It’s about that time. You are tired of the same old dinner nights, golf outings, and hanging around in the garage. You are starting to get those adventurous tendencies to try something new and different. Off roading could be your exciting new hobby! This is your one-stop-shop for learning the off roading basics for your first trail ride. Gather up some munchies, a few pairs of underwear and be sure not to forget your heavy-duty tow rope those possible sticky situations. USA Rope is here to help you understand all the off roading basics. Let’s dive in.
What is the First Step in Planning My Off Road Trip?
The first step everyone should follow prior to even choosing your trail, is to choose a group of people to travel with and be sure you are prepared for any emergency. It is always safer to travel in numbers. It is ideal to travel with at least two vehicles with two people in each. This ensures that if an emergency were to arise, like getting stuck in mud, our Xtreme Tow Rope along with the other vehicle, could pull you out.
What Should I Pack in Case of an Emergency?
After you have chosen your trail type, you should prepare for the obstacles you may face and how to tackle them. Some examples of obstacles may include getting stuck in a ditch, divot, or mud, running out of gasoline, underestimating water levels, or having a medical injury that requires attention. The above are very feasible obstacles and are common to first time off roaders if they are not careful. We are here to be sure you are prepared for any emergency. Our emergency equipment and materials are listed below:
- First Aid Kit: Full of all the essentials to aid an emergency injury.
- Jumper Cables: You never know if your battery will die on you.
- Winch & Winch Rope: A winch is a beneficial addition to your Jeep or truck for any circumstance. Winches can help when things are stuck in certain situations. We recommend our synthetic winch rope which is made from 100% Spectra Fiber. The line is strong and highly abrasion resistant for the roughest trails. Some may think having winch rope is for people who go off roading all the time.
- Tow Rope: If any vehicle were to be stuck in tough situation, our stronger than steel tow rope is a 12-strand rope that is guaranteed to pull you out of any sticky situation. The tow rope is something that will come in handy when you least expect it. We recommend the Xtreme Tow Rope for those who are avid off roaders who often find themselves in towing situations. This rope is even stronger than that of the regular tow rope we offer. It can withstand even the harshest of situations.
- Physical Map and Compass: In the chance that your navigational aid fails, or you lose service, having a map and compass could help you through find your way.
- Spare Tire with Jack: When you sit a sharper rock than you expected, and you suddenly have a flat tire, a spare tire will come in handy.
What Kind of Trail Should I Choose?
After you have established a reliable crew to travel with, it is important that you are aware of what type of trail you are trekking and prepared for the types of obstacles you may face there. Although you may think you are the master of trails after heavy research online, it is important to be realistic when choosing a trail. You should pick one that suits your expertise level with off roading. The general rule of thumb is beginners stick to gravel, dry dirt, and grasslands while intermediate to expert four-wheelers graduate to sand, mud, rock, and deep-water conditions. Every condition is different, but if you understand your limitations, you will be better off. Below is a list of popular trails in Pennsylvania and the surrounding tri-state regions.
- Southington Off Road Park – Garrettsville, OH
- Yankee Lake – Brookfield, OH
- New York
- West Virginia
What Kind of Vehicle Should I Take and How Should I Prepare?
The most common types of off-roading vehicles include Jeeps, Toyota cruisers, 4×4 trucks, and Land Rovers. They are all built to withstand outdoor and off-roading elements. But is your vehicle prepared? Prior to leaving for your trip, it is important to make sure your vehicle can withstand the trip. Below is a list of things you should know and check for before your trek.
- Vehicle dimensions: When traveling in tight spaces or deep divots, it will come in handy knowing how far your vehicle can go. Be sure to know the height, width, length, approach and departure angles, and ramp area of your vehicle.
- Clearance Levels: The higher the angle of your vehicle, the more clearance you will have.
- Location of Engine Air-Intake and Computer: This will become increasingly important as you drive through bodies of water. You do not want to drive through a waterway that is deeper than the engine air-intake and computer. When water levels rise above this, it creates electrical issues and disables the engines ability to cool down.
- System Controls: You should be very familiar and comfortable driving the four-wheeling vehicle. That sounds self-explanatory, but many people do not know the functions of most of their vehicles system controls. Knowing all the internal system controls such as light controls, traction control, locking differentials, suspension, etc. will make your trek run smoother.
- Check everything under the hood prior to leaving: This is something that can be very easy to forget about. Be sure to check the engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, radiator coolant, windshield wiper fluid, all hoses, and the tire air pressure. When off roading, tire pressure should be lower to prevent tire damage.
Depending of the trail difficulty, inclement weather, and the amount of people that are attending, you may need to adjust your vehicle accordingly. For any off roading trip, make sure you have enough people to travel with, choose the right trail, and double check that you have all the right equipment in the case of an emergency. USA Rope & Recovery manufactures all the essential off roading ropes you’ll need. Check off basics with the help of USA Rope so that you are ready to take on any off roading adventure!