If you love driving, but hate the constant crush and noise of the city, you may be getting more and more attracted to the idea of off-roading. Taking your car off the road and into some rugged, untamed country can be an incredible experience, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Before you tear off the beaten path, here’s some handy advice to take on board.
Know Your Environment
You don’t want to take yourself by surprise with a tough or even dangerous stretch of trail, so make sure you’re doing a little recon long before you head out to any off-roading spots. If you have any friends who are into off-roading, then ask them about the kind of vehicles and capabilities that are needed for different local spots. If you’re getting into off-roading alone, then the best thing you can do is exercise caution. If you’re driving in the middle of nowhere and hit a particularly rugged bit of road, get out and scout ahead on foot so that you know what’s ahead. You’ll get better at judging terrain as you gain experience, but you need tread carefully in the beginning.
Get the Right Equipment
Seen as you’re reading this, you probably know a thing or two about the kind of vehicles that are suitable for off-roading. However, you shouldn’t stop there when you’re making sure you’re totally geared-up. Things can go wrong out there, even for the most experienced drivers. You need to make sure you have all the right gear to avoid getting stuck, and to rescue yourself when this happens. If you’re planning to hit a trail and you may not be back by nightfall, spend some time looking at LED lights for trucks so that you can always see where you’re going. It’s also important to have a recovery kit in the vehicle at all times, including a heavy-duty tow strap, an electric winch that’s been rated for your vehicle, and tough gloves for using it all. There’s a wide range of other safety gear you can consider, but these will suffice for most off-roading emergencies.
Release Some of your Tire Pressure
This is one that countless newbies overlook, so don’t be one of them! When you have lower tire pressure, you’ll get better traction over pretty much any kind of terrain. By dropping your tire pressure, you’ll ensure that the sidewall and tread can flex and mold around any rock or other obstacle you may come across. This will result in better grip from your tires, and an overall better ride quality. Even if you’re on sand dunes or off-roading where there’s been a lot of snowfall, lower tire pressure can make things so much easier. In these cases, the expanded footprint of the tire will allow it to ride over sand, snow and similar terrain, without the risk of digging in and getting stuck.
If you’re raring to start off-roading, take this advice, and you’ll give yourself the best start possible!