A Sneak Peek at the Trail Course Driving Experience

Editor’s Note: Tobin Vigil wrote this excellent preview of what attendees can expect from the Trail Course Driving Experience at Overland Expo PNW.

The Overland Expo Trail Course Driving Experience is where adventure meets education in a dynamic one-hour session focused on safely navigating vehicles through diverse terrain using mechanical sympathy and Tread Lightly principles. This immersive experience is designed to empower both drivers and passengers with the knowledge and skills needed to tackle off-road challenges with confidence and responsibility.

Overland Expo Trainers on the Trail Course Driving Experience with attendees.
Photo by John Allen

Before hitting the trail, participants will engage in a discussion on vehicle capabilities, off road driving experience and driver setup. These topics might include things such as vehicle preparation, past experience, and driver and passenger safety.

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During the session, participants will learn about the various types of terrain and terrain features they may encounter, from hills to ruts and rocky trails, and how to effectively navigate through them with sympathy for the vehicle, passengers, and terrain. Concepts such as reconnoitering a route and the importance of being able to “spot” or guide a vehicle through challenging terrain will be emphasized, ensuring that participants develop a holistic understanding of off-road driving techniques.

Photo by John Allen

Furthermore, instructors will highlight specific vehicle characteristics and technologies available, allowing attendees to leverage the unique capabilities of their vehicles for maximum performance and safety.

Instructors will lead two vehicles at a time through the course. Each vehicle will take the lead for half of their time on the course. This will provide a unique experience as participants will be able to have an internal and external view of the terrain and how the vehicles react. This hands-on approach will provide participants with a tangible understanding of the challenges they’ll face on the trail and how to overcome them effectively.

Photo by John Allen

Our professional off-road driving instructors will guide and coach participants through the terrain, offering personalized guidance tailored to individual skill levels and vehicle capabilities. Our instructors are career adventurers and professional instructors with hundreds of years of combined experience. Whether you’re a novice seeking to build confidence behind the wheel or an experienced off-roader looking to refine your skills, our instructors will ensure that you leave the Overland Expo Driving Experience with the knowledge and confidence needed to tackle off-road adventures responsibly and safely. So buckle up and get ready to embark on the off-road adventure at Overland Expo Pacific Northwest!

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