Car

A Beginner’s Guide To Going Off Road

(image)

Looking for a taste of adventure? In the mood for some excitement? Then consider off-road driving. Away from the highways and byways, take to the wilderness in a 4×4 and explore a way of driving that your driving instructor never taught you…unless of course you turned left instead of right and found yourself between a rock and a hard place (literally).

Before you embark on your off-road journey, here are some things you need to know.

You need the right vehicle

You need something that is capable of gaining traction across some of the harshest terrains imaginable. Unfortunately, your Mini Metro just won’t cut it. We recommend the Jeep Cherokee which is built for an off-road adventure, but there are many 4×4 alternatives, whether you buy something new or second-hand.

Take time to practice

Even seasoned drivers have difficulty driving off-road, so don’t assume you have the skills. Before heading out into the wilderness, take the time to practice driving your 4×4 on rough environments closer to home. There are some basic skills you will need to master, which are quite unlike the skills you have already acquired for driving on the road.

What to look for in a 4×4

There are many different attributes to look out for when buying a 4×4. For example:

– You need something that offers plenty of ground clearance for when you’re climbing over rocks and stumps.

– Steel skid plates will protect the underside of your vehicle from rough damage.

– Front of vehicle bumpers will protect your car from collisions with trees, boulders, and quite possibly wildlife.

– The tires need to match the surface, so you should scout out the area before travel to check on the terrain. Think mud, sand, or rock, and speak to a tire expert for advice.

– The suspension needs to be up to the job. You don’t want a cheap body kit as your car is prone to a lot of damage when traversing harsh conditions. We liked this 4×4 suspension which has been designed for improved handling over difficult terrains.

Be prepared for the worst

Provided you have a car that can handle off-road driving; you should have an enjoyable and safe ride as you live out your Dukes of Hazzard fantasies. However, you do need to be prepared for worst-case scenarios. You may be a long way from the main road and civilisation, so having the right equipment to hand is necessary, and quite possibly a life-saver. As examples:

– A fully stocked first-aid kit that has all the items needed to stop blood loss and clean wounds. Accidents do happen so you need something to tide you over until you can get medical care if it is required.

– Should your vehicle get trapped between that rock and a hard place we mentioned earlier, a glass breaker is an essential tool to help you get out of your car to make an emergency exit.

– Fire damage is possible when you’re pushing your rig to its limits, so a fire extinguisher should be considered compulsory.

– If your vehicle breaks down in the middle of nowhere, warm clothes and a blanket are essential for protecting your body from the colder climes, especially if you are forced to sleep in the vehicle overnight. Don’t forget food and water too.

– Should you get into a precarious situation, you will find a winch invaluable. Invest in something high-quality that can rescue your car from the most tricky situations.

Finally

There is a lot more to off-road driving than what we have been able to cover here. However, do your research online or join an off-roading club where you will meet like-minded individuals who will give you some experienced advice. Above all, have fun. With the right set of wheels and the mindset for adventure, you will have a fantastic time leaping over crevices and thundering through the undergrowth.

Leave a reply