There’s no need to stow your Jeep or rig away for the winter when snow arrives. Wheeling in the snow can be just as much of an adventure as wheeling in the warmer months. Kids aren’t the only ones who can have fun playing in the snow!
Winter wheeling has its own set of dangers, so it’s important to go prepared. Here are 3 safety tips for winter off-road driving to make sure you get home safe and sound.
1. Get your recovery gear ready.
If you get stuck 20 miles from the nearest plowed road, you’d better be prepared to get out on your own or with the help of another rig in the group. The right recovery tools will get you out fast, which is important in cold, wet weather.
A Jeep or truck winch (rated appropriately for your vehicle), snatch straps, tow hooks, and a few recovery winch accessories will get you out of most situations. Don’t forget a shovel, either. Sometimes a simple tool is all you need to get unstuck.
2. Dress for the weather.
Even though you’ll be riding inside most of the time, be prepared for spending time outside your truck or Jeep, especially if you get stuck.
Make sure your boots and outerwear are waterproof, and avoid wearing cotton clothing. As mountaineers know, cotton kills. Dress in layers with clothing that dries quickly, such as wool, polyester, or synthetic materials. Bring an extra change of clothing in case you get wet. Hypothermia can set in quickly, which is dangerous when you’re wheeling in an isolated area.
3. Pack an emergency kit.
Wheeling in snow requires extra precautions. Make sure you have a medical emergency kit in your vehicle (which you should have with you year round), along with a heavy blanket or sleeping bag, extra water, food, a tarp, and emergency flares. Always let someone at home know where you plan to go wheeling and when you plan to be back. Wheel in groups whenever possible.