While off-roading is an exciting past-time for some, it is a passion for many enthusiasts. Off-roading can be thrilling for people of all ages - be it as a participant or as a spectator. Although it has its challenges, people should go off-road once in life for the sake of fun and adventure. Beginners should pay heed to a few off-roading advice before hitting the mud. Here are seven tips for a fantastic off-roading trip.
1. Set Up Your Vehicle
Your vehicle is the most crucial component of your off-roading experience. An everyday city car needs many modifications to survive in off-roading landscapes full of uncertainties. The level of modification depends on the terrain and your budget. So, visit a shop and get your vehicle’s capability checked.
The first and most common upgrade is your vehicle's tires. Upgrade to ones with deep tread for better grip on snow, ice, and mud. Attaching a hitch on your vehicle lets you mount various accessories like a bike, spare tire, etc. You should also put a Subaru roof rack on your car to carry heavy gears.
2. Choose The Necessary Equipment
You can face all sorts of situations on rough terrains. Carrying the required gears in your car can be the difference between a beautiful off-roading experience and a nightmare. Standard recovery tools for off-roading include gloves, snatch block, tow chains, tow straps, air compressor, and D-rings. You may also carry a bike for emergencies.
For the safety of passengers, off-roaders generally carry a first-aid kit, snacks, bottled drinking water. Depending on your destination, you may also take extra clothes, a sleeping bag, iodine pills (for purifying drinking water), power back-up (to charge your electronic devices), and your regular medicines.
3. Check Weather Forecast
As a beginner, you should choose excellent weather for your off-roading ventures as harsh weather can keep you stuck in unfavorable conditions. Heavy rain often obliterates narrow off-road trails, and the mud can make things worse quickly. Even hardcore off-roaders find it difficult when it rains or snows heavily as the vehicle that was set up for dry weather faces unexpected challenges.
Besides torrential rains or snowing, extreme cold or a heatwave can not only affect your vehicle but also cause you physiological disturbances. In such cases, monitor your health for signs of frostbite or heat stroke. Specifically, look out for the possibilities of catastrophes like blizzards, hurricanes, and tornadoes, in which case, you should take shelter in safe places.
4. Never Off-Road Alone
As a beginner, you should not travel without companions. Not only is it more fun to explore new trails in groups, but your friends can save you if your vehicle gets stuck or there is an accident. Traveling in groups means that you’ll have more equipment in stock and more helping hands if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere.
There are high chances of losing the way or ending up in dangerous places for people new to off-roading. In such cases, having friends with you will surely help. In places having law and order issues, traveling in groups will increase your safety and peace of mind.
5. Drive Slowly And Steadily
Off-roading is not about driving fast. It requires you to be patient, vigilant, and careful. You need to learn the common concept of ‘crawling,’ which off-roaders use while passing rocky terrains or jungles. If your vehicle has low ground-clearance, going slow becomes a must. It helps to minimize the damage to your car and makes for a more comfortable ride. Driving slowly also lets you have a better view of the path ahead in foggy weather or dense forests.
6. Make Use Of Communication Devices
Cell services are often spotty in remote locations, and if you need help, you may not be able to dial up emergency helpline numbers. Moreover, if you are a convoy, having radio communication among the group members saves energy, time, and frustration. For a beginner driving through forests, communication devices can be a lifesaver if he loses his way. Most off-roading enthusiasts prefer a race radio, HAM, or CB.
7. The Best Off-Roading Tip Is Enjoying Your Trip
Off-roading is all about experiencing adventures and unknown challenges. People off-road not because they want to zip past everything but to enjoy the journey through the unpredictable surroundings. Going off-road allows you to see beautiful landscapes and meet warm people. The stress of the journey disappears when you start to enjoy everything you experience. Therefore, before you begin your first off-road trip, be mentally and physically ready to embrace unsettling events and environments happily. If your mental peace remains unshaken throughout the turbulent journey, you will undoubtedly end up having a memorable off-road trip.
Off-roading is an adventure many wish to participate in, but few can afford it. If you can manage the risks, you'll end up returning to the untrodden territories. However, the act of off-roading requires patience and humility. A macho move to show off your driving abilities to others can end your life. Always take all the safety measures while driving, wear a seatbelt, and a helmet, if possible. Learn about your vehicle, the terrain, and the environment as much as possible. Rest assured that you will come out wiser after the trip.
Published by Ben Zane