Off-Roading in 3 Types of Inclement Weather | GRID Off-Road
Whether you’re a die-hard off-roader or someone just looking to get out of the house on a rainy day, there’s no denying that traversing the back roads is a thrilling experience. A proper off-road vehicle can navigate almost any terrain, but you must also consider weather conditions. Here are the three types of weather you need to be prepared for.
Rain, snow and other forms of precipitation can put a damper on your off-roading experience.
If you want to go off-roading in the rain, you first should let some air out of your vehicle’s tires for extra traction. The terrain’s traction or lack thereof will be your greatest obstacle. You should also ensure the brakes and windshield wipers are in good condition. Some off-roaders wax or coat their rides as an extra layer of defense before taking them out in the rain. Here are some other tips to keep in mind once you’re on the trail:
- Turn on your headlights
- Take your time and don’t fly through the trails
- Be gentle on the brakes and gas pedal
- Avoid deep puddles and moving water
- Check your brakes and engine after passing through standing water
You drive with more caution when it rains on regular roads, and you should do the same while off-roading. Give your vehicle room to accelerate and decelerate, and don’t jeopardize your car’s electronics. If the puddle looks too deep, it probably is.
Off-roading in the snow requires some heavy-duty modifications. A set of snow tires is a great starting point to avoid sliding on icy trails. However, not all snow is the same. Sometimes it’s light and airy, while it can be thick and compact at other times. The second variety is much easier to drive on, so keep your eye out when you’re on the trail. Reducing your ride’s weight will also make driving easier, but if you’d rather add some modifications, these are the items you want:
- Off-road lights
- Hard exterior cover
Driving in the snow means the temperature is below freezing and factors like frostbite and hypothermia come into play. Put together a survival kit and bring extra clothes so you don’t succumb to the cold. No matter how much snowfall is on the ground, take things slow and keep your eyes on the road ahead. Snow and sleet are responsible for 18% of weather-related accidents, and you don’t want to add to that statistic.
Speaking of temperature, you might also find yourself off-roading on a freezing cold or blistering hot day. Hypothermia and frostbite should be your main concerns on cold days. Dress in layers and bring a reliable hat and hand-warmers. If you notice symptoms, stop driving and wrap yourself in a sleeping bag or emergency blanket. Dehydration, heat stroke and heat exhaustion are your greatest threats on hot days. Make sure you bring plenty of water — more than you think you’ll need — and wear light, breathable clothing. A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and a new set of tinted windows will also block heat and keep you comfortable behind the wheel. As for your ride, off-road vehicles can handle extreme temperatures just fine. Just keep an eye on the gauge and ensure it doesn’t get too hot or cold.
3. Extreme Weather Events
Now we’re getting into the fun stuff. Off-roading near tornadoes, hurricanes and other extreme weather events is never a good idea, but accidents happen. You might not have checked the forecast, and a flood sometimes accumulates too quickly for people nearby to react. Along with your survival kit, here are some items you should bring in case you find yourself trapped or vulnerable to extreme weather while off-roading:
- Shelter: Bring another form of shelter besides your car. Hiding out in a vehicle during harsh weather isn’t always the safest option.
- Emergency contacts: Write down emergency contacts so you know who to call if things get hairy.
- Cellphone signal booster: This item will give you cellphone reception in remote areas so you can call for help.
- Flares: You need something to get the attention of emergency services, and a flare is the brightest thing around.
Protect your car from extreme weather by adding special off-road mods like a lifted suspension, brush bars and fender flares. You will feel much safer in a decked-out ride than in a barebones vehicle.
Safety Over Everything
Off-roading always implies a degree of risk, but that doesn’t mean you should be reckless and drive in inclement weather without caution. Rain, snow, extreme temperatures and sudden weather events introduce unique obstacles you need to prepare yourself for. Modify your ride, bring the necessary gear and put your safety over everything else.
And if you want your rig to look good while out on the trails, check out our vast collection of off-road wheels! We offer Forged and Cast off-road wheels that are made for pavement pushing during the week or for some fun in the weekend warrior. We have a wide selection of styles, fitments and finishes to choose from, so we promise that we have something for literally every personal taste and preference! See something you like? Email us at sales@GRID-Offroad.com to find a local authorized GRID Off-Road wheels dealer near you!
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!