After spending a few days in the beautiful high country of Colorado off-roading, I can say without a doubt, it was a true adventure! The scenery was spectacular and the weather was great, but I wish I could say the same for the skills and knowledge of my fellow adventurers! Going off-road can be a fun and exciting experience but you need to know some basics before you hit the trail.
First you need to find a location for your off-roading adventure that is right for your level of experience. Since we live in Colorado our choices of trails are endless, but if the trail is too difficult you can put yourself and others in danger. So choose a trail that matches with your skill level.
You also need to make sure your vehicle is in good condition and ready for the off-road experience. Have your vehicle thoroughly inspected by a trusted auto technician. Tell him your plans so they can help you avoid any potential problems before they arise. Check your tires (including the spare) to see if they have good tread and are properly inflated. It is also important to know how all the controls in your 4×4 work and how to use them. Don’t wait till you’re on a narrow trail to try them out! It’s always a good idea to know your vehicles dimensions; height, width, length, and the lowest point of clearance. Trails can be wide in some spots and very narrow in others, it’s important to know if your vehicle can maneuver through those tight places and clear rocks as you drive over them.
It’s a lot more fun to share this adventure with friends, so get someone to go with you. If you get stuck it’s easier to get out and the “buddy system” is always safer.
There are unwritten rules or trail etiquette that you should know.
- Stay on the established paths.
- Be aware of the damage you and your vehicle can do to the environment and do everything you can to prevent it.
- Keep your ego in check. Every vehicle and driver has limitations. Be aware of yours and don’t go beyond them.
- Don’t disturb the wildlife, just observe, don’t touch!
- Pretend you’re a tortoise. Just as in the old fable “the tortoise and the hare” slow and steady wins the race! You will enjoy the scenery and prevent damage to your vehicle.
These are just a few of the things to keep in mind as you hit the trail. If your interest has been peaked and you want more information visit 4wheeldrive.about.com We live in a beautiful State and an off-road adventure is just one of the ways to enjoy it!