Colorado life is all about beer, bikes and – of course – a little off-roading adventure now and then. If you’re new to the 4x4 game, we’ve got your back. We asked our Facebook fans for their best tips on going out on your first 4x4 trip. Here’s what they had to say:
1. “Don’t go alone.” – Michael Castell. We want you to have a blast but also be safe. Take a few buddies with you to bail you should a fun time goes awry.
2. “Stay on the trail.” – Jonathan Doc Susa. Not doing so just increases the likelihood that you and all four-wheelers will be banned from the adventures we love most. Don’t venture off the trails, leave trash behind or cause unnecessary damage.
3. “Hi Lift, straps, shackles and shovel.” – Adam Reeves. When it comes to a 4x4 trip, think like a boy scout – always be prepared. Bring straps, shackles and shovels to dig you out of any mud pit.
4. “Listen to your spotter! Proper recovery points used.” – Chris Kimak. Another reason to bring a few friends along is so they can spot you on the trail and set appropriate recovery points.
5. “First aid kit and a good map.” – Jonathan Doc Susa. If all goes well, no one will get hurt. But planning for the worst is all part of being a responsible 4x4 driver – always bring a first aid kit and a map in case you get lost.
6. “Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.” – Michael Castell. Along with friends on the trail, keep your friends off the trail informed of your plans. The more people who know where you are going and what you are doing, the better.
7. “Accept the reality that you are going to get a scratch or dent on your vehicle (maybe several of each). Just go and have fun.” – Gary Maloney. 4x4 trips are for a great time with friends on a summer afternoon, but they may not be the best idea for a brand new truck. Relieve stress by knowing ahead of time that the goal is not to keep your ride in pristine condition.
8. “Bring food, water, and make good decisions.” If your gut tells to avoid a patch of terrain and turn around, trust it. It’s better to forgo a potentially dangerous situation than regret it later.
9. “Make sure the trail is open!” Nothing is worse can getting pumped for a 4x4 trip only to find the trail is closed. Stay updated on trails’ statuses by checking TrailDamage.com.
10. “Know your vehicle.” Note where the lowest point of clearance is, usually the differential casing, and have a solid idea of how it handles on rough terrain to minimize surprises down the road.
Thanks to everyone who shared their expert advice, and have a great time on your next 4x4 trip!