Off-road trails are a blast in a 4×4 rig, especially one that is equipped for the job. However, no matter how well your four-wheel drive is built, never never never go out alone. This is a cardinal rule that should be considered unbreakable under any and all circumstances.
Accidents Happen FAST on the Trail.
No matter how easy a trail may seem, they should never be driven with just one rig. Things just happen too quickly off-road to risk it. Even rigs with dual lockers, a winch and Rockwell axles should never be out there alone. If your rig flops or breaks or gets stuck, it could turn into a life or death situation instead of a simple extraction or trail fix. It can take hours to walk a trail it only took a few minutes to drive down, and depending on the weather and terrain, it may not be traversable at all on foot. If you cannot find someone to go with you for a trail ride, don’t go. There are always other opportunities, and they are sure to be a safer option than going through it with one rig.
Cell Phones or CB Radios may have Little or NO Reception!
Please do not think that just because you have a cell phone or nice CB radio with you that you are safe. Far from it, in fact! Off-road trails are off the beaten-path for a reason – they get you away from it all, and sometimes that means away from satellites and CB reception, as well! The trail you are on may or may not render your phone or CB useless, but do you really want to risk that? Besides, if someone gets hurt and you need to start calling friends to help out, who knows how long it’ll take to find someone and for help to arrive to your specific location? If there is another rig with you, the help is there immediately, which is when you need it.
Going out in a group can save time and money, too!
Joining an off-road club is one of the best ways to ensure you are hitting the trail with more rigs and experienced drivers. Check the Internet for local four-wheel drive clubs to see what is available. Calling a tow truck to get you unstuck in the sticks can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the location and terrain of the incident. Getting a AAA membership with the upgraded 100 or 200 mile tow package is an excellent idea as well. Another rig can probably get you to back to the trailhead, but getting home can be another matter altogether. If you do get stuck and there are other rigs around, you also have manpower to help dig or strap you out, which is something that is absolutely invaluable on the trail.