If you are looking to try off-roading, you should be well prepared. Know your vehicle and be aware of all its strengths and limitations. In addition to that, don’t overrate your skills and browse through our tips, so you can stay safe while riding.
What is Off-Roading?
Off-roading is another word for riding on unsurfaced roads. These roads may be made out of materials such as sand, gravel, rocks, mud, snow, etc.
This activity ranges in intensity – from amateur leisure rides to competitions that involve modified vehicles and adrenaline-driven professionals. Modified vehicles and this sport as a whole face a great deal of criticism.
First of all, the vehicles are accused of creating additional pollution and causing damage to the environment. Not only that, many people feel that this hobby is not at all safe and that there should be more regulation regarding safety measures.
Plan Your Route
When you decide to go off-roading, you need to plan your route carefully down to the last kilometer, especially if you are a beginner. This is due to the fact that you can easily get stuck, injured, or lost without help in sight.
To choose a route you can manage, try not to be over-confident, no matter how skillful a driver you are. The thing is: if you are not able to tackle some obstacles such as water, mud, or sand on foot, your vehicle is not likely to do it either.
Talk to the more experienced drivers and do walking trials before you set off. Once you are off the main road, stay on the trail and don’t try to make your own shortcuts.
Let Someone Know Where You Are
Before you do off-roading, be sure to let someone know where you are so that they can reach you in case something goes wrong. It is also not a very good idea to go off-roading alone. However, bringing a bunch of people on a trip like this is not the best idea, either.
Have a partner to keep you company, help you in tricky situations and replace you in the driver’s seat when you feel tired. The best way to go on this kind of trip is to bring another vehicle along.
After all, there is safety in numbers, and you are more likely to succeed when you are together, especially if the other driver has more experience in off-roading than you.
Make sure to pack all the things you need before you set off. In fact, pack a little bit more than you need in case of a crisis.
Pack food, water, first aid, spare tires, lamps, blankets and everything else you can think of that can help you if you face a problem while riding and can’t get back home the same day.
You should also secure all of the gear inside your cabin to prevent it from becoming a flying missile if your vehicle rolls over or falls to the side.
Be Well Rested
Never go on a trip like this if you are not feeling well. Make sure you have a good night’s sleep before you go. Turn on all of your senses and stay well focused on the road. If you start feeling fatigue, don’t try to push through it – you must stop and have some rest.
If you fail to do so, there is a high chance that you will make some fatal error. As we have already mentioned, on these types of rides you should never go without the support of a friend or a more experienced driver.
In times like these, when you feel tired and unable to resume the ride, he or she may jump in and allow you to take a rest while you continue your journey.
All of the passengers, including you, must have their seatbelts on during the entire ride. We have already mentioned that you will drive on unforgiving terrains and you should not risk getting seriously injured.
Also, your arms and legs must be inside of the vehicle at all times. Although it may be tempting to throw them out and enjoy the cold breeze of wild nature, this sort of behavior is very risky and should be avoided at all cost.
If a branch or rock comes flying towards your limbs, you may end up with broken joints and/or a medical emergency far away from a place you can get immediate help.
Adjust the Speed
Off-roading is not about the speed. As the terrain is rough, you will need to adjust the speed of your vehicle to give it a chance to push through. If you go over the recommended speed limit, you risk getting stuck or even tossing and turning the vehicle.
This can damage your vehicle severely, but in many cases, you can get seriously injured too.
Never Go Too Far Away
If you are only a beginner, do not try to tackle the largest obstacles first. Try some of the more familiar routes and never go too far away from your starting point or the nearest place where you can get help.
If you choose to go off-roading, you must be aware of the fact that your cellphone won’t be of much use. Sometimes, you will meet no one along the way you have chosen, and if faced with a problem, waiting will be useless as well.
That is why it is very important to select a trail you can manage with your vehicle and your skill level. Remember to stay close, so that in case of an emergency, you can easily walk back to the nearest place where you can get adequate help.
No matter if you are a beginner or an expert off-road enthusiast, there are some safety measures you must be aware of at all times.
For starters, know your vehicle as well as your skills and limitations. Never go alone and always let someone know of your plans. Adjust the speed to the required limit, buckle up, bring enough supplies and enjoy the adrenaline out back in the nature.