In The Desert
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2011 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
Flat tires, air compressor
Planning to do some OFF-ROADING in the desert? We've saved you a lot of time searching for these off road necessities. All of these items are "Must Have" items you'll need to travel safely in the desert. Also, if you need more advice (new to travel in the desert) then please visit our SAFETY PAGE here on the site.
For your convenience we added several Links to Amazon. They have a large selection and a great return policy if your not happy with the product. Shipping rates are reasonable and sometimes free.
Nothing can ruin a day like a flat tire. Normally not a problem, but given the right circumstances this could become a nightmare. Trying to jack up a vehicle in loose sand or in 115 degree heat can be a challenge, only to find that your spare is flat. So what do you do?
First, always carry a tire plug kit with a tube of liquid rubber tire cement. A portable drill or power screwdriver can be handy too if you have high quality steel belted tires. Sometimes it's next to impossible to get the hole opened up for a plug without the drill. NOTICE: Plugging a tire is only temporary and should be permanently fixed at a tire shop after you're back home.
If you're not using a compressed air/co2 tank then you should have a decent quality 12 volt air compressor. There are a lot of different ones available out there. Here is an example of one we have. This one uses aligator clips for your battery and has it's own fuse.
Small Folding Shovel, Tow Strap
Getting stuck can be a safety problem in the desert. A small folding shovel like this one made by Gerber can be a life saver. If nothing else it might make it easier to level out the ground for your vehicle's jack. Other brands are also available including some of the older ones made by the Army.
If you do break down and need to be towed out then you or one of your friends should have a good tow strap.
This is a 3" by 30' Recovery Strap with a 30,000 lb. capacity. Excellent way to save the day! Straps like this should be used in place of chains which will cause too much jerking and maybe even damage the tow vehicle. These straps are made to stretch a small amount to lessen this.
If you have a tow strap then you'll also want a D-Ring to fasten it to the vehicle. This 3/4 inch d-ring is made by Smitty Built and is very heavy duty. Small item but without it the strap may not do you any good.
A high lift jack is probably not on your want list, but maybe it should be. In certain instances you may find your vehicle jack won't lift high enough to clear an obstacle or even to change a flat. Sandy conditions and soft washes with large rocks come to mind. This particular model is a 48 inch jack with a powder coating to keep it going for years to come. It also has holes that will accept your 3/4 inch d-rings. Excellent choice to extend the length of your winch cable. This can also be had at Amazon. There are quite a few choices available on Amazon.
First Aid Kit
A good first aid kit is a must. There are so many different reasons to have one on board, most of them are obvious. Look for a kit that has large and small bandages, some type of antiseptic/antibiotic (or both) cleansing wipes, vinyl gloves, scissors, insect sting relief, aspirin or other pain remedy, and more. This Medique first aid kit is a good example.
We left a lot of obvious items out, like water, but you can find these things on your own at local stores. Safety Off Road lists many of these things.
Don't buy a really cheap compressor, it's just a waste of money. If you're going to air up/down then you'll need a good one. Viair, Smittybuilt or ARB are good options.
For your convenience we've added an Amazon Link so you can see all the options for good First Aid Kits that are available.
D-Ring, Vehicle Hi-lift Jack
Viair 450P Automatic Function Portable Compressor
More advanced model with 150 PSI and 1.80CFM output. Reads pressure on the fly. Quick connect inflation hose with tire inflation gun. Heavy duty battery clamps with 40-amp in-line fuse. Carry bag included. Nice compressor!
A tire pucture Repair Kit is a must have. You'll want to get one of a good quality, like this one made by Rugged Ridge.
2 Other Tire Inflation Items
A good accurate Tire Pressure Gauge is also a must have. This one by TireTek has a pressure release valve which will come in handy when inflating you tires back to their normal highway inflation pressures. Large easy to read guage.
If you are using or going to buy a Hi-Lift Jack this inexpensive accessory is a must have. This small polyurethane Handle Keeper will keep your jack handle from rattling around. Easy off and on. Also available in Red.