For some, it’s climbing the steepest, rockiest hills or powering through the deepest bogs that brings the biggest thrills; for others, it’s driving the dunes in their off-road Jeeps.
If sand duning is your deal, pay attention to these great tips so you’ll have the best time, staying safe while doing so.
Don’t let the soft sand mislead you; it’s just as important to follow proper technique when out duning as it is doing any other type of off-roading.
Most of all, be respectful and responsible so that everyone in your party can enjoy themselves as well.
Be Equipped for Driving on Sand
Driving on sand is different than driving on any other surface.
It can be similar to driving through mud; however, it still requires an understanding of how to do it and how your vehicle must be equipped to handle it.
When you head out to the dunes, have your truck or Jeep ready for the task:
===> Air Down the Tires - Spread the weight of your vehicle over a larger contact patch by airing your tires down to around 16 to 20 PSI.
Don’t forget to bring a compressor with you so you can air back up when ready to hit the pavement and go home.
===> Carry Essential Recovery Gear - Getting stuck in the sand up to those new tube doors is just like getting stuck in the mud.
If you can’t drive yourself out, you’ll need help.
Bring along gear to do a snatch recovery, traction mats, a portable shovel, and other necessary items.
Know the Best Techniques for Successful Sand Duning
Sand duning is like hill climbing, only on sand.
The same concerns with hill climbing apply as far as keeping your balance to not tip over onto those new open fenders; however, there is the added challenge of keeping up your momentum.
To drive the dunes successfully, it’s essential that you use the following techniques so you can get up and over safely without rolling or getting stuck:
===> Avoid Rollovers - Always drive straight up and straight down the dune.
Driving on an angle could cause you to slide in the sand and then roll over.
===> Maintain Your Speed - While you don’t want to go speeding up a dune and will likely lose traction and slide if you try to, don’t stop moving forward.
Like normal hill climbing, slow and steady in 4WD-low will get you up and over.
===> Know What’s At The Top - Check the other side of your dune before you climb it; once on top, the only way to go is down.
Pay attention to other drivers still descending the same dune, look for rocks in the way, and check for other hazards that could endanger your descent.
===> Be Careful with the Brakes - If you brake too hard descending a sand dune, you are likely to slide your Jeep and dig the tires in.
Use the brakes lightly to maintain a slow speed without breaking your traction.
Be Respectful for Everyone’s Benefit
There’s more to sand duning than just showing up, airing down, and disappearing over the dunes. Chances are there will be plenty of other people out there with you if you’ve chosen a popular duning spot.
Keep these points in mind before you go so you can dune safely while sharing the fun with everyone else out there looking to do the same:
===> Get A Permit - Some duning sites, just like other off-roading sites, require that you get a permit before you go out.
Permits help keep track of how much use an area is getting, with the fees going toward maintaining them.
===> Stay on Marked Trails - Avoid going off the trail or driving up and down dunes that you shouldn’t.
You could cause damage to the landscape, indigenous species that live there, or end up endangering yourself.
===> Use A Sand Flag - Sand flags help everyone on the dunes know where everyone else is so collisions can be avoided.
Having a spotter at the top of a dune helps, too.
===> Use Safety Gear - Buckle up; it’s not a bad idea to wear a helmet, either.
It might only be sand, but duning can be bumpy and jarring.
===> Learn Right of Way - Avoid dangerous situations by knowing who has the right of way when crossing trails, climbing up hills, and more. If in doubt, let the other driver go first.
===> Know Your Limitations - Avoid pushing yourself past what you can do comfortably and safely with your Jeep.
You will stay safer, and won’t endanger anyone else out there with you.
===> Stay In A Group - The buddy system is just as important when sand duning as with any other type of off-roading.
In a group, you have guidance, experience, assistance if you need it, and most importantly safety.
Stay Responsible for Super Sand Duning Fun
From being prepared and knowing safe driving techniques to being respectful of the land and those around you, it’s important that you approach sand duning responsibly.
Taking your truck or Jeep off-road and into the dunes can be a lot of fun as long as you go about it the right way!