Over the years, off-road vehicles have gone from being a 4×4 for the few, off-road enthusiasts, experienced drivers and automotive mechanics experts, to being an easy to drive vehicle suitable for many contexts.
Here’s how to get to know it better and use it to have the most fun.
HOW IT WORKS
We won’t go into technical details about of this fantastic vehicle, explaining how differentials and traction work, the driving position, different kind of tires, grip, inertia, or how to read the geographical coordinates and a road book and what a trip master is.
We delegate this task to the 4×4 driving schools, which I also attended with great interest and fun, which will also allow you to practice a lot in areas specially designed for you to experience slopes, obstacles, dry and wet terrain, mud and grass and all the situations you may face, or rather, all those technical situations that luckily you might face in an off-road weekend with your vehicle.
Here we’re gona tell you that there are two types of off-road vehicles: the “real” ones, with high mobility characteristics, suitable for professional use for military, public corporations, suitable for use in quarries or in the mountains. On the other hand, there is the category of SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles), or those 4x4s for leisure and entertainment.
Clearly the real off-road vehicle allows a more strong use, in more adventurous situations and contexts than the SUV, but both can adapt to our purpose, that is to spend a few hours testing our driving skills or spend a weekend in nature, among woods, beaches and fords, or, even better, take an adventure trip to locations that could not be reached otherwise, such as a safari in Africa.
What distinguishes an off-road vehicle from a car is not the height and the ability to tackle more challenging roads, but it is the solidity, the robustness, able to withstand the environmental, climatic and geographical context to which we undergo it when we go to have fun with our 4×4.
When we have an off-road vehicle capable of guaranteeing resistance to the numerous stresses to which we subject it, we can test ourselves on earth, snow, water, mud, rock, vertically, downhill, on uneven terrain, channels, sand, obstacles, … in short, the playground is really large 😉
WHEN and WHERE to GO
The off-road vehicle is a vehicle suitable for any weather conditions and any terrain, therefore it is able to satisfy the desire for adventure and escape every day of the year, both for a short escape from the chaos of the city, and for an off-road trip, away from mass tourism, off the marked trails, in contact with nature.
Here are some suggestions for an off-road adventure:
° Etna Volcano – Sicily – Italy: with an off-road vehicle it is possible to go up the volcano and enjoy a landscape of black rocks, variegated by a very rich and colourful vegetation. If you reach Piano Provenza, continue on foot with a 5 or 6 hour trek to reach the Grotta del Gelo at an altitude of 2000 mt, which contains a fascinating glacier.
° Carrara Marble Quarries – Tuscany – Italy: to reach the quarries there are very fun dirt roads to do by an off-road vehicles. They are very white, due to the marble dust and, once you get to the top, you can enjoy a fantastic view of the Apuan Alps on one side and the Ligurian and Tuscan coasts on the other. Even during the journey along the Panoramic Road to Colonnata there are wonderful panoramic views of the Miseglia valley.
° Barbagia and hinterland – Sardinia – Italy: in Barbagia there are the highest mountains of the island and the most inaccessible landscapes. We recommend a full day to explore the Lenaitho Valley, with dirt paths from which you can admire the Supramonte massif, the organ pipes, Mount Tiscali, and Lake Cedrino. To increase the degree of adrenaline you can take the mule track that leads to Mount Corrasi on board an off-road vehicle, up to an altitude of 1400 meters.
Other destinations are the complex of Sa Oche and Su Bentu, with two of the largest caves in Europe, the source of Su Gologone, the forest of Montes, the Gorropu canyon and Mount Novu santu Juvanne.
° Safari – Botswana (Africa): accompanied by a tour operator expert in Africa, mechanics and able to get by in any situation, a self-drive safari in Africa is the apotheosis of the off-road trip, because it combines the wonder of wild animals with fun driving an off-road vehicle on sand, dirt, mud.
° Tour in the desert – Tunisia (Africa): a magical itinerary to discover oases, mountains, tented fields, typical cuisine, the charm of the medinas and much more.
° Patagonia – Chile and Argentina: a tour to discover natural wonders through dirt roads and fords, which will make you discover a land unique for its scenic wonders and the hospitality of its people.
60 – 80%
DOCUMENTS AND REQUIREMENTS
In order to drive an off-road vehicle you need a B license.
No special technical requirements are needed, unless you drive on difficult routes. However, it is recommended to have good technical off-road driving skills.
RECOMMENDED CLOTHING and EQUIPMENT
We have no particular advice, since the vehicle allows you to shelter from the weather, so only adapt to the season and the place where you are.
We suggest comfortable sports shoes.
Naturally, the off-road vehicle must be equipped with all the tools for emergency situations, such as winch, shovel, extra tank, … based on which adventure you are going to face.
We also recommend hiking shoes, possibly with a high ankle to facilitate the friction at take-off and landing and better protect the ankles.