When driving off road, your vehicle will try and steer itself, in so much that the front wheels will try and find the path of least resistance. Therefore, it is important not to grasp the steering wheel with your thumbs inside the spokes, as a jolt to the tyres could (worst case scenario) break your thumb.
Fording a stream
Make sure your doors are shut properly - The door seals are designed to prevent the ingress of water.
Switch off lights (unless it is so dark you cannot see) - as cold water hitting a hot bulb will "blow" the bulb. Also, low fitted lamps might possibly let in water and the short circuit will blow a fuse.
Wait for the vehicle in front to clear the ford before you make your attempt. You want to aim to get to dry land and not have to stop on a possibly slippy exit ramp.
The preferred method of fording deep water is to travel at the same speed as the bow wave that forms in front of your vehicle. This phenomena creates a lower water level in the engine bay thus assisting in keeping it running.
Tip: Use low box.
Important - if the engine stalls in deep water, do not attempt to restart it unless you are absolutely sure the exhaust is not under water.
If you do stall the engine when fording deep water, there is the strong possibility that with the lack of exhaust pressure, water will travel back up the exhaust pipe and siphon into the engine. If you try to then start the engine, the pistons will not be able to compress the water so something will bend or break - normally the con rods - which means a new engine.
If you are unfortunate enough to stall whilst fording a river, switch off the engine and all electrics. Summon help and get towed to dry land. Remove all the spark/glow plugs and then turn the engine over a few times to expel any water that might have gotten into the engine. When all is dry, refit the plugs and all going well you’ll be back on your way.
There is no real trick to this. If you can't find the right normal gear that will get you up without the engine struggling (labouring), try a low ratio gear. Your journey to the top will be slower but your engine will thank you for it. Note that in low ratio mode, it is difficult to make smooth gear changes - don't be too aggressive so as to break something by snatching through the gears. It is often desirable to select the required gear for a climb and start off in that gear on a more level track.
Failed hill climb (i.e., you stalled or got stuck) - don't panic. Ensure engine is switched off. Take your feet of the pedals, leaving it in gear. Relax and breath. So you can't go up, better to reverse down. Handbrake on, clutch, into reverse, off clutch handbrake off. Check steering wheel is straight. Check behind is clear. ignition off, then to on, then start engine and immediately we are driving backwards under control.
The trick here is "engine braking". Engage the low box and 1st gear. Take all feet off the pedals and let your vehicle descend the hill at its own speed. If you feel that the speed is too dramatic, lightly apply the brake, but only enough to slow down the engine (not the wheels).
Different types of mud need different types of technique. For some, normal 4x4 will do. Others need a bit more commitment (or power). Similar to fording a river, wait for the vehicle in front to clear the mud before you make your attempt
Please drive in the existing ruts and don’t make any new ones. Occasionally, the ruts will get deeper in so much that your vehicles under protection will rub and scrape, which will naturally slow you down therefore requiring a little more power.
A note to gate operators and parents of children – Gates will most probably have been opened/closed by farmers, who will have handled livestock, feed and fertilizers – please ensure your hands are clean before eating.