Here's a check list of preparations for your vehicle, but before we get into it, make sure you're prepared to survive (see below).
Avoid adventuring alone!
bring at least one other person. They will be an extra set of eyes to spot you on tough terrain, or a helping hand in case you find yourself stuck.
Bring extra food and water
If you find yourself stuck and stranded, you'll need to survive. Although, the human body can only go for about 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food, the act of recovering a vehicle can be physically exhausting.
Stay warm/Stay cool
If you are adventuring in freezing temperatures and your vehicle becomes stuck, you'll need to stay warm to avoid hypothermia. Bring emergency blankets, or better yet, a winter rated sleeping bag. In the hot blistering summers, you will need to stay cool, so bring items that will provide shade, like a tarp.
Outfit your vehicle with terrain appropriate tires. A "severe snow rated all-terrain" tire makes a good all-around tire choice. You may need to downsize your vehicles wheel to open up more all-terrain tire selection. Here's a link to the tire size calculator. This will help you source out what tires you need.
Here's some good snow rated light trail all-terrain tires. There are a good mix of on-road comfort and efficiency and light trail capability.
-Yokohama Geolander G015
-Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail
Here are popular more aggressive A/T tire choices.
-Hankook Dynapro AT2
-General Grabber AT3
-Falken Wildpeak AT3W
-Toyo Open Country AT2
-Cooper Discovery AT3 4S
**Not all these tires come available in the size you are looking for, so make sure to use the tire size calculator.
Busting your oil pan, transmission or differential is not only expensive, it can leave you stranded in the middle of no where. Protect yourself and your investment by spending a few hundred dollars on skid plates.
Here are popular skid plate manufacturer's:
-LP Adventure (CRV only)
Depending on the terrain, you'll need to adjust your tire pressure accordingly. In soft sand and deep snow, most crossovers should be at 15 PSI. For Rocky and loose terrain, you'll want to be at around 20-25 PSI. Whatever the case may be, you'll need the means to air back up. ***I'll link my recommended tire inflators in the "recovery gear" tab.***
Blowing out a tire on a trail is a very REAL possibility, and the little donut spare isn't made to handle rougher terrain. You safest bet is to run a full size spare tire!
Finding a place to mount a full size spare can be a little challenging. In my old 2015 Subaru Forester XT, I built a wooden frame to raise the cargo floor (pictured). This allowed a full size spare to fit. A popular option is to place a full size spare on top of a cargo basket but the only problem is it will greatly increase wind drag and will drop MPG's, we are talking anywhere between 4-9 MPG. You can always carry one in your trunk area, place one in a roof cargo carrier, or purchase a rear hitch tire carrier. JUST, DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT A FULL SIZE SPARE.