The online world (read: forums, blogs, dozens of websites) is full of information for the new and experienced off-road driver. While there’s no way to discuss them all, we did find this article from the Art of Manliness a useful read for those just beginning their exploration of our preferred hobby.
“Remember, the most important elements of a successful off-road adventure are safety and preparation.” Writes the author, Chris, an FJ Cruiser owner and fan of exploring the outdoors.
Read the full Off Road Driving Basics article over on Art of Manliness
While this article, and others like it, are a good start for a beginner (as are the tips we include in every FunTreks book), no online resource will ever replace experience and training when navigating the unpredictable outdoors. Even our books are a (very good) guide at best since conditions change almost daily for most trails in the backcountry. Always know the limits of your skill and those of your vehicle before attempting anything more than a dirt road.
We can’t stress enough the importance of good training, regardless of the type of adventure you seek. We’ve been proud to work with Nena Barlow from Barlow Adventures on several occasions, and the 4×4 training industry was practically invented by Bill Burke. There are many other reputable off-highway training courses available, so visit the International 4 Wheel Drive Trainers Association site for more info.
Finally, no discussion of trail riding would be complete with talking about good trail stewardship. This means adhering to standards of trail use taught by organizations such as Tread Lightly, Leave No Trace, and in Colorado, Stay The Trail. The ethics of taking care of our trails are not difficult to master and will help preserve our recreational areas for generations to come. Do the right thing and learn when, where, and how to ride before beginning any adventure.