Off-roading for Beginners

July 9th, 2018 by


Photo credit: Jeep

Everyone has to go through their first time experiencing an off-roading excursion. We hope before the journey begins that you’re well read on some of the important factors to consider, even if you’re going to have a guide or a helping hand go with you along the way. Below are various tips to help keep you safe and enjoy the ride ahead. Let’s get to it!

You’re Probably Going To Have To Leave Your Vehicle

While owning a vehicle capable of going off road is an amazing feeling, especially when you’re on the trails getting to test the vehicle out, there are times when you have to plan ahead. Planning ahead can mean getting out of your vehicle to make sure you won’t go over a dangerous section ahead or end up in deeper water than your vehicle can handle. Anything more than two feet deep of water is probably not safe to go through for most vehicles, although a Jeep can handle up to 30 inches safely.

The term is known as water fording and while some Jeep vehicles can handle up to 30 inches of water going slowly through at 5 mph, you’ll still have to get down to check. You want to make sure the water is not deeper further up on the path ahead. Driving along the side of a water bank or stream might be the safer choice than going straight ahead into water. Four-wheeling is where the fun is, not crossing water like you’re on the Oregon Trail. Get used to getting out of your vehicle to make sure the path ahead is safe.

You Can Go Over Most Objects On Trails

If you’re traveling on roads less traveled while off-roading, you’re doing something right. Trails were made by those who have followed the same path before you. The journey is suppose to have some bumps and going over steep hills and various moments of rock crawling. Don’t be afraid to test your vehicle out with the right mindset. Sometimes you’ll have to go very slowly and manage the right angle to handle going over certain rocks or tree stumps and other various obstacles. The important step is to make sure you have your vehicle placed in 4WD or all-wheel-drive, and be sure to lock the center differential.

Anticipate and Plan Ahead

Is your tire pressure lowered for increased traction? (Unless you’re going over rocky terrain and have lowered your tire pressure for added traction, keep your tire pressure at the suggested PSI.) Have you done everything you need to do before driving off for an extended period of time? Don’t be afraid of getting stuck. That’s something that can happen and those fears are justified. Sometimes handling the situation in a calm manner and knowing simple tricks of the trade are the best way to get your vehicle out.

Depending on the circumstances (and they are all different) you can get out somewhat easily. While some 4×4 vehicles might get stuck in rocks, a simple trick can be as simple as putting a floor mat under each tire, allowing the vehicle to have traction to escape. Another option is stacking rocks to fill any gaping holes. Other times, shifting into the right gear is all that is required to move your 4×4 ahead. A heavy-duty strap that’s at least two inches wide with fabric loops or a frame-mounted tow hook can also be used to pull your vehicle slowly out of any situation with the right vehicle assisting.

Never Off Road Alone

This may be the easiest choice to make, but sometimes people think they can handle riding trails alone. We don’t recommend that, especially if it’s at night. If something happens to your vehicle, like getting stuck as mentioned above, you’re going to want assistance and it won’t be there if you go alone. Always use the buddy system with a fellow capable 4×4 to follow behind or in the very least, go when other vehicles are traveling near you.

Where You Can Be Prepared For Your Journey Ahead

If you want to experience the perfect off-road trip, make sure to have read this article more than once and recall what to expect. This may make the difference for your journey. Talk with us on social media for more info. We’d love to discuss the latest Jeep vehicles with you.

Make your summer more fun with ensuring your off road choice is properly protected to handle off-road adventures and let us know about your upcoming off-road excursions. We’ll be here to help and assist you in any way we can.