Precautions and Tips for Northern Off-Road Adventures
  Jul 08, 2024     AASMA MAJiD  

Precautions and Tips for Northern Off-Road Adventures

If you're planning an off-road adventure in the northern regions, it's essential to be well-prepared. The monsoon season, while beautiful, often brings landslides, making off-roading a thrilling yet risky activity. Here, we'll provide you with important precautions and tips to ensure your trip is safe and enjoyable. This advice comes from experienced off-roaders and rally drivers, so you can trust its reliability.

Choosing the Right Vehicle

4×4 Vehicle is a Must

For any off-road trip, especially in northern areas, a 4×4 vehicle is essential. Vehicles like Land Cruisers, Surfs, Revos, or any other 4×4 SUVs or jeeps are highly recommended. If you're heading to nearby locations such as Murree, Nathia Gali, or Muzzafarabad, a front-wheel-drive sedan or hatchback like a City or WagonR might suffice. However, for more challenging terrains like Fairy Meadows, Baboon Top, Kumraat, Badgoi Top, and Chitral, a heavy-duty 4×4 vehicle is non-negotiable. Models such as Land Cruiser J70, Toyota Surf, LC200, Cygnus 1990, Pajero, and Prado 1995 are well-suited for these conditions. Front-wheel and rear-wheel drive vehicles are not suitable for these extreme trails.

Vehicle Modifications for Off-Roading

 Remove All Side Skirts

Before hitting the off-road trails, remove all side skirts and footrests from your vehicle. These skirts lower the ground clearance, which is crucial for navigating muddy and uneven terrains. Without sufficient ground clearance, these parts can break or dent the lower sections of your car doors.

Install Off-Road Bumpers

Luxury SUVs like the LC200 or Toyota Prado come with standard bumpers that can easily break during off-roading due to their low approach and departure angles. High departure and approach angles are necessary for off-road driving, so it's advisable to install off-road bumpers designed for these conditions. Although this modification can be expensive, it ensures your vehicle is adequately prepared for the adventure.

Importance of Driving Skills

Skills Matter a Lot

No matter how well-equipped your vehicle is, your driving skills play a crucial role in off-roading. A skilled driver remains calm, even on the toughest trails. Ensure you have a clear view of all four tires and drive slowly. Speed can be dangerous in off-roading, so patience is key. If your tires lose traction on a muddy trail, try placing dry sand or wood in front of them to regain traction. Remember, off-roading is about precision and control, not speed.

Safety Measures

Have at Least One Vehicle for Backup

It's always safer to go off-roading in groups or with at least one additional vehicle. If your vehicle gets stuck, the second vehicle can tow you out of the tough spot. This backup plan can save you from many potential hazards.

 Rescue Services on Speed Dial

In case you get stuck and can't get out, having Rescue 1122 on speed dial is a wise precaution. Rescue services are available throughout the northern areas and can tow your vehicle if needed. However, due to challenging road conditions, it may take them some time to reach you, so patience is necessary.

Essential Equipment

Off-Road Tires

Off-road tires are a must for your vehicle. These tires have deeper treads than regular tires and are designed to handle extreme conditions. They offer better traction on uneven, muddy, dirt, and gravel roads. However, they are less efficient on highways, being bumpier and consuming more fuel. Investing in good off-road tires can make a significant difference in your off-road experience.


Off-roading in the northern regions can be an exhilarating experience, but it comes with its challenges. By ensuring your vehicle is properly equipped and modified, honing your driving skills, and taking necessary safety precautions, you can enjoy your adventure while staying safe. Always remember, preparation is the key to a successful and enjoyable off-road trip. Safe travels!