Offroading can be a lot of fun if you own a vehicle capable of taking to the trail. However, there's no Department of Transportation in the middle of nowhere, so you need to know the challenges of the terrain and prepare yourself and your vehicle in order to safely leave the road.
The first thing to remember is that you should never offroad in a vehicle that cannot handle the challenge. You will have a great time offroading in a Jeep, for instance, but if you hit the trails with a sedan or a fancy SUV you'll ruin the engine and body of your vehicle. Buy the right car and know how to perform essential spot repairs if necessary. Know how to change a tire without relying too much on your car jack, for instance, and know how to check and add fluids.
Knowing your hardware is another important part of having a good experience off the road, so regardless of what you're driving, check all of your fluids and hoses before you head out. Check your tire pressure and keep a tire gauge with your vehicle at all times. If you're traveling up a mountain or in another environment where temperature and elevation could change rapidly, you'll want to check your tire pressure throughout the day to keep proper inflation.
A quality off-road vehicle can crawl over rocks, make its way through mud and effortlessly pass through snow without too much effort. Speed is not your friend when you're offroading, so don't assume that you need to jam on the gas to get from one point to another. If you're passing through particularly rough terrain, you should let your vehicle idle at a low gear and let the clutch out slowly. Let the vehicle take care of itself and always err on the side of caution.
Finally, remember to take your personal safety seriously. Minimize your risks by traveling with another person if you're on an unfamiliar trail. Bring a cell phone and a car charger in case of emergencies. You should also bring some distilled water, coolant, cat litter (for added traction in case you get stuck), a flashlight and a toolkit. If you're going to be on the trail for more than a few hours, you might also want to bring a couple of snacks.
Always keep your eyes open and remember that obstacles could appear at any time. Look ahead, be careful, and pay attention to your vehicle. You'll have an excellent time offroading if you have a capable vehicle and if you stay attentive, calm and prepared during your adventure.