All those who have ventured out on the off-road trails and made it big only achieved it with proper planning and technique. Planning comes both on and off the trails and it has got an important role to play on those happy weekends you spend off-roads.
This article will dig a little deeper into off-road adventure and discuss the safety tips you should never forget before you leave for those hard terrains.
The best of off-road adventures starts at your garage. You would have completed those recommended annual maintenance but it is your responsibility to walk around and inspect your vehicle. There shouldn’t be any exposed wires, leaking fluids, or damage to the tires. Headlights, tail lights, wipers, and safety belts, should be all properly functioning.
Your 4x4 accessories including the winches should be tightened well. If you are keeping the doors off, then wear your body and eye protection gear. A set of extra traction tires, skid plates, and additional lights are that must-haves.
2. Never go alone
While navigating the off-road trails might seem adventurous and exciting, we recommend you not to do it. When on those rough patches anything can go wrong in a fraction of a second. Ensure that you always drive in a group or at least with a buddy.
In case your 4wd gets stuck somewhere, the winch on your buddy’s jeep can be your lifesaver. The same applies to your buddy as well. You can get him out of those tricky situations with your 4x4 equipment as well. Kind of a symbiotic relationship!
We also recommend having a co-driver who can be your spotter, navigator, confidence booster, and whatnot.
3. It’s not a race track you are on
Remember that speed is never the key to winning hard terrains or obstacles. Instead, pushing the gas-tight and right is the secret to winning an off-road track. To successfully cross a hill climb or obstacles you need to maintain the optimum rpm, else you will get stuck or damage your skid plates.
4. Reduce your tire pressure
Your 4wd is going to need more traction on off roads than what they need on a tarmac. While off-road tires can help, you should also reduce tire pressure. Reducing the tire pressure will ensure that the tires have more contact area giving you enough traction on those rough patches.
Note that lower tire pressure will give you more traction but it will cause more wear and tear. This is where pushing the gas right comes in handy.
5. Be sure about your line of pass
Your wheels draw a boundary on the patch. You should know where your wheels are and where they will be while you are on the move. Your co will have a better role here to direct you over those obstacles and warn you about those dips and slush. All that matters here is coordination and communication between you two. Proper hand signals will save you here.
While following the lead’s tire marks might seem to be a good idea, we highly recommend you not to do it. They would have just made it through leaving you no room for the pass. You should be cautious and brave enough to find a different path.
6. Be prepared for the worst
What will be the worst case? You will have to abandon your adventure and head back home leaving your car behind.
Sometimes you will have to face this situation as well when your buddy pair and you both are stuck on the trail. You will have a cell phone but of no use in the woods, no tow vehicle service available, or no one on the highway could offer a helping hand.
No worries. This is part of the adventure journey.
7. Walkthrough the obstacles
Either you or your co can walk through the obstacles, be it slush or water crossing.
In the case of water crossing, you should know the depth especially in case your 4wd doesn’t have a snorkel to breathe. You would have crossed the stream in the morning and you are attempting it on your way back home. Don’t rush through the trail, make sure the water level is still within your limits.
In case of slush, you should know the rigidity of the ground. In case you can’t walk over it, you are less likely to cross it with a ton of weight. Don’t change the gear when you are in mid-way to an obstacle. Be prepared with a lower gear right from the start. When you have lost that momentum it’s hard for the traction to give you that push once again.
8. Learn to help yourself and your pals
`When you are off-road you have to take multiple roles. You are your doctor, mechanic, navigator, and manager. You will have to change tires, give yourself first aid, analyze the broken roads and change your plans to the conditions.
It’s always better to alter your plans to the situation you face than stick to the paper plan. Make sure you are in that team and you are helping others to get over those obstacles.
9. Let the world know
Let the world know you are up the hills for an adventure with your jeep. In case if things go wrong and you can’t find a way out, at least there will be someone who knows you are stuck at that location.
To Sum Up
We hope you found this article helpful. Remember that the tips we discussed are not everything. Off-roading is an art that’s going to take years of practice to excel. If you have any queries or doubts regarding the accessories of your jeep, you may feel free to reach out to us. We sell only genuine USA-sourced aluminum products.