How to Prepare Before Travelling On Unfamiliar Terrain


How to Prepare Before Travelling On Unfamiliar Terrain

Even for the most experienced drivers who are completely confident behind the wheel, traveling in unfamiliar terrain or weather conditions can be a real game-changer. Mountain roads, sand storms, and high altitudes are all examples of very real factors that can pose extra stress on your car.

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That’s why, in the paragraphs below, we give you five important pointers on how to prepare for your trip on unfamiliar terrain.

Tires

Before taking your vehicle to an unknown terrain, the first aspect to consider is your tires. Just like your feet; imagine having to hike wearing high heels instead of sneakers or hiking boots – a nightmare, and quite a dangerous one too. It’s recommended to invest in a set of the best all terrain tires on the market, after all, it’s better safe than sorry. You might also want to find out in advance – if possible – if you will be treading mountain roads that require chains, or snow paths that need special tires.

Engine

You need to know if your engine has a good low end torque, making it suitable for off-road trips. Low end torque is important because it allows you to maintain momentum over the various obstacles your car would face, without having to wring out your engine.



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Transmission

While low end torque is a great option to have, gearing is what really makes all the difference. A low range transfer case multiplies engine torque and makes traversing obstacles that much easier. It will also allow you to traverse a steep grade without even touching the gas pedal. On the other hand, when descending steep mountain roads, put your transmission in the lowest gear possible, so you don’t have to ride your brakes as hard.

Brakes

Needless to say, your brakes have to be functioning perfectly at all times, and this is no exception when off-roading or driving on new terrains. Getting new brake pads installed won’t be enough, for the demanding slopes, obstacles, and bumps of off-roading call for more consideration. You might want to consider fitting your vehicle with new rotors, so try to get everything checked in that arena before starting your trip.

Be extra careful  

The sound advice always says: never text while driving, and this is no exception. When driving on unknown paths, especially off-road, avoid distractions like checking your phone or anything that might take your eyes off the road. 

On the other hand, make sure your phone is fully charged for any emergencies. It’s also a good idea to brush up on basic maintenance skills like changing tires, replacing windshield wipers (which means you should carry a spare pair) and checking your fluids. You never know what the environmental elements could do.

[ photo: unsplash.com ]

Traveling on unfamiliar terrain is nothing like cruising through the city. Unlike the paved roads where you might be aware of every bump and ditch, travel roads can be dangerous if you are not fully prepared. So, make sure your tires, engine, transmission and brakes are up for the job, and carry some means of communication so you wouldn’t get stranded on an isolated road.

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