Off-Roading Tips for Beginners
For some automobile fanatics, tuning or customizing classic cars is enough. Still, there are others who seek adrenaline-pumping adventures. This is commonly referred to as off-roading in which vehicles traverse across natural terrains, like mud, gravel, rocks, sand, snow, or water fording. So, here are some off-roading tips for beginners to help you get started.
Find a Trail
While off-roading is the act of driving over natural terrain, you cannot do this anywhere. Federal, regional, and local laws and regulations prohibit off-road driving over certain areas, like national parks and protected habitats. That’s why you must find a trail. There are numerous off-road trails to choose from across all 50 states, from Alaska and Hawaii to Florida and Maine. Do some research and find a trail or off-road park that suits you. Keep in mind that some areas have fees and rules of their own, such as only allowing certain vehicles or specifications.
Make Sure Your Truck Can Handle It
Once you’ve found a trail, park, or club you like, prep your truck for the trip. There are many ways to prepare your pickup truck for off-roading. Mainly, make sure it has protective modifications, like grille guards, fender flares, and skid plates. It should also have proper suspension, wheels, and off-road tires to handle the natural terrain without causing serious performance issues. Other modifications to consider are lightbars with LED lights, a lift kit, and a heavy-duty hitch for extra ground clearance or in case you get stuck.
Pack Extra Parts and Supplies
At the minimum, pack recovery joints, tow straps, roll bar, jack, fire extinguisher, communication devices, and spare tire. However, it doesn’t hurt to pack a winch, high-lift jack, jumper cables, shovel, GPS, extra truck fluids, tire pressure gauge, air compressor, and work gloves. You must always pack for the unexpected. Even experienced off-roaders never go without the proper gear and supplies, so as a beginner, it’s crucial you do the same. It’s also a good idea to pack extra clothes, food, water, and a first-aid kit in case you’re stuck or find yourself in an emergency. While the best bet is to call for help, you don’t know how long you might be in that scenario. Having these items could save you in a life-threatening situation.
Bring a Friend
Lastly, bring a friend. This is an important off-roading tip for beginners because it serves a dual purpose: safety and socializing. Even with extra supplies, if you’re stuck or in a risky situation, it always helps to have someone else there. They could have a working phone or help push the truck from mud. Having two sets of hands and legs is better than one when getting yourself out of a scary off-road scenario. Better yet, it’s also fun to have a friend or buddy along for the ride. Even if nothing bad happens, use this time for socializing with your loved ones who are also passionate about trucks and off-roading. You might even make a lasting memory or new tradition.