7 Tips For Planning an Off-Road Trip | GRID Off-Road
Regular road trips can be lots of fun, but driving on flat stretches of highway for hours on end can get redundant after a while. Off-road trips literally and figuratively take you off the beaten path, creating a deeper bond between yourself and your vehicle. Here are seven tips for planning an adventurous and memorable off-road road trip.
1. Choose a Manageable Terrain
Start by researching off-roading destinations and finding places with manageable terrains. These are the different types of off-roading, in order from the least to most challenging environments:
- Green laning: also known as “two-tracking,” this simple form of off-roading includes driving on unpaved roads and pathways designed for off-road vehicles.
- Dune bashing: the goal of this off-roading sub-genre is to climb up and down sand dunes without losing control of the vehicle.
- Rock crawling: rock crawling is the stereotypical type of off-roading that involves navigating rough roads with large immovable obstacles, namely rocks and boulders.
- Mudding: this type off-roading takes you through wet environments with lots of mud and clay. It’s arguably the most challenging type because vehicles can get stuck easily.
Choose destinations that you know you can handle. Off-roading is already dangerous enough, so you should stay within your experience level until you gain more confidence. You should also pick destinations with scenic views and other tourist attractions nearby.
2. Map and Memorize the Route
Once you find the perfect destination, map out and memorize the route. Look up videos, images and reviews from other off-roaders and try to visualize yourself on the trail. Gaining intimate knowledge of the terrain’s various obstacles will boost your confidence and navigation skills. The same logic applies to hiking trips and other outdoor adventures.
3. Protect Your Vehicle
Now that you’re familiar with your destination’s layout, you can take the appropriate steps to protect your vehicle. Adding new off-road tires and wheels will provide more traction and raise the undercarriage to a safer height. You might also consider adding fender flares, brush bars and other safety features if the route has many small obstructions, such as tree branches. When it comes to off-road wheels, GRID Off-Road has a vast selection of off-road wheel options. We offer both forged and cast off-road rims in a variety of styles to choose from. Whether you’re looking for truck wheels or Jeep wheels, we have a set that will definitely catch your eye!
4. Be a Fuel-Efficient Driver
You need to be a fuel-efficient driver at all times during your road trip. Drive at 60 miles per hour on highways to maximize your gas mileage. Try not to idle and constantly change speeds. Identify the most optimal gas stops before the trip to avoid wasting more time and fuel later. Most importantly, you should bring an extra can of gas on the trail if you run out. Your vehicle’s gas mileage takes a hit from the additional off-road modifications, so a full tank won’t last as long as you expect.
5. Check the Weather Forecast
Keep a close watch on the weather forecast in the days preceding your trip. Off-roading in inclement weather presents many new challenges, including poor traction, low visibility and unpredictable trail conditions. The type of weather you encounter will largely determine what clothes and off-road accessories you’ll need to bring.
6. Pack for the Worst
When planning an outdoor adventure, it’s always a good idea to prepare for the worst. Bring any clothes you might need – hat, gloves, rain jacket, extra layers, etc. – even if the forecast calls for sunny skies and mild temperatures. You should also bring these off-road items to get yourself out of tricky situations:
- Recovery boards
- Electric winch
- Tire repair kit
- Air compressor
- Mechanic toolkit
Solving every mishap will allow you to drive with greater peace of mind. Instead of spending the whole trip worrying about a flat tire or bad weather, you can go with a clear head, knowing that you have the tools to address the problem.
7. Bring a Friend
The buddy system is the most important rule for any dangerous activity. It would be best if you had a companion in case you get injured, stranded or lost. Plus, driving with a friend is always more fun. You get to experience the trials and tribulations together and share those memories for the rest of your lives.
Enjoy Every Minute
Road trips seem like long and arduous journeys before we begin, but they always flash by in the blink of an eye. Make sure to live in the moment and enjoy every minute of your off-road road trip. Every roadblock is a learning opportunity. Embrace the highs and lows, and you will be a much better off-road driver at your journey’s end.
Author Bio: Oscar Collins is the founder and editor-in-chief at Modded, where he writes about cars, luxury topics and more. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates!