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Discussion Starter #1
Me and a group of guys plan to take our first off-road trip in a couple of weeks and I was wondering if anyone had any "trade secrets" to make the trip more successful/more enjoyable?

We will have at least 2 jeeps with winches and will have medical supplies for emergencies. Aside from proper attire, gloves, towels, etc. What all would you guys recommend? Gear and any other tips?
 

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Where are you going offroad? That might help people give you some tips...

Glad to hear you've got medical supplies, a big one for me is to bring plenty of water for drinking.
 

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Not trying to be a dick, but wanted to make sure that if you had time to read the sticky in this forum about trail etiquette, tools and equipment. I have read through there several times and added/subtracted from my own experience. It is just a good thread all around.

You are on the right track for sure with multiple vehicles, winches and medical supplies. Make sure you have plenty of water, trash bags, recovery gear as far as straps and D-rings. Undoubtedly you will find stuff that you didn't use or wish you add. I use the notepad on my phone to make notes of items I need to add to my packing.

Have a great first trip and report up on how it goes, photos are always welcomed!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Where are you going offroad? That might help people give you some tips...

Glad to hear you've got medical supplies, a big one for me is to bring plenty of water for drinking.
Right now the plan is to make a run to Gulches as suing he is open and the weather cooperates.

Not trying to be a dick, but wanted to make sure that if you had time to read the sticky in this forum about trail etiquette, tools and equipment. I have read through there several times and added/subtracted from my own experience. It is just a good thread all around.

You are on the right track for sure with multiple vehicles, winches and medical supplies. Make sure you have plenty of water, trash bags, recovery gear as far as straps and D-rings. Undoubtedly you will find stuff that you didn't use or wish you add. I use the notepad on my phone to make notes of items I need to add to my packing.

Have a great first trip and report up on how it goes, photos are always welcomed!!
Yup, I read the stickies and got some great info and ideas, I guess I should have worded the question better. I am more looking for outside the box ideas. Maybe personal findings that would not normally be associated or thought about with wheeling, like your tip of taking notes of whats needed for the next trip.

All the tips so far have been good though!
 

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Read up on winching techniques and bring whatever spare parts you can such as drive shafts, axles, spare fan belt. Do a search on here for JK wrench sizes. Have fun, be safe and save the drinking and "whatever" for the campfire. Pics when you get back.:gluging:
 

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Gulches is a great little park, you will have a blast.

Get Skip to give you a tour of the park before you and your group hit the trails, he will show you all the stuff you want to do and give you an idea of difficulty of each trail/obstacle.

Here is a tip you won't get in the stickie threads....do NOT go in the mud holes at Gulches. I'm not talking about standing water areas that may be on the trails, I'm talking about the mud holes in the lower areas near the river. They are deep, damn deep and you will not get out. some are 5 to 10 feet deep with mud.
 

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Jealous...I was at the Gulches for their first Mega 4x4 Challenge when I still lived in SC. never got to wheel there. Bring toilet paper, it beats the hell out of a pine cone.
 

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My advice would be to keep it simple. Don't bury things you will definitely need too deep in the load. That little storage thing in the floor is real handy normally but not when stuff you need is in it and you have to unload all your gear to access it. Especially in the mud...
Not familiar with Gulches but if you have to wheel with your camping gear bring tie downs and bungies to eliminate rattles and clunks. They slowly wear at your patience.
Save the harder trails for later so you don't break something early in your trip.

As far as driving...relax. just stay calm and dont white knuckle the steering wheel. Visualize what you want to do and where you want the wheels to go(I sound like the guy from Happy Gilmore). Seriously though, look at where you want the tires and even if you have to look away they usually go there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Gulches is a great little park, you will have a blast.

Get Skip to give you a tour of the park before you and your group hit the trails, he will show you all the stuff you want to do and give you an idea of difficulty of each trail/obstacle.

Here is a tip you won't get in the stickie threads....do NOT go in the mud holes at Gulches. I'm not talking about standing water areas that may be on the trails, I'm talking about the mud holes in the lower areas near the river. They are deep, damn deep and you will not get out. some are 5 to 10 feet deep with mud.
WOW great advice, thanks! That would be terrible since Ill be running all stock.

Jealous...I was at the Gulches for their first Mega 4x4 Challenge when I still lived in SC. never got to wheel there. Bring toilet paper, it beats the hell out of a pine cone.
Lol, That was definitely on the list, sounds like a bad experience? Jk.:)

As far as driving...relax. just stay calm and dont white knuckle the steering wheel. Visualize what you want to do and where you want the wheels to go(I sound like the guy from Happy Gilmore). Seriously though, look at where you want the tires and even if you have to look away they usually go there.
So You are saying find my happy place? Lol, Solid advice though!


Thanks to everyone so far. I am super excited and am definitely looking forward to wheeling for the first time!!
 

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two things I learned many years ago.
don't follow in your buddies ruts, or any ruts for that matter. at some point ruts may get deep enough to high center your ride.

keep your thumbs out of the steering wheel. A lot of people don't think of this but do it reflexively. if your thumb is wrapped around the wheel and it jerks hard to the side it can jam your thumb pretty good.

I've taken a couple buddies to medics for that one.
 

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start off slow. do not be embarrassed to hit the easy trails first. get your feet wet with those, get a good handle on what you feel comfortable doing and what your jeep can do then slowly start hitting some harder trails.
 

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it is very much like war ; don't EVER be afraid to retreat , look at your 'attack' from multiple perspectives & if all of that and you still feel it is inevitably a win-less scenario, live to "fight" another day [ IOWs , choose your line, dedicate to it until you KNOW it is a bad idea and then back off , even if the other make it and you are being egged on. Take a winch and at least one of you should also have a HiLift. As the others said, no-no-no thumbs EVER in the steering wheel on rocks or in 4L or 4H ( it will become natural over time) and if you're wheeling stock, be hyper aware of high-centering and that flannel-thick oil-pan. your tires are vital and should be between 9 and 15 psi depending upon the terrain ( very approximate but any lower and you could lose a bead) . Don't follow too close and dont get too far behind. If you don't have CBs , setup basic hand or head/taillight indicators and whoever is next to last should watch the guy in front and behind him.
Freaking do not think you have a monster truck and try to ford water too fast or too deep and ( sorry) mud sucks.
Have first aid per the sticky on trail etiquette and most of all do not indulge until finished for the day. Besides that, and the repeating of all the other folks comments a second time, check your rig thoroughly afterwards and wash all the stuff out and off it before it dries.
I scared all my co-pilots away loooong ago and yet amaze them at coming home* with only trail pin-striping ( oh yeah; dont get panties in a wad about the scrapes; they are inevitable) and huge smiles on my face again and again. And, I take my DD up the trails with the SouthEastern rock-buggies & propane , square drive shaft truggies are flippin granite and limestone.... then I pass 'em and their trailered machines doin 85mph , headed home in the same rig I was climbing beside them with earlier ( albeit slower :cwm13:) with..... Also, make sure someone knows where you're going that is not with you and the general time frame. Non JKURs might want to disconnect the 18mm Sway-bar bolts from the azxle mount tabs to allow for better ground contact to be maintained but maybe you will enjoy that first time your passenger wheel comes off the ground 4-5 feet in the air....
besides all that , go beat the snot outta that thing and have a blast. Photos or we wont believe you.
Jeep on.....



(*yes; I am a rule breaker and *gasp* wheel alone; that means no one in pig with me.....I know the owners where I go beat my Jeep - AORP, Wooly's,BeasleyKnob, Windrock, Turkey Bay ,Uwharrie, blah blah....I have been doing this for a good while and do NOT advocate going alone if you value your life.....and Jeep and family....fwiw, I could drive a Jeep before I could ride a bike)
 

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it is very much like war ; don't EVER be afraid to retreat , look at your 'attack' from multiple perspectives & if all of that and you still feel it is inevitably a win-less scenario, live to "fight" another day [ IOWs , choose your line, dedicate to it until you KNOW it is a bad idea and then back off , even if the other make it and you are being egged on. Take a winch and at least one of you should also have a HiLift. As the others said, no-no-no thumbs EVER in the steering wheel on rocks or in 4L or 4H ( it will become natural over time) and if you're wheeling stock, be hyper aware of high-centering and that flannel-thick oil-pan. your tires are vital and should be between 9 and 15 psi depending upon the terrain ( very approximate but any lower and you could lose a bead) . Don't follow too close and dont get too far behind. If you don't have CBs , setup basic hand or head/taillight indicators and whoever is next to last should watch the guy in front and behind him.
Freaking do not think you have a monster truck and try to ford water too fast or too deep and ( sorry) mud sucks.
Have first aid per the sticky on trail etiquette and most of all do not indulge until finished for the day. Besides that, and the repeating of all the other folks comments a second time, check your rig thoroughly afterwards and wash all the stuff out and off it before it dries.
I scared all my co-pilots away loooong ago and yet amaze them at coming home* with only trail pin-striping ( oh yeah; dont get panties in a wad about the scrapes; they are inevitable) and huge smiles on my face again and again. And, I take my DD up the trails with the SouthEastern rock-buggies & propane , square drive shaft truggies are flippin granite and limestone.... then I pass 'em and their trailered machines doin 85mph , headed home in the same rig I was climbing beside them with earlier ( albeit slower :cwm13:) with..... Also, make sure someone knows where you're going that is not with you and the general time frame. Non JKURs might want to disconnect the 18mm Sway-bar bolts from the azxle mount tabs to allow for better ground contact to be maintained but maybe you will enjoy that first time your passenger wheel comes off the ground 4-5 feet in the air....
besides all that , go beat the snot outta that thing and have a blast. Photos or we wont believe you.
Jeep on.....



(*yes; I am a rule breaker and *gasp* wheel alone; that means no one in pig with me.....I know the owners where I go beat my Jeep - AORP, Wooly's,BeasleyKnob, Windrock, Turkey Bay ,Uwharrie, blah blah....I have been doing this for a good while and do NOT advocate going alone if you value your life.....and Jeep and family....fwiw, I could drive a Jeep before I could ride a bike)
Damn j3ff3ry, you forgot to tell him that you play the banjo and have purdy lips.:thefinger:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ALL great info. Thanks everyone. I am very excited and will post up some pics after the trip! I literally can't wait.
 

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The biggest mistakes I see newbs make is to (a) not air down enough and (b) avoid 4LO.

Air down to 15 PSI, even 13-12 PSI, to get as much traction as you can. Better to loose an inch of clearance than get denied on every obstacle. Airing down also makes the ride softer, more pleasant, and easier on your shocks and suspension.

Switch into 4LO as soon as you hit the trails and stay in 4LO until you're off the trails. Yes, this will limit your top speed, but unless you're in open desert that's not going to be your concern. I hear people bragging all the time that they didn't need to use 4LO all day. Then they complain about replacing clutches or auto transmissions or transfer cases six months later. 4LO lets your engine, trans and transfer case work more efficiently and subjects them to less abuse.

And if you have a Rubicon you have to be in 4LO to engage the lockers (unless you have a programmer that can override). Of course once you're stuck you probably won't be able to shift into 4LO, so your lockers will be useless.

Next is to leave space between you and the vehicle in front of you, while not loosing sight of the vehicle behind you. The guy in front of you might need to back-up to take a different line or k-turn through a tight turn, or might loose traction going up hill. If he gets stuck you might need to find a different line around him to help with recovery. Give the guy some breathing room so he can worry about driving his rig and not about yours being in the way.

At the same time, loosing sight of the guy behind you is a big pet peeve of mine. Many times I've had groups get split-up and waste time trying to find each other because someone wasn't "checking six" and the guy behind him made a wrong turn, or just got stuck with nobody in front of him to help.

Finally, when traversing a difficult obstacle use the relay system to help rigs that need help. First guy through gets his recovery strap out and waits for the second guy, to help spot when requested or lend a tug with his strap. Second guy through waits for the third. And so on. Do this and a stuck only adds a couple minutes per rig instead of wasting half an hour. Don't waste time setting-up winch pulls unless absolutely necessary.
 

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Just take it slow and easy until you get comfortable driving off road and familiar with the capabilities of your JK. Plan ahead but focus on where you are currently at. As BumpintheRoad said being in 4Lo and aired down will help you get out of trouble and provide max traction in most cases so you don't even have to think about it. After a few trips it will become natural and easy and your mind will start thinking about all of the additional things you could do if you had certain mods. :D
 

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Try not to enjoy it too much.

I'm warning you. You will get hooked and it will get expensive!

It is fun though.

PS you can spend alot of money on mods that the wife will never notice ;)
 
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