In Today’s age “not knowing” something safety-related is not a valid excuse and since we believe in trying to be prepared for whatever the off-road universe throws at you, we decided to give you our best 5 tips for when venturing into the outdoors during winter. This is based on the weather we get in the Prescott area and this list could change depending on your location and/or weather.
Obviously making sure your vehicle is in good running condition is a top priority during all seasons, so we are assuming you already made sure your vehicle is in good running condition and it most likely won’t fall apart when you take it off-roading. Also, we at the shop would be happy to inspect it for you before and after your next off-road adventure.
During Winter, we get less day-light during the day. So, if you are like us and you are not afraid of cold weather, driving at night and even a little bit of snow, chances are you will be caught driving in the middle of the night at some point.
The kind of lights you need would depend directly on the kind of off-road driving you are going to be doing. As usual, we always recommend high-quality lighting and not skipping on a high-quality installation, since stuff likes to break at the worst moment and your life and your passengers’’ life could depend on it.
Whether it is a winch, Maxtrax recovery boards, a kinetic recovery rope, Hi-Lift, etc. Make sure you know how to operate them properly. Most of the time, we end up using our recovery gear on other people that we find stuck around both the local and non-local trails (or even in a snowed-in dirt road, they need help and they usually are the ones not carrying any kind of recovery gear). We try to always carry a shovel with us. Sometimes a Maxtrax Recovery board can be used as a shovel as well in case you forgot yours at home.
Winter Survival Kit (24hrs.):
First, you will need the stuff to stay warm with (Ex. Blankets, Jackets, etc.) a fire source is a must, a good knife (yeah, besides your pocket knife. We can go all day when it comes to different kinds of good knives.), a First Aid Kit is a MUST even when off-roading during any other season, food, water, a good metal container you could boil water in, something to read (survival in a bad scenario is about mindset and not stressing out, mostly because we make poor decisions when we are distressed). Do not forget your personal items such as medication, glasses and other things you might need when out there for an extended period of time.
There is a huge variety of communication devices out there nowadays. We are not going to get into detail on specific ones or the benefits each different kind provides (That will be coming on a different Tech Note ?). From CB Radios to Walkie talkies and from PLB’s to Satellite phones, you will find the one that fits your needs best. Any of these communication devices are always good to have when you are far away from civilization. Always carry more than one, since cell phones can have signal problems depending on the region. We also recommend carrying a power device so you can re-charge your device (if battery operated) that does not depend on your vehicle’s charging system (in case you don’t have access to your vehicle or it dies too).
Leave a Plan:
With either friends and/or family before you go. Make sure you let them know when and where you will be exploring and also, set a time to check in with them(and stick to it), so in case they do not hear from you, they can send help your way. A lot of stuff can happen out there. From getting lost, to your vehicle breaking down. ALWAYS make sure there is somebody that you trust that knows about your whereabouts.
These are only 5 Tips that work for us and in no way, shape, or form are rules of any kind…everybody’s needs are going to be different and the definition of comfortable can be different from ours to yours and vice versa.
Stay safe, have FUN and if you have any questions, give us a call or stop by the shop!