because complaining and ranting on facebook gets tiring

Friday, July 31, 2015

Post #10 "wheeling alone"

Wheeling alone. I'm sure a lot of guys do it and are fine, but if you're going to do it then at least be safe about it. Before we even begin to discuss your vehicle capabilities, I don't care if you have a KOH buggy or a stock XJ; TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU'RE GOING. And make sure that someone has a vehicle that can get out to you or at least knows someone who is willing to come get you if something happens. Besides letting someone know where you're going, you should know where YOU are going too. Don't go exploring new trails/areas by yourself, and if you don't know the trail, chances are you probably gave your buddy very vague details about that trail/area which will just make it that much harder to locate you. You might be in for a long night...

Pic-1. we came across this loner in Keene, NH. Prime example of what not to do
 Be prepared, again, a fully built buggy or a stock jeep, shit happens. Even if you do tell someone where you're going it may take them a couple of hours or more just to find you if something happens. Bring food, water, a blanket, change of clothes, maybe something to start a fire, like I said, you could be in for a long night, be ready for it. Even if it's 100 degrees during the day, that can plummet real quick once the sun goes down, and the last thing you need after breaking down alone is to freeze and starve overnight. You should also consider reception in the area you're in, even if you let someone know where you're going, if you can't send out your SOS you're screwed unless the person starts to wonder why you missed dinner plans or something. I'm sure some guys carry around satellite phones or some sort of GPS so people know where they are, I honestly don't know anything about them so I can't give any details.

About two years ago I went wheeling with the Long Island Offroad Club in Keene, NH. On our way out of the trails we came across this ZJ stuck in a mud pit up to his tires. This kid was the prime example of what not to do when wheeling alone. Bald tires, no winch, no brain and too much teenage hormones, the closest thing he had to being prepared for wheeling alone was a bunch of teenage girls in his backseat which probably didn't help with getting stuck. We have no idea how long he was there, but when we showed up he was bouncing off the rev limiter trying to move. It ended up taking two trucks winching him to get unstuck. Who knows how long he would have been there for if we didn't show up.
Another angle of the genius

Being prepared also means make sure your vehicle is prepared too. At the very least, if you plan on going wheeling alone, get a winch and proper equipment to recover yourself if you need to, that includes snatch blocks, shackles, tree saves, etc...and learn how to use them, this includes learning how to winch yourself backwards. The worst time to learn how to recover yourself is when you're by yourself in the middle of the woods when the sun is setting. Aside from winches and all that crap, make sure your vehicle is reliable. If your vehicle has a history of shutting off and not starting back up, you may have a bad time. You don't need a built rig to go wheeling by yourself, you just need to know your limit and stay well below it.

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