Off-road driving is a passionate hobby that many people enjoy. However, to make the whole experience flawless, it is necessary to think of a variety of problems that might occur while you are off the beaten path. These practical tips will prepare you well for the off-road adventure you are planning.
Analyzing the terrain
Terrain analysis is one of the first things you should start doing. Once you are off road, things tend to change as you cover a lot of ground. You are going to face hills, dirt, mud, dust, sand or water. All these things require preparation in your vehicle’s equipment and the way you drive. This is why scanning the terrain that you are going to cover is necessary.
Depending on the type of terrain, pick regular time intervals when you are going to stop and get out of the vehicle to take a look at the terrain that awaits you. Not performing this might lead you into a situation where you are going to get stuck and lose time.
For example, when you run into water, always make sure to get out of the car and measure the depth with a long stick or a wooden branch you find around your location. Or, if you run across mud, prepare to speed up before it to gain momentum. Regularly perform terrain analysis and you are going to stay safe on the road at all times.
Prepare the right gear
Once you are before an obstacle, make sure that you pick the right gear for tackling it. It is not only going to make it easy for you to go on through the dirt road, it is going to help you never get stuck. Different types of situations require different gear usage as well as different driving styles.
A general tip that works great is to immediately switch to all wheel or 4×4 wheel drive. Once you are in a tricky situation, changing differentials is not going to do much good, but if you enter the situation prepared with an already locked differential on all wheels, you are going to pass over an obstacle with ease.
Include supporting gear in your inventory
No matter how great of a driver you are, getting stuck in a tricky situation is something that all off-road drivers face from time to time. This is why it is necessary to always keep the right supporting equipment with you at all times.
For example, make sure to include the rough floor mat for emergency situations when you simply need more traction. A much better option that is going to get you out of being stuck, no matter if alone or with someone, is a towing strap. The perfect width for the strap is 2 inches and all you have to do is to tie it around the vehicle’s frame or a two hook.
If you are always traveling with someone that is all you need, but if you are more of a lone wolf, having your own electric winch is going to be enough to get you out of a variety of conditions.
Lower your tire pressure
Driving on hard surfaces such as asphalt requires higher tire pressure for better fuel economy and improve your tire life. However, when it comes to off-roading, it is much better to have lower pressure in your tires. Remember not to deflate your tires too much, as they might go flat while you are in the middle of nowhere.
The main reason why you should deflate your tires a little bit is traction. The lower the pressure, the higher the tire contact with the ground surface is going to be, resulting in higher traction, which is necessary for better off-road performance. When it comes to picking the right pressure, different terrains require different pressure values. Make sure to take a deflator and a compressor with you; it will allow you to manage tire pressure easily.
Ensure better clearance
Clearance is one of the most important things in off-road driving. However, this requires custom suspension parts as the stock ones are not always the most preferable choice. The better the suspension system you are relying on, the more you are going to be able to cover. Additionally, picking a custom made suspension is going to leave more options for you, making it easier for you to cover a variety of challenging terrains, not to mention that it is going to offer a much more pleasant drive.
These are some of the most important tips that you are going to need when it comes to off-road driving. As someone who is new to this, make sure to always be in the company of experienced people and go solo only when you know that you are prepared to face all of the challenges.