If you are looking for bucket list driving experiences driving over sand dunes has to be right up there as a contender, but 4-wheeling on the beach is not exactly without its challenges.
One of the biggest fears for drivers is the prospect of getting stuck in the dunes, which is why you need to learn some driving strategies that will help you to negotiate a sandy surface and have some awesome fun.
Here are some tips for hitting the beach, including how to be properly prepared for your adventure, why tire pressures are so important, and some insights on the driving techniques that will help you avoid coming to an unexpected halt.
Be prepared for your off-road adventure
If you are driving a vehicle like the Jeep Grand Cherokee you are going to want to see what it’s made of and the beach seems a great place to put it through its paces.
While your 4-wheeler might be ready for what lies ahead of you also need to make sure you are equally prepared.
It doesn’t matter what size of dunes you are negotiating, there are some basic items of equipment that you need to have on board in case you find yourself in an emergency situation.
Make sure you have a long-handled shovel, a jacking plate, tire gauge, and deflators, plus a snatch strap, traction mats, and a couple of cable dampers.
It might seem a long list, but hitting the dunes without a shovel to dig yourself out if you get stuck, is not only a case of bad planning it could be dangerous too if you don’t have the tools on board to free yourself.
Getting the right tire pressure is a big deal when it comes to traversing sand dunes and you need to be able to lower the pressure enough to give you the traction you need.
Lowering your tire pressure has the effect of evenly dispersing the weight over a larger area of your tires, which means that they will be able to give you a better grip on the sand, allowing you to keep moving forward across such a malleable surface.
You should find that the optimal tire pressure will be around 12 psi, although you will find guides that suggest between 16 and 18 psi is a typical tire pressure for driving on sand.
Be prepared to experiment and find the right pressure for maximum performance.
Learning to drive on sand can be a steep learning curve but that is part of the fun as long as you don’t take unnecessary risks based on your inexperience.
Keep in mind that the best technique is to find a good balance between acceleration and traction.
Maintaining momentum is your number one priority and always remember that accomplished 4-wheelers always traverse sand dunes in a straight-line motion that is either up or down, and never attempt to turn their vehicle on a dune or cross a side slope.
You can’t expect to get the perfect technique straight away but you can have a lot of fun learning how to conquer a sandy surface.