While some people prefer the classic and clean looks of their sportscars, plenty of other car enthusiasts stand by the more rugged and empowering vibe that large vehicles and trucks emanate with their presence. And if there’s one thing these lines of people love the most, it’s testing the limits of their beloved rides out in the open terrain, in challenging conditions, and all of the above that can prove the strength of their cars.
However, many outside on-lookers and newbies fail to understand that beneath all the raging testosterone and never-ending thrill for off-roading, it’s a lot more technical and safety-oriented than most people give it credit for. And if you’re planning to set foot in this hobby, then you might want to put aside any recreation dreams first because protecting yourself from any untoward harm is always a priority.
#1 You Can’t Just Know Your Vehicle; You Need To Be One
Look, regardless of the latest features for the 2023 Ford Ranger on its catalog, off-roading with any truck or all-terrain SUV means you should know more than just the vehicle itself but become one with your ride. Of course, we’re not saying that you’ll become a transformer anytime soon, but it helps to know the nuances of your vehicle and the little details that make it go and put it to a complete stop.
- Firm Grasp Of The Ins, Outs, And Every Last Detail: For starters, we recommend that you work toward a strong grasp on all the ins, outs, and ever pertinent detail that will make off-roading with your car feel like a natural skill. Remember, when you’re out there riding until the sunset, there’s no guarantee of what you’ll run into or what issues you’ll have to face during those encounters. And that means you can’t rely on the local mechanic to solve everything for you.
- Gritty Looks Are Good, But Not All The Time: A common theme that you’ll see play out among many off-roading enthusiasts is that they take pride in all the dirt and debris that gets onto their rides. However, even though they post these pictures online, that doesn’t mean they don’t take the time to clean up. Something bad could’ve gotten into the engine, or the frame’s been wrecked, and giving the car a good wash is the only way to find out.
#2 Expecting The Worst And Preparing For Them
As we’ve mentioned before, there’s no telling what type of challenges you’ll have to deal with when off-roading, and while luck plays a role in saving yourself from tricky situations, smart off-roading enthusiasts will always take the time to prepare beforehand. So, unless you plan on being stranded until a friend comes by to pick you up, we suggest that you keep your tools packed and inside the compartment.
- Actionable Safety Measures: Sometimes, it’s not the car that needs fixing up but yourself, and whether it’s from checking the terrain and suddenly scratching your arm against sharp rocks, you wouldn’t want to get all bloody on those leather seats. Therefore, it is in your best interests to learn a thing or two about first-aid and remember to keep a complete kit with you at all times.
- A Little Something For The Car Too: Of course, the same goes for your car as well, and no matter how strong the underbody protection can be, an Achilles heel that every vehicle faces are the tires. So, before you head out to challenge all sorts of terrain, you might want to consider having a couple of spares with you. And if you’re going to take things to another level, you could also invest in a Can-Am ATV for more practical use-cases.
#3 Riding Solo Is Never A Smart Idea
Last but not least, while off-roading does give off the impression that you’re some kind of lone wold that operates solo and doesn’t need help from anybody else, off-roading is a people’s activity that you normally invite more than just yourself to the party. You see, it’s just a lot more fun to have a few friends and like-minded enthusiasts by your side, somewhat a more gritty and rugged take on a city car meetup.
- Tell Somebody Where You’re Headed Off: Although a lot of fun things can happen when off-roading, plenty of terrible experiences and problems could equally go wrong and bite you in the but. So, if you’re ever going out late for an off-roading session without any buddies to ride shotgun, always let someone else know just in case they need to rescue you when you’re not back home in time.
Off-roading Veterans Value Safety Before Recreation First
Overall, there are a lot more safety and smart workarounds surrounding off-roading that the stereotypical perspective lacks severely. And if you can’t accept the extra work your need to do first before challenging the great outdoors, you might want to stick to fixing your Camry back at home instead.