Is Your Truck Ready For The Backcountry? - Initial Ascent

Is Your Truck Ready For The Backcountry?

A couple of years ago, my hunting partner and I were finishing up a 4-day high country mule deer hunt in a place far south from here.  

We got back to my truck, which was 6 miles from anything, up a steep, rocky two-trail, and I notice my left front tire was half flat.

Oh crap!

Usually, I'm kind of a "fly by the seat of my pants" type of guy and it takes a real wake-up call to knock some sense into me. THIS WAS SUCH AN OCCASION.

We'll Just Change the Tire

After regaining my composure, I figured we could at least try to limp it down to a flat spot and change the tire. Hell, it was only "half flat" and had been sitting there for 4 days so the hole must not have been substantial.

We managed to get to a flat spot, retrieve the jack and the dealer-provided tire tool kit, and managed to lower the spare down from underneath the back of the truck. Granted this was the first time since I've had the truck that I needed to deploy the spare tire (109,000 miles). Well, needless to say, it was a touch "spongy" but had more air than the soon-to-be-flat left front.

My buddy Jeff commenced to prepping the lug wrench for removal of the aftermarket wheel that was holding the left front tire. Yes , I said "aftermarket" and if you know anything about that, you probably know it not only takes an Allen w\Wrench to remove the plastic cap to access the lug nuts, but it also takes a special lug key!

"Houston, We Have a Problem"

Pardon my French, but Damn it!!! I had one in the glove compartment, but apparently, the guys at a certain local tire store decided I didn't need it anymore when putting on this set of tires! Damn It!!!

Well, we couldn't change the tire so we were back to driving again, slowly limping down the hill, trying to get closer to the few camps a few miles down the road. We figured somebody would have an air compressor (something else I should've had) so we could pump it up enough to get back to a town.

Praise God!

We finally ran into another hunter coming down the road in a side-by-side. He was actually more prepared than we were (surprise) and had an air compressor on board that he let us borrow to pump up the tire. We also tried to buy said air compressor from the gentleman to no avail. I couldn't blame him as he said "he might need it".

On The Road Again

Well, fast forward and the tire essentially held air (with another air top off at a gas station) the whole way to a major town where I was able get it repaired.

This leads me to the moral of the story. It could've been much worse (tire could've blown completely) and I was ill-prepared. I wasn't prepared for a flat, getting stuck, or any kind of automotive emergency. 

Here's a list of what I suggest:

  • 2 Good spare tires with proper lug wrench and socket (one under, one in bed of truck)

  • Small air compressor/battery jumper

  • Tire plug kit

  • Shovel

  • Extra Water

  • Extra Food

  • Tow Strap

  • Tire Chains

  • Satellite Communicator

  • Duct Tape

  • 100' of Paracord

  • Come Along

  • Headlamp

  • Extra Clothes including gloves and beanie

  • First Aid Kit

  • Extra Can of Gas

  • Hide-a-key

  • Can of Fix-a-Flat

Of course, there are probably things that you might recommend or already carry that I'm missing. We'd love to get your suggestions!

The main point is try to always be prepared for whatever situation might get thrown at you. We do this with what goes in our packs. Why wouldn't we do this with what goes in our trucks?

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