How To Be Prepared For Tire Problems When Traveling In The Backcountry
When you travel in the backcountry well away from other people, being prepared for a tire problem can mean the difference between life and death. For this reason, if you travel off the beaten path, you must be prepared for many emergency tire scenarios and carry the necessary tools and supplies to get yourself back to civilization.
Tire Emergency Supplies
At a minimum, when traveling off-road, you should carry:
- A tire jack
- A spare tire
- A can of tire inflator or a portable air compressor
- A tire plug kit
If traveling in very rocky conditions far into the wilds, you should consider carrying more than one spare tire and multiple plug kits.
Types of Tire Emergencies and How to Handle Them
There are many types of tire emergencies when traveling in the backcountry and on 4-wheel drive roads, including:
A Nail or Screw Stuck in the Tire Tread
If you notice your tire has a nail or screw in it but has not lost any air, the best option is to leave the nail in place until you can take the tire to an auto repair shop. If the tire is not leaking air, the nail is already acting like a plug. Trying to remove the nail and then plug the tire is not a good idea.
A Punctured Tire
If a sharp rock or road debris punctures the tread area of your tire, you can quickly fix this problem with a tire plug kit. However, if the sidewall were punctured, you cannot safely plug this area of a tire.
Tire plugs are meant to get you back on the road long enough to safely get you to a tire repair shop for a professional repair. Inexpensive tire plug kits are sold at all auto parts stores and many big box stores. The kit is only a few dollars and comes with everything you need to plug a small hole. So, if you plug a tire, make sure you get the tire to a repair shop as soon as possible.
A Sidewall Tear
Finally, if you got too close to a jagged rock and it tore a hole in a tire's sidewall, the only option you have in the field is to change the tire. When traveling in very rocky areas, it is always advisable to carry at least one spare tire and sometimes 2 or 3, depending on where you will be traveling.
For more info about tire repair, contact a local company.