Taking a vehicle off road can be a thrilling experience. Whether it’s trekking through a river or scaling a huge hill, an off-roading adventure can be rewarding. However, the road less traveled can bring about a number of challenges, so it’s important to follow some rules.
First and foremost, those heading off road will need to prepare. That means a variety of things, from inspecting a vehicle to gathering the necessary items for an emergency kit. Motorists will want to thoroughly check their vehicle before heading off road. Here are some things to consider:
- Check the battery for corrosion
- Make sure belts and hoses are functioning properly
- Check the oil and other fluids
- Ensure tires are properly inflated and tread levels are safe
Aside from making sure a vehicle is up to snuff for an off-road trip, it’s also important to prepare by adding some security. When it comes to any adventure, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Someone who is heading off road could be traveling into territory they’ve never been before. That’s why it’s essential to install a lockbox to keep valuables safe. This goes double for Jeep owners or others who don’t have a top on their vehicle. Mounting a lockbox inside a vehicle will give an owner peace of mind while they are away from home, knowing their personal belongings and expensive items are safely locked away. Here are some other critical items to bring on an off-roading trip:
- GPS and maps
- Extra gasoline
- Two-way radio
- Tow rope
Take it slow
Once a vehicle is all set to take off road, the fun begins. Navigating rough trails and obstacles is the best part of off-roading, but it can present some challenges. That’s why it’s best to take it slow, especially when deciding how to best conquer an a boulder or make it over a stream.
A driver should always have control over a vehicle, applying pressure to the throttle slowly and decelerating smoothly. Steering should be precise, and the brakes should be used only when necessary. However, when faced with an obstacle, here’s how to pass it safely:
- Get out of the vehicle and assess how to go about getting around it
- If it’s a rock, log or ditch, ensure three of the wheels are always in contact with the ground
- If its a ridge, make sure to take it straight on
- Tires should be inflated to the proper pressure (if caught in the mud, reducing pressure could help get a vehicle unstuck)
Even when a ride is over, the off-roading experience isn’t. Motorists will want to check their vehicle thoroughly before parking it at home.
Some things to watch out for include any minor damage to the exterior of the vehicle and potential tire damage. Additionally, off-road drivers should make sure no debris is lodged under the vehicle and should double check that lights are functioning properly.
For those who follow a few simple rules, there’s no reason an off-road adventure won’t be fun and safe.