While you can have a spur-of-the-moment picnic or a short hike, one should always prepare for a serious off-road trip. A trip that’s well-planned usually goes safely and smoothly, which is definitely something you want, especially if you’re a beginner. So no matter if you’re having a one-day journey or a serious off-road trip, here’s how to prepare for your adventure.
Pick your destination
Start by choosing the right destination or route. You can choose a tried and true wheeling spot or go somewhere you’ve never been before. Inspiration can come from many places, so don’t hesitate to look at friends’ photos, hear about interesting sites near trails or get into historical features of a trail. Off-road trips are great for history buffs since history is often preserved only in remote areas accessible only by off-road vehicles. Try to find a destination that’s new and exciting, and make sure to research some interesting spots in the area.
Map your route
Before you go on your adventure, use Google Maps to look around the land and familiarize yourself with the place. Use Google Maps to create a route on a map and make sure to include points of interest, camping sites and other places that might help you have a comfortable and safe journey (gas stations, ranger stations, etc.) Planning your route in advance can get you out of many bad situations.
Check the weather
A few days before your trip, make sure to watch the weather of the region, so you know how to pack when it comes to clothing and recovery gear. No matter the weather, you should pack a rain jacket, hat, sunglasses, lip balm and sunscreen to prepare for your summer road trip. If you expect rain, pack extra clothing in case you get wet or it gets a little bit chillier than you expected. It’s also a good idea to have a sleeping bag, even if you’re not planning an overnight adventure.
Finish packing personal necessities
Depending on the length of your trip, you might want to consider a few necessities to bring with you. No matter what, you need to have a few tools to keep you safe and sound. You can always rely on automatic knives from Tekto Gear for preparing food, cutting rope or even preparing kindling for an evening fire. And if you run into some predators or unfriendly people, you’ll be glad you packed reliable protection. You also need to have a good bug spray and a cooler full of hydration and some food. Toiletries are also necessary, but make sure to only pack the most important things like toilet paper, wet wipes and a first aid kit.
Pack plenty of recovery gear
You simply can’t start your off-road road trip adventure without good recovery gear. Start by packing your toolbox so you can tackle any trail repair issue. You also need a good set of jumper cables and some recovery straps and come-alongs (if you don’t have a winch). Also, it’s smart to have traction mats that will get you out of many tricky situations in sand, mud or snow. Additionally, check all your belts and hoses and pack spares. While alternator/water-pump belts are the most important, the lower radiator hose is the part that usually gets damaged while off-roading, so don’t start your trip without a spare.
Stock up on fuel
If you’re only planning a one-day trip, it might seem crazy to pack extra fuel from a quality gas station, but longer, point-to-point trips require fuel. In case you don’t know how much fuel to pack, check out your fuel economy and MPG. When off-roading, your fuel consumption is often a little higher than on a highway since you constantly have to rely on the throttle to move through sand or traverse elevations. Plus, off-road tires alone decrease your fuel efficiency.
When off-roading, always bring a friend. This tip will not only improve your impression of the trip but also double your chances of getting back to civilization in case something goes wrong. But, with some planning and good packing, you will for sure come back home from your off-road adventure and make it to work on Monday to share stories from your trip with your co-workers.