If you’re like most off-roading enthusiasts who have been forced inside during the COVID-19 pandemic due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders, you might be crawling the walls by now looking for a way to get out to the trails with your weekend warrior.
There are so many things we all want to be doing right now, whether it’s getting back to work or simply getting outdoors to exercise more or do some trail-riding activities.
Heading out for some time on the trails with your 4X4 could be a fun thing to do that doesn’t involve too many other people, right?
While that may be true to a certain extent, there’s two sides to that story so before you hop into your off-road truck or Jeep, consider these points on whether off-roading during COVID-19 social isolation restrictions is a good move.
Let's Head Out to the Trails for Some Fun Recreation!
There are many reasons why you might be anxious to head out for some fun in your 4X4 with a family member or friend, depending on what social distancing recommendations are where you live:
- Fresh air, sunlight, and activity are preferable than staying cooped up inside and promote good health as well.
- Off-roading is an activity that’s already relatively isolated, since the only people you’ll be in contact with are those in your off-road truck or a group adventuring with you.
- There’s little chance of exposing others or being exposed yourself when you remain within your own bubble of people close to you.
- With miles of trails in some locations, it can mean a much needed day to relax and wind down or eventually have a quiet camping trip out in the wilds to shut out the real world for a day or two.
Done with caution and common sense on private lands with permission or public lands that have re-opened for use, trail riding in your decked out off-roader during this time of social distancing can be a fun way to kill some boredom and finally have some fun.
Maybe We Shouldn't Hit the Trails Just Yet
The downside of going out on the trail with a small group of close friends for some off-roading fun is the practicality of it.
First off, many states have closed their public parks for use until social distancing rules are relaxed and public grounds are made available again, which means:
- Going to these places now could get you a hefty ticket.
- No spontaneity as you would have to first confirm and wait for an answer as to whether you can drive on the trails with your off-road truck.
- National parks are being patrolled by rangers whose job right now is to keep you out.
Second and more importantly, don't forget that any time you drive off onto the trail, there are certain risks:
- Your off-road truck or Jeep could get stuck or break down.
- What do you do if your truck or Jeep gets stuck or needs necessary field repairs?
- Someone in your party could get injured, which creates multiple problems.
- An injury response in the field or hospital treatment takes emergency responders and healthcare workers away from helping patients infected with COVID-19.
- Any kind of assistance you may need from someone outside of your private party increases the risk of exposure to someone with COVID-19.
If You Do Go, Be Extremely Careful
If you live in a state where the parks are open and you’re permitted to go out on the trails for some fun, use common sense and extra care to minimize risk by doing the following:
- Don’t go out alone yet keep your traveling party small with a group of 10 people or fewer in at least two vehicles.
- Keep your activities on the simpler side and avoid really dangerous things to reduce the chance that someone will get hurt or your off-roader will become undriveable.
- Don’t try new things you’ve never done before since that can also result in injury or breakdowns.
Most importantly, bring all necessary safety gear with you, practice safe off-roading techniques, and practice good hygiene to reduce the possibility of catching, or spreading anything.
What It All Means
In a state where public lands are closed, do your best to wait it out until you can head out in your modded off-roader again.
It’s a great time to do vehicle maintenance and give your ride a good cleaning or maybe do some of those modifications you’ve been wanting to do.
Once the restrictions are lifted, you’ll be all set to head out to the trail for a great time!