When was the last time you enjoyed driving through beautiful sceneries, breathing the fresh country air, and maximizing your car’s potential for speed and distance? Most people will find it difficult to remember such an occasion with traffic being the norm everywhere. Almost everyone can relate to seeing drab gray buildings, being surrounded by polluted air, and experiencing the constant stop-and-go movements during their drive. Going on the road is more of a necessary evil to reach one’s destination rather than a therapeutic and exciting activity.
You can bring back your love for the road by getting off it and traversing the less beaten paths. Going off-road adventuring is a worthwhile experience given the health benefits and the skill set you can develop. It can be thrilling to tackle unusual terrains and obstacles city cars will balk at — sharper turns, large boulders, and uneven surfaces.
Still, given the potential dangers and high chances of getting stuck, beginners should be prepared with the proper knowledge and safety measures for their first trip.
Understand the capabilities and limitations of your vehicle
Your city car may not be well-equipped to handle an off-road trip. You will need a 4×4 vehicle built with key systems and features that can hold its ground. Renting an off-road car like the Subaru Outback or the Land Rover Discovery for the first trip is a good move if you are still testing the waters. Be sure to ask the car rentals about the pros and cons of each vehicle and if they have a regular maintenance schedule for their Subaru cars or any make, for that matter. It won’t hurt to do a little research and read blogs and forums like Reddit.
Enlist the help of an experienced guide
Part of off-roading’s appeal is the challenge the activity offers to drivers, which they are unable to get inside the city. There is a sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with overcoming difficult treks. But things can easily go wrong, and having an extra set of eyes and hands that know the rules of the land spell the difference between getting stuck and having an enjoyable trip. An experienced guide can teach you how to execute maneuvers and instruct which way to turn and other tactics.
Be flexible and know when to stop
Factors like weather changes, fallen trees, and breaking parts can easily turn things around, rendering a plan useless. It is best to undergo a comprehensive scenario planning and incorporate back-up measures before any trip — be it special equipment, alternate routes, or a towing company on speed dial. When you’re having a difficult time, there’s no harm in stopping and weighing on the available options presented. The worst thing an off-road driver can do is jeopardize his safety as well as his passengers, resulting in injury and hospitalization.
Scout the route
While plunging into the great unknown can be exciting, beginners might find themselves on a level of difficulty they can’t yet overcome. Plummeting down a cliff, getting stuck in a deep ditch, and the car suddenly overturning is very much within the realm of possibility. Newbies should start with established routes and marked trails to gauge their skills and learn their weaknesses.
Going off-road is harder than it sounds with its higher potential for dangers than city driving. But beginners can mitigate the risks and better enjoy the trek if they understand their vehicle, follow the advice of experts, be flexible, and plan out their routes.