First-Time Off-Roading Tips? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-04-2015, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
JBZJ1996
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First-Time Off-Roading Tips?

I'm going to be hitting the trails this weekend with a buddy of mine. We've both got ZJ's with the 5.2 V8, his is modded and mine is bone stock. What is some beginner's advice from people who have taken their Jeep off-road before (driving tips, things to bring, any other tips/advice)? Thanks in advance!


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post #2 of 10 Old 03-04-2015, 09:10 PM
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-05-2015, 07:58 AM
JeeperDon
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Go with a buddy in another vehicle. Have a strap and tow points to be able to connect the two vehicles when one gets stuck.

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-05-2015, 08:34 AM
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-05-2015, 10:14 AM
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-05-2015, 10:40 AM
Jerry Bransford
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One of the biggest things that will help you offroad is to air your tires down. Doing so gives better traction, a better ride on rough offroad surfaces, and it makes the tire far less likely to be damaged or punctured by objects on the trail.

And the biggest mistake new offroaders make is not airing their tires down enough, they're usually afraid the tire is going to unseat from the wheel and they don't know how far they can safely air down to prevent that from happening. Keep in mind 15 psi... if you're not airing your tires down to below 15 psi, you're not airing down enough. You can safely air down to 13 or so psi on the tire sizes that come on a JGC.

Once you're done offroading, air your tires back up before hitting the highway. You can't drive faster than 20-25 mph on tires that are aired down, they will heat up and possibly fail. Carrying a decent air compressor with you would be a good idea if there's no gas station near where you'll be offroading.

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post #7 of 10 Old 03-07-2015, 10:58 AM
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A few things I'd add:

Good tire placement, along with four-low wins over speed on rocky climbs.
Know when to get out and go take a look at what's ahead, and if you've got concerns, know as well when to turn around. Getting unstuck is dirty and not always a good way to spend your day.


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post #8 of 10 Old 03-07-2015, 11:52 AM
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What comes to mind? See below. Add if you feel the need to.

Plan your route, down to every turn if possible. Leave that info with someone at home complete with an approximate return time if you can. That way if you are not back within a reasonable time someone knows where to start looking for you, especially if you are out of range for whatever communication device(s) you have.

Bring basic tools and recovery gear. Wrenches, screwdrivers, shovel, tow strap, air compressor, tire plug kit, etc. They can be quite valuable when needed.

Bring a First Aid kit. No explanation should be needed.

A map of the area, especially when farther from civilization. Important when you don't know everything about where you are.

Dress properly. If it gets cool later in the day and you are out longer than expected or broke down/stuck you'll need it.

Water, bring plenty. If you are already thirsty when you drink some you're not drinking enough. Snacks aren't a bad idea for longer wheelin trips, just remember saltier things make you thirstier.

Don't drive beyond your or your rig's abilities. If it doesn't look or feel safe it probably isn't. No further explanation should be required.

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post #9 of 10 Old 03-07-2015, 03:22 PM
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-07-2015, 04:49 PM
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I used to vacation up there in western MI a bit south of there.

Nice country. Very flat. Sandy loose soil. Some bogs. Water, water everywhere.

So if you are going to off road nearby, I'd guess you ought to have some sand and bog recovery stuff. That would be pieces of carpet 1' by 3'. Not much real wilderness up there, but I'd still have a hand held GPS in case you have to walk out. And, of course, as mentioned, first aid, tow points and straps (two 30x4" poly looped at both ends and two 3/4" D shackles) and something to air tires up. I agree with 13psi for a newbie, and suggest CO2 tank for airing up.

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