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How does one get started off roading?

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:33 pm
by 58bisc
This may sound like a basic question to some, but I've spent my life drag racing, which came natural to me. Now I have interest in taking my H3 off road and I really don't know where to start. I never worried about breaking any of my cars from beating them, I just got in and made mistakes until I learned. I spent every weekend (and pay check) rebuilding my mistakes. Maybe it is because I'm older now, but I find myself very protective of the H3. I can't explain why, I just am. The first problem I have is where to legally go off road to practice. I was thinking basic back roads to just drive on. To be honest, I just don't know where to start. Some of you more expierinced off roaders may be laughing at this point, but I'm getting all dressed up with no place to go...

Re: How does one get started off roading?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:44 am
by Mark
When I got my '06 I had never been off road before but wanted to see what the H3 could do. A month after getting it I headed up to Tellico in NC with a group of Hummer owners. When we hit the first trail head I thought to myself what the hell have I gotten my self into but was hooked within 15 minutes. Best thing to do is find a group to head out with on some easy to moderate trails. Go with an experienced group that is willing to help a newbie out and show them the ropes. Do not go out on your own, especially if you don't have the experience.

Re: How does one get started off roading?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:16 am
by cgalpha08
Everything that mark said, having people who know what they are doing helps a ton. That's how i went about wheeling for the first time. As you go you will just learn things from being on the trail and watching what other people do. Also with the H3 i would say to take it slow. It doesnt have a solid front axle that you can just beat up. Speed is necessary in parts but from my experience taking it slow and choosing your path will get you through most obstacles without breakage.

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Re: How does one get started off roading?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:33 am
by Mark
cgalpha08 wrote:Speed is necessary in parts but from my experience taking it slow and choosing your path will get you through most obstacles without breakage.

Absolutely right. I could not count how many times I have been out with others that have broken their rig (solid axle as well as IFS) because they thought they had to hammer their way through an obstacle when I just slowly walk through it with no issues what so ever.

Re: How does one get started off roading?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:11 pm
by Hunner
Live in the country, and as we used to say, take a left at the DX!
I like the slow cautious approach when possible and when that fails, winch!
Speed kills, suspension, radiators (with fan blades in them) and lots of other parts!

Re: How does one get started off roading?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:34 am
by big2dabank
I'm like Hunner, I grew up in the sticks, mudding three wheelers, go carts, or whatever the hell else I could drive at the time. In fact my real driving lesson was a stick shift toyota 4x4 down a muddy rutted hunting trail when I was around 10 years old. My dad said if you can drive on this sh!t, you can pretty much drive anywhere. The rest is history, I've always loved the outdoors so it was a no brainer for me.

Mark and the others said it best though, find a group to go ride with and you'll learn quick enough. If you get stuck don't worry it happens to everyone. The biggest thing to note is to never go alone unless you have easy access to get help or be prepared enough for self recovery because Murphy is a crude dude and you will get stranded.

Re: How does one get started off roading?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:42 pm
by 58bisc
Well I went off road for the first time today. Not on purpose mind you, but it was very much off road. I had reason to be down south of where I live into Pennsylvania horse country. It was all back roads, gravel and mud. That in it's self was fun, but it got better. I was following the GPS as I had no idea where I was. I started down this one road that was clearly marked by the GPS. It looked a little less traveled, but there were a couple homes off in the distance, so I figured we would be ok. Not! Houses were abandoned (washed out) and the road turned into nothing more then a washed out horse path on the side of a mountain. Over grown, swampy and close to the edge. Plenty of branch scratches and when I finally got to the other end (3.5 miles later) there was a hand painted sign that read "road gone".

In hind sight if I knew that I would make it through without issues I would have enjoyed it more. Heck I might even have stopped to take a couple of pictures! Worst part is I don't think I could find the road again if I tried.

Re: How does one get started off roading?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:05 am
by Mark
Congratulations on your first off road adventure even if it wasn't scheduled :lol:

It can be very surprising what is on GPS. A lot of the trails in the Ocala forest down here actually show up on my stock NAV system and even more of them showed up on the Pioneer AVIC I had in my '06 if I remember correct. One time when we were up in Tellico in NC (before it closed :cry: :cry: ) one of the other H3s blew the front diff and had to be flat bedded to Knoxville Hummer the day we were leaving. After the flatbed left we headed to Knoxville via the route my GPS suggested. Should have known something was up when it showed it was only something like 45 miles but arrival was 2 1/2 hours. The road we took was actually named a highway but within a mile of so it became two ruts in the grass in the good spots. We did pass a few "homesteads" that were still lived in but we weren't stopping to talk to anybody, swear we heard banjos a few times :o :where: