Off-Roading 101

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W get questions all the time about what to bring when offroading. What the rules of etiquette are, how to plan accordingly etc… Well, we have you covered! See Below:

What to Bring?

This will differ depending on your experience level, but we suggest:

A 4WD with good tire tread!
Maps. I don’t care how well you think you know the area, take a map; Sometimes you may accidentally take a secondary road off the main road and need to be able to find your way out.
Snacks! You never know how long you will take, so pack a lunch or some Power Bars.
Camera or videocamera. There are photo opps everywhere!
First aid kit with bandaids and ointment. Also, if you have one, pack an ankle support brace; sometimes you twist your ankles exploring.
Rain poncho
Toilet paper! Always pack it out or use the biodegradable ones.
Pocket knife
Folding shovel for those times when you get stuck.

Know the Flow

If you are traveling uphill, you have the right-of-way. So, that means when you are going downhill, you have to yield to the driver driving uphill toward you. This is because it is easier to see to back up if you are going downhill.
Drive very slowly around blind curves. If you reach a shelf road or one-lane part of the trail, stop and get out to look for vehicles that may be approaching before heading across. Sometimes it’s impossible to pass or very dangerous to back up, so avoid having to do either if possible!
Don’t pick the wildflowers and don’t drive or walk on alpine tundra. It can take 10 years for a tiny plant to grow back.
Tread Lightly and pack out all trash!

How to Drive a 4WD in the Mountains
(Many people in non-mountainous states have never used the low gear of their SUV except to push through mud.)

When to Use Low Gear (Granny Low)
You are heading up a steep incline and need that extra gear
You are going down a steep incline and need to control your speed

Things Not to Do

Don’t straddle a large boulder, it might take out your differentials.
Don’t attempt to cross a stream that’s moving too swiftly.
Don’t attempt to cross a stream whose depth you are not sure.
Don’t get high-centered. Ruts or large rocks can cause this. Use common sense when placing your tires and you’ll be fine!
Do not let yourself get sideways on a steep hill because you could roll. Approach steep inclines or declines straight on.
Don’t get a late start; if you plan on driving above timberline, don’t start your ascent past noon or you might risk getting caught in a thunderstorm.

These are Just a few things to consider! Have fun and be safe out there!!!