Bored of the tarmac? Off-road driving can be a whole new adventure. It can however be dangerous and isn’t something you should so a whim. Here are some ways that you can prepare for a journey of road.
Know the laws
Off-road driving isn’t permitted everywhere. In fact, you may find that there are few places where you can drive off-road. In some cases, there may be certain legal rural roads that are practically off-road – take Iceland’s F-roads as an example. Also look out for land owners who may allow off-road driving on their premises. Deserts and moorlands in some cases may be free gain.
Buy the right vehicle
You’ll likely want an SUV or a pickup truck for the occasion, but one that has as much on-road capability as it does off-road capability. There are plenty of luxury models on the market such as the Jeep Wrangler that can guarantee comfort on the mud and tarmac, but these often come at a high price. A lease such as a Ford Ranger lease could be cheaper. If you’re only going on a quick week long adventure, you may be better off visiting a hire car company.
Modify your existing car
It might be possible to modify your existing car in some cases. Raising suspension is expensive and you may be better off buying a new car if you’re going to go this far. When it comes to simple modifications, focus on the tyres. A strong brand of off-road tyre such as a Goodrich All Terrain will likely help you take on much of the bumpy terrain. New brake pads could be worthwhile investing in too giving you quick reaction on the brakes.
Pack for emergencies
If you break down off-road, you might not be able to rely on a fast breakdown service as you would on road. It’s worth having a spare tyre and potentially a pump and puncture kit. In case you get stuck in a bog or a dip, it could be worth having a shovel and a tow rope allowing someone else to pull you out. A jerry can might also be useful if you run dry on fuel.
There are a few other non-car-related bits of kit you may want to take along too. A portable phone charger will give you the option to keep your phone charged if you get stranded and can’t charge using the car battery. Maps and a GPS app on your phone will help you to navigate your way around. In the event that you do get stranded, it might also be worth having some snacks in the car and a tent for sleeping in. Take a flashlight too so that you can see in the dark. Hopefully, you won’t need any of this kit – but it’s reassuring to have.