Off Roading Tips for Summer Fun
Going off-road can be an extremely fun adventure, but it can also turn sour fast. Here are a few tips from our seasoned off-road pros which will help you before taking to the trail.
First, choose the right gear before going off-road. If you have a 4WD vehicle, be sure to shift it into 4x4 before setting a single tire off the road; you may forget to do it later. If you're sporting an all-wheel-drive be sure to lock the center differential. These are important to do from the onset because once you're stuck you may not be able to make this change. Having an off-road transmission is also important. Additional gears are used to help slow down your speed and keep your wheels from spinning.
Second, know what you're getting into. Before encountering a patch of trail too aggressive for your vehicle, scout ahead so you're not surprised. The worst thing you can do is be a mile or two off-road, get into trouble, and have little recourse for getting out. Reading about trails online is a great first start as off-roaders before you will usually include photos along with their stories. You can also check out the trail via satellite beforehand.
Third, be your own savior. No matter how good you are off-road, everyone gets stuck eventually. Before heading out, pack the essential recovery gear. The most important piece of kit top bring is a heavy-duty 2-inch wide tow strap with fabric loops. This, combined with a pair of strong clevis, will better secure your vehicle than standard tow hooks. This only really helps if someone can pull you out. If you're going solo, consider adding a tow winch to your truck, Jeep, or SUV.
Lastly, be smart and lower your tire pressure. This will increase traction on all 4 tires and help you out a surprising amount of tough spots. Do a little research beforehand so your tires have enough air to stay on the rim. The last thing you need is to be stuck in the mud with a flat.