OFF-ROADING SAFETY 101: THREE TIPS FOR TOUGH TERRAIN
In front of you is a daunting uphill climb, technical, exhilarating, nervewracking. The terrain is rocky, the sky is blue and you think to yourself… this challenge is going to be sweet! Whether you’re climbing this mountain or slogging through deep, thick mud or sliding around on huge sand dunes… when the terrain is tough, you’ve got to be tough to match it.
One small error and your vehicle could get stuck, flip or worst of all, you could get hurt. Before you take on any daunting off-roading challenge, it’s important to think carefully about your safety and the safety of those around you. It won’t matter how awesome the GoPro footage is, if you’re rushing to the hospital or spending thousands of dollars on repairs afterward.
Here are three helpful safety tips to ensure you’re able to climb any mountain or overcome the ultimate off-roading challenge.
“Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance” | Preparation is Key!
If you’re heading out to the trails on a whim, you’re headed for a bad time! Like the old saying says, if you’re not prepared, it means you’re not going to perform well. When preparing for a tough off-roading trail there are several key things to consider and review before leaving your driveway.
– Weather & Conditions
Unless you’re intentionally going mudding, rain or snow can make conditions slick and dangerous. If the trails aren’t safe to ride on or there’s a risk of substantial flooding, perhaps it’s not a great day to ride. Or you need to plan for how you’ll manage whatever mother nature throws your way.
– Check Your Safety Gear & Upgrade Where Necessary
If you have safety straps, winch or emergency kit, give them a once over to ensure that nothing is missing, broken or in need of maintenance. If you need to add gear to your kit, consider a Warn winch or Factor55 recovery gear. If you want to know how to make the most of this gear, check out one of our past blogs.
– Chart Your Course & Tell Your Buddies
If you’re truly taking the road less traveled, it’ll be best to have a back up map and tell a friend or two where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone! If something bad does happen, you want to be able to find your way back or have a friend who can find you.
Pay Attention to the Conditions On The Trail
Once you’re in the field, it’s important to listen to the conditions on the trails. Having a spotter is incredibly important when doing highly technical climbs or descents to ensure you know where your front wheels are at all times. The spotter can help you navigate tough terrain or have a second vehicle hang back, ready to jump into the rescue just in case.
If you get to the trail and things aren’t as they seem or conditions are worse than expected, it’s important to pay attention and make smart decisions at the moment.
Take Your Time
If you’re unsure of yourself and what your vehicle can do, it is worth it to take an extra minute to evaluate and go slow when necessary. While you should try to maintain trail etiquette, safety is paramount to a great time on the trails.
Off-roading is exhilarating and watching your truck or Jeep perform against all odds makes for great video footage and cool stories. But it’s even cooler being able to go home and share those stories and videos with your friends and family. The next time you’re facing tough terrain or gearing up for an epic adventure in the mud, mountains and sand, keep these three things in mind…and remember: “Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.”