The off-roading community is tight-knit and always looking for new enthusiasts. However, the same community is also quick to correct someone if they make a crucial mistake. Ultimately, everyone wants to ensure that no one gets hurt or damages their car.
While off-roading is, at its core, a fun activity for friends and family, it’s also a dangerous one that takes attention to detail and some knowledge. To better help you when you take your 4×4 out for a drive, here are some common mistakes first-time off-roaders make and how to avoid them.
Going Zero to One Hundred
When you attempt your first off-roading excursion, your excitement might lead you to bite off more than you can chew. Many 4×4 owners dream of tackling famous trails like the Rubicon, but before they can get to that level, they must master far simpler terrains.
Cars react far differently on pavement than they do on sand, rocks, or mud. In fact, your first time off the beaten path will feel quite alien. So spend adequate time learning the basics of off-roading before turning up the difficulty. Additionally, never stray from the pre-cut trails around the off-roading location—this can destroy sensitive ecosystems and get you loads of fines from local activists groups and governments.
Forgetting To Air Down Tires
While many 4x4s come standard with capable all-terrain tires, they still need additional help when driving over dirt and other slippery terrains. A common mistake many rookies make is failing to “air down” their tires. It’s best to air out your tires to 15-20PSI for maximum traction and performance.
Going too low will risk the tire flying off the wheel altogether, but not airing enough could cause a blowout or flip. All of these scenarios cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your automobile and could seriously injure you, passengers, and others by standards.
Packing Too Little
Before you hop in the car and head out for your day of fun, it’s essential that you pack the proper gear and equipment. The best off-roading safety tip we can give you is always having a survival kit and some recovery gear.
These items can save your vehicle from catastrophic damages and keep you alive in the event of a disaster. The best off-roaders rarely use these kits, but they also never leave the house without them.
By avoiding these common mistakes first-time off-roaders make, you can quickly become an expert 4×4 enthusiast who gets home in one piece every single time. Adhering to safety tips might seem tedious, but your physical well-being and wallet will thank you in the long run.