What to Know Before Going Winter Off-Roading

Winter Off-Roading

People who enjoy winter off-roading do it for lots of reasons. While some like the excitement that it offers, others like arriving at mysterious new destinations that are off the beaten path and afford great views far from other people. That is to say that off-roaders like to get where others can’t go and then do whatever they like. 

It’s important to recognize that the normal features of the off-road experience are intensified during the winter months. Grip and traction are dynamically altered when snow and ice are covering the ground. Most experienced drivers have a kind of winter checklist that they complete before taking their rigs out into the hinterlands during the short, dismal days of winter. 

Evaluate Your Terrain

It’s never a great idea to plow ahead blind into a situation and that goes doubly so when you’re behind the wheel. A critical skill is recognizing what is appropriate and what is not and this boils down to safety. Besides checking maps and scouting out the area when you arrive before performing any serious off-road maneuvers, you should always check the forecast to make sure that things aren’t going to change while you’re there. Even for experienced drivers, blizzard conditions can render vehicles immobile quickly. 

A truck winch will likely be the difference between a relatively speedy recovery and spending time and money getting a tow rig to come in and pull you out. If you get stuck, the winch is the best bet to free yourself. Most drivers will acknowledge that a true winch system is heads and tails better than ropes. Not only can synthetic, steel or aluminum lines absorb much heavier weights without snapping, but the winch’s motor also provides essential torque and power for a slow, controlled pull.

Type of Tire You Need

All-terrain tires are designed to perform both on and off-road, providing traction and comfort in wet, dry and lightly snowy conditions. With that said, even though they’ll do wonders helping you climb up that uneven terrain in spring or summer, they aren’t designed to handle wintry elements. They do not offer needed traction on deep snow or ice. Further, the rubber that they’re made of isn’t rated for operating at maximum capacity in freezing temperatures. 

An off-road tire is simply built differently. With more aggressive tret patterns, they offer the best grip for the wheels in the most extreme terrain and under the wildest conditions. The detailed footprint, deep grooves and ideal tread block placement make these tires the perfect choice for driving in the snow. The rubber is also rated to perform to maximum capacity when temperatures are below freezing, meaning that it is still pliable, which equates to maintaining grip and traction.

When you take your vehicle off-roading, your most valuable asset is your brain. The ability to reason out a rugged driving scenario and, as importantly, to make a split-second decision if something goes wrong during that scenario, are as important as 33-inch all-terrain tires, ground clearance or a good winch system. That’s why experienced drivers scout locations and pay attention to weather reports. For all the best parts and accessories to enhance your winter off-roading experience and to make it safer, visit an auto parts store today.

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