Let’s start with the basics. Priority #1 is good traction. A good AT tire run at the right air pressure for the terrain is an amazing tool.

  • AT Tires are the minimum. Highway tires are NOT designed to be aired down repeatedly. MT tires are overkill for overlanding.

I’ve been running the Falken AT3W and really like them (replaced by the AT4W in late '23). Snoflake rated. Great traction in varying terrain. Relatively quiet on pavement.

A sleeper in the adventure tire world is the Michelin LTX. They don't look as rugged as most AT tires, but they provide better MPGs and are known to stand up well off-road.

  • Remember to ALWAYS HAVE A MATCHING SPARE! A donut won’t do 10 miles from pavement in rugged terrain.

  • Flats and sidewall tears are infrequent with modern AT tires, but they do happen. Carry a tire repair kit and learn how to use it.

  • Know how to change your own tire. Know where your stock jack is and whether it will raise your lifted vehicle with large aftermarket tires high enough in soft surfaces to change a tire. If not, you need a Hi-lift farm jack or alternative. Hi-Lift jacks are very effective when you have the proper training, but they can be dangerous. Get trained. …and never forget to keep your head and limbs out of the ‘Triangle of Death.’

Go lower and get traction. Learn more about air pressure and off-road driving here.

Deflation / Inflation tools

Letting air out of your tires increases your traction and lessens the jarring that your body and gear take on rough roads.

These are the basic air pressure settings I use for my 7,000 lb Land Cruiser. Your settings will be based on your vehicle's weight and the ratings for your tires. Know that pressures increase when the air inside your tires heat up.

  • Smooth pavement: 45-55psi
  • Rough pavement & extended sections of smooth, well maintained gravel: 35-40psi
  • Corrugated gravel and unmaintained dirt roads: 20-25psi
  • Rough roads and rock crawling: 15-18 psi
  • Deep sand and snow: 5-10psi     I typically run at 10psi in sand and snow but will drop down lower to get unstuck or to run longer sections that warrant the lower air pressures. It's important to keep speeds down and minimize sharp turns (especially on traction surfaces) when at low air pressures to avoid rolling the tire bead off of the rim.

Deflation Tools:  Great tools for letting the air out of your tires quickly and consistently.

  • Apex RPV - Super fast. Requires permanent installation in wheel. Check wheel fitment before purchase.
  • Apex RCV - Very fast. Screws onto valve and replaces valve core. This will let all of the air out of the tire. Goes so fast that you will do one tire at a time.
  • Teraflex deflator - Fast. This will let all of the air out of you tires so you need to understand how they work and create a method that works for you.
  • ARB deflator - Slow, quirky and complicated but seems to be the most prevalent.

Inflation Tools:  Great tools for reinflating your tires to your correct highway pressures.