Off-Roading – A Beginners Guide

Ask a group of people what experiences feature on their bucket list and in between things like flying in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon and seeing the sights of New York, you’re sure to find an Aussie off-roading adventure in there! It’s no wonder as visitors from all over the world love to come to our shores to enjoy everything our beautiful country has to offer.

When it comes to having a go at off-road driving, it’s crucial to be fully prepared. There are so many aspects to consider that it can be hard to remember everything. You could have the best 4×4 on earth such as an MQ Triton fully equipped with a specially designed, manufactured and fitted MQ Triton bullbar. That’s great! However, if you don’t have the correct know-how, you could run into some problems.

Unfortunately for your bank balance, every 4WD will need some type of accessory for venturing off-road. Thankfully, you won’t have to spend heaps of dollars on aftermarket add-ons and gear. You just need to focus on getting the basics right. You’ll require equipment to help you stay safe. You’ll also need to figure out where you wish to go and how you’re going to get there. (Always remember to tell someone exactly where you’re going too, just in case!)

Taking all this information into account, let’s have a look at everything you need to have a safe, fun and memorable experience.

So, what will you need?

We’ve put together a checklist of what you’ll need in order to get moving on your off-road adventures. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of every last thing you’ll need for your off-road trip, but it certainly covers the basics in terms of safety and comfort. 

  • Tyres – Well, it goes without saying that you’ll need tyres of some sort! What we mean is that you need to check your tyres or, better still, get light-truck construction ones with an all-terrain tread for better grip when you’re off-road.
  • Suspension – If you’re serious about off-roading then you need to get heavier-duty suspension for carrying your load. Remember that in general a 4WD suspension is only designed for carrying a light load over ‘normal’ roads. Compare this to carrying between 200 and 500kg of extra gear over rough terrain and you’ll see where we’re coming from.
  • Weak points. Most vehicles have their weak points. Keeping this in mind, speak to your specialist 4WD mechanic for help.
  • Navigation system. Google Maps is great, however, you’re going to want a decent reliable navigation system that’ll keep on working even when your phone won’t!
  • Fire extinguisher. Always pack one of these just in case.
  • First aid kit. Again, you should always carry one of these in the car just to be safe. In the event of an injury, you could find that you’re a long way from help.
  • Good strong boxes. Tie these down firmly so you can store your gear in them without it flying around all over the place while you’re driving.
  • Liners and mud mats. You’re going to want to have some strong rubber mud mats and liners to protect your car’s interior.
  • UHF CB radio. Either handheld or, better still, an in-car unit with 2 handhelds is recommended for your own safety.You’ll be able to communicate with other trucks, vehicles and some outback stations if you get into any trouble.You won’t need a license to use one either.

Everyone’s needs are different. So, you should use this list as the skeleton for your plans and then flesh them out with your own personal needs such as medication, clothing and so on.

Install a bullbar

Australia is the perfect place for exploring by 4×4. There are so many amazingly beautiful and rugged places to visit as well as sights to enjoy. You can get a real flavour of the land as well as being able to view our incredibly diverse wildlife up close. Oh and talking about animals, anyone who has ever driven through rural Australia has likely had a close call with a ‘roo or some other creature. For this reason, as well as for general frontal protection, we advise everyone who drives off-road to have a well-designed bullbar installed.

Remember that one size doesn’t not fit all in terms of bars. For example, we design, manufacture and install based on your vehicle model and type. So, if you’re looking for a MN Triton bullbar, we will have exactly the right fit for you. We’ve been in the business of designing, manufacturing and fitting bullbars, roo bars and nudge bars Perth motorists rely on for many years. We think that places us in a great position to help and advise you.

Know where you’re going

Planning is your absolute best friend when you’re travelling – especially when you’re going off-road. Knowing exactly where you’re headed allows you to plan for every eventuality. It’ll also enable you to tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. So, as well as using Satnav, have a look at a detailed map of where you’re headed. It might sound old-fashioned, but an actual paper map is invaluable to see and to understand all the natural features of the area you’re going to in advance.

Prepare for the worst

Okay, so preparing for the worst is a bit doom and gloom filled but you need to have a plan in place in case you get stranded. It’s a fact that even well-established off-roaders can end up stuck. If you break down or get bogged, it’s important to have your CB radio with you to get help. Also, know where your recovery points are if you need to be pulled out by another vehicle and carry some basic recovery gear (a snatch strap, for example) just to be safe.

There are a million and one recommendations we could make as regards to getting out there and exploring our incredible land. Our number one piece of advice is to get in touch with us about installing frontal protection such as a Triton bullbar. At Irvin Bullbars, your safety is our top priority.

Download Our Bullbar Information Pack

This 20-page information pack is packed with information about different bulbar options, tips on how to care for your bulbar and also steps on what do to in the event of hitting an animal.