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The Ex
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Trail Etiquette Info (Supplied by Tyler “ShowStop”):

Okay, we’re finally on the trail!
You’ve smartly positioned yourself behind a more experienced trail rider, one who is driving a similarly-equipped vehicle as yours. Hopefully, you’ll be able to pick up some useful pointers from this seasoned veteran, and get a pretty good idea of your own vehicle’s capabilities by watching how his/hers performs. You shift into 4WD, big grin on your face . . .

First and foremost, always be in control of your vehicle! Generally, the slower you go, the more control you will have. Going downhill; use the transmission and the transfer case to regulate your speed. Shifting the transfer case into 4-lo will make you go much slower than 4-hi.

Always be aware of your surroundings. Unlike highway driving, the trail is going to be full of obstacles (rocks, ruts, trail debris, etc); otherwise, what would be the point of going off road?! Look over your hood and memorize the various obstacles approaching in your path. In addition to watching out for all the obstacles on the trail, you will also have to ensure your vehicle clears obstacles on either side of and above the trail (rocks, canyon walls, hanging tree limbs, etc).

Also, besides keeping a safe distance from the other vehicles in your group, you may encounter other vehicles traveling in the opposite direction, which you will have to navigate around. Faster-moving vehicles (ATV’s, dirt bikes, etc) may come up from behind, wanting to pass. Be courteous--find a place to pull over and let them go around you.

Trail Etiquette - "Maintain Positive Group Integrity"
• Do not follow too close. Especially important on hill climbs and technical sections. Let the vehicle in front of you completely finish the hill climb or technical section before you start.
• Do not drive in the dust cloud created by the vehicle in front of you. It is not good for you, or your vehicle, and limited visibility can cause trail mishaps.
• It’s your responsibility to make sure the vehicle behind you knows which trail you choose at all Ts, Ys and +s.
• If you don't see the vehicle behind you for an extended length of time, STOP and wait until you can see it. If necessary, go back and look for it!
• Do not lag too far behind without letting the vehicle in front of you know why.
• Less experienced drivers should follow more experienced drivers paying attention to the lines they choose on the tough sections.
• Don't hesitate to ask for a spotter. A spotter can properly position your tires for you to help avoid any body or undercarriage damage.
• If we stack rocks so that stock rigs can make it over an obstacle, the tail gunner needs to un-stack the rocks.
• If you get stuck, let someone know ASAP. If you become stuck or otherwise immobilized, immediately announce your situation over the GMRS or CB. Or honk your horn . . . or flash your lights . . . Just get the attention of someone. Hopefully, the person in front of you is keeping the person behind them in sight, and will stop if you appear to be in trouble.

BTW, do not be embarrassed about getting stuck. There are three types of trail riders who find themselves in this situation: those who have been stuck in the past, those who will get stuck in the future and of course YOU, who’s stuck right now!
 
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