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The Laughing Member
9,124 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been receiving a number of inquiries from those who plan on attending next year's FJ Summit for the very first time. And, the most frequent questions are:

"Do I need to do all these modifications I've seen on the Forum in order to run the trails??" and "What do I need to do to my FJ to get it ready??"

The simple answers are "No" and "Not much, actually" respectively. (But, who around here ever wants "simple answers" to anything?? :) )

And, I've even heard from those who are hesitant to attend the Summit because they won't have the opportunity to do any modifications to their FJ. Or, they simply desire to leave the family truck in stock configuration.

Those who attended this past year's Summit can testify that they saw everything from brand-new showroom stock FJs, to trail-built extreme, to everything in-between. (

And, in spite of the fact that a right-off-the-lot stock FJ will be virtually at home on most of Ouray's trails, I'm still going to recommend a number of items that should be considered the absolute minimum for attending this, or any other organized trail run.

So, in typical LandCruiserSteve fashion, I'll present "The Top-10 Necessities for First-Timers Attending the FJ Summit."

#10 - Ice chest / cooler. ($20 - $60)

Someplace to carry your lunches, snacks and cold drinks for the long day on the trail. (Be sure to have some provisions for securing it to the vehicle. The trails can get bumpy out there.)

#9 - A set of tie-down straps / bungees. ($5 - $30)

Great for securing your ice chest, tool boxes, recovery gear and anything else that could easily become a dangerous projectile within the cabin of your FJ. :scared:

#8 - Tire repair kit. ($10 - $45)

It sure doesn't hurt to have some means of repairing a punctured tire on the trail. Especially if you're only packing one spare tire.

#7 - A portable air compressor. ($35 - $150)

Even though it's likely that someone else in your trail group will probably have an air compressor, it's not a bad idea to be packing your own. (A necessity for repairing tires, airing down/airing up, inflating air mattresses, etc.)

#6 - Trailer hitch receiver-mounted D-shackle receptacle. ($35 - $50)

If you have a Class III or better trailer hitch, this handy device will convert it into a sturdy recovery strap attachment point.

#5 - At least 2 recovery D-Shackles. ($10 - $15 each)

A standard piece of recovery equipment that can be used for a variety of attachment purposes. Since the FJ's stock tow strap hooks are closed-ended loops, you'll need these to connect your recovery strap.

#4 - A kinetic energy recovery strap ("snatch strap") ($40 - $70)

Using a kinetic energy tow strap is the safe way to extricate a stuck FJ.

(DO NOT buy or use the $10 "tow straps" with the sewn-in silver hooks. They are simply serious accidents or possibly fatalties waiting to happen.)

#3 - A well-supplied First-Aid kit. ($15 - $75)

Buy the best that you can afford. When you're 50 miles from nowhere, the only medical assistance you're going to have will be you. Take a Red Cross approved First-Aid and CPR class, and keep your training current.

#2 - A quality fire extinguisher. ($20 - $55)

Buy one that is rated for all types of automotive fires. Make sure it is fully charged. And, mount it in your FJ within easy reach. (

And, the #1 necessity for first-timers attending the FJ Summit . . . . .

. . . . . a CB radio.
($35 - $150) Which can be vehicle mounted, or a portable hand-held unit. Absolutely essential for being in communication with fellow trail runners (not to mention for emergency purposes).

So many of last year's attendees regretted not having one of these relatively-inexpensive pieces of gear with them, so they could've enjoyed the fun chit-chat going on between FJs, not to mention hearing warnings and/or instructions about upcoming trail obstacles.

Of course there are many other items that you could purchase to make yours a well-equipped off-road FJ (i.e., HiLift Jack, shovel, axe, lighting, GPS, spare parts, tools, etc.), but these recommended pieces of gear should get you going on a safe and enjoyable trail run through the mountains of Ouray. Virtually all of the above can be purchased for less than a couple hundred dollars, which is small price to pay for your peace of mind and well-being.

So, even though FJ Summit '08 is still months away, now is the time to start getting prepared!!

71 Posts
Great Post! Next year will be my first summit, the CB radio is a must!
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