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Plan your routes ahead of time. Take the time to review maps and local information of the areas you plan to visit.

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If possible, obtain local maps or GPS to help you navigate your way around. Make sure you know your equipment and not figuring it out when you are venturing terrains.

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Make sure you have enough fuel. Best is to top up full before you move out, or at least have 3/4 full.

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Check and make sure you have all your equipment.

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Double check your batteries (flashlight, GPS), clothing, and camping supplies.

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Check that your tyres are properly inflated, including the spare(s). Although we donít suggest it, even more so when the vehicle is loaded heavy, but some prefer to lower tyre pressures in offroad terrain. If you do so, keep in mind that this will effect high speed handling. Before you do so, make sure you have a way of reinflating them. If no, do not lower the tyre pressures. Make sure you donít lower them too much as low air pressures allow the sidewalls to flex more and in turn they generate more heat at a higher rate resulting in sidewall failure. Do not over-inflate either. Use manufacturers recommended pressure figures then adjust accordingly (that of the vehicle, not the tire. Tires always list the maximum pis for ďxĒ load on the sidewall).

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Be aware of how your 4wd is loaded, roof racks make vehicles top heavy. Try and load all heavy items as low in the car as possible (and as close to the back of the front seats -ahead of the rear axle- as possible). Adjust your load as necessary. Adjust your driving speeds and habits as well.

GETTING READY

It is estimated that about 90% of SUV owners donít use their vehicles for the great off-road. Most SUVs can handle some off-road terrain, but to tackle more challenging trails, youíll need a few aftermarket products.
  - Off-road tires :
Standard-issue tires simply don't provide enough traction. Upgrade to all-terrain or mud tyres that are more puncture-resistant and can handle rugged ground.
- Higher clearance :
Most SUVs are built too low to the ground for proper trail driving. One way to increase ground clearance is with larger tyres, but in order to fit those tires onto your vehicle, you may need to upgrade the suspension lift.
 
  - Hitches :
Getting stuck is inevitable. You want to ensure you have the proper hitch on both the front and back of your vehicle so that a second vehicle can pull you out.

preparations | equipment
terrain knowledge
what to expect | recovery
hand signs | convoying