What to Do When Off-Roading Alone

Off-roading is a uniquely fun but potentially dangerous pastime. Here are some safety tips for experienced drivers who want to off-road alone.

When discussing what to do when off-roading alone, we need to start with some serious warnings. While there are vital things off-roading beginners must know, they should steer clear of going solo. Only the most experienced off-roaders should consider taking their vehicle out alone, and even then, it isn’t always a great idea. You risk getting stranded or sustaining an injury on your trip. That said, with current social distancing practices during the pandemic, you may not have anyone to off-road with. Also, some people simply crave some alone time on the trail. If you have the proper know-how, be sure to follow these safety measures when going it alone.

Your Tool Kit: Bring a Spare, Winch, and Shovel

First, bring along the tools you’ll need for a solo trip. Pack a full-size spare tire in the event one of your wheels needs replacing. A quality spare gives you a backup and keeps you from getting stranded on the trail. Also, it’s not uncommon for off-roaders to get into a jam that requires some rescuing. Rescue yourself by packing a winch. Be wary of what you secure it to and don’t get in its way and risk an injury. Finally, a shovel is your ultimate multi-use tool when off-roading alone. Quickly digging your way out of snow, sand, or dirt saves you from making a distress call to someone.

Your Personal Supplies: Pack Water and Communication/Navigation Aids

Meanwhile, include personal necessities in your vehicle. The importance of water is hard to overstate—in a pinch you want at least several gallons with you to keep you hydrated as you off-road, especially in hot conditions. To help you not get lost, pack several navigation tools—your phone, a GPS device, and a paper map. If you need to appeal for help, you’ll want a reliable communication device. Whereas your phone likely has a spotty signal in remote areas, satellite communication devices are entirely reliable.

Take No Risks

The final thing to do when off-roading alone is to simply avoid risk. Chancing a rollover on a steep slope isn’t wise, even if you ordinarily could clear it. Set boundaries for how you’ll operate your vehicle and focus on enjoying the landscape around you. Getting your adrenaline pumping is probably best left for when you have more backup.


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