Last Updated on July 27, 2021
Offroading is a hobby that many people enjoy. It can be exciting and fun to explore new terrain in your vehicle, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions.
In order to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time offroading, we want to share some of our tips for beginners here at Offroaders’ Delight!
We hope these tips will help newcomers get acquainted with the sport safely as well as provide some useful information for veterans looking to improve their offroading skills!
There are a few things you need to know before going off-road. We’ve stated these things in this article. Carefully read this for a successful trip.
Also Read: Offroad battery buying guide
10 Off-roading Tips You Should Know
1. Prepare Properly For Off-road Adventure
Take your preparation seriously. It is the key to a successful off-roading adventure.
Check Your Vehicle: Inspect your vehicle A to z and make sure everything is in good working condition.
Inspect your vehicle’s tires and make sure they are in good shape. When you have to drive to your location, check if your sway bar works correctly.
Make sure headlights and taillights works properly and also fitted in proper height.
All other parts such as restraints, Seats, seat belts and must be checked beforehand. Regular service your vehicle according to the owner’s manual.
Check Your Fluids: If your vehicles burn oil and it’s already time for you to change oil, you better do that before heading out on any long trips. Make sure that, the oil level is right and it’s not dirty.
Check radiator levels. Make sure that, your vehicle has proper coolant levels. Always follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation.
Check your vehicle’s windshield washer fluids and top off. Also, ensure that windshield wiper blades are in good shape.
Plan For Safety: Make sure all the safety devices of your vehicle are working properly. If you take your doors off, everyone inside the car must be belted. Plus, make sure to have the ear, winch and eye protection While driving without roofs or doors.
2. Inform Someone
Before going off-road, tell your trusted one where you’re going and when you’ll be back. If an accident happens and you can’t return home in time, at least he will know where to find you. It’s one of the most important safety precautions you can take.
3. Have a Buddy
While going off-road, it’s always better to have a buddy/co-pilot with you. There are a lot of advantages of having a buddy. He is your all-around general helper and motivator. He is your navigator, spotter and an extra pair of helpful hands. In case of an emergency situation, he’ll help you out.
He will help you drive in the right direction by checking the map and ensure that everything is all right. Thus, having a buddy will help you stay focused on the road.
4. Off-Roading Gear
There is multiple thought on the off-roading gear that any off-roader takes with him while going off-road. If you’re going off-road, your toolbox must include the following gears:
- Hydraulic Jack (one or two)
- Two spare tires
- Jump leads
- Fan belts
- Spare Oil/Fluid
- Recovery gear such as Winch, Snatch straps etc
- Air compressor
- Basic repairing gear
- Radiator Water
- Spare water and food
- First aid kit
We ‘ve published a detailed guide on essential offroading gear. You can also read this guide.
5. Get Yourself a Winch
You know that driving off-road can be full of obstacles. There is a high possibility to find your off-road vehicle stuck in sand, mud or a trunk.
In that situation, you’ll need strong pulling power to rescue yourself. And you can get this pulling power by a winch.
Your winch capacity should be 1.5 times higher than your vehicle weight to safely do winching. This is the standard rule.
If you don’t use the winch in the proper method, then you might end up hurting yourself or any other serious accident can happen.
Keep in mind that, there are a lot of inexpensive low-quality winches out there. These cheap winches will fail when you need them most. So, always invest in a top-quality winch.
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6. Travel In Group
Traveling as a group highly increases the safety of your journey. When you’re traveling as a group and you find yourself stuck in mud, sand or any other trap, then another vehicle of your group can rescue you. If you face an accident and your vehicle breaks down, you can get back to civilization.
More off-roading gear can be carried. Group travel is a must for serious overland trips.
7. Consider Weather Condition
Before heading to off-road, consider the weather and prepared with appropriate protective gear and clothing. It’s better to pack extra in case it gets colder than expected or you get wet. We recommend over prepared than underprepared.
8. Stay In Your Comfort Zone
Don’t try to do anything that you’re not comfortable with. Don’t expect miracles from your vehicle because it’s not a magic trail machine. It’s very difficult to drive in off-road.
9. Look Out for Different Terrains
You’ll find different types of terrains while driving off-road. That’s why you need to make the tire fit according to the terrain. For that, you just need good tires and knowledge of the road type. Sometimes you have to increase the tire pressure and sometimes you have to reduce it.
10. Use Modern Gadgets
Activate the GPS of your smartphone or take a Handheld GPS device with you. Handheld GPS is very easy to operate. If you get lost, this device will help you to go back home easily. Keep the car adapter and spare batteries in a bag for the GPS device. If you’ve planned for camping, then you might also bring radios, tents, and flashlights.
Also Check: 4 Best gps for off road jeep
11. Signaling Gear
This is a system that will call for help. You can use EPIRB or satellite phones. When you’re in trouble, just tap the panic button and help will arrive. There are some radio options too. Do deep research and take one that fits you most.
12. Be Flexible
You’ve to be flexible while off-roading. The weather may change, things can break, trails or routes may be closed and many unplanned things can happen. But be flexible to change plans. Never push yourself to do something that you’re not compatible to do.
If you get stuck on the trail or forget your way of home, then stop and think how safe it is to continue. Find a safe area to park your vehicle and get yourself together. Consult with your buddy and find an alternative way.
13. Don’t Drive When You’re Drunk
Don’t go off-roading while you’re drunk. This can cause a serious accident.
14. Prepare For Worst-Case Scenarios
First-Aid Kit: It’s important to Carry a well equipped first-aid kit. This may won’t be able to handle all your first-aid needs, but it will give you primary treatment such as clean simple wounds, stop blood loss etc until help arrives.
Fire Extinguisher: Accidents can happen at any moment. It’s a cool idea to keep a fire extinguisher in your vehicle. It’s an easy way to prevent fire damage.
Glass Breaker & Seatbelt Cutter: While driving off-road, you may face in a situation where you need to break a window or cut the seat belt. So, you should take a glass breaker & seat-belt cutter in your toolbox to make an emergency exit from the vehicle.
Warm Clothes: You have to ensure that you have enough clothing with you to survive 24 hours outside the vehicle. Though your vehicle will have a heating system. If a window breaks or the engine doesn’t run, you’ll face fall in a very hard situation. So, you should take adequate clothing with you. It’s also a good idea to keep blankets under the seat of your vehicle.
Let’s Have Fun!
Our job is done! Now It’s your job to follow our tips and make a successful off-road trip. Don’t forget to share your off-roading experience with us.
If you think we’ve missed something or there is an error in this article that needs to be corrected, then inform us in the comments below! We’ll keep this article updated with all the feedback.
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I’m Daniel Galbreath, founder of OffRoadersWorld.
I spend my spare time writing on this website, OffRoaders World. I share my thoughts and reviews on different types of gears, share tips sometimes. This website is specially created and regularly updated basically to help other folks like me when I started to solve the various problems they face, specially when they go off-roading.