Great Off Road Gear
Off Roaders Love STUFF!
If you have an off-roader, 4WD, dune buggy, quad rider, etc. in the family, nothing would make them happier than getting gifts related to their sport. Many times family members that don't know much about the sport have no idea what would make a good gift so here's some great ideas for birthdays, graduations, Christmas or any other gift giving occasion.
Whether the off-roader you're buying for is a serious, all out, radical trail/rock climber or just an occasional weekend two-track rider, they need off road gear. There are many great accessories out there that would make a great gift to add to their enjoyment of their sport. For certain items that are vehicle specific, you'll have to know the make, model and year of the vehicle but there are a lot of things you can buy that are applicable to any vehicle.
The Biggest and Best
Starting with the biggest and best, (and unfortunately the most expensive) you have suspension kits, lift kits, lockers, wheels and tires, etc. but since you'd have to have pretty deep pockets for these things, I'm not going to cover them in detail here. They require extensive modification and work on the vehicle and most would prefer to plan builds this extensive themselves, picking out the specific kits and accessories that would work together to get the type of vehicle they want. Most of these modifications would need a workshop or garage setting, full compliment of tools and a fair amount of mechanical ability to install them too, so if your enthusiast is only a casual or weekend off-roader, you might want to consider gifts other than these.
Extreme 4x4 Hillclimbing
Vehicle Specific Items
You'll have to know the year, make and model of the vehicle for these gifts:
Brush guards and grill guards - These come in a few different types, chrome or painted so you may want to get some idea as to what type your enthusiast would like to have. $100 - $800.
Fender flares - These are usually added after installing those bigger off-road wheels and tires and can be had for $125 - $800.
Console and storage boxes - They come in many shapes and sizes to secure all the equipment you are carrying for your off-road adventures. Lockable for security they can be had starting around $50 and go all the way up to $300 or more for the large pickup tool boxes.
Cold air intake - Great performance item, fairly easy to install, that helps the engine breath better and increases horsepower but it's vehicle specific so you have to order for the exact make and model. Depending on the brand, it can run you anywhere from $75 - $500.
Performance chip - Another great performance item, vehicle specific, that can increase horsepower and improve gas mileage. Be careful here as you can get different levels of performance enhancement but some of the higher performance chips work best only if you upgrade the intake and exhaust with a cold air intake and headers. $125 - $300.
Winch - A little more expensive but something every off-roader wants on their vehicle. If you go for this one, get one rated heavy enough for the vehicle you're buying it for. You may also have to buy a mounting bracket. $400 - $1500.
Service manual - If your off-roader is also his/her own mechanic, a service manual is a very handy thing to have. You can get the vehicle specific issue from the vehicle dealership or a Clymer's, Chilton's or Haynes manual at the local auto parts store starting around $20.
Have you ever driven on the lake?
A Little Easier On Your Wallet
Here's some ideas that all off-roaders should have whether they're a weekend warrior or a hard core rock climber and no matter what type of vehicle they have:
Tow straps. It's one of the first things a beginner should get and a seasoned off-roader can always use extras. $15 - $50
Tow hooks - Gotta-have, easy bolt on items that give you a strong attachment point for hooking those tow straps. You should have 2 on the front and 2 on the back. $10 - $50.
Small folding army shovel - Sometimes you have to dig your way out. You can get these handy little easy to stow shovels at the Army Surplus, camping equipment store or online for $8 - $15.
More good stuff
Hydraulic and off-road jacks - Each has their own use so it's handy to have both. Serious off-roaders will have at least one high lift jack for the trail. $15 - $100
Handheld spotlight - Handy item to have onboard whenever you're out at night, it plugs right into the 12 volt accessory outlet or you can get cordless/rechargeable models. You can pick these up at most local auto parts stores for $10 - $50.
Lights bars and lights - You can get the cheap ones but the name brands are better, brighter and more durable. Lights can be mounted on the bumper or over the cab on a light bar. Believe it or not there is a huge price range on these things and some lights can cost as much as $900 or more but you can get good ones starting at $20. Light bars are $100 - $200.
Light guards and cages - These come in many varieties and you can get light guards for headlights, taillights, side marker lights and accessory lights. They help protect the lenses from brush strikes on the trail. $30 - $100.
More 4WD Stuff
Small took kit - Even the simplest repair can't be done if you don't have any tools. A kit with the basic tools like pliers, screwdrivers and wrenches in its own carrying pouch start at around $25.
Tire repair kit - Nice to have in any vehicle for those small punctures. It can be done without even dismounting the wheel. Available at any local auto parts store for $5- $50.
Tire deflators - I know, you're asking, "Why would anyone need one of those?" Well, off-roaders sometimes run very low tire pressures for better grip on rocks and slippery surfaces but you shouldn't run low tire pressures on the highway, so after driving to the trail, a simple tire pressure gauge or one of the fancier tire deflator models with a gauge and a valve will let you accurately lower tire pressures. $5 - $40.
Small 12 volt air compressor - Gotta blow those tires back up after you go off-roading or finish repairing that puncture. Nice little item to have in any vehicle that plugs right into the 12 volt accessory outlet. Most auto parts stores have them for $15 - $75.
Fuel and water cans - It's always a good idea to have extra fuel and water out on the trail. They come in plastic or metal and you can get models with mounting brackets to hold them in place. Small plastic cans start around $5 but you'll spend $50 - $100 for quality models with mounting hardware.
CB Radio - By far the best way to communicate vehicle to vehicle out on the trail, CB radios go for around $40 and up. Don't forget, you need an antenna too, starting around $15 and up. The small, simple models are best for trail use and easiest to mount and use.
Dash mounted video camera - Not a 'must have' but a 'must have for fun' item. You can mount it on the dash, roll bar or just about anywhere to record your offroad adventures as you are having them. The GoPro Motorsports Hero Wide model is waterproof and comes with several mounts for $180 - $200.
Books and magazine subscriptions - While not a specific item for the trail or vehicle, books and magazines let your enthusiast enjoy the sport when they can't get to the trail. Many, many to choose from at any bookstore/magazine rack. $10 and up.
Camping gear - If the off-roading adventures include spending nights out on the trail, tents, sleeping bags, cooking gear, etc. will be needed. It's a category unto itself though so I won't itemize things here but I include it as a general category. Prices will run the gamut from a few dollars on up.
Let's go 4 Wheelin'
You don't have to have an extreme vehicle to enjoy a little off road fun. Just a basic 4x4 will do.
Well, that list should let you find something to get your off-road enthusiast but if not, when all else fails, you can resort to a gift certificate or card to a 4WD shop, auto parts store or their favorite gas station. Gift cards let you spend whatever amount you want and it's guaranteed that the recipient will find a way to spend that money for something they really want.