Off-roading gives you access to the most indescribable sights and places you treasure and love traversing. Every parent wants to share what they love with their kids, so rather than trying to put into words the indescribable, many take their kids along for some off-roading fun. While there are many important tips for off-roading beginners, adding kids into the mix further complicates things, even if you have years of experience. For interested parents, here are four tips for off-roading with kids that help.
Seatbelt, Helmet, Limbs In
To begin, there are a few basic concerns to take care of. Before setting off, sit your kids down to talk safety. Make sure they wear seatbelts and helmets at all times; the seatbelt keeps them in place and the helmet protects them against any unpredictable debris. Also, instruct them to keep their arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times to prevent an injury. Trying to touch a rock face or nearby tree could result in a surprisingly serious problem when you’re miles away from help. Ultimately, they can enjoy the ride plenty with their eyes—they need not enjoy it with their hands, too.
Expect Some Complaining
Next, prepare yourself for some complaining about the off-roading conditions. While kids sometimes like the idea of doing certain things their parents love, the sun, heat, bugs, dirt, and long hours may not suit them. As you first take them out, perhaps plan for a shorter trip and ask them if they’d like to keep going when you’re out on the trail. Even if they do complain, preparing for this beforehand means their bad reaction isn’t necessarily a letdown.
Pack More Than Enough Food and Water
To make them more comfortable in uncertain off-roading conditions, bring plenty of water and food. It’s amazing the effect a full stomach has on kids’ enjoyment of almost any activity. Packing more water than seems necessary—one gallon per person is appropriate—is also important if your vehicle fails and you spend more time out than you planned.
Teach Them How to Find You
One final tip for off-roading with kids—make sure they have tools for finding you if they lose you. Some companies offer handheld tools with the ability to signal a location from a distance, whether it be a whistle, beacon, or via other means. Also, make sure your kids know basic personal information—your phone numbers and address—in case they wander off and encounter someone with access to a phone.