5 Tips for Off-Roading in Sand
August 07, 2014
Sand is one of the most fun off-road surfaces to drive on. From the wide open spaces that sand provides to the huge plumes of sand that fly behind you, driving in sand is great. While fun, off-roading in sand presents you with an entirely different set of tips and safety precautions that you don’t normally see in non-sand situations. Check out the five tips below to enjoy driving in sand and to keep safe and not get stuck. RELATED: How to Choose the Best G.O.O.D. Truck
Understand the Consistency of the Sand You’re In
All sand is not created alike. From deserts to the beach, you’ll experience a variety of sandy conditions that all come with their own special needs. Harder-packed sand means there’s more water present and that means lower gears are your best option to not get stuck. For softer, dryer sand you want to stay in the higher set of gears. Knowing when to alternate between these two is important so you don’t get stuck and can go as fast as possible while staying safe.
Drop Tire Pressure
Sand loves fat tires. Unless you’re planning on buying a special set of sand tires, all you have to do is drop the tire pressure of your current off-road tires by 10-12 PSI below the standard pressure.
This will give you a little more surface area to help avoid digging yourself a rut you can’t get out of. Just make sure you restore the proper driving pressure before driving on the road again.
Always Keep Momentum
When driving in loose material like sand, momentum is your friend. When you’re in sand you have traction for just about as long as you have momentum. If you slow down too much you run the risk of losing traction and momentum altogether.
If you do have to stop, try to make it near the top of a dune or hill so you can use gravity to help give you momentum once again. Never try to go up a hill or dune from a dead stop. SEE ALSO: 7 Common Off-Road Myths BUSTED!
Avoid Sharp Turns
When making turns, the tighter the turn is the more speed you lose in the process. This means you should make your turns as wide as possible so you lose as little momentum as possible. Avoiding sharp turns also helps keep you from digging into the sand and causing a rollover. These can happen unexpectedly and really ruin a day. Make those turns wide and you’ll be good.
Have Proper Supplies and Equipment
The last and possibly most important tip is to be like the Boy Scouts and Be Prepared. Make sure you have enough water for you and your radiator in case it springs a leak or boils over. In case you get stuck for a while you should make sure you have an emergency kit as well as at least a day’s worth of food, ideally in energy bars.
Make sure you have a tall antenna with a flag attached so others can see you as well as a small toolkit for fixing any issues that happen in the sand. Do all of these and you’ll be sure to have a great time in the sand.