Resources for Off-Roading Safely

Written by Bonnie Gringer

Leaving your automobile in the garage and venturing off the highways promises to be exhilarating. Before you begin off-road driving, it is important to learn how to control your vehicle in a variety of conditions, what to pack, and how to drive responsibly and safely. Off-roading safety should be your top priority, and it’s also important to leave as little impact as possible in the places you visit. Your car might not be up for the challenge, but 4×4 trucks and other vehicles should be able to take you where you want to go.

Off-Roading Safety

Maintain safety at every turn when you’re off-roading. Complete safety involves adequate preparation before you go and prudence while you’re driving.

  • Drive slowly so you can maneuver safely.
  • Always stay on trails.
  • Yield right-of-way when you meet other vehicles.
  • Never drink and drive.
  • Tell someone where you are going.

Overview of Trails

Always walk a trail first before driving it so you know what any trail involves. This way, you can see obstacles as well as any potential areas where you might get stuck.

  • Don’t try to drive over an obstacle unless you’re willing to risk getting stuck.
  • Know what your vehicle can do.
  • Observe trail etiquette, paying fees and obeying all rules.
  • Never venture onto private land.
  • Stay on the trails, and don’t drive over vegetation.
  • Never leave anything behind on a trail.

How to Pack and Prepare

Packing gear and equipment will enable you to manage unforeseen situations while you’re off-roading. Always pack more supplies than you think you’ll need.

  • Bring a winch to use if you get stuck.
  • Pack a hi-lift jack in case of a flat tire or obstacle.
  • An automotive tool kit will make it possible to take care of basic repairs.
  • Bring one gallon of water for every person, food, warm clothes, blankets, and a first-aid kit.
  • Bring extra gas.