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Off roading is a great experience. You get to see places experienced by few, and tackle terrain only specific vehicles can handle.
However, for a beginner, it can be intimidating and a bit uncomfortable – especially if you are combining it with camping.
In this article, we’ll discuss a few tips that should improve your off road driving experiences.
Table of Contents
- Feel Like Home in a Camper Trailer
- Gain Experience Through Trail Runs
- Have Peace of Mind With a Good Vehicle Setup
- Invest in Suitable Clothes
- Final Thoughts
- Recommended Off Roading Gear
Off Road Driving Experiences – Feel Like Home in a Camper Trailer
One of the best ways to improve your off road driving experiences is to have a camper trailer.
Granted, it is an expensive item to go out and buy as a beginner. At first, it is best to take a few trips without one and see if you enjoy the activity. If you do, then it is worth it – especially if you are camping a lot.
We firmly believe that some of the best off road campers are the pop-up style, like the Conqueror UEV 490 shown above and below. These campers work great as they remain relatively small while traveling, but offer a lot of space when parked and opened up.
Relative to their size, they are also lightweight; therefore, they put less strain on your vehicle which leads to better fuel economy and less maintenance. Case in point, the UEV 490 weighs about 3,860 pounds dry and 4,960 pounds wet, so it’s easily towable by a light-duty truck or SUV.
An RV may offer all the comforts, but it kind of defies the purpose of being out as you are once again stuck in a room just like at home. Granted, you can open up a window, but the experience isn’t the same as in a tent.
A pop-up camper like the UEV 490 is different. You see, the pop-up part is made from canvas; therefore, while sleeping you can still feel the cool night breeze and hear the sounds of the wilderness around you. Talk about improving your off road driving experiences!
However, unlike a tent, you have more security thanks to the hard-sided walls. You also still get many creature comforts like running water, a hot water heater, and tons of storage. Other amenities include:
- A slide-out kitchen with a stove, a fridge/freezer, a sink, and an integrated camping table
- An entertainment center with a TV, AM/FM/CD stereo, and four speakers
- A shower
- An eggshell memory foam mattress
And that’s just the start!
A trailer like this really is a win-win situation. It’s lightweight and off road capable, yet has tons of amenities that make your off road camping experience all the better.
Lastly, this style of pop up camper is often the most budget-friendly option among off road campers. They aren’t cheap, but when compared to other types of trailers on the market, the prices on pop-up campers are better.
We recommend the Conqueror Off Road UEV 490 for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that this is a company that has set the standard for compact caravan design in the harsh environments of South Africa.
It is assembled using aeronautical building techniques and motor industry-grade materials, so you can be sure it will last a long time. Besides, all those awesome features I just spoke of are hard to beat!
The list of accessories and amenities included in this trailer is quite long, and you can check it on the Conqueror Off Road website.
Off Road Driving Experiences – Gain Experience Through Trail Runs
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Many think that off roading is simple. You just point a truck up a hill and gas it. Well, that is far from the truth.
Off roading requires the correct line choice, throttle control, steering input, and in some cases, brake input based on your vehicle and the obstacle you are trying to tackle.
Going out alone can be a great experience; however, it is hard to tackle difficult terrain as you have no one else to recover you if you get stuck. Sure, you can learn how to self-recover; however, without the correct experience, it can get dangerous.
Our best solution to this is trail runs. Trail runs are off road days in which a large group of people heads out to the trails to make new friends and have some fun off road.
This is the perfect environment to test your skills, chat with other drivers that are more experienced, and push your 4WD a little further than you normally would.
Be careful, though, you need to make sure that the trail ride the group has planned suits you and your vehicle. Depending on the group, the trail they choose may be too advanced.
A great trail run to join if you ever have the opportunity is one organized by E3 Off Road. These are experienced people who will take you out on an off road day and will take into account your capabilities and the capabilities of your vehicle.
Have Peace of Mind With a Good Vehicle Setup
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In our opinion, the only thing you need to get started with off roading or overlanding is a set of tires and recovery gear. You can also go a step further and add a lift kit. This will give your truck more ground clearance and better load-carrying ability.
Why do we need off road tires? Well, aside from the obvious grip advantages, we also get the benefit of increased puncture resistance.
So, you have less chance of getting stuck or getting a puncture. This provides peace of mind and helps you enjoy the trip more.
Lastly, recovery gear like rated recovery points and snatch straps ensure you can get recovered in case of getting stuck.
If you are planning on undertaking solo adventures, then you should invest in a winch.
Safety is a huge factor in the satisfaction you gain from your off road driving experiences; therefore, it must not be overlooked.
Invest in Suitable Clothes
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This is a subject that is often overseen in the off road world. We upgrade our trucks and camping setups, but never really talk about what we wear. I mean, try going on a snow adventure in a hoodie and some sneakers. By the end of the day you will be wet, miserable, and on the verge of pneumonia.
With some grippy and waterproof shoes and a waterproof jacket and pants, the whole day will be so much better.
The same is true for summer. Breathable materials and shoes that will help you grip on the dry and loose dirt can make the experience much better. Also, you will be prepared in case you need to hike up a trail to enjoy some views.
Or maybe not, hiking is too tiring, isn’t it?
In any case, prepare yourself for adventure just like you would do with your vehicle, and your off road driving experiences will be far better!
Photo by erosera via iStock
Off roading can be intimidating at the start. However, through some simple steps, you can quickly gain experience and peace of mind. This will help make off road driving experiences far more comfortable and enjoyable.
If you have any further questions regarding improving your off road driving experiences or for anything else off road or overland-related, head over to the forum section of our page.
Recommended Off Roading Gear