Your Very First Off Road Experience

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Spectre7599

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233
Roseburg, OR, USA
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Chad
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Alcock
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17566

Hard to know what my first one was, but the first I really remember was when I was learning how to drive a HMMWV at 18 y/o up around Mt. Hood. Had a washed out road with a culvert sticking into the washed out section. I carefully drove out with my left tires on the culvert, and had 3 tires touching at any given time. Made it over no problem. If I had any advice, don't be afraid to ask questions.
 
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Codebeagle

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Member II

484
Kearns, UT, USA
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Zachary
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Porter
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19161

My first off road experience was when my dad let me drive our 1988 suburban on a fathers and Sons outing when I had my learner’s permit. We rode along the roads in the desert west of Utah Valley and I was hooked.
 

OtherOrb

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1,661
Flagstaff, AZ
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Moses
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H
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I was born on a dirt floor in the middle of nowhere in the northern Arizona desert. Does that count?

If not, we used a horse-drawn wagon to travel along the dirt "road" to the highway and then to town until I was about seven. And, of course, I was riding those horses all over the desert.
 

Forte

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271
Alliance NE
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Colin
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M
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15957

I'm a youngin.... but I learned to drive stick in this 1972 Bronco, 3 on the tree. Loved this truck and miss it dearly.

I used to be really into airsoft (basically take a bb gun that shoots plastic bbs, and shoot at your friends) but anyway we would drive out into the middle of the Arizona desert and have wars. I remember flexing this thing down an embankment into a wash and later getting stuck in a bunch of mud on the slick highway tires... Absolutely fell in love with off-roading then even though I had no clue what I was doing. My dad wasn't too happy when I called him out to meet me to yank out the Bronco - I had already managed to rock myself out of the muddy rut in 4hi.

notajeep.jpg
 

MazeVX

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2,484
Gießen Germany
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Mathias
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Kreicker
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8001

Was driving a '98 Subaru forester and we were searching for my brothers dog who got shocked by a electric cattle fence, we were driving in the dark and hoped the dog would be attracted by the light didn't found the dog that night but had some fun driving around.
Doggo sat in my backyard the next morning.
 

MidOH

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Off-Road Ranger I

1,298
Mid Ohio
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John
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Clark
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Tried to replicate R&T's cover page where they had a Toyota Supra Turbo airborne over a hill. Ended up driving a Mustang through a corn field. Killed a thousand ears of corn.

Advice: Don't underestimate the use of mud rated tire chains or TireClaws. If there is no traction, you need to bite in. Most overlanders skimp here, and pay the price.
 

4wheelspulling

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3,065
Chelan, WA.
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Vance
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Myers
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8452

I had the blessing of growing up along the North Oregon Coast and South Washington Coast. My stepdad had a welder and together we built a dune buggy/ big go cart. It had a Crosley, front axle and rear end! 4speed Jeep trans in front, and a 3 speed trans as the main. I dove it all over the place but mostly on the beach. I was Nine at the time and learned fast about how to drive in the sand! Even the cops would just wave and smile as I was caught driving it in town instead of staying on the beach as my parents had asked me too! My first car that I worked and saved up for, was a Spirit of 76’ Pinto. Then, back off -roading in a 2wd Ford courier ! I dove that all over the Blue Mountains. Vance.
 
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leeloo

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628
Luxembourg
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Mihai
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Doros
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3 years ago I was in mountain resort with the family and we wanted to take a cable car to the top, but it was broken. A guy there was offering an off road tour towards the same location, but in a 4x4 and almost the same price. So we took it , he had an old beaten up Hyundai Tucson, but we loved it.
So me and my wife decided to start doing this, so we bought a Subaru Forester, it was a 2008 SJ , and this is what we used to take a trip in Spain, from Mediterana to the Atlantic, following the Pyrenees mountains, about 800 km off road.
It was great, but the car suffered from being over the GVM. All the tests I did off roading ( nothing to extreme, just a bit more difficult forest roads) were with the car empty, and with 3 people and all the camping gear... not so good . The car struggled ( a small 2 L petrol engine with no torque ) and the suspension was reacting badly to bigger bumps :) . But we still managed and did not had bad incidents, except for roaming around a military exercise area that had no sign on the weird trail that we took to arrive there :) . But we were not arrested and did not stumble on tank exercises so it was fun :)



All in all was a good trip, but when we came back we sold it and went for a Landcruiser with a more appropriate GVM. :)
 
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Tray

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Off-Road Ranger I

2,634
San Antonio, TX, USA
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When I was maybe 10 or so, my uncle took me out in his old even back then Chevy truck that was Frankenstein’s together...I don’t think he even knew what the original color was...junk yard special, but we went mudding and had a blast.
 
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DadJokes

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Contributor I

60
KY
First Name
Daniel
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K
My cousin worked at a tire store in ’93 (26 years ago! WTH) and they had an old company truck. I remember it was dark brown, 2wd, a stick, and an NA diesel that he said got over 40 mpg? I know it was great on gas. I’d guess it was either a Toyota or Nissan, I think it has the hooks over the side of the bed and it was a 78 maybe.

Well, he brought it to the house where we were hanging out and we hopped in the bed and cab and went “exploring” driving backroads, gravel, dirt, a stream we got stuck in. When we got stuck, 4 of us jumped out, lifted the rear around and pushed to get going again... going over small trees where it seemed they may have been logging.

They were simpler times, low dollar fun, and a little young and dumb. That thing would run all day on a tank of fuel though.
 
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Viv OB20287

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233
Margaret River WA, Australia
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Viv
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Tansley
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20287

I had just bought the Patrol a few weeks earlier and a friend said lets go for a beach run. We headed down to a beach not far away which getting there was hairy (at the time) in itself. We approach the track leading down to the beach and there is a handwritten sign (Pic below) Adrenalin starts pumping. We get onto the beach and I just sunk into the sand which was as soft as it's gets. Going no-where and having no idea what to do , my friend walks back to me laughing and explains about tires and pressure. We let down the tires and with a bit of rocking back and forth to make a ramp and nerves jingling I finally get some momentum and continue down the beach. I got stuck multiple times that day, each time either letting more air out and or a bit of digging. It was the best lesson/introduction into off road - after that I was hooked :-)
 

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morganwest95

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233
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
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Morgan
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West
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21182

My first off-road experience was taking my newly acquired Silverado up to the Rim in the winter with my buddy driving his Tacoma. After driving on a few trails, we finally found one that was open and had camping spots. We were horribly underprepared for any camping, let alone winter camping, but it was a great learning experience. Definitely want to return to that camping spot soon, but not when it’s so cold out.
 
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Slimpartywagon

US Northwest Regional Member Rep, Oregon
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La Grande, Oregon, USA
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Michael
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Rose
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I had the blessing of growing up along the North Oregon Coast and South Washington Coast. My stepdad had a welder and together we built a dune buggy/ big go cart. It had a Crosley, front axle and rear end! 4speed Jeep trans in front, and a 3 speed trans as the main. I dove it all over the place but mostly on the beach. I was Nine at the time and learned fast about how to drive in the sand! Even the cops would just wave and smile as I was caught driving it in town instead of staying on the beach as my parents had asked me too! My first car that I worked and saved up for, was a Spirit of 76’ Pinto. Then, back off -roading in a 2wd Ford courier ! I dove that all over the Blue Mountains. Vance.
I too grew up Overlanding a Ford Curier 2wd through the Blue Mountain Of eastern Oregon. My first solo experience (or note worthy) is still talk of the town to this day some 26 years later. I was 17 years old, and A fresh license holder. In high school, we had an open campus so those of us with our own cars would go out and explore during lunch hour. We would have an hour or so to go for a run up to the gravel roads and bomb around. On this mid Febuary day, the sun was out and about 70ish degrees. A couple of my buddies talked me into seeing if we could make it to ”Wades Mill”, (about 20 minutes from the school up on the FS boarder). So I was all to eager to show off. When I got to the turn off to the old mill, the mud started getting deep and that little voice in my head said turn around, but I kept on a going. Another half mile down the road and I couldn’t get my truck out of the ruts, so I kept going knowing there was a meadow coming up that I could safely and undestructively turn around.
I got to the meadow and started to turn around but lost traction with my bald tires. I had my buddies jump out to spin the truck as I gave the engine some gas, only to slide off the road. We were stuck in less than a 1/4” of mud. The ground was frozen solid under the little bit of slop, so friction was non existent. We tried jacking up the rear tires and putting wood under them, but I just couldn’t get enough momentum to maintain traction to climb up onto the road. We ended up walking back to the main road (about 3 miles at most) where we caught a quick ride back to school.
The three of us headed into gym class 30 minutes late covered in mud from head to toe. The gym teacher laughed when he saw us and asked what happened. So we told our story. He then escorts Us to the dean.
The dean looked at us with disappointment as I told the story with quick interjections from my so called buddies. Once the story was all told he sat in silence for several minutes with a deep scoul on his face. Then he broke out Laughing. So we laughed too.
once all the laughing was over he called in a few guys with lifted trucks, huge mud terrain tires, you know, the Bad @$$ 4x4s of the 90’s to go on a rescue mission.
We all jump into 3 or 4 lifted trucks and one guy with a Bug wanted to tag along. I told the Bug dude to go back home and change his low rider beetle for his Baja Bug because I was afraid his beetle was going to be inadequate to make it in. He refused And fallowed with the beetle.
I was in the lead rig, and when all got to the turn off the bug guy called over the cab that we had one truck stuck already. A few hundred yards and the second truck got stuck. Then when we just saw the roof of my Courier, the lead truck got stuck. I ended up walking down to my truck to see if I could try my luck getting it unstuck. Nope it was still stuck.
As I was messing around with my truck, here comes that beetle bouncing down the road. He pulls up to me and tells me to jump in. We turn around and head back up the road stopping at the first truck and pick up the driver. We mess around for a few seconds and head up to the second truck to pick up the driver and passenger, mess around once more. Then made our way to the third truck where we got their driver and passenger. Then we drove back to the school in defeat.
The rest of the school day is shot. I walked home that night and hid in my room from my dad’s wrath. My dad came home early from work and came straight to my room. I tried to lie to him about where exactly my truck was. But somehow he knew exactly where my truck was.
I beg and pleaded with him not to drive up there. I told him that there was no way his 1969 Scout 800 was going to make it to me, let alone pull me out. But up we went. We didn’t even make it to the first stuck truck before he thought the Expedition was stupid and parked. We walked in to my truck passing all the rest of the stuck trucks. I remember him shaking his head muttering this is stupid, or this is ridiculous as we passed each truck. We got to mine and he scolded me for being careless and turned around and walked back to his Scout. He told me not to come home until my Truck could come with me.
Just as I got back to my truck for the third time, I heard an engine coming down the road real slow. What seamed like hours a huge 4wd osculating tractor comes into view. It was the owner of the Lead recovery truck. He pulled up next to me and said he got the first two rigs pulled up to safety and wanted me to drive his truck up out of there before he pulled me out. So about 10 minutes later all 4 of the trucks were on the main gravel road heading to town.

I learnt some valuable things that day. First, Josh is a moron and don’t take his advice for nothin, something I made the mistake of doing several times over in the next few years. Second, my lowered 2wd Courier was more capable than those lifted 4x4s. And lastly, Never Ever under any circumstance underestimate the power of the BUG.
 
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4wheelspulling

Rank VI
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Member III

3,065
Chelan, WA.
First Name
Vance
Last Name
Myers
Member #

8452

I too grew up Overlanding a Ford Curier 2wd through the Blue Mountain Of eastern Oregon. My first solo experience (or note worthy) is still talk of the town to this day some 26 years later. I was 17 years old, and A fresh license holder. In high school, we had an open campus so those of us with our own cars would go out and explore during lunch hour. We would have an hour or so to go for a run up to the gravel roads and bomb around. On this mid Febuary day, the sun was out and about 70ish degrees. A couple of my buddies talked me into seeing if we could make it to ”Wades Mill”, (about 20 minutes from the school up on the FS boarder). So I was all to eager to show off. When I got to the turn off to the old mill, the mud started getting deep and that little voice in my head said turn around, but I kept on a going. Another half mile down the road and I couldn’t get my truck out of the ruts, so I kept going knowing there was a meadow coming up that I could safely and undestructively turn around.
I got to the meadow and started to turn around but lost traction with my bald tires. I had my buddies jump out to spin the truck as I gave the engine some gas, only to slide off the road. We were stuck in less than a 1/4” of mud. The ground was frozen solid under the little bit of slop, so friction was non existent. We tried jacking up the rear tires and putting wood under them, but I just couldn’t get enough momentum to maintain traction to climb up onto the road. We ended up walking back to the main road (about 3 miles at most) where we caught a quick ride back to school.
The three of us headed into gym class 30 minutes late covered in mud from head to toe. The gym teacher laughed when he saw us and asked what happened. So we told our story. He then escorts Us to the dean.
The dean looked at us with disappointment as I told the story with quick interjections from my so called buddies. Once the story was all told he sat in silence for several minutes with a deep scoul on his face. Then he broke out Laughing. So we laughed too.
once all the laughing was over he called in a few guys with lifted trucks, huge mud terrain tires, you know, the Bad @$$ 4x4s of the 90’s to go on a rescue mission.
We all jump into 3 or 4 lifted trucks and one guy with a Bug wanted to tag along. I told the Bug dude to go back home and change his low rider beetle for his Baja Bug because I was afraid his beetle was going to be inadequate to make it in. He refused And fallowed with the beetle.
I was in the lead rig, and when all got to the turn off the bug guy called over the cab that we had one truck stuck already. A few hundred yards and the second truck got stuck. Then when we just saw the roof of my Courier, the lead truck got stuck. I ended up walking down to my truck to see if I could try my luck getting it unstuck. Nope it was still stuck.
As I was messing around with my truck, here comes that beetle bouncing down the road. He pulls up to me and tells me to jump in. We turn around and head back up the road stopping at the first truck and pick up the driver. We mess around for a few seconds and head up to the second truck to pick up the driver and passenger, mess around once more. Then made our way to the third truck where we got their driver and passenger. Then we drove back to the school in defeat.
The rest of the school day is shot. I walked home that night and hid in my room from my dad’s wrath. My dad came home early from work and came straight to my room. I tried to lie to him about where exactly my truck was. But somehow he knew exactly where my truck was.
I beg and pleaded with him not to drive up there. I told him that there was no way his 1969 Scout 800 was going to make it to me, let alone pull me out. But up we went. We didn’t even make it to the first stuck truck before he thought the Expedition was stupid and parked. We walked in to my truck passing all the rest of the stuck trucks. I remember him shaking his head muttering this is stupid, or this is ridiculous as we passed each truck. We got to mine and he scolded me for being careless and turned around and walked back to his Scout. He told me not to come home until my Truck could come with me.
Just as I got back to my truck for the third time, I heard an engine coming down the road real slow. What seamed like hours a huge 4wd osculating tractor comes into view. It was the owner of the Lead recovery truck. He pulled up next to me and said he got the first two rigs pulled up to safety and wanted me to drive his truck up out of there before he pulled me out. So about 10 minutes later all 4 of the trucks were on the main gravel road heading to town.

I learnt some valuable things that day. First, Josh is a moron and don’t take his advice for nothin, something I made the mistake of doing several times over in the next few years. Second, my lowered 2wd Courier was more capable than those lifted 4x4s. And lastly, Never Ever under any circumstance underestimate the power of the BUG.
Slimpartywagon,
That was a great story to share with all, I could definitely relate to the story! I guess many of the roads through the Wheat fields and Blue Mountains are closed off and gated now from others like me going up exploring and getting stuck! Haha, good memories though and lots of mud! I am lucky to live where we still have roads in the Wheat fields to play in! It has just been the last couple of days that I can make it home in 2wd. Thanks again for sharing good time in the Blue Mountains , of eastern OR. and WA. Vance.
 
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