Off-Roading in the Winter: What Equipment You Will Need as well as Driving Tips
Few things in life are as beautiful as snow falling. The absolute silence, the blanketing of the trees, the rocks, the ground, and the roads, and the wonder of how every snowflake is unique makes snowfalls breathtaking.
Off-roading in the snow can be just as memorable as a snowfall. Seeing nature barren and going places few others venture are as thrilling as a roller-coaster ride. Making tracks is an adventure few experience; it’s one reason why off-roading is so appealing.
In part two of our winter blogging series, Off Road Rim Financing, an online provider of rim and tire lease-to-own options, will reveal special equipment to have in case of an emergency during winter off-roading as well as what to pack for winter off-roading trips.
WINTER OFF-ROADING NEEDS
- Travel with a buddy. It’s not only more fun to travel with friends, but it’s the smart thing to do in case of an emergency where you would be far from amenities, especially in the winter with the threat of frostbite and exposure real. Travel with someone who has another vehicle so in the case of a breakdown or an injury, you’ll have a ride out to help. Plus, if one of you gets stuck in the snow or mud, you’ll have someone also to tow you out. If you don’t know anyone who off-roads, there are clubs you can join or online forums that arrange group rides.
- Be extra prepared. When you go off-roading in the winter, you’ll need to pack extra items for emergency situations. Pack everything you’d pack for a summer off-roading excursion and then some. Off Road Rim Financing recommends bringing more water, more food, and extra warm clothing. Dress in layers and wear winter hiking boots that are lined and toasty warm. Bring extra fire-making equipment in case something gets wet from the snow as well as extra dry firewood. If you’re camping in the winter, make sure you have a winter camping tent and a propane stove or wood-burning stove for heat. Tarps and rope are convenient to help insulate against the wind and cold as well as protect against the wet snow.
- Winch. A winch is essential off-roading gear for any time of the year off-roading, but especially in the winter when the odds of getting stuck in deep snow increase, requiring a winch and a tow out. Buy a top quality winch as well as winching supplies, which can include D-shackles, a pulley block for double-lining the pull, nylon tow straps, a length of chain with a hook on each end, and extra cable (to reach anchor points out of reach of your installed winch cable). A good pair of thick, winter leather gloves is recommended for extended time outside the vehicle when you do need a winch.
- Radios. When you are off-roading, a 2 meter band radio is recommend in lieu of a CB radio (Citizens Band Radio Service). A CB radio is really only good for short distances and to entertain the kids. Plus, in the remote backcountry, it will be extremely difficult to get a signal. A 2 meter band radio does require a no-code amateur radio license, but this is relatively easy to obtain.
- First-aid kit. Anytime you are in remote areas off-roading, a first-aid kit should be one of the first things you pack. In addition to a first aid kit, be sure to bring survival gear specific to cold-weather. Water filter, sunglasses, sunblock, and snowshoes are paramount as well as a firearm of a heavy caliber for protection (make sure you know how to operate a firearm before obtaining one).
- Elementary winter survival knowledge. Before venturing out off-roading in the winter, familiarize yourself with winter survival techniques in case the worst does happen. If possible, go off-roading with someone experienced in off-roading during the winter months. He or she can teach you and help you when as those inevitable moments arise when you forgot something.
- Don’t forget the duct tape — the quintessential tool to have around for most situations.
WINTER TRAIL DRIVING TIPS
Driving in snow presents its own challenges since snow acts like quicksand when you’re stuck. Your off road wheels have a hard time getting traction in the snow, presenting its own off road challenges that is one reason off-roading in winter is popular.
Try to determine the depth and consistency of the snow. Make sure there is firm ground beneath the snow layer (six to eight inches) in order for your off road tires to grip.
A layer of solid, crusted snow in the morning can melt by the afternoon, possibly leaving your return trip unable to support the weight of your vehicle.
Off Road Rims and Financing specializes in lease-to-own rim and tire options for your off-roading adventures, whether in the summer or the winter. We also offer off-road accessories, such as lift kits for trucks, off road rims, off road tires, off road wheels, light bars, exhausts, and bumpers. Visit us online today for all of our wheel and rim packages!