BASIC TRAIL INFO
While we have plenty of experienced people at our off road events willing to help out, there are some basic rules that have everyone should know and some basic equipment everyone should carry. To start with you should arrive at the trail head or meeting place on time with a full tank of gas, good condition tires, a good spare tire, plenty to drink (non alcoholic) and generally have no vehicle problems. You should also dress appropriately for the weather and terrain conditions.
A basic knowledge of how your 4WD system works is also advantageous. Click here
some basic info on using the H2 4WD system. While no one plans to get stuck on the trail, it will happen from time to time, click here
for some basic recovery info.
- Drive as slow as possible, but as fast as necessary
- Keep an eye ahead to avoid surprises
- When in doubt, get out and look
- Drive directly up and down hills
- Do not turn around when on a hill
- Air down if necessary
- Cross ditches and logs at an angle
- Avoid spinning the wheels
- Minimize use of brakes, use low range and 1st gear
- Do not oversteer or over correct
- Make steady progress through water creating a "bow wave"
Before you continue...
***NEVER, EVER! BE LIKE THESE IDIOTS LINK.***
- Drive as slow as possible, but as fast as necessary
- Give way to vehicles going up hill
- Keep vehicle as level as possible to avoid "digging" holes
- Always keep the vehicle behind you in sight
- Drive responsibly and protect the environment
- Give way to hikers, bikers, horse riders, etc
- Do not park so as you block the trail
- Keep out of the way of vehicles tackling obstacles
- Give aid to anyone in distress or stuck
- Do not litter
- No alcohol on the trail
- Be patient
You'll notice that "Drive as slow as possible, but as fast as necessary" appears on both lists, this is one of the more important rules of off road driving. There are times, sand, mud, etc, when you need to keep up a certain momentum to keep you going, however, it is generally accepted practice to tackle a trail as slow as possible. This allows you to see what is coming, pick the right line, and adapt to changing conditions. It will also prevent you hitting something so hard that it breaks it.
On most obstacles you will have a "spotter"; trust the spotter and follow their advice. They are there to get you over the obstacle as easily and safely as possible. The spotter will several hand signals that you make yourself familiar with. Hand signals vary from spotter to spotter.
Airing down the tires will give you greater flotation and traction and also allow your tires to mould to rocks, etc. You will lose some ground clearance by airing down and should bear this in mind, and you should also have some method of re-inflating the tires. Airing down to 20 psi is usually sufficient for the H2, depending on the tires and the terrain. Do not drive fast or any distance on the highway with aired down tires.
Be patient, it is not a race. Don't rush the people in front of you. Let them take the time they need. Take it easy and slowly, and you will enjoy the trail a lot more.
Always keep the vehicle behind you insight when at a trail intersection. Make sure they know the right route to take, this is very important, especially on trails in remote areas.
When watching other vehicles, make sure your vehicle is parked safely out of the way of others and is not blocking the trail. There is a temptation to get close to the "action", especially when taking photographs or video, but make sure you are out of the way of the path of the vehicle. The driver of a vehicle tackling an obstacle does not need to be worried about where spectators are standing and may be concentrating on the obstacle so much that they do not even know you are there.
Never be afraid to say "No". Regardless of what pressure, real or imagined, you may feel, if you are not comfortable tackling an obstacle, simply do not do it. No one will think any less of you. This is not a contest, drive to your abilities and comfort level and you will enjoy the trail a whole lot more than tackling an obstacle and damaging your vehicle, hurting yourself, or putting others in danger because you were "not ready" to tackle it
You and everyone else is there to have fun and leave the trail with no vehicle damage and no damage to the trail, we can all do our bit to make sure this happens.
The first couple of times you attend our events we will take extra time to make sure you are comfortable with everything you do and to give you guidance and advice. We always use spotters on obstacles regardless of your experience. If you have attended a couple of our events, we expect you to carry at least the essential equipment listed below.
- 3" or 4" tow strap (not a 2" strap with built in hooks)
- Shackles for tow strap (5/8" or 3/4")
- Leather gloves
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Communications device (CB or FRS)
Other Useful Equipment:
- Tool kit
- Engine oil and ATF
- Change of clothes
- Tire repair kit
- Tire inflator
That is far from a complete list of trail equipment you may need, but it is a good start and also ensures we have plenty of equipment to help some of the newer attendees should they need help.
We always have several vehicles equiped with winches that also carry plenty of extraction gear to assist in the event it is needed. But rarely have any vehicles been so stuck they need assistance from someone else. There are spare FRS radios on hand for those that require them too.
There is no need to suffer any vehicle damage when off roading with the Hummer X Club, unless you really want to, and we tackle trails at a very leisurely pace, with bypasses for all the obstacles. So whether you are an experienced off roader, or just looking to see what your vehicle can do on the trail, you will have a great time at one of our events and enjoy the comraderie that hitting the trail brings.