You’ve got your eye on the 2022 Chevy Colorado because you know it’s the key to your next epic outdoor adventure. While you’ve always depended on the Chevy Colorado for work, now you want to take it to the next level and explore the great outdoors. Let’s look at some of the ways to prepare to ensure a safe and fun adventure for all.
Get to Know Your Truck
The first thing is to be familiar with your new Chevy Colorado. Your dealer can walk you through all the available options and discuss your needs to ensure your truck has got what it takes to hit the trail before you buy your Colorado. Once you have your Colorado, your dealer is there to walk through and show you all the features needed to maximize your off-road experience.
Safety is always first, and it’s best to plan for the worst and hope for the best. You might want to consider a first-aid safety course. While not required for off-roading, it’s a good skill, in general, to know how to administer basic first aid in any situation. Classes are offered online and in-person at local agencies such as the Red Cross and other organizations. An introductory first aid course will teach you how to handle situations such as head, neck, and spinal injuries, as well as bleeding and other problems that may require care while you are off-roading.
First Aid Essentials
There are some essential items that you should always have in your truck at all times, and not just for your off-road adventures. Pack a first aid kit and store it in your truck, so it’s there for any minor injuries that may occur at the job site, soccer game, or even a family picnic. Pre-packed kits are available, or you can buy items individually and pack them in a small waterproof case. Here are some essentials to get you started, although you may want to include additional items as well.
- Adhesive bandages in various sizes: you can purchase boxes of the most common sizes or buy several boxes in small, medium, and large sizes.
- Antiseptic wipes: Individually packed wipes will stay fresh longer. You will need to swap them out for new ones after a while, as they will dry out.
- Antiseptic ointment: Individual packets will ensure the ointment stays contamination-free and ready for use as needed.
- Non-latex Gloves: Gloves help keep the wound clean if you are off-roading where a source of soap and water is not available to wash the caretaker’s hands.
- Instant cold compress: these are kept at air temperature and are activated when needed. Keep several on hand to provide immediate treatment to reduce pain and swelling from various injuries.
- Antihistamine: An over-the-counter antihistamine can reduce itching from insect bites and allergies. It is also suitable for allergic reactions to foods and allows time to seek further medical treatment if needed.
- Sunscreen and insect repellent: Sunscreen is good to have on hand all year round, and insect repellent can be useful if you find yourself out later at night than planned.
You never know when an off-road adventure will last longer than expected, so keep a supply of non-perishable snacks such as granola bars, bottled water, and energy drinks in your Colorado. Keep in mind that some people are allergic to nuts, so it’s a good idea to stock some snacks that don’t contain high-allergenic ingredients. Keep snacks that won’t perish in the heat, and avoid things like chocolate that can quickly melt. Also, keep a supply of water treatment tablets that you can add to water from a river or stream. Store your snacks in a plastic or metal container to not attract mice or other rodents.
Think about the climate of the place you are exploring. If it gets cold, keep an emergency space blanket or a fleece blanket on hand. Also, have extra hats, gloves, socks, and jackets. A supply of chemical hand warmers can add warmth as needed as well. Store all in an extra-large zip lock-lock or a plastic bin to keep everything clean, dry, and ready to use if needed. If you’re stuck and the engine is working, you can use the heat, but think ahead to all possible scenarios, and it’s best to be well prepared. It’s also a good idea to have rain gear–nothing spoils an off-road adventure like getting soaked on the trail.
Be sure to pack at least one flashlight or headlamp, even if you don’t plan on staying out past dark. Don’t plan to count on your cell phone as a light source. Headlamps are a great way to keep your hands free as you tend to other duties–particularly if you need to conduct some quick repairs on your Colorado. Matches, a lighter, flares, and other fire and location detection sources are useful and don’t take much room in your survival kit.
On top of personal gear, you want to make sure you have gear for your truck. This includes a full-size spare tire, a jack, and some basic hand tools for any small fixes that are required. Specialized off-road gear like traction mats, an air compressor, and a come-along (if your Colorado hasn’t been outfitted with a winch) can make the difference between getting yourself home under your own power or spending hours waiting for help. If you are venturing far from civilization, some extra gas stored in appropriate containers can be a good idea as well.
As with any outdoor adventure, it’s a good idea to leave your itinerary with someone at home. Provide the location of your destination and your estimated time of return. You can also include the contact information for the National Park Service or other local authorities in the area where you will be, so your at-home person knows who to contact if you don’t return at the specified time. While the Colorado is a reliable and capable truck, you never know what might happen on the trail.
Know Your Terrain
Be familiar with the terrain where you will be traveling. If off-roading is new to you, it’s a good idea to know how to handle various conditions you might encounter. Driving in mud is very different than driving in deep sand, and likewise, snow, rocks, and water all have unique characteristics that require specific driving skills. Know the skills and when to use them.
Carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. You can carry a GPS, but it’s always good to have basic map and compass skills if something goes wrong with your GPS device. If you are unfamiliar with the area, it’s a good idea to do some research in advance and go with another driver with more experience if you can.
Stick to trails that are on the map. It might be tempting to follow off-trail paths that others created, but there is no guarantee they are safe to travel and that the trailblazer made it out without incident. If you come to a water crossing you didn’t anticipate, get out of your truck and check the depth on foot first. Driving into unknown water is a quick way to destroy your engine if it turns out to be deeper than you expected.
Travel in Pairs
Everything is more fun with friends, and off-roading is no exception. Plan to travel with two vehicles so that you always have a ride out if one vehicle is stranded. Keep your distance from the other vehicle while in motion, but it’s a good idea to keep each other in sight. Seasoned off-roaders will usually equip their trucks with two-way radios (either traditional CB or FRS/GMRS), allowing them to communicate with each other wherever they go, even if they are outside of cell service. If you do put a radio in your Colorado, double-check that it is working and that you and your friends have the right frequencies before you hit the trail.
Maintenance is Key
It’s always a good habit to keep your vehicle well maintained, and even more important when you plan an off-roading trip. Be sure all the fluids are topped off and that the tires are in good condition, inflated as appropriate for the terrain. Be sure that all passengers use their seatbelts and everything in the truck is adequately tied down to avoid injury if things move during the ride. If you think something might be wrong with your truck, have it checked out before you find yourself in the middle of nowhere.
Enjoy the Adventure
While it may seem like a lot to consider, most of it is really basic common sense and the same preparation you would for any outdoor adventure. Take the time to get to know your Chevy Colorado so that you can feel confident and enjoy your off-roading experience. If you are new to outdoor activities, off-roading is a great way to explore and enjoy the great outdoors. Preparing in advance leaves less to chance and helps to ensure a successful and enjoyable adventure for all. Look for local off-road groups in your area, and join in planned meetup adventures. It’s a great way to learn from others who share your passion.