Living in the outback of Wyoming, the least-populated state in the nation, I have more than my fair share of opportunities to ditch the truck in favor of an ATV. If this sounds like you, you need to ask yourself, “Is my ATV or UTV giving me 100 percent?”
Here’s an often overlooked secret for you: ATVs and UTVs are only as good as the accessories attached. Base models from the dealership will take you to and from the field, but will they handle hunting and home chores over and above their advertised hype?
Here are 10 items you might want to add to your mini-me truck to get the most out of your investment.
- Bags and luggage. Of course you need to add accessory bags and luggage to easily stow extra clothes, food and hunting gear. I always keep a tire repair kit, tools, water, survival items and raingear in my accessory luggage, too. Shop for models that double as ice coolers, offer attachment opportunities and even double as a seat for a rider.
- Racks and trunks. Next to extra luggage space, I need room for cargo and this comes from customized racks. Racks vary from large drop-racks with high sides to racks that hold chainsaws and other tools. I have a one rack with higher sides that holds my dog or elk quarters without fear of losing either.
- Brush guard/bumper. When my truck stops, my ATV goes beyond the call of duty. And because I equip my truck with a heavy-duty bumper, why not do the same for an ATV? Replacement front and rear bumpers add brush-busting capabilities, and they guard your headlights from a thumping that could make a nighttime drive a butt-puckering experience.
- Winch. Winches aren’t just for getting your ATV out of a Dixieland bog. They can help you haul a buck from a deep ditch, hoist a bull onto the meat pole at camp and even work a snowplow blade (read on … it’s coming up).
- Gun rack. You didn’t think I’d forget about God, grits and guns, did you? Gun racks come in a variety of forms from side mounts to those that attach to the front rack of your ATV. Shop, compare and then for sure invest in a gun rack to get your firearm into the field safely.
- Tires and wheels. For those of you who ask more of an ATV than the IRS asks from the American workforce, you might want to upgrade your tires. Moose Utilities Division sells six-ply tires with a technically advanced lug design for optimal traction. Team that tire purchase with a wheel x-ray tested and designed to handle the heavy loads and rugged terrain where you operate. It’s the best guarantee you’ll to get to make it home safely from any outdoor outing.
- Windshield/roof. It’s cold outside. It rains outside. Bugs can get in your teeth. Do you need more reasons to put a windshield on your ATV or a roof on your UTV? In brief, both offer warmth and comfort during long rides in any season.
- Hand warmers. Nothing sucks more than having cold hands. You can escape the cold by adding a winter kit to warm hand grips or add Paws Gauntlets, which are handlebar shells to sheath your hands from wind chill.
- Implements/sprayers. With the craze in wildlife management in full swing, your ATV or UTV can double as a John Deere with the right implements. Sprayers, seeders and trailers are just a few implements that you can tote behind for your own green acres.
- Snowplow. Yep, I did mention a snowplow or blade earlier. Team a blade up with your winch and not only can you plow snow, but you can blade your driveway, push dirt and blade anything else that requires … well, blading.