Unlike other high-performance driving activities, off-roading can be an accessible sport to learn. However, it can be just as dangerous as spinning around the race track. Of course, you can let your crossover drive through muddy fields or challenging terrains and call it off-road. We actually mean driving your vehicle to an off-road area and bringing the performance and skills to the limit.
Off-road driving requires a different set of skills and more preparation. It can be pretty intimidating, but it’s also when done safely.
Basic Off-Road Vocabulary
Here are some terms you’ll need to know about navigation and systems to add to your off-road vocabulary:
It controls the turning speed of the vehicle’s wheels to ensure the least resistance when turning, thus reducing the risk of getting stuck. Older models are equipped with a manual differential lock. In comparison, newer models require only one button to activate the differential lock function.
Once a slip is detected, the system activates the brakes and maintains grip on the wheels. Most 4×4 vehicles have this feature: a simple on/off button or more complex settings are available. Read your user manual for more information.
Low vs. 4×4 High
This refers to the gear scale of your off-road vehicle. High 4WD can produce faster speeds while exerting lower torque on the wheels, making it perfect for maintaining power on rough terrain. Additionally, low 4WD provides slower speed but has higher torque and are still be suitable for rough terrain.
Here are some primary rules to follow when you’re new to off-roading:
Choosing the Right Off-road Vehicle and Wheels
Choose a reliable four-wheeler for an off-road road trip is the first thing you can do. A Land Cruiser, an SUV, or monster truck is perfect for your adventure trip. Indeed, these wheels will be excellent for driving on challenging terrains.
Don’t use cheaper wheels or spare tires, since they will only cause you more problems. Also, if you plan to buy better wheels, you don’t necessarily have to look for expensive ones. Simply choose the right wheels that are strong enough, rich in detail, and meet the compatibility to go off-road.
Prioritize Vehicle Inspection
Before you hit the pedal on your first off-road trip, all of your vehicle’s basic components should be properly inspected.
For instance, check your engine; if there is enough oil, tire pressure on your vehicle tires, check the gas, other electronic components, and cables. You should always keep a car repairing toolbox and a suspension kit for a medical emergency, and of course, a first aid kit.
If you find out several problems in some parts, ask professional help. However, you can always fix it alone if you have the precise knowledge and skills.
Monitor the Weather Forecast
It may seem not valuable for long-distance driving but it is important to forecast the weather conditions even for short off-road trips. Flash floods are expected when the rainy season hits desert areas. Heavy rains in the mountains can cause avalanches and road erosion.
The first snowfall of the year usually is the most dangerous, with ice lurking beneath the thin snow area. In areas that experience heavy snow, blizzards can cause white-out, making it difficult to see more than a few yards at a time when driving your off-road vehicle.
Preparation Is Always the Key
Knowing what you may encounter is the key to a successful off-road riding experience. Prepare these essential tools that you may need in worst-case scenarios.
To assure survival before medical authorities arrive. Always make sure you have one tucked inside your compartment box every time you go for a ride.
You may overwork your rig and risk causing a fire. If it starts to ignite, you will need a fire extinguisher to minimize damage and reduce the possibility of injury.
Clothes, Water, and Extra Food
The forest is the perfect place to lay low and get closer to nature. Convenience stores, reception, and help aren’t easy to attain in this area. Suppose you encounter an unfortunate situation. In that case, you will need to maximize your survival until rescue finally arrives.
Seatbelt Cutter or Glass Breaker
There will be instances when you need to break the glass off your vehicle’s window. Of course, certain situations are bound to happen, such as a burning engine, being stuck while your car is being filled with water, or a hot car emergency. Furthermore, you will also need something sharp to help you cut a seatbelt that isn’t releasing the lock.
Choose and Learn Your Desired Destination
Examine the off-road area to get a bright idea of how you will face your journey. You may also want to get information about the road from a guide. Choose areas where you can get an excellent mobile network needed in emergency situations.
Tell Someone to Always Track Your Location
It’s important to provide your location to others before you begin your journey to the wilderness.