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Off-roading is loads of fun, but it can also present you with some significant challenges that might cause you or your rig injury if you don’t go about things the right way.
Whether this is your first time off-roading or your 1,000th time hitting the trail, there are some basic off-road safety tips you should adhere to each and every time you hit the trail.
Since a complete list of every off-road safety tip would be a very long article, we’ve hand-picked a few of the most essential ones for you to keep in mind.
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Off-roading requires more than just hitting the trail and seeing where things go…
Instead, before you ever turn the engine over, take a look at maps to see what trails you might want to hit. Then, research those trails and see what other trail hogs have said about it. Doing so will give you the recon you need to stay safe, know where you’re going, and what to expect on the trail.
Then, once you decide where you’re going, let people know where it is, when you’re leaving, and when you plan to be back. Better still, go with some friends so you have that built-in safety net in case something goes awry.
Off-Road Safety Tips: Go With Friends
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As noted above, having friends along in their rigs is a great safety net in case you encounter trouble on the trail. It’s more fun too!
Aside from having help winching you out of a mud bog or helping you fix a flat, riding the trail with your friends gives you spotters for when the trail gets hairy and vice versa. You’ve got someone to help in case of an emergency, someone to bounce ideas off of regarding how to get past an obstacle on the trail, and someone to provide you assistance if you get injured.
Besides, the camaraderie of off-roading with your buds is tough to beat!
Get Good on the Throttle
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In addition to planning your off-road trip, one of the best basic off-road safety tips you can use is to practice getting good on the throttle.
This is something that will require a lot of practice on your part. You’ll need to learn how to feather the throttle just right and learn which gear to use in certain situations so as not to break something on your rig.
If you don’t give it enough throttle, you won’t go anywhere, but too much and your wheels will just spin. It’s a bit of a tightrope, but practice certainly makes perfect!
Off-Road Safety Tips: Don’t Rely on Your Mobile Phone
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By all means, take your cell phone with you. But don’t expect that when you hit the trail deep in the woods that you’ll actually have service.
Have some means of communication other than your phone to enhance your ability to call for help. This can be a CB radio, a HAM radio, a satellite phone, or a drone to fly a message out for help (kidding!).
Aside from calling for help, having a radio to communicate with others in your convoy is a great idea, especially if you’re in the lead. This allows you to communicate with rigs behind you about trail conditions or obstacles to watch out for.
Prep Yourself and Your Rig
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At the end of the day, having a successful off-roading trip comes down to basic off-road safety tips like planning ahead, going with a group, and practicing things like feathering the throttle.
Get yourself ready too – off-roading is fun, but it can also be stressful, both physically and mentally. Have a first aid kit and know how to use it, bring lots of food and water, and also have a change of clothes and cold weather gear just in case.
You don’t need to take everything but the kitchen sink with you, but it’s better to prepare for the worst than to find yourself in a sticky situation without the right tools.
With that, you have a few basic off-road safety tips to help guide you on your next adventure. Have fun and stay safe!