Off-road vehicles can definitely enhance your outdoor sensibilities and skills.
Packing up a pickup or SUV and heading out on the open road for a weekend in the great outdoors is a pastime for every culture in the world. Getting in touch with nature humanizes us all and reminds us of our literal roots. Camping, hiking, hunting, or fishing tunes us into our natural selves.
But while it's important to get out off the beaten path, it's equally important to break down just exactly how you're getting there (i.e. what you're driving).
Yes, the above-mentioned SUV is always a good choice. But, there are key benefits of having a bona fide off-road vehicle that just make you a better outdoorsman.
Thinking this is a stretch? False. Let's break it down a little for you.
Get Around Easier
Let's start with the basics. Have you ever tried getting to some reclusive spot in a nice new truck that you thought could take a hit, only to be super upset at yourself for getting stuck in the mud?
A proper off-road vehicle will bolster your outdoors credit by actually being able to get to where you need to go.
Not every off-road vehicle is made the same, we know that. Just like every tire, suspension, and bumper is different.
There are certain aspects that some drivers like to enhance compared to others, we know. But what if you were wanting to go hunting, fishing, or four-wheeling it didn't have the space to bring everything? Or the towing capacity?
Depending on your outdoor goals, an off-road vehicle needs to be able to handle what you're wanting to do. If not, then it's just another trip.
Bring the Buddies Along
Have you been asked to accompany your friends to go hunt quail, shoot squirrels, or land some bass, and you're the one looking at your two-door and saying, "Yeah, but I can only fit one other person and a cooler." Don't be that guy.
Part of the outdoors experience is being able to pull your weight and offer to take on more capacity, be it friends or accessories.
Weather the Weather
An off-road vehicle can get you where you need to go, for sure. But think about the things you want to do outside that have to defy the elements. From winter to summer, extreme cold to extreme heat, an off-road vehicle that is jacked to the nines with the right tools and resources can bring your rugged outdoorsman ideas to life.
Jack London, the most outdoorsy writer of his time, said you have to go after inspiration with a club. Having something sitting in your driveway or garage that's just waiting to tear out through the wildest territories for an outdoor adventure is sacrilege.
Having an off-roader ready to go will surely keep you wanting to plan a trip to the desert, the sea, the prairie, the woods, or really anything outside city limits that you can test.
Helps You Be More Capable
A simple concept, yes, but having an off-road vehicle will require some hands-on mechanical work to be done. Sure, a nice new truck with great towing capacity is great to have, but an off-road vehicle that needs a bit of TLC will teach you to be more technically sound and good with tools.
Transfer that to hunting or fishing and you have a better understanding of what it means to handle hard problems. There's lots of gear involved in those activities, and the wrong fishing rod is like having the wrong tires: Maybe you're doing it, but you aren't doing it to the fullest.
Sometimes we take for granted the wild. Sure, we still love getting outside and getting to a campsite or an undisclosed secret fishing spot. But having an off-road vehicle means you have the means to take on adventures when you want, and go where you want. This helps you appreciate the outdoors even more and show respect for all those rocks you're going to roll over or steep mountains you'll slowly, but successfully roll up.
This post was originally published on December 11, 2019.