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Off-roading in the winter is a great way to make the adventurous sport even more extreme. However, it’s very important to pack and prepare accordingly before you embark on your trip. Freezing temperatures can be extremely dangerous if you are not adequately prepared. Here’s how to prepare your Jeep for off-roading in winter to ensure you have a safe, fun trip.
Get the Right Tires
Your standard tires won’t cut it while driving through snowy, icy terrain. Snow tires are the best choice, but off-road tires will work well also if you already own a set. Snow chains are also a good addition to increase traction in icy conditions.
Perform the Necessary Maintenance
You’ll need to perform some maintenance on your Jeep before you hit the trails. Check your lights, battery, and heater to ensure they’re all working as they should.
Replace your wiper blades if they’re near the end of their life span—these do a lot of work to clear snow off your windshield, and you’ll want clear visibility while driving. Add fuel additives to your fuel and antifreeze to your coolant. These will ensure your Jeep’s fluids don’t freeze while you’re busy exploring. (Reminder: lock any pets indoors while working with antifreeze.)
Pack the Essentials
First, take the time to clean out your Jeep’s interior. You’ll want the extra space while packing.
At the top of the list, you’ll need to pack a winch. Especially in snowy conditions, the odds of getting stuck are high. Your winch will be a lifesaver to pull your Jeep out of deep snow.
Another essential is survival gear. If you do get stuck and aren’t able to pull your Jeep free, the situation can get dangerous very quickly, especially in freezing temperatures. Your survival gear should include:
- Food and water for everyone in your group—enough for 48 hours
- Shelter and dry wood—your Jeep will not keep you warm once the heater shuts off
- Space blankets—to conserve body heat
- A satellite phone—to call for help
Off-roading in the wintertime is a blast, but be sure to prepare your Jeep before hitting the trails!