By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Thursday, November 21, 2019
Thinking of embarking on an off-road adventure? Whether you’re heading into the outback or driving on the beach, you need to be prepared. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re ready to roll.
1. Get your 4WD serviced
If you’re going on a road trip of any kind, whether it’s on or off-road, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition. Get your 4WD serviced to ensure there aren’t any major issues. This will reduce the chances of breaking down while you’re on your adventure.
2. Pack smart
When packing your car, separate must-have and nice-to-have items. First, pack all your must-have items. See how much room you have left before you pack the rest. Load your vehicle so weight is kept low to the ground and avoid placing heavy items like petrol cans and spare wheels on a roof rack. Make sure you place items you may need during the drive – like first-aid kits, food and drinks, maps, toilet paper, spare parts and tools – in an easily accessible spot.
3. Let out some air
When you enter an off-road situation you’ll need to lower your tyre pressure – this is especially important when driving on sand or when conditions are boggy.
Lowering your tyre pressure will also prevent punctures from sharp rocks. How much you reduce your tyre pressure depends on your vehicle, tyre type and the load you’re carrying. Before you re-enter a sealed road, ensure you increase your tyre pressure again.
4. Gear up
Speaking of tools, you’ll want to make sure you’re equipped if you’re going off-road in a remote location and have to carry out any basic repairs. Bring along tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, a hammer, spanners and sockets. Depending on the terrain you’ll be travelling through, you might want to pack a recovery kit, traction ramps and a tyre repair kit.
5. Keep yourself and your car fuelled up
If you’re venturing off-road in Australia, you need to take precautions in case things don’t go to plan. Most importantly, ensure you have enough water. The general rule of thumb is 2 litres of water per person, per day. If you’re driving in the desert, you’ll need more.
You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got enough petrol when you’re in the outback. Plan your trip, know where your fuel stops are, and consider taking spare fuel.