If you’re the outdoorsy type, chances are that whenever you have some free time on your hands, all you want to do is jump in your car and go on a new adventure: exploring, hiking, camping, fishing, climbing – so many things you could do.
But this means you can’t use any ol’ car. You need an adventure vehicle – a vehicle that can go through thick mud, sand, and water. Rugged crossovers, trucks, and SUVs are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with a myriad of standard features and options so they can handle both on-road and off-road adventures.
They tend to be quite expensive, but if you have a passion for the great outdoors, they’re well worth it. You get versatility, comfort, safety, cargo space, and performance.
But anyone who wants to buy an adventure vehicle needs to be aware of a few things. They need to examine their needs, their abilities as a driver, and the specifications the vehicle has to have to match these two factors.
Dirt Road Exploring
Maybe you like exploring forest service roads, or you enjoy mountain biking, so you need to climb dirt roads to reach the trailhead. Then you’ll need a vehicle with higher ground clearance so you can navigate unmaintained roads with a high center crown or maneuver through occasionally rocky sections safely.
This could be done with many stock SUVs and crossovers with two-wheel drive, but going for all-wheel drive will give you better traction in the event of unexpectedly steep climbs or slippery situations.
Perhaps you want to drive to a ghost town or abandoned mine and spend several days without mobile service. Then not only should you learn to do some maintenance tasks and repairs by yourself, but you’ll also need a vehicle that can help you carry all that gear – something with stronger shock absorbers that can handle all that extra weight.
It’s also a good idea to get something with low range that can get through loose dirt and rock to make its way through steep grades.
Rock crawling is an extreme form of off-roading with the goal of testing yourself as a driver through the most challenging conditions and usually requires a spotter that will stay outside the vehicle and guide you.
Four-wheel drive with a low range and increased ground clearance are required to tackle these circumstances. A locking rear differential will also help you gain more grip in snow, mud, and loose gravel. A front-mounted winch can be linked to a nearby tree or another vehicle to pull the vehicle out of difficulties if it becomes stuck.
When driving on a dirt road that has been exposed to the elements, you may have trouble getting the traction you need. The result is that your wheels are spinning, but you’re not getting anywhere. What’s the solution? Traction mats!
Anyone who likes outdoor adventure and is interested in this sort of vehicle should also invest in a pair of traction mats.