Your First Time Off-Roading: How To Do It Right And On The Cheap

Want to try off-road driving, but you’re not sure how to start? All you really need’s a cheap truck and a little patience. We’ll walk you through the rest in this primer on how to have an awesome day in the dirt, no expensive accessories or khaki shirts required.


There are so many people rolling around in remarkably capable 4x4s these days, but I’m gonna go ahead and guess a lot of those folks don’t even know why there’s a second shift lever.

Like all automotive hobbies, off-roading is a little intimidating to the uninitiated. Especially when the veterans love to recite lines like “there are only two kinds of off-road trucks; ones that are broken and ones that are about to break.”

Some truth to that for sure; the “sport” of dirt drivin’ does put your rig in harm’s way. But if you get familiar with your equipment, take your time, and of course drive as slowly as possible and as fast as necessary you can have a lot of fun with something as basic as an old Jeep Cherokee, Wrangler, Toyota 4Runner, or really anything with four wheel drive and a little tread on the tires.

After you watch the video but before you head out on your own; two more quick points:

  1. Don’t drive off-road where it’s illegal or you’ll be “that a-hole” who screws it up for the rest of us and gets our wheeling rights revoked. Then we’ll all hate you.
  2. Learn how to get your truck out a bog before you venture yonder on your own. Or tell somebody where you’re going. It also won’t hurt to drive with a buddy who knows how to recover a stuck truck and you can watch our winch video for more on that!

Contact the author at



Can I add one recommendation to “how to offroad”? More Throttle =/= more go. Its a hard habit to break but often getting OFF the throttle if you are spinning yields better results. The coefficient of friction of a slipping wheels is many times worse than a static wheel which means that managing the throttle to avoid breaking traction is the key to moving forward. Think ABS but backwards. i.e. a whole lotta floorin’ is counterproductive a lot of the time.