Bored of the tarmac? Travelling off-road sounds fun to many of us, but it takes a lot of preparation. Your average road car can go off-road – with a few modifications.
This could be handy if you’re travelling somewhere abroad that’s a little rugged or perhaps doing country work such as farming or natural science. For whatever your purpose may be for ditching the road, here is how you can prepare for your off-road experience.
Upgrade your tyres
Your standard road tyres won’t stand a chance off-road. A set of all-terrain tyres could be worth investing in. Some of the big tyre makes are only made for SUVs, but this isn’t a problem as your lesser makes are generally just as good and cheaper. Consider companies like Maxxis when shopping for all-terrain tyres. Always carry a spare and consider a puncture kit too.
Fix up your suspension
A suspension lift could be worthwhile. It will help you clear bumps more easily and will also allow you to fit bigger chunkier tires for off-road purposes. A suspension lift isn’t cheap and could cost up to a grand on some cars. You can get DIY kits that are cheaper, but you may not want to attempt to fit them unless you’ve got some mechanic experience.
Add a tow bar
A tow-bar is the final upgrade worth buying. This will allow other vehicles to easily pull you out of sticky situations are they to arise, plus you have the option to pull a trailer. Sure, you can also fit a winch for pulling out other cars, but when it comes to the self-preservation of your vehicle a towbar is a more important purchase. You can buy these from companies such as Witter Towbars.
Too expensive? Hire a vehicle
Modifying your car may not be practical if you’re planning a quick off-road weekend trip. In such cases, hire an SUV. For a longer usage, you may be able to lease a vehicle. Hiring/leasing opens up the options to shop around for the perfect off-road vehicle. A Ford Ranger lease could be ideal for carrying a family of four whilst also have a truck section in the back to load items. Those with more money to spend may consider a luxury Jeep such as an Adventurer. Always hire from a trusted company so that you know you’re getting a well-maintained vehicle.
It can be worth taking a few tools with you when going off-road to help in sticky situations. A shovel could help you to dig yourself out of muddy patches, whilst a tow rope will help when getting pulled out by another vehicle or coming to the aid of another car. For those on long road trips into the unknown, in case a GPS fails you, it’s worth having some physical maps with you to navigate. Other piece of emergency kit may also help such as food and water, a torch and a jerry can. Also, for catching your off-road adventure in full detail, why not also invest in a dashcam or a GoPro?