By the time the holidays have passed many people find themselves in need of something else to plan for, and to anticipate with all the excitement of a kid on a holiday morning! Bring on the next back country adventure season! As 2017 draws to a close, here are 10 reasons to begin planning your 2018 spring wheeling trips.
Shake off winter – Some people love the cold and snow and all the winter sports that go along with frigid air and freezing temps. But that’s not for everyone; for the rest of us it helps to have something to look forward to – and planning warmer weather wheeling and camping trips can be just the thing! Double bonus if those trips will require some prep before you go (e.g. supplies, or vehicle mods and maintenance) and you can focus on that too!
Fresh air – Mountain air is the cleanest in the world and everybody wants some. Plan some wheeling trips that will let you breathe deeply – it’s good for the body and soul.
And those views – Back country scenery is breathtaking and photos don’t do it justice – it’s so much better in person! Plan a trip to see wondrous landmarks for yourself.
But still, photo opps – When you’ve seen those views for yourself, take some photos and videos for sharing with family and friends, admiring well after the trail is done, and posting on social media and websites.
Camaraderie – Nothing builds friendships like togetherness in the back country, with little to no technology (distractions) to interfere with interpersonal time. Never wheel alone; heading to the trail with a small group of friends, or people you’d like to know better, is the ultimate bonding opportunity.
Family time – Kids these days need the back country even more than adults (whether they know it or not). Get ‘em out where there’s no wi-fi and tell them that being “bored” is not an option. Yes, they can find a way to amuse themselves. Have them collect firewood, teach them how to start a fire (fire building contest?), look for treasures, hike to the top of the hill, play card games, there are so many options…
Learn and build “off-roading” skills – The best way to wheel better is just to get out and do it. The more you do, the more you know. Often others in the group may have more experience and you can learn from them. And, if you’re one of the veteran wheelers on the trail this is the perfect opportunity to share tips and tricks and help newer drivers learn and stay safe.
Learn and build “outdoors” skills – Do you have the skills to survive a day or three in the back country if needed? Or longer? Learn from others in your group – shelter options, how to start a fire, how to winch or recover a stuck vehicle, basics for water and food, and so on. If you’re more experienced, share the knowledge – it could literally save someone’s life.
Challenge yourself, and maybe your rig – Ensure your vehicle is well maintained and able to tackle your trails of choice, then give it the chance to shine. Good spotting, tire placement, and throttle control are much more important than having a high lift and big tires – wheeling takes practice and skill and a challenging trail can be a good teacher.
Do some good – Wheeling and camping in the back country can provide the opportunity to clean up the trail as you go – bring trash bags or a Trasharoo and pick up any junk you happen to see. Some wheeling trips are dedicated to trail clean-up efforts, or to benefit various people or groups in need. Consider penciling these into your schedule as well.
So, with 10 good reasons to head into the great outdoors come spring, what you are you waiting for, start dreamin’.
Dawn Gallegos is the founding editor of Chicks On The Rocks, a blog about off-roading from a woman’s perspective, camping, preparedness, and outdoor recreation. When she’s not working to fund her Jeep addiction, Dawn loves to think up new ways to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors.