Summer is firing on all cylindars, and there is nothing more thrilling and adventurous than to take out your 4×4 and head to the great outdoors for some genuinely kick-ass off-roading. However, before you fire your rig up, you might want to consider some essential accessories that will make the experience even more pleasurable:

LED Light Bar

When the sun begins to descend, and light is quickly disappearing, you need to turn to your own to get back to civilization. For better or worse, your factory headlights may not be able to guide you to safety, in which case a LED Light Bar will definitely come in handy. Not only can it produce a brighter light than its factory-standard friends, but they do so in a far wider arc and without fogging for reliable and superior visibility year after year. It also doesn’t hurt that they look totally awesome!


Veteran off-roaders know the importance of maps and navigation. There is no fun in getting lost in unfamiliar territory, especially if the next gas station is out of reach of what’s in your tank. There are plenty of free navigation apps out there for both the Android and the iOS, but it never hurts to have an analog variant, just in case. The Road Atlas is a good example here.

If you are looking to purchase a Nav App, consider one that allows you to pin notes on your route. These pins will become indispensable if you ever find yourself in a tight spot. You could mark areas with the best cell reception, or various hazards that you may encounter along the way.

Traction Ramps

No matter how powerful your 4×4, it’s almost certain you will get it stuck at one point or another. Even if in most cases you’ll be able to extricate yourself using a floor mat or some tree branches to gain purchase for your tires, eventually you will likely find yourself in a deeper quagmire. In such cases, a pair of traction ramps to get you out of a sticky situation, be it mud, sand, or snow.

Lock Boxes

When riding over rugged terrain, the last thing you want is for all of your belongings to end up flying around the inside of your car. Keeping that gear safe in secure storage, will not only prevent this from ever happening, but you’ll also rest easy knowing that your valuables are safe when your vehicle is unattended.  

Medical Kits

Off-road driving wouldn’t be any fun if there wasn’t a small dose of risk involved. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you should put your life in danger, or be complacent about preparing for any unforeseen eventuality. Having an emergency medical kit at the ready is a must, especially if you are far away from civilization. You can either put together one of your own or purchase a ready-made kit. Whatever option you choose, always remember to add in any other supplies based on your specific medical needs.


Last but not least, there is the matter of being able to keep in contact with the rest of the world. If you run into an emergency while out in the bush where there is no cellphone reception, having the means to communicate with someone can sometimes make the difference between life and death. Even if this a rare scenario, it can and does happen occasionally.

These accessories presented here are sure to give you the peace of mind necessary when going off-roading.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Humans have learned to adapt because we needed something at some point. To address that lack of some “thing”, mankind has drawn its inherent powers of the mind to create something that is primarily useful to all.

While some would contest that not all inventions are created equal – with some arguing that technology has its downside – we certainly cannot deny the advantages and benefits of what innovations man has come up with.

At times, even the most discordant settings can produce helpful aids. Not to condone war or strife, but certain technologies we enjoy today were borne out of the need to cope with matters of armed conflict.

Here are some inventions that sprouted from the military bed.

1. The Internet

This list would not be complete if it did not include one of mankind’s greatest inventions – the internet.

With the need to enhance point-to-point communication, the digital communication system had to be born. From the United States Department of Defense’s efforts came ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). This provided the technical foundation of the internet and has since taken on a life of its own.

Now, the internet and all its other permutations have snaked their way into our daily lives. They have made information more accessible, providing a technology superhighway that connects people in the most amazing ways.

2. Global Positioning System (GPS)

Where would people be without the GPS leading the way?

Although an exaggeration (or is it?), this radionavigation system has pierced into the civilian consciousness and has since then changed lives forever. It might be melodramatic to say so, but it has come a long way from when it was invented in the ‘70s.

Conceived primarily for military use, GPS was finally made available for the common people to use in the ‘80s. Since then, it has provided crucial positioning capabilities to military, civil, and commercial entities.

Today, widespread use of navigation systems has made life more convenient. From critical search and rescue missions used by advanced military vehicles, to searching for that one vacation spot you want to enjoy, GPS has certainly claimed its position in history.

3. Off-road Vehicles

One of the earliest accounts for off-road vehicle use was after the Russian Revolution of 1917. This was when Adolphe Kégresse, a French military engineer who invented the half track and dual-clutch transmission, went back to his native land and worked for Citroën between the years 1921 and 1937 and used his system for off-road and military vehicles.

Off-road vehicles of today are miles and miles apart from that historical conversion. From military 4×4 vehicles to the preferred transport of adventurous junkies, these automobiles have developed into sophisticated means of transport. They have various cross-terrain capabilities as well as other features that make them valuable, and not only in the military setting.

4. Duct Tape

Thanks to a mother’s thoughtfulness and love, the “duck tape” — as it was originally called because (1) It was waterproof, and (2) It was made of cotton duck fabric — was invented.

With her sons serving in the military during World War II, Vesta Stoudt, a woman who was working packing and inspecting cartridges used to launch rifle grenades, had a lightbulb moment. Noticing the need for a strong, waterproof tape, she sent her idea through a letter to then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Her letter was written with a purpose and a strong desire to save the lives of not only her sons, but the sons of so many others.

Realizing the importance of her suggestion, the duct tape was commissioned to be produced by Johnson & Johnson.

From the trenches of war to our daily domestic battles, the duct tape has stuck and has since been part of our lives.

5. Aviator Sunglasses

This may be the most “trivial” in the list, but we cannot negate the importance of this stylish pair of shades.

These sunglasses were originally meant to shade the eyes of air force pilots who reported to have vision problems at high altitudes because of the sun’s glare. A sunglasses manufacturer then made a new kind of glasses with green lenses. This anti-glare technology was made available to the public in 1937 and has become a trend with irrefutable staying power.

Today, this stylish pair of sunnies not only has functional purposes but is part of the fashionable set’s ensemble. From the air strips to the fashion runways, aviators are here to stay.

All’s well that ends well.

While these innovations had their genesis in the pools of military warfare, we cannot deny the fact that their usefulness has long surpassed their original purpose. These remarkable breakthroughs in our history may have stemmed from the need to combat hostile forces, but thankfully, they have found a way to provide a better use for the greater good.

It will still always be a matter of choice as to how these things are made. In the end, it still depends on the human capacity to think and weigh the consequences of how these inventions will impact society.