The desert is both a beautiful and potentially dangerous place to drive but a few simple steps can help minimize the risks before you venture into the great outdoors. For some, the thought of driving off-road fills them with fears of getting stuck – so Ford has produced a series of helpful videos to help encourage drivers to take to the desert over the winter months.

In the second episode of the series – out today – Christoph Baur, Ford MEA Powertrain Engineering Supervisor and series co-host, says preparation is key to enjoying a fun day out into the sand.

Here are some of the tips provided by him if you are planning to go on off-road drives.

Ford MEA Desert Driving Tips

Ford MEA Desert Driving Tips

1. Before you go, you really need to make sure your car is ready for your trip: Always start with a full tank of fuel, and make sure that it has had a recent service and that the oil level and coolant levels are topped up.

2. You’re also going to need to take some gear with you. You’ll need to deflate your tyres – and there are a number of tools that can help you to do that. You will need to reinflate your tyres when you get back to the road – so you will need a compressor too.

3. You will need a recovery strap or rope, shackles – we use soft shackles which are safer and easier to use than metal ones – and a shovel. The most important thing is that you store your equipment safely so that it doesn’t bounce around the cabin as you drive – and it’s a good idea to check your gear regularly to make sure everything is still in good order.

4. Pack the car with plenty of food and water for you and your passengers, and don’t forget to take some warm clothes if you’re planning to be out overnight. Daytime temperatures drop off considerably at night, so you’ll need to wrap up.

5. Driving in a group minimizes the risk of getting stranded in the desert too – so it’s advisable to buddy up at least one other car, and preferably two or three others. Newer drivers should follow more experienced drivers because they will know how to pick a path through the desert that will help less experienced drivers gain confidence. They will also be able to pace the convoy, and double back and help anyone who needs it.

6. The idea is that you take everything you need to enjoy your day out. Quite often, there is no mobile coverage in the desert and no help nearby – so you need to be in a position to help yourself and others should they need it.

You can watch the latest episode or the series as it develops over the coming weeks by clicking here.