Going for off-road driving is a lot of fun and adventure but it can also be a challenge and confusing, especially when you’re not prepared. When we talk about driving on low-quality countryside roads, we mean extra-precautionary measures – right from the vehicle safety to yours.
It’s difficult to learn everything from other’s experience as a theory can never replace the real off-road experience. In this article, today I will talk about safe off-road driving: safe in the sense proper and accurate driving causing no damage to you or your vehicle. There is a few “must haves” before you set out on the tracks. Check out some essential safety tips for an off-road driving trip:
Know and Check your Vehicle
Today’s off-road vehicles are just an incredible tech, trucks and jeeps are the best to take on off-roading trips to inhale the excitement of your adventure.
These vehicles have several important systems that play a savior role on off-road trails and that’s why it’s important to understand them thoroughly that what they do. Don’t avoid paying attention to the indications of your off-road vehicle measurement devices, check the indications of the measurement devices of your vehicle from time to time.
It is not good if during your adventure excursion you run out of the fuel in the middle of the woods, or your engine overheats because of the negligence of coolant level.
Walk around your vehicle, inspect properly and make sure everything is fine.
- Check the tires, keep an extra set of tires in working condition. Know the tire your vehicle has whether it is compatible with off-road trips or not. Also, make sure the tires have right inflation so it couldn’t leave you in bad shape during your excursion.
- Check the headlights and taillights are functional and working properly.
- Your adventure trip could become a nightmare if your vehicle’s engine overheats because of your ignorance. So, check the oil, check the radiator, check coolant levels; make sure the coolant is mixed properly. Also, check wiper fluid, verify completely that there are no leaks, broken hoses, spills or oil spots.
- It is better to disconnect the sway bar on off-roads; they are designed to help keep your rig level and prevent rolling. Sway bars are great when you are on highways or on road trips but with this trail, it is risky due to the zigzag surface of the road. Connecting and disconnecting sway bar on and off on the off-roads can hassle and that’s why quick disconnects come in handy as it only takes a minute to pull a pin, disconnect the links, and pin it to the frame. But just be sure to reconnect it before you head back on highway speeds.
- Regular service of any vehicle is important and the list for checking your vehicle can go on infinitely but if you are planning for off-road adventure, make sure that you recently had your vehicle serviced. If something breaks on any part of your vehicle such as running boards, side-view mirror glass —get it fixed.
Some Very Common Yet Valuable Tips:
- Driving in speed make look adventurous but not advisable, the first important off-road driving tip is to drive slowly. When you go on off-road driving and the area is unknown to you, just don’t drive fast. If you are driving fast on the up-down trails, you are not only putting yourself in danger but also missing the beauty of the nature that surrounds you.
- While driving off-road, be in full concentration; be careful and know the deeper and complicated the off-road is, the more attention you need to pay. You can’t hold your cell phone in one hand while searching right radio station or gas station; your carelessness can end your adventure and can get you in some serious worse situation, so concentrate while driving.
- Don’t leave the trail, always drive on the previously used tracks to avoid being lost in the middle of woods. If you are stuck somewhere and aren’t sure enough how to combat the obstacle, just come out of your SUV or Jeep, take a walk around, understand the road and then take the decision. Inspecting the area could help you escape swampy or battered road and maybe you can find roundabout routes.
Be Prepared for Worst-Case Scenarios
Must-have Vehicle Accessories: Travelling on off-road can give you a tough time, your truck or jeep can break, wheels can get stuck in the mud and all these can disturb your whole mindset, so you must be prepared for odd circumstances. Be prepared, and help yourself, bring along some things that can help you to figure out small jams such as you can keep truck or jeep winch, tow strap, high-lift jack, shovel, gloves, flashlight.
Essentials like First-Aid Kit and Fire Extinguisher: You must carry a basic first-aid kit with you while traveling. In case of accidents either minor or major, these first-aid kits can aid you at least. Another thing you must keep is a fire extinguisher, keeping it, is an easy way to prevent fire damage.
Seat-belt Cutter and Glass Breaker: When things are good, keeping all these accessories and tools seem useless, but when you are on a long route off-road journey, scenarios can change, there may be a situation in which you may need to cut your seat belt, break a window, or leave from your vehicle, hence keeping seat-belt cutter and glass breaker can pull you out from such mishaps.
Food, Water and Clothes: These three are must-haves when you are on an excursion. You must prepare yourself and your vehicle for the conditions which you might encounter on your way out.
Always carry enough food and water while roving so you can drive with the concentration despite being searching motels on the way. You need enough clothing to survive either outside or inside the vehicle.
If the weather is cold, you can keep cold-weather insulation. And if it’s a long route winter trip, then keeping a blanket or warm clothes are mandatory.
Last but not the least you must tell your near dear one about your off-road trips such as when you are going and when do you expect to be back. In this way, at least in case of any disaster, they’ll know when and where to start the search. Although there are the number of do’s and don’ts, these are must-haves which you shouldn’t ignore when planning an off-road trip. Safety of you and your family comes first, hope you have a safe and exciting off-road adventure in case you are planning one.