5 Essentials To Pack In Your Motorcycle or ATV Adventure Survival Kit

adventure survival kit

Like a significant portion of the 10.4 million motorcycle and ATV riders in the U.S., you yearn to explore the world around you. This can be accomplished through local day rides, but if you’re looking to take your motorcycle travels to the next level, an adventure trip should be on your bucket list. As you plan for the motorcycle or ATV journey of a lifetime, be sure to pack the essentials necessary to maximize comfort while promoting safety. These should include everything from water to decent walking shoes and even trash bags.

Water And Water Purification

Dehydration poses your greatest risk any time you happen to be stranded. Even when your bike is in working condition, keeping hydrated should always remain a priority. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends avoiding carbonated beverages and taking frequent rest breaks when you’re riding in arid climates. But most importantly, you should always carry multiple bottles of water or a hydration pack. Even these will run out quickly in a motorcycle emergency, so carry a water purification system, as well as a container for keeping fluids. And don’t forget to include some food in your kit…

Battery Charger

Depending on the nature of your motorcycle or ATV malfunction, you may be able to fix the problem on your own provided you’re equipped with the right tools. A battery charger is always useful, particularly if your bike has been inactive for a lengthy period of time. Portable solar chargers can be helpful when you’re away from hookups, provided, of course, you’re in a reasonably sunny region. It’s important to match your charger to your motorcycle’s unique attributes; a quick browse at an online motorcycle store should be sufficient to land the perfect portable charger. Also consider a solar powered cell phone charger.

Trash Bags

When you’re trying to keep everything condensed for a long road trip, it helps to pack lightweight, multipurpose tools. Believe it or not, this is the exact category in which trash bags belong. The heavy-duty variety can double as a tarp or a poncho. It can even double as a sleeping bag when you’re forced to rough it over night, recommends Cycle World. Trash bags take up little space, making them the perfect solution when you lack the space required to pack a legitimate tarp or sleeping bag.

Comfortable Boots

Yes, looking stylish is always important when you’re on the open road, but if you find yourself stranded with a faulty bike, the last thing you need is to rough it in impractical footwear. In the event of emergency, you could wind up walking several miles in order to access running water, a working phone line or a safe place to sleep at night. Ideally, your motorcycle boots will be comfortable enough when a long walk is required, but also sturdy enough to keep your feet protected should a crash occur. Motorcycle Traveler Online recommends a high-quality boot with replaceable soles.

Tire Repair and Tool Kit

A flat tire can leave you stranded, and if you’re out exploring mountain trails or desert paths then you could be miles from anyone or help when it happens, so having a tire repair kit is a must (I also include a hand-pump when I go ATV riding), as well as a small tool kit. And don’t forget to include a first-aid kit, because you’ll probably need it when you start making repairs, I usually do…

Creative Commons image by El Caganer

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. axlesteve says:

    Tire repair kit. You may need 2 kinds of tire repair.#1 the plug kit. #2 can of fix a flat. If you have spocked rims you have a tube even if your tire says tubeless. For that you will need the Fix a flat. If you have mag rims you do not generally have a tube and need a plug kit. though you will still need the fix a flat to pressurize the repaired tire or a pump of some kind. Also do not forget sunblock!

  2. Another Item you should add to you bike is Gas Can’s. There is a Great Company that I bought from called REDA Gas Can. they are 100% Vapor Proof and 100% Spill Proof. The Spout fit’s inside the can and It still Holds one Gallon of Fuel. I carry one on each side of my Saddle Bag’s on my Bike back when we were motorcycle camping. They are Great People to do Business With.

  3. beer(LOL)

  4. Darrell_Ohio says:

    Duck (duct) tape – it will fix a tube, cover a puncture in a tire, fix a leaking hose, or a million other things. I wrap it around my water bottle so it takes less room, but normally just include a roll.

  5. stating dry & warm share top billing w/hydration, in my book. Military poncho & liner helpful here. Self reliance the key!

  6. oops, staying warm & dry I meant

  7. Donna in MN says:

    I used to ride 9000 miles of trails at a mine near Flat River, Mo, where I’d go trail riding on my suzuki and it was easy to get lost, so I packed a small compass with me besides tool kit, extra spark plugs (often fouled if flooded) and a garbage bag for rain cover.

    Also it is important to let someone know where you will be and when you will come back. A couple in a jeep were missing for weeks, but didn’t notify anyone where they were…it took two weeks to find their bodies in the main flats on a grass covered dune while hundreds of people rode by and couldn’t see them. Even I went by their bodies and I never knew the overturned jeep was on top of the dune. They were discovered by accident not by search party.

    • Donna,
      Good advice. We give the same advice to our Hunter Education students. “Plan your hunt, Hunt your plan, and make sure someone outside the party knows the plan”.
      About 15 -20 years ago there was a fatality where the hunter was hunting his own property about 100 yards from the house. Being so close, he didn’t bother to tell anyone, and didn’t take along his survival kit. He fell from a tree stand and died of exposure. Had he told someone to check on him or even had the space blanket and some other materials, it may have been quite a different outcome.

      • Donna in Mn says:

        My grandpa fell from a tree while hunting and shot himself in the leg when he fell. He had a buddy system that checked on him, and he later atoned for his carelessness by teaching hunter safety the rest of his life. He also met my grandma at the Duluth St Mary’s hospital for treatment and they married. Now if he hadn’t been careless, I wouldn’t be here.

  8. H. Nelson says:

    A chainsaw, chainsaw wrench, chain file, bar oil, bottle of 2 cycle engine oil, socket wrench set with extensions, 2 gallons of pre-mixed gas, 2 gallons of non-mixed gas, small handled shovel, a bubba rope, bungee cords, 100′ of 550 cord, 2-3 bottles of water, pogey bait, spare ammo.

  9. mechanic in Illinois says:

    Also a ratchet strap long enough to wrap around the center of the tread so you can tighten it down to expand the bead to inflate the tire. The ratchet strap can be used for may other purposes.

  10. I ride both dual sport on overnight trips/back roads and trails and as a family, we ride annually in both CO and UT. This is the base list we use for preps provided by Utah ATV Trails (.com). Also, Rotopax (1-4 GAL)is the best gas/water containers I’ve seen and used thus far.
    1. Put your ATV keys where they will not be forgotten (It is a real bummer to arrive at your ride trailhead only to discover that your ATV keys are in the other car) – the voice of experience
    2. Map of area where ride is to take place.
    3. GPS tool (optional but highly recommended. It is not hard to miss a turn on your return route only to discover you are dead lost)
    4. extra batteries for GPS
    5. Rider to rider communication – FRS Radios
    6. Extra batteries for FRS Radios.
    7. Cell Phone for emergency contacts
    8. Called agency(ies)/individual who manage/own land to ride to clarify permission to ride.
    9. Sunscreen lotion
    10. Riding boots
    11. Long Sleeve Shirt/Jacket/Coat
    12. Rain Poncho
    13. Helmet for all riders
    14. Gloves
    15. Goggles for all riders
    16. Review Safety Handbook
    17. Fill Gas Tanks on ATV’s
    18. Fill Gas extra gas cans
    19. Check Brakes
    20. Check Cables (free from mud have full range of motion, no cracks or breaks)
    21. Check front and back lights
    22. Check tires and wheels. (cracks splits, holes, foreign objects, pressure too high or too low.
    23. Check starter motor
    24. Check throttle
    25. Check Foot Shifter
    26. Check Chain drive or drive shaft
    27. Check Oil level- if oil appears dirty or dark, change the oil.
    28. Bring along an extra quart of oil. (Some machines will loose their oil if turned over)
    29. Have toolkit on board:
    o Pliers, wrenches,
    o screw driver,
    o spare light globes,
    o sparkplug wrench,
    o spare spark plug (be sure you have one that fits each machine)
    o electric tape,
    o tire repair kit(s)
    o spare tire inflation can.
    o mechanic’s wire
    o two to three feet of 1/4″ hose & 2 clamps
    o flashlight
    o spare batteries for flashlight (GPS, FRS Radios etc)
    o tow strap or rope
    o knife
    o signal flare
    o hand axe
    30. Waterbottle
    31. Water purification pump
    32. Trail treats & food
    33. privey shovel
    34. Toilet paper
    35. First Aid Kit
    o six bandaids
    o 2 two inch compression bandages
    o 4 four inch compression bandages
    o 1 roll of adhesive tape
    o 1 roll of one inch gause
    o 1 roll of four inch gause
    o 4 ace wrap bandages.
    o 4 triangle cravats (shoulder/arm sling)
    o Airway tube
    o First Aid instruction book
    o lighter or fireproof matches
    36. Pencil/Pen, Paper
    37. Written travel plan (Send an e-mail to your spouse or other loved one listing your plans.)
    38. Notify/copy of travel plan to someone who will know when you will return or call out the search and rescue team.
    39. Re-Review Safety handbook
    40. Review Ground to Air Rescue Signals & trail signs
    41. Review Laws and Regulations
    42. Camera
    43. spare batteries for camera
    44. Film
    45. Voice recording system/tape recorder
    46. Food for emergency use (that can be stored for long periods and still be consumable.)
    o Beef Jerky
    o Granola Bars
    o Trail Mix
    o Dried Fruit

  11. Chuck Findlay says:

    I don’t do any ATV playing and off-road dirt-biking I gave up years ago so I don’t really have a lot of useful input. But with that said I don’t know if you need a battery charger. The only battery charger worth having when traveling out in the wild is a solar charger. I see these as having problems as to being useful for ATVs. First it would take days for a small solar panel to charge a motorcycle battery, heck my Goal Zero panel takes 3/4 of a day to charge a set of 4-AAAs. So it’s not going to give you much power to start an ATV engine. Better to buy or add a kick start to your ATV. Second solar panels are delicate and the harsh jarring around of off-road driving could easily destroy them.

    I suppose you could pack a small solar panel to top off a cell phone and try to make sure it’s packed in foam, but even then I think the vibration would do it in.

    Were it me and I wanted backup power for a cell phone I would take a portable rechargeable phone charger. I have a few of these ((priced from $7.00 to $15.00) and they top off my phone in under an hour and fit in a shirt pocket. I use them to top off my cell phone, Nook E-Reader and portable MP3 speakers all the time. They work great.


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