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Solo wheeling vs clubs

matkal

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@DavidBT mentioned in his winch thread about not caring for Jeep/4x4 clubs and I agree. The ones around here are more focused on ducks and Jeep nights at a bar. They do trail rides but there’s usually too many ppl for my tastes as I prefer small groups.

I tend to go solo because of the few jeepers I know we have scheduling problems. Lol

I’m aware of the risks of solo wheeling and avoid taking risks. I have a winch and I always have survival gear with me.

I guess the point of this thread is having a discussion about the pros and cons. (?)

I’m sure I posted this in the wrong place and I assume admin will move it👍🏻
 

MutantNinjaTJ

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The sewers of Newer Mexico!
I too grow tired of the Jackwagons that frequent the riding clubs I belong to, both Jeep and motorcycles. I too carry enough to get me out if needed so running solo dosen't bother me. I only enjoy the company of a small percetage of members of these clubs and our Jeep group dosen't seem to want to get out at all anymore, so whats the point of gatering up at a bar to talk about Jeeps if we're not going to go on any runs?
 

Grant Lasson

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Sandy, Utah
I'm usually solo though I don't have anything against a small to medium group. It's a practical matter--I don't really have a group of friends with offroading interests. Often my trips involve 300+ miles of travel so it isn't like we could just go after work anyway.

Like you, I try to be well prepared. Unfortunately, I often have to err on the side of caution. For example, my last trip was to SW Colorado. I felt fine doing Imogene and many other passes alone but I skipped Black Bear. It probably wouldn't have been a problem but... that's the price of going alone for me.

I think quite a bit about buying another vehicle and splitting the riders so that I wouldn't need to be so cautious.

I did the Easter Jeep Safari a few times. It was fun but that was just too many people for me. Trails took forever.
 
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TurboTJ

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Walnut Creek, CA
My wife and I go alone but I am constantly thinking, what are we going to do if we break down out here in the middle of nowhere? Places where you probably won’t see another living soul for days or weeks? We carry a lot of stuff…. food, 5 gallons of water, recovery equipment, Inreach, HF radio, first aid, hiking gear.
 
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rhanna

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Oct 27, 2020
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Gallatin, TN
I haven't gone by myself yet but I'd hate to skip the more difficult trails just because I'm alone. Most of the parks that I've been too have people getting ready to ride onto the trail so it would be pretty easy to tag along. I agree with large groups/groups with mostly mall crawlers. I'm glad those people are actually using their jeep but it's annoying when several of them want to take pictures of the same rock flex. Plus they never want to try to go over the obstacle they just want the pic.

About the only reason I still use facebook is for the jeep groups/buying jeep parts. I have 2 main groups I keep an eye on their events. Then I have another guy that I know that goes all the time all over the southeast and if I want to do the most difficult trails I talk to him.
 

freedom_in_4low

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i went on a group run once. It was full of JK's and JL's that weren't interested in talking to TJ owners with a few XJ owners that met their own stereotype. After screwing around at the parking lot we met at for 45 minutes, we finally took off and then took 4 hours to get to the trailhead that was 30-40 minutes into the forest because the leaders girlfriend had to get photos for instagram at every corner and then one of the XJ's broke down and all 30+ Jeeps waited for him to fix it. I ended up turning around and coming home from the trailhead because I had an AF Academy cadet with me that had to be back that evening. I saw later they ended up doing most of the trail in the dark and got back to town around midnight.

I don't even have any contacts locally that like to Jeep, so most of my wheeling is alone or with my wife and kids. As such, I avoid trails or obstacles that are likely to flop me, stick me without winch points, or break something, and my Jeep is overbuilt so I'm less likely to break stuff. I also keep food and water and a sleeping bag so I can stay warm overnight if needed.
 

Jerry Bransford

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I don't get wheeling solo. Half (most?) of the reason I enjoyed wheeling so much was because of the people and friends I got to wheel with. If I was told I'd have to wheel solo from here on I'd never go wheeling again. It's the people I wheeled with that made it all worth while and so fun.
 

JPHikr

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East of Nowhere Airzona
Out in the desert if you venture out alone.

Just let someone know were you are going, and do not deviate from the plan.

Be ready to spend the night sleeping bag ect.

Take plenty of food and water for at least 4 days.

Ration your water from the minute you are stuck.

If you think it will not happen think again.

These folks were stuck on a forest service road that I had been on many times
riding dirt bikes out pass the Lost Valley Boy Scout camp.

 

rasband

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We are pretty fortunate in CO that there's a core group of guys that like to do the gnarlier stuff and enjoy the technical side of Jeeping. Though I will still go run some trails on my own if no one is available - just easier ones than I would with the guys.

I have no interest in a formal club, even if it weren't mostly mall crawlers - going with more than 5-7 rigs isn't really enjoyable to me.
 
OP
matkal

matkal

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I don't get wheeling solo. Half (most?) of the reason I enjoyed wheeling so much was because of the people and friends I got to wheel with. If I was told I'd have to wheel solo from here on I'd never go wheeling again. It's the people I wheeled with that made it all worth while and so fun.

I agree but I’d rather go solo than not go at all. It seems the groups here in Michigan are more into the “Jeep life” than just off-roading. Kinda like a lot of “bikers”
 
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freedom_in_4low

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I don't get wheeling solo. Half (most?) of the reason I enjoyed wheeling so much was because of the people and friends I got to wheel with. If I was told I'd have to wheel solo from here on I'd never go wheeling again. It's the people I wheeled with that made it all worth while and so fun.

I agree that it's more fun in a group...which is why I'm continually trying to get friends to join in on the hobby. This past weekend I went with two of my closest friends (in a recently purchased completely stock Tacoma), my cousin, and a couple of former coworkers that were actually in TJ's, and had a great time. Plus, I'm more confident in trying more difficult stuff when I'm in a group so that's more fun too.

But if I'd given up wheeling from not having anyone to wheel with, I'd never have gotten started. It just doesn't seem to be a common interest among most of my peers, for whatever reason.
 

Kenneth G Zinis

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Nov 6, 2018
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Bethlehem, PA
What I've found is 2-4, maybe 6 Jeeps, is perfect. Larger groups best broken down, by size and driver experience/Jeep capability, and spaced for known courses. Some nice rides get ruined for us in bigger groups when everyone stops for too-frequent group shots, smoke breaks, etc. Social part is great, we like to package that for lunch, end-of day times for maximum trail riding and fun.
 

Andy-WhiteTJ

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Nov 5, 2020
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Poughkeepsie, NY
In the northeast, unless you're going to an off-road park, you're going no where. The clubs here all have access to private property. The clubs also belong to associations of clubs. Over the years, you find out the type of club they are and if they wheel the way you do. When you figure out who has similar likes and dislikes, you join. Then you get involved. Push to do the type of wheeling you like. There will be more people with the same like mindedness than you realize. There are times when we have runs that we state the type of wheeling that will be involved and we limit the number of rigs and the type. It's a first come first served type of event. Other events are more open.

For just getting together and BSing about Jeeps, that's what the monthly meetings are for. We usually have our meetings at a restaurant/bar so people can gather together. Once business is completed, many people stay and BS at the bar or go out in the parking lot.

Our club has a monthly meeting and at least one monthly run. We try to keep the runs varied. Because we belong to an association, I also have the ability to tag along with another club that may be going to a different location at a different date if I can't go on one of ours. I have come to know quite a number of people from all over the Northeast over the years. I know who I like to wheel with and who I don't. I pick the runs I like and with the people I like. I am very involved to keep our club moving forward.

A couple of quotes I live by:

1. Things get done by those who show up

2. There Are Three Types of People: Those Who Make Things Happen, Those Who Watch Things Happen, and Those Who Wonder What Happened.

I would encourage you to start your own club with like minded people. They're out there.
 

joe98tj

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May 8, 2020
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Connecticut
In the northeast, it is required to be a part of a club to consistently do any kind of decent wheeling and the more fun camping/wheeling adventures are reserved for members of clubs. The club I am in is in the NEA (northeast association of 4wd clubs) and not NOVA (northeast offroad vehicle association) but from what I have heard they are quite similar. Offroading is slowly becoming more accessible in the northeast with the numerous large scale jeep events to the north, the opening of 508 INT in Massachusetts and growth of Jericho State Park in NH, folks with private land opening up to the public, offroading clubs hosting fundraising events with the public on private land we have access to, and offroading clubs hosting open runs to the public in hopes of gaining new members.

We still have dozens of facebook groups of people advertising offroading every now and then but they are mostly just folks looking for ice cream meetups and dirt roads to drive down and maybe find a puddle. So up here, if you aren't in a club, you are basically on your own since the majority of the facebook page members are not looking to do any serious offroading.
 

Andy-WhiteTJ

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Poughkeepsie, NY
Nice, I'm with northeast jeep. I also know Stephan K. The club I'm in has cut a bunch of the trails up at the campgrounds he's a part of in Colebrook CT.

Yup. Stephan's a great guy. I've been up to Colebrook at his place. HV4W used to have a place very near there we called "Sawmill". It had quite a bit of great rocky trails. Owner sold it and we lost access. :cry:
 

Apparition

TJFest June Edition 2023
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Clubs around here tend to want to play in mud pits.

I enjoy wheeling at TJFest with people from this site but I've also wheeled alone more than I should have.
 
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