Off Roading / 4-Wheeling - Basic Info, Tips & Tricks

WhatExit?

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I don't see a forum for this topic so I thought I'd start one here as I've noticed a number of people bring this subject up. And I know a lot of Gladiator owners are first-time Jeep owners and many have never driven (or even been) off road.

There's a LOT of good info on the subject on the internet and we can share that and some relevant info here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A GUIDE TO OFF-ROADING FOR THE UNINITIATED
https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-cu...o-know-to-go-off-road-but-were-afraid-to-ask/





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WhatExit?

WhatExit?

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Jimmy

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I'll be the first to say this... it's ok to go out by yourself, if you are comfortable doing this. Everywhere you turn, someone is telling you to not go by yourself. Pfffft. If you're going to do it, then be prepared:
- If you have someone to tell, then leave your plan of the day with them. This also means check in with them after the day is done. If you go this route, then don't deviate from this plan. Should you not turn up, sending a search-and-rescue team to the wrong area is a waste of time and resources, not to mention adding to the time it'll take for someone to find you.
- Have a backup plan to get back to civilization, and be able to execute it. Don't tell yourself "I'll hike out" if you are not physically fit enough to do it.
- Take supplies of all kinds:
-- Food and water
-- Tools and vehicle supplies
-- Self-recovery and extraction
- Make wise decisions while out. Be more cautious than normal. Walk an obstacle before driving it. Turn around, if need be.
- Have comms and know how to use it/them. Cell phones must be in range. CBs have a very short range. HAM radios have a longer range, but you must know what frequency to use. APRS HAM radios will provide locations (when properly set up). There are other back-country comms devices out there, and they're not cheap. Have something and know how to use it.
- Location, location, location. Have a map, and a way to locate yourself. Nearly all of us has a smartphone; download maps and turn on the GPS.
 

Troybilt

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I'll be the first to say this... it's ok to go out by yourself, if you are comfortable doing this. Everywhere you turn, someone is telling you to not go by yourself. Pfffft. If you're going to do it, then be prepared:
- If you have someone to tell, then leave your plan of the day with them. This also means check in with them after the day is done. If you go this route, then don't deviate from this plan. Should you not turn up, sending a search-and-rescue team to the wrong area is a waste of time and resources, not to mention adding to the time it'll take for someone to find you.
- Have a backup plan to get back to civilization, and be able to execute it. Don't tell yourself "I'll hike out" if you are not physically fit enough to do it.
- Take supplies of all kinds:

- Make wise decisions while out. Be more cautious than normal. Walk an obstacle before driving it. Turn around, if need be.
-
I agree 100% It is the same way with hunting.
 

Jimmy

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I agree 100% It is the same way with hunting.
I updated my post, as I managed to fat finger a key or two and posted before I was ready. :) Agreed that this applies to lots of activities outside of offroading. I like to hike, fish, photograph, and combine all these with offroading. I'm not going to limit myself to doing these things only when someone else can come along.
 

Troybilt

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I updated my post, as I managed to fat finger a key or two and posted before I was ready. :) Agreed that this applies to lots of activities outside of offroading. I like to hike, fish, photograph, and combine all these with offroading. I'm not going to limit myself to doing these things only when someone else can come along.
Wish he would of brought a photo buddy I was hoping for desert with my meal:LOL:
530-L.jpg
 
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WhatExit?

WhatExit?

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I'll be the first to say this... it's ok to go out by yourself, if you are comfortable doing this. Everywhere you turn, someone is telling you to not go by yourself. Pfffft. If you're going to do it, then be prepared:
- If you have someone to tell, then leave your plan of the day with them. This also means check in with them after the day is done. If you go this route, then don't deviate from this plan. Should you not turn up, sending a search-and-rescue team to the wrong area is a waste of time and resources, not to mention adding to the time it'll take for someone to find you.
- Have a backup plan to get back to civilization, and be able to execute it. Don't tell yourself "I'll hike out" if you are not physically fit enough to do it.
- Take supplies of all kinds:
-- Food and water
-- Tools and vehicle supplies
-- Self-recovery and extraction
- Make wise decisions while out. Be more cautious than normal. Walk an obstacle before driving it. Turn around, if need be.
- Have comms and know how to use it/them. Cell phones must be in range. CBs have a very short range. HAM radios have a longer range, but you must know what frequency to use. APRS HAM radios will provide locations (when properly set up). There are other back-country comms devices out there, and they're not cheap. Have something and know how to use it.
- Location, location, location. Have a map, and a way to locate yourself. Nearly all of us has a smartphone; download maps and turn on the GPS.

Maybe you go where your cell service and GPS works and your CBs, HAM and other comms work. If not maybe you'll have a SAT phone or other emergency device.

You've given good advice about being cautious and walking obstacles before driving (and turning around if need be). BUT you're really talking about a near-perfect scenario. Look, you can go out yourself IF a lot of things. Maybe where you're going there is cell and radio service. And maybe there are a number of others who are wheeling in the area (then you're not really alone).

Every How-To off road expert and book starts with "don't go wheeling alone" (in 1 vehicle) and they say it for a reason :)
 

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Maybe you go where your cell service and GPS works and your CBs, HAM and other comms work. If not maybe you'll have a SAT phone or other emergency device.

You've given good advice about being cautious and walking obstacles before driving (and turning around if need be). BUT you're really talking about a near-perfect scenario. Look, you can go out yourself IF a lot of things. Maybe where you're going there is cell and radio service. And maybe there are a number of others who are wheeling in the area (then you're not really alone).

Every How-To off road expert and book starts with "don't go wheeling alone" (in 1 vehicle) and they say it for a reason :)
Heck there's plenty of areas in Iowa where a phone won't work - and GPS can be tricky in fog on a cloudy day.
You might have service for a while, then go along and suddenly - no service. GPS doesn't rely on cell service thankfully but does rely on the sky cooperating. What's the range of a CB? I forgot - mine is in a cupboard in my garage, haven't used it since the 1980s.
Alaska - went for hours with no cell service.
All it takes is to stumble into a hole and wreck an ankle.
Recall the guy who was on the old show "Wild Kingdom" years ago - going along, stumbled, fell and ran a stick up into his sinuses. He was an expert at wild stuff. Get out into the middle of somewhere (or nowhere) and bust an axle or something fails - and you are hours walking from anywhere. Stuff happens even to pros. Keep a good snake bite kit with you if heading to the river by my place.
 

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‘Agreed! I glanced at it, since I haven’t been off-road much since my CJ7 died a couple of years back. That link has tons of good info!

I have to state, though, that you shouldn’t be afraid to try some off-road experiences solo. Just be smart and prepared for mishap. I’ve been stuck In the mud twice in my CJ and only had my then-14-year-old daughter with me. We had more fun because of it both times!

I decided to winch out of the mud the first time because I hadn’t locked my hubs and we were in it to the top of the tire (33" Nittos). Even if we hadn’t been able to winch out of it, we were only a quarter mile from the nearest house where friends live - believe me, I wasn’t expecting a mud pit that close to civilization! Our shoes were clogged with mud, but our faces were shining bright!

The second time I sunk it past the tires I had remembered to lock the hubs first (old dogs CAN learn new tricks!). A simple flip of the Dana transfer into 4L and granny gear climbed out of it like nothing (FrankenJeep has a T18 Ford transmission in it). That time we didn’t even have to get out of the Jeep!

I thought I had pics on this iPad. I’ll have to look for them and post them later.
 

WK2JT

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Great thread. I've been researching the advantages of lockers over Jeep's BLD. I've been so impressed with BLD, that I'm debating whether to install ARBs or not. Especially in the JT with the reduced break-over and departure angles, I'm seriously debating the benefit of lockers for me and my personal wheeling needs in the JT. If I had a JL, I could see situations where they might be beneficial. What are other's thoughts on this in the JT? I have to say the BLD really surprised me because I was dead set on installing lockers initially.
 

hjdca

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Great thread. I've been researching the advantages of lockers over Jeep's BLD. I've been so impressed with BLD, that I'm debating whether to install ARBs or not. Especially in the JT with the reduced break-over and departure angles, I'm seriously debating the benefit of lockers for me and my personal wheeling needs in the JT. If I had a JL, I could see situations where they might be beneficial. What are other's thoughts on this in the JT? I have to say the BLD really surprised me because I was dead set on installing lockers initially.
It depends on the terrain.

From what I have seen, the biggest advantage is going slow on very low traction situations.. attenuated by additional ruts, obstacles, and hills. If you lose momentum and start spinning -- usually BLD will alternate spinning back and forth between the tires -- you can tap the brakes or turn the wheels --- but, sometimes that is not enough... Lockers all the way around are much, much harder to spin...

Think of it this way.... For BLD, all you need is one wheel to lose traction and you have to change your driving -- either speed, or turning the wheel, change your line, etc... With Lockers all the way around, all 4 wheels have to lose traction before you have to change the way your are driving and the line you are taking....

Just a few years back, Lockers were rare... Most people, like me, wheeled for years with old V8 Trucks and SUVs with straight axles an leaf springs. None of them had lockers or BLD. If we were worried about making it up a hill with obstacles or low traction, we just went faster... Faster and turning the wheel was always the answer... lol...

The JT has my first front locker... Do I like it ? yes. Have I needed it ? yes, 3 times or so. What is the biggest advantage ? It allows you go slower, stay in your line, and be more cautious about breakage.

Of Course, if I only could get one locker, it would be on the rear.
 

WK2JT

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It depends on the terrain.

From what I have seen, the biggest advantage is going slow on very low traction situations.. attenuated by additional ruts, obstacles, and hills. If you lose momentum and start spinning -- usually BLD will alternate spinning back and forth between the tires -- you can tap the brakes or turn the wheels --- but, sometimes that is not enough... Lockers all the way around are much, much harder to spin...

Think of it this way.... For BLD, all you need is one wheel to lose traction and you have to change your driving -- either speed, or turning the wheel, change your line, etc... With Lockers all the way around, all 4 wheels have to lose traction before you have to change the way your are driving and the line you are taking....

Just a few years back, Lockers were rare... Most people, like me, wheeled for years with old V8 Trucks and SUVs with straight axles an leaf springs. None of them had lockers or BLD. If we were worried about making it up a hill with obstacles or low traction, we just went faster... Faster and turning the wheel was always the answer... lol...

The JT has my first front locker... Do I like it ? yes. Have I needed it ? yes, 3 times or so. What is the biggest advantage ? It allows you go slower, stay in your line, and be more cautious about breakage.

Of Course, if I only could get one locker, it would be on the rear.
Yeah, my younger years were spent using the go pedal a lot more. I was just incredibly impressed by BLD on the trails in CO and it did everything I was comfortable doing in the JT. I can definitely see the benefit of lockers allowing you to do things in a much slower and controlled fashion. I just don't know if, for me personally, I'll be in those situations in the JT. I have to be more mindful of the wheelbase and the overhang, than I would in a JL. Like I said, going into this I was prepared and mind made up that I needed to add lockers, then my wheeling trip to CO has seeded doubt. Just a testament to how far modern 4x4 and technology has come. I'm thinking lockers for me at this point would be a very marginal gain on the JT, unlike they would have been years ago.
 

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