Off-roading can be defined technically as driving a vehicle through rough terrain or watery trails. It can also be defined as a lot of fun. Whether you are navigating through sand dunes, mud-filled trails or mountainous terrain, off-roading has become a popular sport for both the novice and expert alike. Learn about the types of off-roading with this handy information guide.
Videos by Outdoors
Mudding is perhaps the dirtiest of all off roading types. Surely when you come home from a day of mudding, you or your vehicle will have to get hosed down in the garage. Mudding doesn’t take anything fancy or extravagant. All that is needed is large area of wet mud and you’re all set. Wet clay will also work. The goal is to drive as far as possible without getting stuck. Mud terrain tires are usually recommended, if not required. Competively mudding is called mud bogging.
If you are lucky enough to live near some sand dunes, then you should consider dune bashing, or driving over sand dunes, as an off roading choice. Several state parks in the US, such as the Imperial Sand Dunes in California, allow dune bashing with off-road vehicles. While you may have seen this fun pastime in movies, dune bashing is something you can experience for yourself.
Rock crawling is another form of off roading, which is a bit more technical. In order to participate in this type of sport, your vehicle needs to be modified. Larger than stock tires need to installed and suspension needs to be adjusted. Spotters are often used to provide the driver with information concerning obstacles that may be out of the driver’s view.
One of the least extreme off roading types is two-tracking, also referred to as greenlaning. It is considered the least extreme because any four wheel drive vehicle is suitable for it — even those with factor installed tires. The trails are typically older roadways, unpaved roads or forest tracks. For the enthusiasts that participate in this type of off roading, they are more interested in enjoying the scenery than how their vehicle performs over the terrain.
A highly advanced version of off roading is formula off-road. This is a competitive form of off roading, where competitions occur over sand and gravel-filled courses. Vehicles are modified with sand drag tires and travel suspensions, which allow for jumps and better handling over rough terrain. Due to the rough course design, drivers are secured with a roll cage.