No matter how long you’ve been driving on the road, it’s certain to be a challenge the first time you venture off the tarmac. Lots of careful preparation can ensure that your off-road adventure goes smoothly. Here are just a few pieces of gear that you can buy for your car to stay safe off-road.
Map it out
Without signs and kerbs to guide you, you’ll need to rely off maps to stop you venturing somewhere that you shouldn’t. Physical maps are worth buying simply because you may not always have the Wi-fi or power to use GPS.
That said, GPS is still worth having onboard, either on your phone or as a separate device. Having a different device may allow you to use less power on your smartphone and display other apps.
Buy an emergency kit
In case you fall into a slippery situation, it’s worth having a basic emergency kit to deal with any eventualities. Your safety cone might not do you much good in the wilderness, although fluorescents and torch are worth having in case you get trapped at night and want to attract help.
You should keep a shovel and a tug rope as these will allow you to become unstuck from any deep snow or mud that you find yourself in. Some drivers may find it beneficial to install a pull bar on the front or back, but this isn’t always necessary.
A jerry can meanwhile is useful for times when you may be out in the wilderness for long periods away from any petrol stations. You can fill this up and take it with you if you feel this may be the case.
Tackle the tyres
Your tyres are what will get you over that rough terrain, and so you should ditch any road tyres for off-road versions. Brands such as Goodyear produce great off-road tyres with effective grip and durability. For travelling in snow, specialist winter tyres may be more worthwhile.
Some drivers may also want to change up their wheels for something sturdier. XD Series wheels are light and durable making them perfect for the job. Ensure that your suspension and ride height is also suitable for off-road driving. Most SUVs will be fine, but if you’re converting another kind of car, this may need to be adjusted.
You don’t want to be churning up too much power when driving off-road. If you get stuck, having power will be vital for keeping a phone or GPS charged up. A solar car battery charger can keep you powered up by running off the energy of the sun. There are also solar powered SatNavs out there that could free up a charging port for your phone. These aren’t cheap but will stop you from panicking about the possibility of low battery.