If you’ve ever watched an episode of Duck Dynasty, then you probably think you know all about “muddin’.” Muddin’ is an art, that is fun and rewarding. I have gone muddin’ in everything from a motor home to a small four wheeler. One of the first things I would like to say is that, know the vehicle you are using. I cannot stress this enough, if you do not know the vehicle you are using than, you will get frustrated very fast.
But there is more to it than just the vehicle, the terrain is just as important to understand. Mud, snow, sand, or any other terrain, all have different styles of driving. The art is in the drivers choices, and how they use the vehicle and terrain to their favor. I will give some tips on what not to do, that I have found useful in my four wheeling experiences.
When stuck knowing what not to do.
1. My first time getting stuck, I remember my reaction. “Oh crap, now what am I going to do, I know just floor it”. This I would not recommend, jerking the vehicle back and forth in the terrain you are stuck in, is just going to sink you to the axles. When you are sunk to your axles you will need a tow truck to get you out.
2. You and your passengers will probably want to get out and look around to assess the damage. Do not leave the vehicle until you are sure it is not going to move any more.
3. Do not let anyone by the vehicle when you are attempting to get it unstuck.
4. When still moving, never hit your brakes. I have done this more than once, and I have always regretted it. I was going over a plowed up snow bank, and when I got to the stop I got a little scared and hit my brakes. Well there I sat at the top of it like a teeter-totter.
As I listed, each one of those things needs you to understand the vehicle and the terrain. My last example, if I had known more about my vehicle, which in this case was length, I would of known not to hit my brakes. This would of gotten the back tires over the bank, and I would of not gotten stuck. Knowing that it was snow, and understanding snow, would have been important as well. Now I know that the weight of my vehicle packs the snow down, and will hold even a heavy vehicle off its tires. With this knowledge I can make better choices, and make the art of four wheeling much more fun and have more style.
Most importantly here are some experienced safety tips for muddin’. In order for this to be fun one must always think about safety at first, until it becomes habit. Here are some tips, on good habits to form.
1. Always shut the engine off when leaving the vehicle. This I found helpful so no one has the chance to get hunt around the vehicle.
2. Do not be afraid of asking for help, professional is always the best. They will know which is the best angle to pull, and what to hook up to.
3. Wear old clothes; no one likes to lose a good pair of cloths to four wheeling.
4. Do not be afraid to walk the trail first. Learn the ins and outs of the trail, where rocks are, and other hazards. Although for me this ruins my fun, because I like the unexpected.
5. Wear that seat belt, there may be no law, but this is the safest approach, one can never predict other drivers, on the trail.
6. Do nothing you do not feel absolutely comfortable with, or you may find yourself hitting the brake, when you should of gave it gas.
7. Learn the vehicle inside and out, know how it handles turns and bumps.