While, in terms of functionality and city driving, your usual sedans and compact SUVs typically get the job done, driving isn’t always about staying on highways and driving around the neighborhood. Of course, to most people, driving is nothing more than the essential skill of handling a car, but it’s much more than that to the hobbyist and down-to-earth person. From drift cars to sports cars and even testing your top speeds at the race track, there’s much more than what meets the eye.
And today, we’ll be taking a look at one of the beloved staples in the driving experience; off-roading. You’ve probably heard and seen of it, either through a car advert or maybe while going through the features of your truck; it’s pretty hard to miss. To be exact, we’ll be walking you through how to begin your first off-road driving experience and all the critical details you need to know. So, please put on your seatbelts, and let’s drive straight into the highway of information.
Why Even Drive Off-road?
It’s only natural to still be on the fence about everything, especially if your driving experience is limited to the cityscape. The switch can be quite a shock both mentally and physically due to the terrain. Lucky for us, off-road driving isn’t just a selfish pursuit for adrenaline and has some actual benefits for those willing to put in the effort. So, before we start getting into the nitty-gritty, let’s learn a bit of how off-roading can help you.
- Breaks the Boring Everyday Cycle: One of the worst things about this entire pandemic fallout is being stuck with the same monotonous everyday cycle of waking up, getting to work, and falling back asleep to rinse and repeat. The only sense of escape we get is the weekend, which almost always gets eaten up by time spent sitting on the couch. So, if you want to break away from this uneventful cycle, off-roading is an excellent way to blow off some steam without breaching any health and safety guidelines.
- Rekindles Your Love for Driving: If most of your driving consists of nothing but the same cityscape views and endless amounts of traffic, it can put a damper on our love for it. However, off-roading is an excellent way of rekindling your passion for driving because it’s an entirely new place to explore. You don’t have to worry about grueling traffic, reckless drivers, and the vast open space of nature is yours to challenge.
- Improves Your Car Maintenance Skills: Lastly, nothing teaches car maintenance skills better than an off-roading experience. Sometimes, you’ll even need to be creative and resourceful with your temporary fixes because you won’t have a nearby auto shop nor all the tools. Also, because of this reason, we always recommend tagging another off-road buddy with you, just in case your truck will need a hitch installation.
What’s the Big Difference?
With all that convincing done, you might be wondering about what exactly makes off-roading so different, apart from the unsteady terrain? Well, the straightforward answer is that off-road driving is an entirely different skillset, and while the basics of driving still apply, nothing can ever prepare you for the real thing. So, to give you at least a feel for what to expect, here’s what you need to do:
#1 Slow and Steady Is the Way to Go
Numero uno, never be a speed junkie off-road. If getting somewhere fast was your best friend back in the city, then speed is the most dangerous enemy on off-terrain. You see, you’ll be facing different types of places that vary in height, depth, bumpiness, and so many more factors that driving a bit too fast could lead to a life-threatening situation. Therefore, always understand what’s in front of you and read the terrain before going straight through. Never forget to switch to 4WD and pick the right gear for every different challenge.
#2 Always Be Prepared
The quote, “hope for the best, but expect the worst,” rings so true in off-roading. So, to offset the potentials risks of any unforeseen event putting your trip to a sudden stop, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. For the most part, you’ll want your essential hand tools at the very least in case something goes wrong under the hood and needs a quick jumpstart. As a good rule of thumb, you’ll also want to bring a tire repair kit because if those babies go out, you’ll need a rescue to get anywhere fast.
#3 Regular Maintenance Is Key
Finally, we want everyone to put their car egos aside and understand that even the best-suited off-road trucks can succumb to wear and tear without regular maintenance. Sure, there’s a feeling of fulfillment after you see your truck covered in the dirt after conquering such a steep climb, but don’t forget to clean it up because nasty debris can cause bad things inside. Plus, regularly check your diffs, shocks, and brakes because these are prone to damage with regular off-road driving.
Challenge Your Daily Driver
Overall, the off-road driving experience is something every car enthusiast should try at least once. It’s fun, exhilarating, and can teach you a lot of stuff, not just about car-related skills, but even life. So, take the opportunity and challenge your daily driver on off-terrain.