Top Tips When Going Off-Roading in Australia
Australia is most famous for its vast stretches of land, perfect for off-road destinations. From the Flinders Ranges to the Simpson Desert, its off-road jewels will surely be an adventure of a lifetime. Of course, what better way to explore the terrain than a 4×4 car?
If you’ve never taken your car four-wheel-driving, you’re missing out! Simply watching other people go off-roading will never give you the same amount of fun and excitement as driving the car yourself. What’s more, you’ll never experience your 4×4 car’s true potential until you’ve gone on an off-road drive.
Thrilling as it may be, you just can’t walk right through the door and go 4WDing with zero to little knowledge about it. Remember, your safety should be the number one priority! So, for beginners interested in 4WD trips, read on below for top tips when going off-roading for the first time.
Get Necessary Modifications
Sure, modern-day SUVs and trucks are built for harsher terrains, but that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from modifications. This is especially important if you want to be safe when passing through unpredictable paths. For starters, ensure that you have the right tires—ones that can grip through snow, sand, mud, or ice.
In addition, since you’ll most likely be bringing more baggage, installing a roof rack for added storage space is a great idea. Moreover, you should also think of your car’s vulnerable parts, such as your fuel tank and oil pans. Invest in your undercarriage protection to avoid rocks, branches, and other pointy objects that may put you out of commission. Other modifications you can make use of include bull bars, lift kits, and winch systems.
Do Your Research
All beginners must do their research. No one should ever go 4WDing without knowing what they are getting into. As such, try to learn as much as you can about your vehicle. Read the manual and get familiarized with its systems. Moreover, you should be knowledgeable about the basic terminologies related to off-roading.
Since driving in wet weather is dangerous, you must also check the weather forecast before leaving. Aside from that, you should also ask around for the current road conditions and other wildlife that you may encounter in your route. If you want, you can also Buy Hema Maps, Australia’s most tried and tested navigation maps for off-roaders like you.
Build Your Skills Through Training
Before going for the real thing, it’s highly advantageous for you to build your skills through training. Indeed, education is important, especially since the activity can be dangerous. The stark contrast between a 4×4’s weight distribution and a regular city car makes it more challenging for you to drive it. Plus, it has more gears, which can be confusing for newbies.
Due to that, it’s crucial that you seek the help of professionals. For you and your vehicle’s safety, enroll yourself in a four-wheel-drive training course to know more about navigating different kinds of terrains. With proper training, you build confidence and learn vital skills you need when traveling to the most remote areas.
Stock up on Supplies
Not to scare you or anything, but did you know that people have actually died from 4WDing in Australia due to unpreparedness? To prevent that from happening, always bring with you a more than enough supply of fuel, food, and water. Additionally, take note of stopovers where you can replenish your supplies, even if your destination isn’t particularly somewhere remote.
Like any other trip, you should also bring a First Aid Kit. Even the simplest medical supplies like bandages, gauze pads, and safety pins can make a difference. Another must-have is your recovery kit which includes your winch, shackles, and straps. This is to help you when you or your companion’s vehicle gets stuck in softer terrains like beaches, mud, and sand dunes.
Take Someone With You
Going solo off-roading is dangerous, even for those with years of experience. Because of this, you should learn to travel in groups. Who knows, your car may break down, and without another vehicle to help you, you might get stuck in the desert for a long time!
Traveling by groups during serious off-road trips also ensures better weight distribution so that you can bring more safety gear in case of emergencies. However, your convoy should not exceed four cars. Having too many cars can prove to be problematic on one-way roads where the path can get too crowded.
Finally taking your vehicle for a four-wheel drive will be one of the most thrilling things you can experience. But, it’s not something you can do unprepared. If you’re planning to get some action in the many off-road driving trails in Australia, just keep in mind the five things listed above, and you’ll be all set for an exciting adventure!