JEEP OFF ROADING 101 - SAFETY CHECKLIST

1) Be prepared:
Always check your vehicle before off-roading. Make sure your battery’s fastened, hoses are in good condition and fuel, oil and fluids are topped off. Also, be sure all tires are in good condition and have proper tire pressure. Avoid traveling alone, especially in unfamiliar territory.

2) Be on the lookout:
Put your vehicle in 4WD whenever you think you need more traction - it's hard to engage 4WD after getting stuck. Regularly look over the hood and scan your tires from left-to-right to see what's approaching. Focusing on just one tire can get the other in trouble. Avoid putting your head out of the vehicle and keep thumbs up-and-away from steering wheel spokes to avoid catching them in a rotating spoke when jarred. 

3) Take it easy:
Speed and power aren't required in rough off-road driving. In low-range 4WD, low gear and low speed at idle will pull you over obstacles. In many cases with manual transmissions, slowly releasing the clutch and letting the vehicle crawl over obstacles in the lowest gear is best. FYI, on the Rubicon Trail, the average speed is 1 to 5 miles per hour.

4) Tread lightly:
Observe signs, stay on trails and areas approved for off-roading. Use good judgment to protect the beauty of an area. Don't leave trash behind. Instead, why not go one better and be proactive by picking up and removing any trash that you encounter in your travels. If terrain looks especially fragile, take another route.