Driving off-road means preparation for anything that might happen. A GPS system is good, but not always dependable on off-road trails. Take along your maps and a compass and carry drinking water and food. If you’re going into an area where your Jeep might over-heat, like hot, dry desert terrain or steep mountain climbing, bring along enough water for your Jeep, as well.
If you don’t have a winch, at least have a come-along or strap. A hi-lift jack is very effective and can help get you out of most difficult situations. Let someone know where you are going and your expected time for returning. Equip your Jeep with a two-way or CB radio. Cell phones won’t always work in remote areas. Especially for those rocky hills, take along not only a good spare tire and invest in a good tire repair kit.
Other important items include a flashlight, a blanket, an emergency medical supply kit, a hatchet, and a fold-up shovel. Sometimes, hacking down a little brush to make matting for your wheels when you’re stuck will do the trick, and sometimes you just have to shovel your way out. The handiest flashlight is one you can mount, or that has a headpiece to leave your hands free if you have to work on your vehicle after dark.
Be courteous to other off-road drivers and give the right-away to vehicles on the left when on a narrow road. Stay on the road when driving through delicate terrain so as not to cause environmental damage. Also, mind the rules concerning estuaries and spawning beds. If you are a friendly off-road driver, there will be greater support for off-road trails and the locals will enjoy having you come back.
REMINDER: Always be courteous to those around you and respect where you wheel! Always clean up after yourself and stay within designated areas.