Off-roading can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, but it’s important to take the necessary precautions before you hit the trails. Last time, we talked about off-roading accessories to get you started. Now that you’ve got your ride geared up, let’s review some tips and tricks that’ll help keep you safe and secure on your next adventure.
Prepping Your Ride
Whether you’re in a Jeep® 4×4 or Ram truck, your rig is made for the trails, but there are still some important factors to consider before you set off.
- Assess any worn parts you may need to replace or upgrade. (If you’re due a service visit, knock it out before you start trailing). Make sure all brakes, tires and suspension systems are in good working order.
- Fill up some extra gas cans in case you run out of fuel.
- Tie down any loose items like tools or spare parts so they don’t fly around during bumpy rides across the trails. (Our OEM cargo accessories can help make this one easier).
Other checklist items you may want to consider include refilling windshield wiper fluid and checking your coolant levels—all factors that can be addressed during regular maintenance visits.
Safety Precautions on the Trails
Off-roading is very fun, but you don’t want to head out on the trails unprepared.
- Before you approach any trails, make sure to familiarize yourself with the terrain you’ll be traversing and the route you plan to take.
- Prepare identifiers that can help you in case of an emergency before you reach your off-roading destination. Communication devices like 2-way radios, cell phones, plus a map or GPS device can help.
- Bring legal documents like an ORV permit, driver’s license, proof of vehicle registration and insurance.
Now, let’s talk about the “buddy rule.” Even if you’re itching to get outside, never go off-roading alone. Bring a passenger along for the ride who can help watch for potential hazards or off-road with a friend in another vehicle to provide support if needed.
Finally, always keep your hands and feet inside the car when off-roading. It may be tempting to break this rule if you’re driving a Jeep Brand vehicle—but unless you want to break more than just the rules, keep those limbs in the 4×4.
Important Tools and Supplies
It’s important to bring the right equipment, tools and supplies before you hit the trails. This can include:
- A first aid kit to help with any minor injuries or medical issues that may occur while you’re off-roading.
- Flashlights and headlamps with extra batteries so you can safely navigate dark trails. Also consider packing a fire starter kit for light or warmth.
- Repair kits and tools mentioned above in our off-road accessories post. Items like a jack, wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, jumper cables and a tire pump.
- Plenty of water and food supplies for yourself and your friends. Bring high energy snacks like protein bars or trail mix along with drinks like electrolyte beverages or protein shakes.
The Right Kind of Clothing and Gear
It’s not about all about style; it’s about comfort and safety too. The type of clothing you wear should depend on your off-roading destination’s climate and terrain.
- If you are driving in a hot desert environment or during summer conditions, wearing light-colored breathable clothing helps prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration.
- In colder climates, it is important to layer your clothing with items such as thermal wear, windbreakers, waterproof jackets and pants. Pack extra blankets, heat packs and hand warmers, coats, socks, gloves and warm beanies.
No matter what season it is, closed-toed shoes are essential. Your shoes should provide traction and ankle support while helping protect your feet from sharp rocks and debris. You can never go wrong with a good pair of hiking boots.
Stay Safe and Have Fun
It’s obvious that off-roading is a fun and rewarding experience, but only with some good planning and appropriate precautions. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order and that you have the right equipment, tools and supplies. Remember to wear and pack appropriate clothing and always follow the buddy rule. These simple steps will help make sure your next adventure is a good one.
Ready to prep for the trails? Visit the Mopar e-Store to shop all parts and accessories. https://store.mopar.com/