When you’re tired of feeling smooth concrete beneath your wheels, going off-road in a large, badass vehicle seems like the next logical step. But being in a big off-road car doesn’t mean you’re safe. If you’re interested in off-road adventuring, then read this safety guide first!
Get the right vehicle for the job
Don’t just buy or rent a big vehicle assuming that size is the only criteria you need to concern yourself with. You also need to ensure you’re not making the same mistake when it comes to brand names. Not every Jeep is going to do exactly what you need it to do off-road; don’t assume that the name ‘Jeep’ means this! People who are interested in off-road driving often make the mistake of investing in a vehicle that’s bigger and more powerful than they really need it to be, wasting money and pointlessly using too much fuel in the process. You should consult with sellers of these sorts of vehicles, as well as doing some more research online. Think carefully about the sort of terrain on which you’re going to be driving.
There are two ways you should go about involving others in your off-road adventures. The first – the one you should always do – is ensure that other people know about your plans. Tell someone where you’re going to be and when you expect to come back. This tends to be something you should do for all trips, but people often neglect to do this for off-road trips. If something goes wrong, you’ll be glad you told someone! The second way to do this is to buddy up. I’m not talking about bringing a passenger along; it’s actually better if someone goes off-roading with you in their own vehicle. This can come in extremely useful if one of you gets stuck in the mud!
The right equipment
Why do people like off-road driving so much? Sure, there’s the thrilling speed and all the bumps to consider. But another thing that people really like is how far away from civilization you might find yourself. Of course, this can present its own problems. Gas stops, lights, mechanics, convenience stores – they’re all pretty useful resources to have around! You need to make sure you bring the right equipment with you. Vehicle accessories, such as accessories for four wheel drives, can be vital. Ensuring you have spare gas and tires, light sources, food, water, and blankets is also a must.
You should research the terrain you’re thinking of driving very carefully. What looks like a decent off-road trip might actually be a nightmare. Remember that it takes a lot of skill, as well as familiarity with certain terrain, to do off-road driving effectively and safely. So, assuming you’re new to off-road driving, the best thing you can do is ensure you get some practice in. There will be a bunch of suitable off-road trails of varying intensity; work your way up to the more complex turf and get plenty of practice on the easier off-road territories at first.