The exhilaration of getting off the asphalt, and driving over soft, shiny golden sand or taking on the rocky terrain of a mountain side or wadi is an experience that can turn a first-time off-road adventure into a life long passion. It’s an intensely liberating experience: No traffic jams. No signals. No pedestrian crossings. No speed traps. Just the freedom to take any route you please, at any speed you choose, not stopping or slowing down for anything … WELL, NOT QUITE.

Off-road driving, be it in the desert or on harder, more unforgiving terrain, comes with its own set of dos and don’ts. Safety and protection, not just of yourself, your companions, and your 4x4 or SUV, but also of the ever-fragile ecosystem and increasingly endangered wildlife, is paramount.

In addition to careful preparation with all the required gear and recovery tools, informing others about your trip, and making sure you have a companion or better still, are accompanied by one or more vehicles, here are some tips that will make your off-road adventure memorable for all the right reasons.

First off-roading tip: Drive slow and steady

Remember, it’s not a race, especially when the terrain is unfamiliar. If driving fast, you may not notice dangers that lurk, like rocks, logs, or a carelessly tossed glass bottle. More importantly, you will miss out on the natural beauty around you. 

Second off-roading tip: Focus on the terrain

The more challenging and complex the terrain, the greater the attention it deserves. Juggling between the wheel and your cell phone or changing radio stations while driving is not a good idea, especially when your 4x4 or SUV’s axle or cooler are in an extra vulnerable situation.

Third off-road tip: Keep an eye on the dashboard

From time to time, make sure you check the indications on your vehicle’s instrument panel. The fuel gauge, oil pressure light, tyre pressure warning light, engine temperature warning, battery alert, traction control malfunction and anti-lock brake (ABS) warning light are of special importance. Running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere or an overheated engine would be frustrating punctuation in your adventure.  

Fourth off-roading tip: Keep the engine RPM low

To drive at the optimal speed, and in the absence of any obstacle, use low gear when off-roading. If inexperienced, it is best to be trained or have someone show you how it’s done. 

Fifth off-roading tip: Carefully examine an obstacle

When faced with an obstacle, and if unsure of how to overcome it, step out from the vehicle and take a closer look at it and at alternative routes. 

In addition to these pointers, it is imperative that your tyres, quite literally, are up for the ride. Tyres like Bridgestone DUELER, which combine the toughness and high-level traction required for challenging terrain, are ideal for such adventures. The DUELER range provides superior driving performance, comfort, and reliability to a wide variety of vehicles including pickups, SUVs (sport-utility vehicles), CUVs (cross-utility vehicles), and premium SUVs/CUVs.