Actually there is an infinite number of things one could do to mess up a 4WD, but I will focus on the most likely things that you will encounter when off-road. Also, all of the following pages deal with light duty recreational use of average 4WD and SUV - just the clean and easy approach to discover the back country - hard core off-road fans need to look somewhere else for driving tips.
Since tire failure is the #1 cause for trouble when off-road, proper tire care and safe driving techniques are covered here first.
value of LT tires
cactus and other poking stuff
tire repair kit - plug & pump
To keep your SUV new and shiny, driving tips to save your paint are included as well.
Back country roads don't have any signs - nobody tells you what to do - you are on your own. That can make you pretty uneasy. But I'll give you a couple of pointers how to read the road ahead.
avoid speed (road gone)
know when tires want to spin - become a psychic
picking a good line (ruts & rocks)
Modern SUVs have lost a lot of their initial WW II ruggedness and some body parts need special attention. I'll tell what to look out for.
improve by building a ramp
help traction by placing 2nd rock
How to use 4WD
level A (dirt roads)
level B (bad dirt roads with obstructions)
level C ( unmaintained trails)
... and a lot of other valuable stuff:
you want larger tires?
how to drive (easy)
don't follow too closely
the right attitude (tread lightly etc.)
when to engage 4WD
how to engage 4WD (Jeep Grand Cherokee)
selecting 2WD, 4WD, 4Lo etc. etc.
starting in gear?
ABS or not ?
how to enage diff lock
when to engage differential locks
tire chains or not?
how many chains are needed?
maps and GPS
buddy system or not ?
automatics and 4WD
beach driving (cars hate soft sand)
deflating your tires ?
keeping or losing mud flaps
don't straddle - put tire on it (driver side)
keep your steering straight (mud/ruts)
if you stall - don't touch your clutch!!
if you get stuck