5 Things To Know When Off-Roading In Snow: The Ultimate Guide

5 Things To Know When Off-Roading In Snow: The Ultimate Guide

Written by Thomas Nielsen
March 8, 2023

Off-roading poses challenges for drivers but driving in the snow is particularly taxing. If you’re thinking about organizing a trip during the winter, or you’ve always wanted to embark upon an off-roading adventure in a cold country, it’s crucial to prepare for extreme weather. Off-roading in the snow can be exhilarating but it’s also dangerous, especially if you’re not used to the conditions or you don’t have the right kit. Being prepared helps to reduce risks, enhance safety and ensure that off-track adventures are fun and memorable for the right reasons.

In this informative guide, we’ll share helpful advice and tips and tricks to help you get ready to take on the snow. 

5 things you must know when off-roading in the snow: A guide

Off-roading in the snow poses unique challenges for even the most experienced truck, UTV and 4x4 drivers. The surface is slippery, it’s much easier to get the wheels stuck and visibility is often poor. Driving during the winter when the weather is unpredictable and navigating snow storms can throw up unexpected obstacles and it can be tough to keep control of a vehicle and negotiate uneven surfaces and hidden hazards. To help you stay safe in the snow, here are 5 things you must know:

1. Air the tires down

Airing the tires down is critical when driving off-road in the snow because it increases traction on slippery surfaces. If you let some of the air in your tires out, the surface area of the tire, which actually touches the ground, increases, giving you greater control if it’s icy or wet. One of the main risks of off-roading in the snow is falling through the powder and getting stuck. Airing the tires down is a simple, effective way to boost the chances of staying on top of the snow. Always remember to take a tire gauge and inflator with you so that you can pump the tires back up before you get back to standard roads and paved tracks. 

Featured Product: Rhino USA Pro Tire Deflator Kit

Fit snow tires

2. Fit Snow Tires

Driving in snow can make you feel as though you’re on an ice rink, even if you’re behind the wheel of a heavy-duty truck or a sturdy 4x4. Fitting snow tires can be a game-changer if you’re driving off the beaten track in snow or ice. Snow tires have more grip due to the depth of the tread and they offer enhanced traction to reduce the risk of slipping. The materials used to make snow tires are designed to cater to extremely low temperatures, which prevents the tires from hardening. This should provide a superior driving experience. 

3. Identify hazards

Off-roading in snow is a test that is rife with hazards and risks. One of the most difficult aspects of planning a drive in heavy snow is being able to identify hazards. Even if you have driven in the snow several times and you’re well-versed in off-roading, it’s essential to recognize that no two environments are the same. There are different types of snow and drivers have to be able to adapt to cater to the conditions. Driving across slushy snow that has been slowly melting for hours is very different from trying to cross an area of densely packed, hard snow, for example. Before taking on a snow-covered trail, track or path, it’s wise to assess the conditions and plan accordingly. 

4. Reduce vehicle weight

Reducing the weight of your vehicle when off-roading in the snow is beneficial because it lowers the risk of sinking through the top layers of the surface snow and getting stuck. Inspect the vehicle and remove anything you don’t need for your trip.

5. Lighting

Winter days can be dark and miserable, which makes it difficult to see. Extra lighting is essential, especially for those planning long trips, which involve driving after dark. 

Essential investments for your trip

If you’re thinking about going off-roading, here is a list of essential investments for your trip:


Off-roading in the snow can be exhilarating but it’s also dangerous. Safety should always be a priority for drivers. If you are planning an off-road adventure in the winter, always ensure that you prepare the vehicle, plan the route, check the latest forecast and carry essential vehicle accessories and equipment. Rhino USA is a leading provider of off-road equipment and accessories. Visit the store to make sure you have everything you need before you set off in the snow. 

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