What are you willing to sacrifice?
It’s time to turn up your inner Jeeper. This is probably the most important message you’ll ever hear about the off-pavement, overlanding, Jeeping, adventure-based lifestyle. It’s about trust!
Have you asked yourself just who you (really) trust to spot your rig through a threatening obstacle? What about seeking your deepest thoughts on who in your fam do you trust to be there if something bad happens to you on the trail?
And what about your rig itself; do you trust it to get you home?
This is the JK that took Chris Collard and me on an overlanding adventure from Mexico to Canada — all dirt roads. We trusted this rig to get us home.
Trust in motorized recreation covers three general areas: 1) your gear; 2) your rig; and 3) your friends, homies, traveling companions.
Trust in your gear
Let’s talk about gear. Your tent, tools, air-up system, coffee pot, ice chest, and many other items come into play when wheeling that you just might HAVE to depend on. Do you trust them?
Is your PowerTank full? Are all your tools back in the tool bag where they belong? Will your tent hold up to wind? Is your phone/GPS up to date and working properly?
The list of gear questions goes on. In simplest of terms, do a quick (even mental) inventory of your key gear and ask, “do I trust it to do its job?”
Knowing what you have is dependable (and complete) makes all the difference…
If you have something in your inventory that is questionable, make the time and effort to fix it or replace it.
Trust in your rig
Have you inspected/maintained the U-joints, including the front axle? Are your suspension parts up to date (good bushings)? Are your lockers working? What about your tires and brakes? Are they reliable in all situations you’ll encounter? Hoses can be a rig’s downfall; how are your rubber components?
As you travel a trail and encounter an obstacle, will your rig do what it’s built to do? Do you trust it?
If everyone trusts their rig and gear, the whole trip goes smoothly
The list of rig questions is nearly endless – but so very important to ask. If you do NOT trust your rig or some aspect of it, FIX IT, or don’t use it beyond what you trust.
Do not get caught on some steep, loose rock, slippery hill climb uncertain if your front locker is going to work (because it has not been tested or used in forever).
Trust in your fam, friends, and homies
Here is where you have to get real. Are you hanging with some peeps in the backcountry because they are cool? Or do you sincerely trust them to be there if stuff goes bad on your end?
Do you like to party with some dudes but are not sure if they would really know how to revive you from a melt-down of some sort?
How do you rate your friends who claim to be “mechanically inclined” to work on your junk to get you home?
Just who do you really trust to work on your junk so that it will get you home safely? In this case, a Premier Power Welder is the hero!
ModernJeeper will do another whole article soon on spotters, but for now, just realize that you should NEVER trust you or your junk to some spotter you do not know — or trust! Obviously, if you’re on a big event with rock rollers and spotters spaced throughout a trail, it’s more than likely they know what they’re doing for their obstacle. And you can always stop and watch them spot a few rigs so you can gain some “trust” in what they are doing.
Warner Anderson (Lassen-Applegate Trail) demonstrates how having a spotter you trust is essential to a safe journey
The key is to figure out who you like, like to hang out with, and who you trust with your junk, your rig, your repairs, and your life. Yes, I’m suggesting people have categories. They can all fit in your life; just make sure you have the right person with you for the circumstances you are in.
Trust is essential to a successful adventure
You do not have to have the best, most expensive, this or that. You just have to get to the point where you TRUST that what you have will do the job it’s supposed to do. And do not go beyond your trust level with anything!
Now don’t get me wrong here. If you’re learning a new aspect of our sport, then sure, you might do things you have not tried before. You might have uncertainties about your own skills; but you learn by trying with gear/equipment you trust, as well as a spotter you fully trust!
Sometimes four-wheeling takes us to remote, desolate places where having a trusted buddy is critical.
Keep getting outside and doing what you love to do – with some trusted components in the mix!
Trust makes for a trip that ends in smiles like Jim and Deb Kriegshauser, the “Trail Nuts” in Death Valley.