Four Wheel Drive Concepts
Offroad Driving Techniques
   Basic driving skills
   Climbing steep slopes
   Descending steep slopes
   Traversing steep slopes
   Driving in mud
   Driving in sand
   Driving in snow
   Wading through water
Vehicle Recovery Techniques
Off-Road Driving Techniques
Basic Off-Roading Skills
Good driving technique will get you a lot further than a good four wheel drive. There are some simple, common-sense rules that can be applied to any off-roading situation that will help you through the obstacle, or help you decide to rather turn back.
  • Know your and your vehicle's limits. It's a proven fact that many off-roaders, particularly those new to the game, loose confidence well before their vehicle looses ability. Know your vehicles' limits, and know your own. Always ensure you and your vehicle are in perfect condition.
  • Look before you leap. Always inspect the next obstacle on foot first. Assess the situation. Before getting back into your vehicle, decide on choice of gear, amount of power, and the line your wheels will take. Consider a contingency, and if in doubt, don't do it.
  • Left foot down - on the floor. Don't ride the clutch. Don't touch the clutch before, during and after an obstacle. Depressing the clutch while in an obstacle, such as a hill descent, can cause loss of traction and consquently control.
  • As slow as possible, as fast as necessary. Driving as slowly as possible minimizes vehicle damage and possible personal injury. Balance this requirement with momentum - enough to safely negotiate your obstacle, but never faster than required. Remember that torque, and not speed, make for effective off-road driving.
  • Tread Lightly! Minimize your impact on nature and the environment. Always obtain permission before driving across private land or land not intended for that purpose. If you caused any damage to a trail or an obstacle, repair the damage before driving on.
  • If in doubt, use low range. It's better to be in low range and not needing it than being in high range and needing low range. If you're in standing in front of an obstacle wondering what gear you should use, go with low range second.
The six points listed above are obvious. But it's amazing to see how many drivers consider themselves experienced and end up endangering themselves and others. The most common cause of accidents while off-rading is alchohol. Ever heard the one about the red-neck that says "Y'all hold my beer while I show you this"? Sadly, it's common in the off-roading community.
Another sight seen all too often is the cowboy mentality. The driver who just has to try everything, and that at far too high a speed. Trying to impress others is not a good motivation for off-road driving! Off-roading provides you with access to the world's last unspoilt places. Make sure your kids have that same opportunity.