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What to do before you go off-roading

Most drivers have a firm grasp on what needs to be done before venturing out for an off-roading experience. Whether it's your first time out on the trails or you're a seasoned expert, you still have to go through the motions of preparing for off-road driving. Even off-road experts may occasionally need to be reminded of the things you should be checking off a to-do list before heading out for an adventure. 

Get a permit
Before you can hit the trails and start taming the landscape, you have to make sure you have taken care of all of the truck mods and paperwork required to handle the dirt roads. First, you'll need to verify that your vehicle - and all of its truck modifications - is legal for both street use and off-roading. Once that has been taken care of, reach out to the location you plan on exploring to see if the property requires individual driver permits and find out how to get those if necessary. 

Check the weather
There are a variety of reasons you should be checking the weather forecast before you jump in your off-road vehicle, and it goes beyond deciding what to wear. Knowing the climate can help you equip yourself with the right tools that could come in handy in any situation. 

The predicted weather should influence what kinds of tools you bring along. For example, if snow is on the horizon, you may want to pack up a winch, while drivers who are going mud bogging should bring along recovery straps in case they find themselves mired in the soft ground during their ride.

"A change in a set of one tires to another set of tires can make it handle completely different," Chad Schroll, an expert from a company that makes winches, told KCBY News. "In snow, in particular, I end up using a winch way more because the snow consistency can change so much - from the dry, powdery snow that you can drive through easily to the wet, heavy snow." 

Snow may be the farthest thing from your mind at the moment, but the point still stands: Knowing what to expect weather-wise is an important part of off-roading, and making the right preparations could save you some frustration in the long run. 

Scout the area
If you're planning on off-roading in a location you haven't explored or don't know that much about, you should scout the area ahead of time. This could be as simple as checking in with a governing body or ranger station to see what kinds of regulations are in place on the grounds, ensuring that you can comply with all restrictions. At this time you should also ask about especially difficult areas or common problems off-road drivers frequently encounter. This can clue you in as to what situations you should expect and what equipment you may want to bring along. 

"The most important thing is knowing how your vehicle is going to behave in the different situations," winch manufacturer Andy Lilienthal told the news source. "Much like any other adventure sport - like skiing or rock climbing or anything like that - you've got to be sure that you know your limits. And you really have to know what you're doing or you need to go with people that can teach you." 

These are just three of the steps you should be taking before you start dune bashing, mudding or any engaging in any other off-road activity. Once these basic tasks are complete, you can turn your attention to truck mods and improvements you'll need to handle whatever comes your way.