Fortunately, there are rules, guidelines, and laws regarding offroading, and all of them apply to offroad Subarus. Multiple organizations have been formed over the years to help spread awareness of some of the common misconceptions and mistakes people make when offroading.
In general, we as an offroading community need to do our best to preserve and protect the land we use.
This includes sticking to designated and marked trails (or areas for OHV parks), abiding by seasonal trail closures, obtaining Off-Highway Vehicle Permits where necessary, camping only where allowed, among other things you can find at the resources below. Failure to follow these rules, guidelines, and laws gives more ammunition to the “anti-offroaders” to shut down your local trails, national forests, and OHV parks for offroad use.
It is everyone’s responsibility to teach others as best we can about these guidelines, in order to help people understand why it is so important.
Some of these resources include:
2-inch lift kits, better tires (including a full-size spare), skid plates, and a tow hitch are the “basics” for an offroad Subaru. Most of the time, all-in-all, a basic “typical” offroad-oriented Subaru would cost roughly $2300 in parts (if you install yourself). All of these items have many (or at least a few) options for brands, materials, design, etc; meaning this price can vary depending on your brand choices, DIYing ability, installation costs, etc.
There are other modifications that can improve your capability and performance, including but not limited to; more lift, drivetrain changes (manual to automatic swap, high-stall torque converter, etc), power adders (turbo, supercharger, etc), extra cooling (oil cooler, ATF cooler, larger radiator, etc), rock sliders, aftermarket bumpers, winches, the list goes on. Most of this again depends on your DIYing abilities, resources, and/or money situation.
Just because you DON’T have these other items, most of the time does not mean you can’t or won't go as far vs the “basic” setup listed above.
Please reference REI’s "10 Essentials" list for more ideas:
We recommend the following at a bare minimum for most trail runs, no matter the time of year:
Highly Recommended Gear To Add:
(One of our admins is working alongside some local off-road communities to come up with a “Basic Subaru Recovery Kit” that would suit most Subarus.) A current *draft* version of this list via Amazon.com can be found here: http://a.co/9iqjZOS
This question becomes quite controversial whenever it is asked, as every customer of almost every major Subaru lift kit manufacturer has had both good and bad experiences. This question is mainly based on personal opinions and preferences.
We at O.S.CO recommend SubieLiftOz (SLO) kits from Australia, due to Matt Chaplin’s customer service, quality of parts, and very quick turnaround times. Paired with standard height springs, this combination provides a very comfortable ride with improved ground clearance and load handling for your gear.
Other manufacturers include but are not limited to; LP Adventure, Anderson Design & Fabrication (ADF), Subtle Solutions, Rallitek, SubieFish, BoostFactory, and Subiworks
The type of communications used will vary depending on your group and what they prefer.
We like to use two-way walkie talkies to communicate. These are cheap, easy to find, as well as free and easy to use. (Don't worry, many of us carry many spare radios for those who may not have one).
Some of us have our Amateur Radio License through the FCC, so some local simplex frequencies and/or repeaters are sometimes used for longer-distance communications. Another option that is not as common with O.S.CO is CB’s.
**Please only go on trails AT YOUR OWN RISK and follow the designated trail. We DO NOT guarantee a trail is doable in your vehicle, and we are NOT responsible for damage to your vehicle or other property.**
We at O.S.CO currently have a small list of “easy” trails most “Naturally Taller” (Forester, Outback, Crosstrek) Subarus should be able to go on (with lots of caution and at your own risk) stock most of the year with minimal issues. This list will grow with time, and will eventually be its own page.
Some of these (Central to Denver/Boulder for time being, please ask in the group for your specific area, as we have members all over the state) include: