Off-roading in the backcountry can be a thrilling and enjoyable activity, but it can also be a dangerous one. Being able to stay safe is key to having the best time you possibly can, and the smallest issue thrown into the mix can be a matter of life and death. So in this article, we will discuss some important tips for safety that can help you to be cautious while off-roading in the backcountry.
1. Don’t Travel Alone
When you are off-roading in some of the best US destinations for the sport or simply through the backcountry in your local town, you don’t want to end up stranded. And if you do become stuck, it’s highly unlikely that passing traffic, especially during winter, will be around to help you. Therefore, it is important not to travel alone. Before beginning your trip, make sure that you have someone else who has agreed to come with you (the more, the better!) and if at all possible, travel in groups of vehicles.
2. Have Your Vehicle Working Well
Off-roading, in particular through the backcountry, can be very taxing on your vehicle. Therefore, make sure that before you begin your trip that your vehicle is in tip-top shape. It’s also a very good idea to have spare parts, such as tires, with you and the necessary tools to work on the vehicle if something should happen while you are off the road.
Also, make sure that your vehicle has a full tank of gas when you start your excursion. If you should become stuck or stranded, especially during the cold season, at least you can run the heater for warmth if need be.
3. Carry Your Cell Phone
When off-roading through the backcountry, you may not expect to get much cell phone service. However, it is still a good idea to hold on to your cell phone while you are out. You never know when you may have an internet connection, and if the worst should happen, it’s reassuring knowing that you have a way of calling for help. It’s better to have your phone and not need it than to need your cellular device and not have it.
4. Keep Others Informed
Before you begin your off-roading excursion, inform someone of the route, you will be taking, and the time you plan to return. This is an essential step to take, one that could really save your life. Let this person know to, if you do not check in at the time you said that you would, have help sent along the route you have taken.
5. Know Your Limits
A very important safety tip for off-roading through the backcountry is to be well aware of your physical limitations. Do not feel that you have to push yourself. This can prove to be dangerous to you. Do not go farther than you can handle, especially if you would end up needing to hike out to search for help.
Another thing to keep in mind is to carry a first aid kit with you and to have plenty of food and water on hand. Carry enough food and water for each person on the trip for each day, plus extras.
As for water, one gallon per person each day is necessary, plus extra for just in case.
In conclusion, to enjoy an off-roading trip through the backcountry, it’s imperative to take the necessary steps to keep yourself and your party safe. Be cautious, plan carefully, and above all else, plan for the worst. While the worst may not happen, you want to be thoroughly prepared for it if it does. Good luck, and have a wonderful trip.