Last Updated on June 16, 2022 by Rose Morah
My years of going on countless off-road trips have exposed me to so much.
This article provides beginners with great tips that I wish I knew back then when I was just starting out.
The following are some of the best tips when off-roading for the first time:
- 1. Learn how to drive off-road and safe self-recovery
- 2. Always research the trails that you will be visiting
- 3. Tires play a great role when off-roading
- 4. Take your time and don’t be in a rush
- 5. Make sure the tires go over the obstacle (the rocks)
- 6. Get good off-road shoes
- 7. Have a positive attitude
- 8. Enjoy a good meal
- 9. Always ask questions and challenge yourself
- 10. Take time to experience what you see
1. Learn how to drive off-road and safe self-recovery
There are three ways that anyone can learn how to off-road and gain great skills, tips, and tricks in the process. These include;
- Joining legitimate off-road clubs in your area
Legitimate off-road clubs usually operate under laws and guidelines.
You can get a ton of information from these clubs, especially if you are a beginner. Additionally, they usually have off-roading trips which are usually led by team leaders who have gone through training.
Most of these legitimate off-roading clubs usually require you to attend most of their meetings to qualify as a member. This allows you to join their off-road adventures.
However, this would be a downside, if you do not have the time to attend such meetings.
- Find tag-along off-road tours
Tag-along tours are great for beginners because you have an experienced guide that guides you and helps if any problem arises.
They also help you gain confidence, have fun, and enjoy while learning.
Additionally, they make you feel like you are part of a group without feeling like a weakling.
The only downside is that this will cost you money.
- Join local off-line/online groups/forums
These can be Facebook groups, subreddits, and so forth. They provide you with a wealth of information based on other people’s experiences.
Another good thing about these groups and forums is that most of them organize group off-road trips that you join for free.
You get to meet new people and learn from them.
The only disadvantage as a beginner is that you may at times feel like you are left out or pressured to do some uncomfortable things since most of these people are experienced.
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2. Always research the trails that you will be visiting
Based on the type of trail, find out what you need to bring, whether you will require a permit, if your trail is on private or public land, trail ratings and reviews, and so forth.
See How to Find Overlanding Trails (Best Tools & Resources for Finding Trails).
3. Tires play a great role when off-roading
Apart from getting good off-road tires, you should have the right tire pressure when off-roading.
A good quality tire and right tire pressure will get you almost everywhere.
Note that when you are offroading you need to air out the tires to the correct PSI due to the following reasons:
- To ensure that you have a better ride.
- Airing out the tires gives the tires a more contact patch when offroading thus increasing traction.
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Tire Pressure Guide: What is the Proper Tire Pressure For Vehicles?
What Causes Low Tire Pressure (And The Solutions).
4. Take your time and don’t be in a rush
Slow down and always make sure that you are keenly looking at every obstacle, especially if you are rock crawling.
This also applies to how you are handling your steering wheel. It should be in a gentle manner and not jerking the steering wheel.
This helps prevent the vehicle from breaking down during your trip and also leaves it in a better condition for future off-road trips.
I would also strongly recommend always taking your time to get out of your vehicle and survey before going through an obstacle.
This will help you figure out how you are going to overcome the challenge and whether you should attempt it.
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5. Make sure the tires go over the obstacle (the rocks)
Ensure that the tires of your vehicle are placed directly on the obstacle/rock to avoid damaging it or being in a situation where you are in a vulnerable position.
Want to build your Jeep? Check out The Best Jeep Wrangler Build Sheet For Beginners (A Complete Guide).
6. Get good off-road shoes
This may seem obvious, but it is one thing that most beginners forget.
Over the years it did not hit me that I needed a good pair of shoes for my off-road trips until someone from my group recommended some amazing off-road shoes that I have worn ever since.
Why should you wear off-road shoes?
They are comfortable when walking on uneven terrain when off-roading. They also give you a good grip and are water-resistant.
See also: A Complete Overlanding Checklist.
7. Have a positive attitude
One thing that off-roading has taught me over the years is having a positive attitude even when you are experiencing challenges/obstacles.
This skill has helped me to become a better person.
Having a positive attitude also helps you to enjoy your trip.
This means that even when you are stuck and trying to recover, don’t let it stress you, or be in a hurry to get yourself out.
Relax, take a breather, keep yourself in check and try to overcome the challenge.
Additionally, using some of the recovery gears such as a Hi-Lift jack will require you to take your time and not rush.
Check out 8 Must-Have Hi-Lift Jack Accessories.
8. Enjoy a good meal
Nothing feels better than enjoying a good meal while you are off-roading.
Taking a good meal while enjoying a beautiful view for me means a lot.
It helps create great memories, boosts your mood, and allows you to enjoy every single moment of the trip.
9. Always ask questions and challenge yourself
When traveling with experienced people don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially when you are stuck and trying to recover your truck.
This is because most of the time the experience people in the group tend to forget you are in the process of learning.
Additionally, challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone, and don’t be afraid to get dirty in the process.
I enjoy off-roading because it dares me.
10. Take time to experience what you see
I remember when I was just starting out off-roading, I never took time to experience what I was seeing and soak it all in.
When I compare then and now, I feel like my off-roading trips back then always felt like they were rushed. This is because I didn’t take the time to slow down and experience what I was seeing.
That’s it, there’s so much to learn when you are just starting out as a beginner but I am sure you will also learn most of the things through your personal experiences.