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A Few Basic Off-Roading Tips for Beginners
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A Few Basic Off-Roading Tips for Beginners

A great injustice has happened in America—four-wheel drive vehicles have been seized from their natural habitat and relegated to city streets. The mighty Jeep, born to live on the battle fields of WWII, is now a luxury car used to go from the store to soccer practice to Starbucks. It’s time to take all four-wheel drive trucks and Jeeps off the road once more.

Before you accidentally jerk the wheel to the right and plow through a corn field, there are some things you need to know. The world of 4×4’s is an exciting one for sure, but you should read up on some off-roading tips for beginners, so you don’t embarrass yourself or your 4×4 on the trail.

Vehicle Mods

You should drive your stock vehicle around before you make any changes to it so you know what it’s capable of in its natural state. Once you know that, you can determine what changes you need to make. The first thing to change are the tires and to lift the body. Stock tires aren’t big enough and you need more clearance to get bigger tires on. There are too many mods to list here, so join a forum and find out what else you might need. There are seasoned off-roaders and mechanics in these forums who can guide you.

Trails to Explore

If you don’t know anyone that has 50 acres of land to play on, don’t worry. That forum you joined will know lots of places to head to. National parks and the Bureau of Land Management also maintain miles of trails for people to use. There are plenty of private off-road parks that allow 4×4’s, motorcycles, and ATVs. They usually have all sorts of different terrains and can accommodate all different skill levels.

What to Take

Most parks require all vehicles to have some minimum equipment on board. If you take a cooler for food and water, make sure that it’s strapped down and secure. It’s the first thing that will fly out of the back on rough terrain. Be sure to pack the following items, as well:

  • Tow straps
  • Full size spare tire
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Tool box
  • Hi-lift Jack and base
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Shovel
  • Extra clothes
  • Food and water
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Heavy work gloves
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