Off-roading is about exploring all the different terrains Mother Nature has given us. You can off-road in the mountains, sand, mud, wetlands, and even in the snow. People who love to tackle off-road trails know the excitement that lies ahead of them, but they also know how to proceed with a certain level of caution while still getting a burst of adrenaline.
These tips for off-roading safely with your Jeep or other SUV will help you have a great time without damaging your rig.
Know Your Vehicle
Before you head out to tackle the trail, you’ll need to understand the capabilities of your vehicle. Do you have the proper clearance to crawl over boulders? If you’re in the mountains where you might encounter mud and snow, do you have the proper tires that give enough traction or the right weight distribution? Also, are recovery tools like the winch in working order so you can haul yourself out if you do get stuck?
Bring the Right Tools
Off-roading safely means knowing how to get yourself unstuck safely. No matter if you’re traversing the most familiar trails or the most unknown, you’ll always need to have the right tools packed, including:
- A recovery kit
- A flashlight
- An air compressor
- Work gloves
- A tire repair kit
- A jump start kit
- A jack
You always want to bring a friend with you, too, because you might need the extra help to recover your Jeep if it gets stuck.
Know the Trail
Understanding the trail before you go out is helpful, too. Running into obstacles that are beyond your experience level can take you by surprise, and you might not know how to handle something like climbing a steep incline or swampy terrain, especially if you weren’t anticipating it. But here are some tips to conquer tough terrain:
- Always drive over hills straight up and down; driving diagonally puts you at risk for a rollover.
- You should cross obstacles at an angle, one wheel at a time.
- You want to drive in low gear and slowly. Never change gears in the middle of an obstacle.
Following these tips for off-roading safely in your Jeep will ensure you and your rig make it home in one piece with a story to tell!