If you get an offer to join someone for a 4×4 off-roading ‘play day’ during your time studying in the UK, it is advised not to pass it up because it is so much fun, exhilarating and even a chance to refine driving skills. One doesn’t need to be a petrol head to get a thrill out of driving up and down steep hills, through gigantic puddles and rivers of mud. It is also a great chance to see and speak to people who have modified their vehicles. It is a mechanic play ground.
I went for one such ‘play day’, as they are often called, a few weeks ago at an old quarry, which opens its gates once a month to off roaders who then try their trucks out on some really varied terrain. The course differs from quite easy driving, to some really quite extreme stuff, which only modified 4×4’s can handle.
Off roading around the UK is a popular past-time taken up by motoring enthusiasts, and their family and friends. It can be a reasonably in-expensive hobby to get into as old Landrover Discoveries or Suzuki Vitaras can be picked up quite cheap off of sites like Ebay. There are lots of off-roading sites that can checked out for more information on ‘play days’ and driver training, such as the BORDA 4×4 Driving Association.
My brother picked up his Land Rover Discovery for around the 500 pound mark, and my other brother a Suzuki Vitara for around the same price. There are loads that can be done to your truck so, the bill, of course, can wrack up when doing custom work, which many do, to some really impressive results.
Of course, drivers get stuck in the mud. First time drivers like myself get stuck and experienced ones do also. The atmosphere is great and other off roaders are happy to tow you out of your sticky situation, just like the kind driver who helped me, and, who actually had his truck filled up with his family as they seemed to be out on their Sunday family excursion, which I thought was great!
If you are considering taking to the wheel, or even being a passenger as both can be equally as fun, then a few things to remember:
Wellington boots: The mud is thick and deep, and the last time I went I was in a pair of ankle high boots. These were not adequate, at all, as a couple of times when stepping out the truck I stepped into knee deep mud.
Old clothes: There is no need to go off roading in your sunday best because it can be a very messy affair, but that is part of the fun. So, wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting grubby.
Warm clothes: It can get cold, and you don’t want your day ruined by being chilli, so take lots of warm clothes that will keep you warm, toasty and comfortable throughout the day.
Snacks and water: Keep your energy levels up with snacks and water throughout the day.
Form ore information visit the Pay N Play off roading site.
Have fun and keep safe!