There's so much on offer now and with Instagram and Facebook showing you just how useful every product on the market is, with well choreographed slick 30 second videos.....
It's almost easy to feel sorry for the average punter who is simply bombarded with new ideas and products.
If you're unlucky enough to subscribe to some of the aggressive 4x4 product pushers who send out 3 emails a day...it's easy to see how you could go crazy with accessories for you 4WD. If your pocket isn't overflowing with coin, here's what we think rate as the "go to" accessories for your 4x4.
First Aid Kit
Let's face it, the Australian bush can be a particularly challenging environment. Consider worse case scenarios when you're kitting our your 4WD, (plan for a disaster, hope for an adventure).
Whether it's something as simple as a nice gash to the leg from forward scouting a path through thick scrub, or a lump of stainless wire embedded into your hand from a poorly maintained winch cable - a First Aid Kit will keep you out on the tracks and in good shape.
At around $90 for a well provisioned Kit, it's a cheap insurance policy. Whether you can assist someone within your own group or a fellow adventurer from another car, either works and is just common sense.
Hard to go past a 12V Fridge. There's a stack of these on the market and like most new products, work out what you really need. Remember, the more bells and whistles, the more there is to go wrong.
We all love sitting around the Campfire after a long day on the tracks...WITH A COLDIE OR 2, so get a Fridge that will do the job. I think you just need to take time to consider how long your average trip away in your 4WD is going to be and then buy a Fridge that meets these needs.
Don't go overboard with capacity that you won't use - it's just money unnecessarily spent. Remember, you can always take an Esky for those longer trips and let's face it, Sausages, Sauce and Bread don't take up that much room.
Bank on getting bogged - the best do it regularly and if you aren't losing traction, you're probably driving on the black stuff! A rated Tow Strap and Recovery Gear (buy cheap and expect it to break!) are absolutely essential.
If you are inexperienced, chances are that you need this at the top of your list. If you're out on the tracks, chances are you will run into plenty of other enthusiasts and it's likely that some of them will need a hand too.
Duct Tape & Zip Ties
Good enough for MaCGyver - Duct Tape and Zip ties are universally recognised as saviours in the bush.
There's not much you can't fix with them - if your exhaust is pushing - a well rigged set of Zip ties will do the job until you get back to town. Split hoses, flapping tarp, zipper dies on your tent...use the Bushman's tool kit, it never fails.
A "learn how to 4WD" course is a great way to get initiated into the lifestyle. Everything from tyre pressures, suitable gears to match terrain and the boundaries of your vehicles capabilities, all things worth getting to know.
If you're going to get into this awesome lifestyle of ours, at least look the part too. As far as accessories for your 4WD, this includes what you wear out on the tracks too.
You don't wear your Golfing outfit when your driving the Creb track, so get into some cool t shirts and look the part too. If you're new to the lifestyle, you've come in at the right time, with a range of Clothing brands now offering awesome gear for your next trip.
What goes down much go up - so a Compressor is an absolute must. If you're beach driving or in some nice muddy tracks, the air has got to come out to increase your tyres surface area to improve your traction.
Once you're done and heading back onto the black stuff, it's time to get some air back in. A compact, lightweight compressor is worth its weight in gold.
A solid Bull Bar is a must. Frontal protection on the tracks from wildlife, judgement errors and a platform to hang those all important accessories from. Driving lights, winches, comms antenna - they have to go somewhere!
A basic Tool Kit is a no brainer. Even if you're not experienced mechanically, you can probably get yourself out of trouble with a Shifter, Pliers, set of Screwdrivers and a Hammer.
If it's simple, you can help yourself over the line - and let's face it, if it's complex...you can always grab a beer from the 12V Fridge and smile while you wait for someone to give you a hand.
Good Comms Devices
A Sat Phone would be nice - but at the very minimum, a Smartphone. The other basic comms support doesn't require any money and is just as effective. Tell someone where you are going and what time you're expected back - simple, free and won't let you down.
Wouldn't want to rely on Telstra if your 400kms from the nearest town.
Tyres to match the Terrain
Tyres. A good set to suit your average driving conditions will go a long way to minimising down time. If you're a regular beach driver, get a set of tackies to match your regular environment.
As always, remember you are out there to have fun - a bit of sound preparation and a few small investments will keep it that way. Travel Safe.