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available. 17) While on the trail, you will encounter many intersections. Really pay attention to each one. Know which way you turned. Some mountain roads will bring you around in a circle without you realizing it. If you don’t recognize an intersection, you will become disoriented and lost. 18) Try to remember trail numbers or names if they are marked. Write them down or photograph them for later review. 19) Try to know where you are on maps and/ or GPS. This can help if you become disoriented or need to tell someone where you are. 20) Use a lower gear to keep your speed low when going downhill. Don’t ride your brakes all the way. Let the engine maintain the speed whenever possible. Use the brakes when the engine is over-revving. 21) Make a habit of getting out of your vehicle when you come to an obstacle that you can’t see clearly or are not comfortable just driving over. Walk around it looking at it from different angles. This can save you a lot of work later.

22) Climbing steep rocks or other obstacles can be difficult. You may already be on a steep road when an object will present you with a steeper climb. If you must slow and/or stop, do it a safe distance from the object. Get out if necessary. Either way, slow and steady is nearly always the best way to proceed. 23) Reading the trail. This applies to every kind of trail. Learning to gauge the height of a rock is vital to the longevity of your axle housings. It’s important that you become very quick in mentally measuring obstacles accurately. Knowing whether to go over, around, or straddling an obstacle is vital. 24) Shadows. When in a forest, you can expect tall trees to cast shadows and to allow some direct sunlight through. In the right conditions, this plays hell with your vision… especially depth perception. Seeing and measuring holes and tall obstacles become very difficult in shadowy conditions. Slow down and be very aware of the conditions. This, by no means, covers everything about mountain driving, but it will give you some ideas of the little differences between normal driving and being in the mountains. Some of this will help you in canyon country as well. Wherever you wheel, be safe, and have fun.

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UFWDA Voice Sept 17  

The magazine of United Four Wheel Drive Associations Inc., an international organization aiming to protect and provide 4x4 opportunities wor...

UFWDA Voice Sept 17  

The magazine of United Four Wheel Drive Associations Inc., an international organization aiming to protect and provide 4x4 opportunities wor...

Profile for ufwda