One of the first things you learn when you go out on a real trail ride is you need to have a trail kit. I would always rely on someone else to have one incase I needed it. But then the day came I was riding a 34 mile loop by myself and what do you know…FLAT TIRE!
I rode for 3 miles through rocky trails beating my beautiful aluminum 14 inch rear wheel off every rock looking for someone to help me out. Luckily, I did find someone that had plugs and a tire pump. But, by then I had put two more holes in the sidewalls of the tire and the cheap plugs the guy had given me just couldn’t hold the air. 2 hours later I ended up having to be hauled back to the trail head on a trailer.
At that moment I said, “Never again!” What a waist of time, I could have avoided the whole thing if I’d just have spent a little money to put a nice little trail kit together for my ATV.
After I got home I did some homework and built my trail kit. Here are the results and this is what I currently carry with me every time I go out riding.
I was very persistent in finding an air compressor with a metal body. I’ve used the plastic inflators like the models from Slime and I was not impressed…they sound like a mini plastic jack hammer. I found a company called Q-Industries and they make the coolest little air compressors. I’ve had my HV40A2 for a few years and it’s been super reliable. Read my entire review on this compressor here.
I grew up using heavy duty tire plugs, that’s what my dad always had in his tire repair cabinet in his shop. These plugs are the ones that are the red/brown color, like Carolina dirt, those are the kind you want. The black plugs are the cheaper kind and you’ll find this kind in most tire repair kits…stay away from these, their no good when you get a major gash in the tire’s sidewall. When I first had to resort to these cheaper black plugs they wouldn’t hold air. I guess that’s why my dad always used the heavy duty plugs. Like the saying goes, “The old man knows best.” I ended up getting Bell Automotive’s heavy duty tubeless tire repair kit.
Not only does the Bell kit come with the plugs I like, it also has the tire plug tools I like, the ones with the T-handle which are easy to pull on.
Since every bike is different, I think the best way to do this is to see what sizes you need to perform the regular maintenance tasks like draining the oil, tightening a chain, etc. And those common breakdown issues like replacing an axle or CV joint, tightening battery terminals, etc.
Then buy those wrenches or sockets independently. This way you don’t have sizes in your kit that don’t fit anything important on your bike. If you would like to purchase a tool kit, CruzTOOLS makes some really nice kits that include all the necessary staples. They offer different stages of kits so you can keep it basic or upgrade to one with all the bells and whistles.
Other then wrenches or sockets make sure to include, small pair of pliers, phillips head and flat head screw driver (or one with interchangeable bits), an adjustable wrench and allen wrenches (just the ones that fit your bike).
Other items to consider, zip ties, electrical tape and mini LED flashlight.
I’d suggest having at least a 20ft. tow strap with a rating of 6,500-9,000 lbs. This will suffice even for big bore 4×4 quads and UTV’s. A 20 foot strap has enough length to recover someone from the middle of a good size mud pit. And with a 6,500-9,00lb capacity it will be strong enough to withstand some hard tugs without snapping.
For convenience get a strap that has steal hooks at both ends. It’s easy to run this type of strap quickly through a bumper and then clip it onto itself and you’re ready to go. The straps with loops at each end are difficult to tie off.
Well, now that you’ve amassed all this great stuff for a trail kit, how do you keep it organized, clean and dry. There’s two options we suggest, get a water/weather proof box or a dry bag. A box is nice because everything stays organized (for the most part) and it helps keep everything in the trail kit from getting smashed. A bag is nice because it conforms to space and it’s easier to get it to fit into a small storage box (a box that’s already installed on the bike) or already crowded tool box.
We use a waterproof utility locker from Witz for our trail kit. This box is very high quality, great construction, easy to use and has just the right amount of room to fit all this stuff in.
For a good dry bag we suggest SealLine and their Baja line of duffel bags. Very easy to use, they come in various colors so if you’d like to get a bag to match your ATV or side x side you can.