What To Know Before You Go Off-Roading in the Winter
Off-roading isn’t just a warm-water activity—you can enjoy it at any time of the year. If you choose to off-road in the winter, however, there are a few additional challenges that you may face. From icy surfaces to limited visibility from snow or fog, off-roading in the winter is a much different experience. In order to have a safe and enjoyable off-roading experience during the colder months of the year, it is essential to recognize and prepare for such challenges. This guide on what to know before you go off-roading in the winter will help you have a pleasant trip out on the trails.
Visibility Can Vanish in Seconds
As previously touched on, visibility during the winter is often more limited than it is during the warmer months of the year. In the winter, snow and high levels of fog can quickly blow in and obstruct your vision in a matter of seconds. Needless to say, traversing challenging obstacles and low levels of visibility aren’t the safest combination.
While you can’t control the weather, there are measures you can take to ensure that you can see more clearly when environmental conditions pose a challenge. For example, modifying your Jeep with upgrading LED lights, replacing your windshield wipers, and changing your windshield wiper fluid to a winter mix can all give you an advantage in poor visibility.
Ways To Increase Traction on Icy Trails
It’s no secret that driving over icy surfaces significantly reduces traction. Because there is a good chance that many trails may be iced over during the winter months, it is important to ensure that your vehicle is up for the challenge.
One of the most important measures you can take to prepare your vehicle for the winter is to upgrade your tires to a dedicated pair of snow tires. Even if you already have snow tires on your vehicle, make sure to check that their tread hasn’t worn down or incurred any damage. If they show signs of heavy wear, replace them before embarking on your next off-roading trip.
You may even want to consider having your tires siped to provide them with more traction and stopping power. Tire siping involves cutting small slits in their tread, which many tire stores will do using a specialized machine.
Emergency Equipment for Worst-Case Winter Scenarios
Getting stranded in a remote location is dangerous enough when weather conditions are more moderate. However, experiencing a breakdown or getting stuck when temperatures are below freezing is even more deadly. As such, it is critical to plan for worst-case scenarios when off-roading in the winter.
Before going on a winter off-roading adventure, make sure to pack a kit of emergency essentials. In addition to basic emergency equipment that you should always keep in your Jeep, such as a flashlight and a first aid kit, make sure to pack additional items such as:
- Warm gloves
- Winter boots
- An ice scraper and snowbrush
- Extra clothing layers
- Snacks and water
- A sturdy snow shovel
Such supplies may end up saving your life if you have to spend several hours or even days out in an extremely cold environment.
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