Off-highway driving can be fun and not difficult. Following simple procedures will make your adventures exciting and for the most part safe. Normal common sense is the first rule. An example of this would be 1.)evalulating the trail in which you are on to determine if it could possibly damage your vehicle resulting in serious pocket drain, 2.) and operating within your experience level.
The second rule is protecting the environment(Tread Lightly), so that others may enjoy it after you have been there. With these simple procedures and driving techniques, you are on your way to having a safe and wonderful off-highway driving experience!
Understand the road ahead of you
Walk the planned trail keeping in mind specific trouble spots, such as ruts, rocky sections, steep hillsides, muddy areas and streambanks, obstacles, and awareness of others on the trail.
When you ascend/climb a mountain or descend/climb down a mountain try to go straight up or straight down. This will help you avoid inbalance and sliding. This includes avoiding an angle or traversing a hill. The weight of your vehicle as well as the terrain in which you are driving in can cause sliding and a possible multiple roll which may result in serious injury or maybe even death. Try to avoid turning around on a steep hill due to the multiple role factor and on the descent keep your vehicle straight, lowest gears and apply brakes sparingly (always pumping them)when necessary.
When going over a rut/ditch straddle it. Straddling a rut/ditch, will keep your vehicle level and will prevent you from rolling over and ruining that expensive paint job. If one side of your vechicle is in the rut/ditch and it gets deeper, this will cause an inbalance and a possible roll.
Rocks, Rocks and more Rocks
Know your ROCKY terrain, and have a plan of action. Big rocks ($$$$) can be conquered by putting a tire on the rock rather then straddling them. Staddling a rock can cause severe damage to to the vehicle's undercarriage and major drain again on your pocket book. Be very careful when it comes to rocks.
What do you mean I'm stuck
Soft soil, sand, and mud can be difficult for even the most experienced off-highway driver. If you are in a situation where your wheels are spinning and you are going nowhere, immediately stop to avoid digging yourself deeper (Being dug in is not good). Rocking the vehicle and turning the steering wheel from side to side may help, especially initially, but outside help may be needed. Make sure you always travel with another vehicle and one of you has a winch, pulley or a tow rope. If not.....your walkin out of the there.
Obstacles can be fun and have a moral booster for your bodys system! Determine if the obstacle, such as a tree, is within reason, not without reason. Cross and exit the obstacle at an angle to avoid damaging your front and back overhang or side of vehicle in general. Be safe here as well. ($$$$)
What's up with those cross ditches
Angle your vehicle into a cross ditch or gulley by turning your tires to a fourty five degree angle to the left or right of the center in which the ditch is towards you. This avoids banging your bumpers and undercarriage if you have a 4x4; however if you have an SUV like our Club Manager this does not work. His SUV is big and sometimes grinds the rear bumper as you may also have happen to you. You'll hit it eventually. Exit at an angle in the same manner. Remeber one-tire-first technique for entering and exiting cross ditches or gulleys.
Water and more water
Know the depth of the puddle or stream before crossing and go thru slowly to avoid major damage to your vehicle. Be sure to keep a bow of water ahead of your vehicle so that it aerodynamically passes your vehicle without getting water into the important areas of your engine. Be aware of weather reports (BC Channel 23) and potential flooding in low lying areas. By going thru the stream slowly, you can avoid an overtaking wave or huge splash in front of your vehicle, which will avoid water intake into your engine and mechanical parts. Cross the stream at a ninety degree angle to the stream or if that is not possible, head upstream slightly. If you feel the water is unpassable get out of your vehicle and walk it. Just remeber that streams hold an abundance of biological organisms (life) so please tread lightly.
Your hand position on the steering wheel should be at 10 and 2 o'clock. This applies to Off-highway driving as much as on highway driving. This position is the best for control of the vehicle wherever you are, but especially when encountering an obstacle, soft terrain, puddle or stream. Keep thumbs on top of the steering wheel, not between spokes to avoid injury during a jolt especially if the air bags decide to deploy. Also remember to not hold the steering wheel to tightly. A nervous driver is a bad driver.Be safe-Buckle Up!
It is very important to let people know exactly where you are going off-highway, and when to expect you home. It is better yet, when you bring a celluar phone for emergencies. Although many cellular phone companies don't handle service areas in the bush it is still handy to carry one with you (If you own one). Include a first aid kit, blanket, fresh containers of water, and a spare set of keys (Magnet Key) in case anything should go wrong. For more supplies go to Back Country Supplies. You may also consider adding special accessories to your vehicle, such as winch, hook on toolkit, and anything else you may need for your adventures on the off-highway.
Take care of your ENVIRONMENT
This is a major rule in which everyone should follow to enjoy a safe and fun trip into the off-highway/trail/bush.
Respect the environment
Most damage occurs out of ignorance and indifference, which can be avoided by those who respect themselves and the earth. In addition, clean up after yourself for it is the proper thing to do.
The best trails may have other vehicles driving it. This can be a positive for you in the way of making new friends. Help may be close at hand. Be a courteous and safe driver by not "tailgating" in the bush, hence the expression "trailgating". The vehicle in front of you may encounter problems and have to stop suddenly, backup, or even backslide which can have severe consequences on yourself and the other driver.Drive responsibly!
Sorry this page is still under construction
This is our first page on tips so please come back in two or three days and this page shall be updated...Thank you and sorry for any inconveneice