Are you trying to figure out how to get off the beaten path safely? Read this article to learn top tips for off-roading and seeing the sights safely.
Do you love to get off the beaten path and go exploring? Setting out to explore the wilderness isn’t as simple as it sounds, you have to be well prepared and ready for anything on your adventure.
There are many great locations throughout the country for you to see but you should always know how to do it safely. Every year there are hundreds of thousands of people are injured or killed from not operating their four-wheeler correctly and you don’t want to add to this statistic.
Keep reading for some off-roading safety tips to follow on your next adventure.
1. Choose the Right Vehicle
The type of four-wheel-drive, also known as a 4×4, vehicle you have will determine what type of off-roading adventure you can take. There are many 4×4 vehicles that are not meant for actual off-road trips.
If you are planning on a rugged, all-terrain adventure then you will need one of the best 4 wheel drive vehicles with a chassis frame that has been built to withstand the punishment of going off the beaten path. If you have a crossover 4×4 then it might not be cut out for the job.
2. Know Your Vehicle
Before setting out on your adventure you need to be familiar with your vehicle and understand it and it’s limitations. You should know how the system on your 4×4 works and be able to use the controls properly. Familiarize yourself with where the spare tire and jack are located in the event you damage a tire and need to replace it.
You need to know your vehicle’s dimensions so you can pass through tight areas without harming yourself or your vehicle. You should also be aware of the location of the vehicle’s lowest point of clearance so you don’t scrape the bottom when traversing difficult terrain.
If you are planning on passing through deep puddles or shallow lakes be aware of where the air intake and engine computer are located on your engine so that you don’t accidentally submerge them when crossing through.
3. Perform Proper Maintenance
Before heading out on your trip you should make sure that your vehicle has been properly maintained. You should check all the tires to make sure that they are still in good condition, not worn or flat. Check the spare to ensure that it is inflated.
Do a check of the steering wheel fluid levels and make sure the brakes are in proper working order. Verify that the belts, hoses, and filters are all good to go and do an oil change if you haven’t already.
4. Take Proper Safety Steps
Go through your emergency supply kit and verify you have everything you need, and restock any first aid supplies that have run low.
Once you are ready to get going check the weather forecast and be aware of any changing weather conditions. You don’t want to get stuck out in unfavorable conditions and have an emergency arise because of it.
Never travel alone, always have at least one other passenger with you and let a third party know where you are planning on being and on what days. Make a plan to contact your third party and give them an update on a certain day and time to let them know you are okay. It is important to have a contingency plan in place before your trip.
When loading your 4×4 vehicle pay attention to the load distribution and make it as even as possible. If you load too much near the rear axle it will sag and can limit the vehicle’s clearance.
With a roof rack, you will need to make sure you don’t make the vehicle too top-heavy and risk the chance of a rollover. Keep in mind the added height of the load on your vehicle when traveling through tight spots so you don’t get hung up on anything.
5. Environmental Concerns
When you are in a park system you need to follow the park’s rules of conduct when off-roading. Respect the environment you are in and don’t do anything that may damage the area or seem unethical. To be respectful, leave the area as you found it.
Follow trails that have already been established. Your vehicle may damage the ground by leaving ruts and you don’t want to cause unnecessary erosion by blazing a new path. Don’t tear up the soil by spinning your tires, this can also lead to erosion when it rains by breaking up the surface of the ground.
Do not litter, be mindful of any garbage you bring with you and make sure it leaves with you. Be respectful of the local wildlife, you are in their territory and need to treat it well.
6. In Case of Emergency
Hopefully, you will have a great trip and not encounter any emergency situations. In the event that something does happen, you should have a plan in place and know what to do in case of an emergency. You should have the phone number of the local police station to call for help. For serious emergencies, call 911.
If your vehicle gets stuck on a stump or rock, attempt to free the vehicle without causing damage. You can jack up the vehicle to clear it off the obstacle or fill the space under the tires so you can drive off of the object. You can also let some of the air out of the tires to reduce the vehicle’s height and give it more ground clearance and allow you to get over the obstacle.
Learn More Today About Off-Roading Safety Tips
Hopefully, these off-roading safety tips will have you ready to gear up and hit the road for your next adventure.
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