits.