Off-Roading 101 - Prepping For Your First Off-Road Experience

Automotive Blog

There is nothing more exhilarating than taking your SUV out on the open road and exploring areas that no other vehicle can possibly access. Imagine the thrill of climbing up mountainous terrains, exploring sandy beaches and splashing through deep, muddy rivets… If you're an adventure seeker, off-roading will definitely satisfy your need to have fun.

Before you head out and explore the off-road, you're going to want to make sure that you are fully prepared. Driving on off-road terrains can be quite treacherous. With proper preparation, you can ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Plan Ahead

The first key to successfully planning a safe off-roading experience is to plan ahead. This includes:

  • Knowing where you're going – Make sure you map out your route before you start driving and make sure that you are well aware of what you will encounter on the terrain. You should also be sure to have an emergency exit planned, should you get into trouble (blow a tire, break an axle, etc).
  • Make your plans known – Let others know what your off-road plans are. By doing so, in the event of an emergency, help will be able to locate you.
  • Watch the weather – Check the weather forecast just before heading out. If inclement weather is predicted, you might want to consider postponing.

Prep Your Vehicle

Once you have a plan, you need to get your vehicle ready for your off-road trek. Suggested vehicle preparation tips include:

  • Check the tires – Traction is key to successful off-roading. Check your tires to make sure that the treads are in good shape. You should also reduce the tire pressure, as this will help to increase traction. Typically, a psi of 18 to 20 is recommended. Don't forget to check your spare, too.
  • Check the lighting – Make sure your tail-, head- and fog lights are working. You may also want to install an off road LED light bar, as it can greatly increase your visibility.
  • Check fluids – Make sure that all fluids are properly filled. This includes the gas tank, oil, windshield wiper fluid and brake fluid.
  • Check the wipers – There's a very good chance you could get some backsplash from puddles or other dirt and debris on your windshield. You'll need to have wipers that work properly in order to maintain visibility.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

You never know when trouble may strike so having an emergency kit available is important. Your off-road emergency kit should include:

  • A tow rope
  • A flashlight
  • A first-aid kit
  • A mobile phone and a charger
  • A portable air compressor
  • Navigational aids (GPS and maps)
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Shovel

With proper preparation, you can have a safe and worry-free off-road experience that will be sure to satisfy the thrill-seeker inside of you. 


29 April 2015

About Greg Chapman

When I was little, I'd watch old movies with my grandfather. One of my favorite scenes was when Steve McQueen tried to jump that big fence on his motorcycle in "The Great Escape." After I saw that, I just wanted a motorcycle. I was obsessed with them! My grandpa knew that, and he helped me build one for myself. He took me shopping for all the parts, taught me about the mechanics of it all, and walked me through all the building and repairs. Since then, my love has expanded to all things that run with a motor, including cars. Even though I'm not a professional, I'm quite skilled, and that has proven handy when it comes to my own repairs and the simple enjoyment of riding my bikes. Check out my blog!