Off-roading is the ultimate thrill ride, but it’s not the easiest thing to do. Although it may seem like little skill is involved, you should know a few things before you enjoy the mud. These common off-roading mistakes you should avoid allow you to have fun and stay safe.
Forgetting Emergency Supplies
When riding along steep off-roading terrain, anything can go haywire, from stalling out to getting stuck. We understand that contemplating worst-case situations might be depressing. Nonetheless, it’s necessary to do so to arrange a safer off-roading adventure.
Prepare for the unexpected by packing everything you need to have in the event of a disaster before hitting the dirt roads. If an accident strikes, leaving you trapped in the middle of nowhere for several hours or even days, you’ll want to have the following tools on hand to fix any of the typical truck problems that may occur:
- A flashlight and shovel
- Blankets to keep warm
- Food and water
- Recovery gear (traction pads and recovery straps).
Packing Too Much
While it’s important to plan, bringing too much might be dangerous in and of itself. Towing capacity varies from vehicle to vehicle, and straining your vehicle past its means could cause damage to its vital components. Issues may arise in anything from the suspension system to the powertrain.
Such stress may substantially impact the vehicle’s effectiveness and pose operational concerns. Furthermore, extra weight may throw a vehicle’s center of gravity off, making crossing uneven terrain or ascending steep inclines perilous. Before embarking on an off-road adventure, check the owner’s handbook to verify you haven’t exceeded the maximum towing capacity.
Being a Daredevil
One of the major perks of off-roading is pushing your boundaries. The thrill you get from exploring new sights and driving through tumultuous terrain makes you feel like you can take on the road. However, you’re not a caped crusader and must stay within your limitations if you don’t want to destroy your vehicle or yourself. To off-road properly, drivers should gradually progress to increasingly difficult trails as they acquire expertise rather than testing their abilities immediately.
Following Trail Etiquette
Although there are no lane lines or speed limits to follow, that doesn’t mean you can drive recklessly. Most courteous and seasoned off-roaders follow specific unwritten rules to ensure a secure driving environment on the trails. Failure to educate yourself with these guidelines may result in a deadly accident or, at the very least, many angry stares from other off-roading enthusiasts.
Simple things like keeping your distance, giving the right of way, driving safely, and avoiding parking on marked trails should appease other riders and hiking pedestrians. The one cardinal rule you should never break is littering. Treat these trails like they’re part of your home, and keep things clean.
Knowing the common off-roading mistakes you should avoid helps make the rookie learning curve easier to master. The best lesson you can take from this is that it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when you’re behind the wheel in unfamiliar surroundings.