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8 Common off-road driving and safety tips – The off-road inevitable


Off-roading and overlanding can be a stress reliever and adventure all in one. However, the inevitable situation always seems to happen when you least expect it to. These kinds of situations can delay your entire trip, and could sometimes be dangerous if certain precautions are not taken.

Here are eight off-road driving and safety tips to keep in mind at all times while being off-road.

Speed is not always the answer

According to an expert, when it comes to off-roading, one has to remember, “As slow as possible, as fast as necessary.” Of course, a little speed might be needed in order to climb a hill or get through dangerous situations. If you do think an obstacle only requires 20km, you may not making, and risk damaging something or getting stuck.

Not all routes are the correct option to take

If an alternate route to your destination proves to be safer than the usual route that your navigation system is showing you, take it, it would be best rather than searching to find someone who will be willing and able to come help.

Stick to the trail

Driving on a trail that has not been used before or often could not only get you stuck, but what if something is badly damaged too? It is always safer to drive on trails that have been used as then you will know that you will make it out, without doing much damage. However, just because others made it through doesn’t always mean that you will. Maybe there were more skilled, or had a better vehicle.

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Walk it before you drive it

If you cannot walk through mud, sand, water or other obstacles along your off-road experience by foot, your vehicle definitely won’t make it. Of course, if you saw another vehicle make it, your odds are better.

Be prepared to walk, just in case

Never take on an unknown obstacle unless you are able to walk back to civilisation. When going off road, you mobile phone will be useless. Even if there is a connection, there will be nobody to call unless you made a prior arrangement. Not all SUVS and bakkies have four-wheel drive and a tow strap.

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Tyres play an important role when going off-road

Even with the most advanced technology and four-wheel-drive systems cannot help you if your tyres are not up to standard or are incorrect and not for off-road purposes. It is always important to upgrade those tyres. Even the top of the range mud tyres become useless for off-road as they run out of tread.

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Plan to help yourself

If you are a regular off-road fanatic, bring along items that can help you out of small situations such as, a hand winch, tow strap, high-lift jack, shovel, some wood blocks and a first aid kit. If you are really planning to go off-road where you cannot walk out of a situation, bring enough stuff (extra clothes, water, sleeping bag) to survive until somebody finds you because who knows how long that can take.

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Tell somebody.

It is important to tell somebody where you’re going and when you plan on getting back. This gives them information to know where to start looking for you more or less.