JEEP LIFE AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS
"Not all those who wander are lost"
Any Jeep owner knows how bad it sucks to not have a lockable storage area in your Jeep. A "trunk" has so many benefits. Keeping your stuff from blowing out on the freeway, loosing junk on a bumpy trail, being able to stop somewhere and not have to take everything with you, even organizing your gear while taking a road trip are all huge issues at times for us Jeep owners.
Smittybilt has an affordable answer for us just in time for summer. The Smittybilt Security Storage Vault! It's a big box that installs easy, with a hinged drawer that pulls out for easy access to all your stuff.
Constructed from 16 gauge rolled steel finished off with a heavy black powder coat, it's sexy and heavy duty! The drawer pulls out easily rated for 350 pounds, enough for anything you can pack.
Price point is great too! $350 bucks is a small price to pay for not only a great storage compartment but, piece of mind that your gear is safe and sound while you're pull over exploring the world.
As summer is getting ready to wrap up and fall sets in, I get reminded every year how much I love this change in the season. It's the perfect time to get outdoors! Here's a trail anyone can enjoy.
Sitting just below the Baldwin Lake Project in Big Bear California is a place full of light to moderate trails, camping, riding, or just a night under the desert sky. Cactus Flats.
Beautiful desert wild flowers cover the ground this time of year and the weather is warming up, but not to hot. The easy dirt trails is perfect for riding and getting your Jeep out for some exploration is always fun.
Get your friends and family together and go give it a try. From day trips to some overnight camping Catus Flats is worth a visit.
El Dorado Park is perfect for some quality time with the family, taking a break by yourself or hitting the trail for a good work out. It stretches over several miles along the riverbed and has plenty of trees, birds and squirrels to keep your eyes distracted.
I like to use the trail as a break from the concrete and the delightful smell coming off of the water flowing down the river bed when I'm riding. Easy access, beautiful scenery, and friendly people make it a good break from my miserable workout.
If you're in the Long Beach area I encourage you to take a moment or two and check it out! You won't be disappointed.
Some of the oldest living organisms on the planet are trees, but how exactly do they grow? A new study in the journal Nature provides answers. Thirty-seven scientists from 16 nations collaborated and found that trees grow faster—not slower—as they age.
The study examined more than 600,000 trees from around the world and found that while trees eventually stop growing vertically, they continue to bulk up, like body-builders.
"It's as if, on your favorite sports team, you find out the star players are a bunch of 90-year-olds," Nate Stephenson, a forest ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and one of the study's authors, told NPR.
To sustain their growth, older trees pull more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than their younger counterparts.
This research could influence how scientists address climate change. Forests full of elderly trees could potentially leech lots of carbon dioxide from the air, eventually reducing the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The Nature article supports last year's findings that a lack of trees can prove fatal for humans. So, get out and plant trees—and think twice before you cut one down.
source: Outside Magazine
I guess I'm feeling a new perspective being off my feet for a while. I now appreciate the sidewalk out front more than ever. the lawns of my neighbors, the trees on my street, the breeze that I feel on my face while I take my small 5 house walk twice a day.
There are some lessons to be learned from events like this. One, don't take activity for granted. The most simplest of steps are valuable and need to be appreciated sometimes, because when they are gone... They are really missed!
Lesson two... The right way of living life. We should maximize the moment we are in. What ever it is, where ever it is. As people, of course we learn from our past. Of course we plan for a future, but living in the moment that we are in right now is what folks miss out on the most. Right now however, is truely all we really have.
Make the most of every moment. Make the most of friends, and family. Make the most of the beauty around you. Enjoy now, before it's a moment in the past left only to be learned from.
A friend of mine posted this article on his Facebook page earlier today. What a cool little reminder for everyone. I don't know the author personally, but her name is Lori Carey. I love it when people are passionate about something so much they want to make a difference somehow so here is her piece.
So you bought your first Jeep or SUV, possibly made a few modifications such as a set of Nitto Trail Grapplers, and now you’re ready to start taking your vehicle off pavement. If you’re a newcomer to off-roading, there are some important points of trail etiquette to know that will help to keep you and others safe as well as get you started in the dedicated and fun community of off-roaders.
Whether you’re joining an organized trail run or just exploring trails with a few friends, you should be familiar with these basic trail etiquette points – they help to protect land use for the future, demonstrate how to respect other wheelers, and guide you towards keeping yourself and those around you safe.
Most of us are out there because we love spending time in the beautiful outdoors and we have great respect for the land. Nobody wants to be the jerk who breaks the rules and causes damage resulting in trail closures, ruining it for everyone.
Know who owns the land you will be travelling on and any rules, fees and permits required. For example, Southern California National Forests do not charge an entrance fee to travel the trails, but a Forest Adventure Pass is required to park your vehicle. If you plan to stop for lunch or a hike you will need the Pass.
Familiarize yourself with the agency’s trail signage. Trail signs frequently include color coded difficulty levels and will indicate what modes of transportation are permitted on the trail.
Tread Lightly. Stay on marked trails, don’t drive over vegetation, cross streams only at designated fording points where the trail crosses the stream, drive over (not around) obstacles to avoid widening the trail, and respect all signage and barriers.
Leave No Trace. Pack it in, pack it out. Better yet, carry a trash bag and pack out more than you pack in. Stop to pick up that plastic water bottle you see on the side of the trail. I have one friend who keeps a running count of the Mylar balloons he finds along the trail. This includes policing your brass if you plan to do some shooting and the area allows it. I once cleaned up 7.5 pounds of spent brass at a historic location. (It’s unthinkable that people would use historic buildings for target practice!)
Leave gates the way you found them. If you open a gate, close it behind you.
While we all love nature and our vehicles that get us there, it can also be a dangerous place. Following a common set of etiquette helps to keep everyone out there safe.
On multi-use trails, yield right of way to mountain bikes, hikers and horses. Slow down and give them plenty of room and keep in mind to not dust them out. Take special caution when encountering saddled horses, they can be easily spooked by loud noises and unexpected movement. If you come across a horse on the trail you should pull over to the side, shut off your engine and ask the rider how to best proceed.
No, that guy in the on-coming vehicle isn’t flipping you off or flashing a peace sign! He’s telling you how many vehicles are behind him. It is common practice when traveling with a group of vehicles to let on-coming traffic know how many rigs are in your group, especially on narrow trails and obstacles with limited visibility where someone needs to pull over to let your group safely pass. A raised fist means “I am the last vehicle in my group.”
When two vehicles meet on a steep hill, the vehicle traveling up the hill has the right of way. This is because the vehicle traveling uphill may need to maintain momentum, and because it is more difficult and dangerous to back down a steep narrow trail. Common sense should prevail though; if it is easier and there is room for the uphill vehicle to pull over, it wouldn’t make sense to expect the downhill vehicle to back up the hill. Either way backing up is tough. If you are going up a big obstacle like a long, steep rocky climb, it may make sense to send a spotter up on foot to make sure the trail is clear and to warn any on-coming vehicles.
Leave plenty of room for the vehicle in front of you, especially when navigating obstacles, climbing steep hills or in low visibility. If the vehicle in front of you loses traction (or worst case scenario, rolls over), you don’t want to be right behind it.
Never stop your vehicle on a blind curve or in the middle of trail, wait until you reach a place where you can safely pull over off the trail.
When traveling with a group of vehicles, each person is responsible for keeping an eye on the vehicle behind them. It’s not uncommon for vehicles to become widely spread out, especially on dusty trails, but you don’t want to lose anyone, particularly if they run into trouble. If you lose sight of the vehicle behind you, slow down until you can see them or attempt to make radio contact if you can’t spot them. Always stop before making a turn off a trail to make sure the vehicle behind you sees where the turn is. You are also responsible for maintaining visual contact with the vehicle in front of you. If you have a problem and fall behind or need to stop, use your radio to let your group know.
Save drinking for the campfire. Drinking alcohol is extremely dangerous while wheeling, endangering not only you but also everyone else on the trail.
Respect for Others
While these things are fairly commonsense, keep them in mind whenever venturing out to go wheeling. Everyone has more fun when the community keeps one another in mind.
Mind your dust. Slow down when you pass other vehicles, hikers and campsites.
Monitoring your own language on the CB/ham radio may not be second nature, but some people in hearing range may have kids with them – be aware that any foul language you’re using is being heard by them too.
Know when to say when. There is nothing wrong with being winched through an obstacle if you can’t make it through on your own after a reasonable number of attempts. If you’ve made multiple attempts at an obstacle and there is a line of rigs backed up behind you that have been waiting half an hour for you to get out of the way but you still want to keep trying, move aside and let them through before making another run at it.
Leave your ego at home. Don’t let others pressure you into doing something you’re not comfortable doing. There is nothing wrong with taking a bypass if you or your vehicle is not up to tackling an obstacle.
Stop to help others. All of us out there rely on each other, especially in remote areas. The off road community is the friendliest and most helpful group of people there is. If you see someone stopped on the side of trail, ask them if they need help and be prepared to give it.
Leave no man behind! I would hope this wouldn’t even need to be said but I can tell you I’ve seen it happen. If a vehicle in your group has a problem, the group stays until the problem is resolved. It is not right to leave someone out on the trail to fend for themselves with a stuck or broken vehicle, especially in a remote location where things can quickly turn into a life or death situation. Be prepared for it every time you go out. Always carry extra food and water in case you are out several hours longer than you had planned. Be patient, helpful and keep a good attitude because next time it could be you!
Following these tips will help preserve trail access for the future and keep off roading fun and safe for everyone. Welcome to the off-roading community!
Great tips from a fellow Jeeper. Thanks Lori !
Let's set aside how sexy this gun looks for now. The Mossberg 500 Cruiser is the perfect home security shot gun.
Hopefully, you never have to be in the situation where defending yourself and family in your own home is the only option. However, if you are in that situation, the last thing you want, is to be unprepared.
The Mossberg 500 Cruiser is a shot gun that looks tough, sounds tough, and has more than enough stopping power to keep your family safe in a bad situation.
Straight from the Mossberg website, here are the details.
I don't know about you, but for just over 500 bucks, this is a great piece of mind.
Remember to practice gun saftey ALWAYS, and get out and practice! Get to know your gun and how to use it.
I love driving down an old backroad in my jeep. There's just something peaceful and right about it. The day can offer nothing but trouble, and a nice drive, with the top down, and radio up down an old backroad is like therapy. It brings peace, and takes the focus off of whatever might be going on and places it on the beauty of the sky, the smell of the trees, and the love of nature. I see how our Jeep family across America all have our own version of a backroad too. We all find our own reasons for loving them. We all get our own kind of therapy out of them. If you havn't found your backroad yet, use this weekend to find one! You will not regret the experience. The world seems like a better place when we are there. Our Jeeps and backroads go together like peanut butter and jelly.
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