July 30, 2012

Mistakes you're probably – almost certainly – going to make

If you're new to four wheel driving, you will almost certainly make these mistakes. But don't worry, almost everybody does so you're in good company.
  • Your first 4WD will be all wrong. The vehicle friends tell you to buy, that the specs tell you to buy and your wife tells you to buy will not be the one you need for club-level off-roading. Only experience will tell you what is the right vehicle.
  • Don't try to fix the above mistake by buying all sorts of accessories and modifications. Once you have off-road wisdom, cut your losses, get rid of the dog you own and buy the one you really need. It may still need modifications, but the basic vehicle will be right.
  • After a few months of hitting the tracks and trails, you're not as good an off-road driver as you think you are. Be very careful.
  • You don't need an expensive long-travel suspension AND front and rear differential locks. Choose one or the other. I'd go with the lockers.
  • Always know where your wheels are pointing.
Update: Check the comments below for readers' additions to the list.


  1. If nyone knows abot screwing up its you.

  2. * Power and Revs are no substitute for Momentum, Technique, and Luck

    * Two-way radios are not optional luxuries.

    * Be ruthless in culling junk from the back. But something that is unique can't ever be left out (oddball sized wheel brace for getting the spare off)

    * Recoveries need a coordinator - one person in charge. Cowboys end up hurting people.

    * Mucking in to help others means they'll do the same for you.

    * If you don't risk getting stuck, may as well be on the road.

    1. Thanks for your list. Anyone else like to contribute?

  3. The trip leader is always an idiot.

    The thing that breaks will be the only one you're not carrying a spare for.

    The last trail of the day is always the longest/hardest.