An Hour at Home Saves 10 in the Bush
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You've got the rig packed, driven across the country to Utah, and started wheeling when, Bang! You've broken something, don't have spares, didn't bring the right tools anyways, and now have to spend the rest of the week riding in your buddy's rig. So much for a fun trip to Moab. Getting ready for Moab is very much like getting ready for any trail, but we are still surprised at how many people arrive unprepared. Some of you may find that the following pointers are very basic, but taking the time to go over these steps can help make a trip or trail more enjoyable. Hopefully your buddies will be in your passenger seat and not the other way around.
Consider a long-distance wheeling trip to be like any long-distance road trip, but with the addition of an abusive thrash session at the halfway point. Even if you are the most graceful slow driver on earth, just being on a trail is usually harder on a vehicle than cruising a smooth street. If you are driving your vehicle to Moab, you have no excuse for not looking it over before you go, because you need that rig to get you home.
If you are towing your trail buggy there, you also better check out your junk before leaving home or you may end up with the dreaded title of "guy with trailer queen that didn't even make it to the trail." The only people we can think of who may be able to get away without some preventive maintenance are the folks that live in Moab, and even they don't want to look like goofy locals that break, burn, and die in their own backyard.
Do yourself and those who would get stuck behind your broken pile on the trail a favor, check it out before you leave home and every morning before you head out. Take whatever spares you imagine you might need or pay off your credit card before you go. You just might need it to get home.
To get ready we stopped by the Spidertrax shop in Longmont, Colorado, to see what they were doing to get prepared. Owners Eddie Casanueva and Thomas Kingston are two guys who moved west from New Jersey just to be closer to Moab. They have made a name for themselves in the Suzuki Samurai world, but with engineering backgrounds and an eye for clean, smart, lightweight designs they are building products and complete rigs for owners of many different makes. Though the vehicles we prepared were Suzukis, the tips can be applied to any 4x4 you may be bringing to Moab, or any other backwoods route for that matter.
Now go get ready and we'll see you in Utah.