Welcome to part two of our off-road driving tips for beginners at Altitude Jeep. Now that you have learned many of the essential ways to prepare both you and your Jeep for off-roading from part one, we will dive into the big day — your first day out on the trail.
Whether this is going to be your first off-road venture or simply your first time on a particular trail with untravelled terrain, follow these tips to get the most out of your ride. If you want to truly elevate your ride, our Jeep off-road accessories will get your 4x4 ready for anything trial you want to tackle.
Explore The Area
Before diving right into a trail you’ve never before encountered, it’s best to thoroughly know what you are getting yourself into. Research the conditions of the off-road trails in the specific area on the day you are planning to go as well as the weather. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in a thunderstorm at high elevation without your 4x4’s roof.
We also recommend downloading a few maps to learn the geography and terrain before your arrival. This will help you be fully prepared for your journey and ensure you don’t put your 4x4 through something it is not equipped to handle. Some trail obstacles require specific off-road Jeep accessories, so it’s important to know what your 4x4 can handle and what it cannot. If there aren’t many good maps, you can even explore on foot upon your arrival to get acquainted with the landscape.
Test The Water Before Diving In
Always know the depth of a body of water before you attempt to take your Jeep surfing across a lagoon, creek, or pond so your 4x4 doesn’t quickly evolve into a submarine. Besides the water’s depth, testing the water is important to ensure there are no surprises waiting under the surface such as giant boulders or fallen trees.
You’re in for a rough ride, so it’s best to get your seat adjusted to your liking in a relaxed upright position and a loose grip of the steering wheel. If you grip the wheel too tight, you will regret it as the rough terrain will jerk your wheel back and forth as you make your way over it.
Avoid Riding The Clutch
Your Jeep is not like your old coupe. You do not need to ride with your left foot on the clutch pedal. When you aren’t switching gears, keep your foot on the dead pedal to help support your body against your Jeep’s movement.
Use A Spotter
Traveling off-road can be just as dangerous, or more than, bench pressing some heavy weights, so it is only logical to similarly have a spotter to guide you through tough terrain and obstacles — especially when starting off on your first off-road ventures or simply experiencing a new trail for the first time. A spotter can see and prevent damage from occurring to your 4x4 before you can.
Stay Light On The Throttle
Always apply the throttle gently and with caution. Too much punch at any given time can send you for a whirlwind spinning the wheels and getting you stuck by digging into cracks.
Keep Your Momentum
Maintaining constant momentum is essential for overcoming the drag of your tires on softer ground. This prevents you from getting stuck by having your wheels constantly churning and keeping traction.
Angles Are Everything
Knowing your angles is something that takes practice, yet is extremely important for an ideal riding experience. Always be conscientious of your approach angle, departure angle, and break over angle. Your break over angle is the maximum possible angle in which your 4x4 can drive over a gap without making contact the undercarriage or any other parts of the vehicle besides the tires.
Use Safe Recovery Methods
In the inevitable event that you get stuck at some point on a trail, have a recovery plan before moving forward. This is where one of our Jeep winches can come in handy. If you don’t have a winch, you can use a jack to support your vehicle for working on it or replacing a tire; just be sure the jack is safely supporting the weight of the vehicle before attempting to do anything.
We hope you take these tips to heart from both part one as you prepare for your first off-roading adventures and part two as you get after it on the trails. Our last and most important tip is to be sure you have all of the best Jeep off-road accessories, and you already know where to get them — Altitude Jeep.