I have a cheat sheet in my vehicle, simple as that. When you are over-landing, vehicle camping, 4x4-driving or what you may call the best hobby in the world, you want to be present and enjoy the experience, with little to no unknowns that may upset your co-pilot and make your trips more uncomfortable than it should be.
What I did to ensure that I have important tips, tricks and figures readily available is create a cheat sheet that has been laminated (helps a lot with dirt, water and sweaty hands) that I keep in my vehicle for quick referencing which has been useful in more instances than I can count.
The information I decided to have on my sheet is emergency numbers, over-landing hand tool list, a list of equipment to pack, some relevant vehicle specifications, a guide on tyre pressures and proper jumpstarting technique and some hand drawn layouts of an important belt my motor uses (just in-case).
This cheat sheet can (and should be) endlessly customized to suit your own vehicle, style, experiences and preferences.
As an example, I have noted some of the info I find useful below. The idea with sharing this is to get your mind going on what information you might need to have on your cheat sheet, my sheet is not perfect and is not complete so if I missed anything, drop a comment below and let me know.
Emergency Numbers: (as a minimum)
- Local emergency numbers for both police type response and medical responses (keep in mind these need to be updated when travelling to more rural areas or neighboring countries),
- Private ambulance services that are available in the area you may be travelling to,
- Your own medical aid emergency number as applicable,
- An applicable poison control number, and
- Numbers of the camps you may be travelling to, should you have some bad luck with your own electronic devices.
Over-landing Tool List:
My general rule with tools and equipment is to only take the gear that I can competently use. This list (right) is typically what I use as a pack-list when preparing for my over-landing trips, and it is also useful as a quick reference when checking what you have available before you need to start a repair or make an adjustment.
My tools have been selected for my own vehicle as I prefer to not carry tools I cannot use on my vehicle (odd spanner sizes typically) and this list can also be endlessly adjusted for your own preferences.
It is also useful to ensure that these tools are able to be used on your roof rack and accessories, or the trailer you may be taking with on your trip.
I have a keen interest in carrying more equipment that is realistically required but that is my own guilty pleasure, again the list of equipment I carry is suited to my own gear availability and also to what I feel comfortable using in a recovery or emergency situation.
I do not suggest using any gear that you are not competent and comfortable in using, or carrying and using any damaged gear, a useful step in this process would be to attend some 4x4 training to keep yourself, your co-pilot(s) and your vehicle safe.
Finally, I also noted some tyre pressures that I find useful. Again, these figures should be updated to what you feel comfortable using, and to pressures that work with the vehicle, wheel and tyre setup that you may have. The pressure I typically used is pictured (left), I would suggest keeping a form of tyre pressure gauge available to make sure you have similar pressures in all tyres of the vehicle
Other useful points to include is some vehicle setting to apply for different driving environments, some safe winching layouts to use, a safe work procedure to change or adjust a component, and some clever jokes for late night camp fires, etc.
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