A Beginner's Guide: Tips for Off-Roading
Having taken her Jeep to nearly every state, Kate Fry, aka That Pink Jeep Girl, has certainly learned a thing or two about wheeling. She shares her invaluable tips with us to help those hitting the trails for the first time, especially the ladies:
Things to pack for the trip
- Face lotion - I can not stress this enough! If you don’t bring some you will regret it.
- A good conditioner - Your hair is going to be gross after the trails each day. Bring a good conditioner to help moisturize it back to life.
Things to bring on the trail
- Toilet paper - I know you’re probably going to laugh at this one... You’ll be out on long trails though no bathrooms so just come prepared. Most guys never carry any.
- First aid kit - Again, seems like something you may never need but rather be safe than sorry.
- Sunscreen - Even if it doesn’t feel hot just put it on. I like the Neutrogena spray the best. It’s light, won’t make you break out, and doesn’t have a strong odor. Spray the top of your head because that will burn too.
- Jacket - If you’re out all day and driving back to the hotel at night this is a must. It’s so cold when the sun goes down, especially driving at 55mph.
- Food/drinks - some for you and extras for other people who don’t pack enough.
- Trash Bag - A regular trash bag, shade brigade bag, an old zip-up bookbag you don’t care about, etc. Any of those will work. Don’t litter.
- Sunglasses - obviously.
- Biz cards (If applicable)
- In case something breaks it is good to have tools and spare fluids.
- Good shoes - Plan on having to get out of the vehicle. Don’t wear flip-flops or sandals. You will be walking through sand, up hills, etc.
- Gloves - if you have to pull a winch line or work on something they're good to have. If you’re a girl, there won’t be anyone who can lend you a pair that will fit.
- Go Pro/Phone - don’t forget the chargers too.
- If the top is off the Jeep, find a solution for your hair or else you will look like a mess all day. I wear a hoodie in the morning, tuck my hair in, and pull the hoodie straps. I roll in looking like a dork, but hair stays looking good and straight.
- Chapstick - it is dry out there. Trust me bring some.
Things to do before the trail
- Air down your tires - Ask someone you trust to tell you the PSI to air down to. This answer will vary based on beadlocks vs normal wheel, what you will be doing, etc. Also, note that the Jeep may feel “weird” driving with aired down tires. It’s totally fine.
- Fill up the gas tank - I can’t tell you how many times I have been on trails where people were worried about running out of gas. Don’t be that person...
- Unlock Sway Bar (if applicable on your Jeep) - every Jeep has a different set-up. Ask a trusted person for a quick how-to. This will also affect how the Jeep handles on the road.
- Strap stuff down - Don’t leave things floating around your Jeep. everything needs to be strapped down. EVERYTHING. Even your phone. If you have a crappy phone mount, the phone will fall onto you on a steep incline. You don’t want the extra distractions.
- Show up to the trail EARLY
Things to do on the trail
- Find a spotter that you trust and listen to them. Multiple people will try giving you directions at the same time and it can turn into a headache. Just focus and listen to one of them.
- Keep windows down.
- Wear your seatbelt.
- Don’t drive over any plants.
- Pick up trash, even if it’s not yours.
- Avoid consuming alcohol on trails. Driving or not.
- Don’t stand in the way of a vehicle if you’re watching them do an obstacle. Seems obvious, but crazy things have happened to people who were not even close to the action.
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