When you hear about off-roading in a jeep, what do you think about? Mud, sun, fun? When going on an off-road adventure you have to be like a boy scout, prepared for anything. So where do we start?
- The first thing you need to remember is you are out in nature, away from civilization, so expect the unexpected. Dress appropriately, closed-toed shoes and socks will protect your feet from snakes, bugs, sharp rocks, and any other obstacle that may cause an injury.
- Bring plenty of water. Santa Fe is considered the high desert, this means you will get dehydrated quickly.
- Bring sunscreen. We have 360 days of sunshine a year and we are at least 6,000ft above sea level. You will get sunburned if you aren’t careful.
- Wear a hat.
- Bring a jacket. Believe it or not, there are areas around Santa Fe that get a bit chilly. Even in the summer. There have been plenty of times when I wished I would have brought a jacket.
- Bring snacks. You have heard the saying, time flies when you are having fun. You can lose track of time when out on the trails, so bring food to ensure you keep your blood sugar up. It is hard to get out of a situation if you aren’t thinking clearly because of low blood sugar.
- Bring a GPS. Or if you are a great map reader, be sure you have maps of the area. There are plenty of trails around Santa Fe, that are on the map, but there are plenty that are not. If you want to get home, you are better off with a GPS that can help you get out of a sticky situation.
- Have a high-lift jack. This will get you out of the mud, literally. A high-lift jack can be the difference between you hoofing it home, or riding home in style.
- Invest in tow straps. Just like the high-lift jack, these will help you or your fellow trail riders get out of a bad situations.
- Bring an ax or a chainsaw. Believe it or not, there are times when you will need these. Trees fall on the trail. It happens. (and think of it this way, free firewood!)
- Have a complete first aid kit. Remember you are in nature. Things happen and people get hurt. Having a fully stocked first aid kit may be the difference between life and death.
- Have an always light. Matches are a campers’ and a Jeepers’ best friend.
Off-roading can be the best experience you have had or the worst, depending on how prepared you are. Just a few tools to keep you healthy and happy make all the difference in the world.
So happy Jeeping!