There’s a sort of freedom associated with iconic Jeep vehicles and the concept of going off-road, where the act of driving over rough terrain and exploring off the beaten path is an adventure all on its own. However, it’s important to remember that even when you’re venturing beyond the paved road, off-road driving safety is a must for people looking to protect their vehicle and themselves from the dangers of the great outdoors. Keeping yourself safe will help you enjoy the off-roading capabilities of your Jeep during future excursions as well.
First of all, preparations are important. Spontaneity is not the key here. Make sure your Jeep is up-to-date with all routine maintenance and doesn’t need any repairs. Tires are extremely important; make sure they have suitable traction and proper air pressure. Additionally, research off-roading locations ahead of time. ORV parks and Forest Service roads both have their benefits and downfalls, and you should check them out ahead of time to make sure that the conditions are suitable to your skill level.
On the day of, keep an eye on weather conditions. Hazards like rain and mud can put a damper on your expedition. Make sure your cell phone is charged and that you bring along things you feel you might need, like a first aid kit, a change of clothes, a flashlight, and anything else that could help out in a bind. Never go alone, either — there’s strength in numbers!
The experience of off-roading can be a tough undertaking for beginners. Some aspects of driving off-road are intuitive and come with experience, such as knowing when to switch into four-wheel drive. A good rule of thumb is to understand that Jeeps don’t need a lot of speed and power in order to get through tough landscape; most vehicles are powerful enough on their own to pull you along, so don’t go faster than you’re comfortable.
Off-road driving safety is crucial before you go out into the wilderness. Heading off a paved road and onto bumpy terrain can be dangerous if you aren’t prepared ahead of time, mentally or otherwise.