What do you want on NWOL trips?

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Ole Hellevik 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #198877

    Guy Miner
    Participant
    Area Coordinator

    Out of curiosity, and hoping that it will help me plan future NWOL trips, I’m asking:

    What do you want in the way of NWOL trips?

    We can split that into short trips, one/two/three day trips, and longer trips.

    Do you want to see natural beauty?

    Drive your rig in challenging conditions?

    Camp with cool people?

    See historical sites and learn something of the culture & history of an area?

    Have fun/interesting activities in addition to driving our 4×4 rigs?

    Add classes/training on various subjects like HAM radio, land navigation, vehicle retrieval, bear spray use, first aid, etc?

     

    For NWOL trips I tend to focus on four areas, as follows:

    1. The WABDR north of Ellensburg.

     

    2. Liberty “Jeep” trails.

     

    3. The area between my home in Wenatchee and the NW Overland Rally site in Plain – along the Entiat Summit.

     

    4. Douglas County/Douglas Creek.

     

    How much “four wheeling” do you want to do? How challenging do you want it to be? Should it challenge an experienced driver with a Jeep, big tires, low gears, lockers front and rear? Or should it challenge a stock SUV without any of those pieces of hardware?

    How prepared are you to accept vehicle damage as a result of participating in a particular trip?

    What other activities do you want to do on these trips? Hikes? Wildlife viewing? Photography? Snowshoeing? Kayaking?

     

    I’m hoping this will guide me, and maybe other area coordinators. What I tend to do now, is make repeat trips to areas I really enjoy and know fairly well, and make them as family friendly/stock vehicle friendly as possible.

    Thanks! Guy

     

    #198880

    Ed Amdahl
    Participant
    Premium Member

    Guy – great question.  I find that I like the terrain to be challenging enough that it requires at least modest suspension upgrades to navigate.  My hope is to find places that most people can’t get to, or don’t want to spend the time to get to.  Ideally avoiding campgrounds with numbered spots.

    I’m not looking for rock crawling or climbing crazy verticals either.  If I want that I can head over to Tahuya and get my fill.  This is especially true when my family is along for the ride, as my wife is more risk adverse than I am.  I prefer a slower pace over fast, and I prefer to avoid really long days driving where possible.  I’d rather cover 50 miles and see the sights than feeling the need to do 200+ mile days, etc.

    Looking forward to the thoughts of others, perhaps some discussion around the campfire this weekend.

    #198882

    Steve Marchiando
    Participant
    Basic Member

     

    Guy,

     

      These are great questions.

     

    For me,  I would answer all yes/no questions with, YES

     

    I agree on the trail difficulty too. Even to the point of needing to get and walk a section before driving it.

     

    For me, extra adventures, cool destinations, and  campfire time are important.

     

    #198886

    Jason VanderSluis
    Participant
    Basic Member

    I’d also answer yes to most of those questions also.  Not too interested in rock crawling, and vehicle smashing, but I can sit those trips out easy enough.

    Really I just like to get away and get outside for 1-3 days, and if it’s someplace new- even better!

    #198888

    Aaron Kravik
    Participant
    Premium Member

    One trip is never going to make everyone happy. I think mixing it up is the best bet. Do some scenic trips. Do some technical trips. Do some ancillary activity trips. The people who want to do that kind of thing will sign up and the people who don’t can sign up for something more their cup of oil.

    #198980

    John Russell
    Participant
    Premium Member

    As others have said, yes to all the above.  For us, neat historical places, unique areas are always high on the list.  Having some time in camp is also nice.  Driving is always fun, but sometimes some down time relaxing and doing other activities (i.e. snacking, napping, more snacking) at cool spot is really appreciated.  Having it challenging to get there can add to it.

    #198982

    Otis Ranhofer
    Participant
    Premium Member

    Guy, For us a Yes to all the questions.
    Would like to see NWOL adopt a trail / trip rating system. Some members have vehicles that can handle rougher terrain, forge deeper water, other vehicles are not as capable. This would result in safer, more enjoyable trips for everyone. That said we have always felt welcome on NWOL trips. Particularly like that NWOL is a family oriented group of fun and supportive people. We would not have been as adventurous without NWOL’s encouragement.

    Below is just one of many guides for rating trails https://www.trailsoffroad.com/technical_ratings

    Technical Ratings
    Today each public land authority, corporate guide service, and individual clubs have their own rating system to rate the difficulty of the trail. Here at Trailsoffroad we have adopted the Colorado 4 Wheel Drive Association rating system as we believe it best explains the degrees of difficulty.
    Warning: All rating is subjective. Never go on a trail alone and never be afraid to turn around if it gets to difficult. Trail ratings can change as a result of a simple rain storm, heavy winter, or a big gnarly trail rig with 42” tires tearing it up on a wet day. Conditions change daily. Trailsoffroad is not responsible for the accuracy of the ratings listed here on this site and are only considered approximations.

    Easy
    Graded dirt road. Dry, or less than 3″ water crossing depth. Gentle grades. 2WD under all conditions except snow. No width problems, two vehicles wide.
    Easy
    Dirt road. Dry, or less than 3″ water crossing depth. Some ruts. Slight grades, up to 10 degrees. 2WD under most conditions. Rain or snow may make 4WD necessary. Usually one and a half to two vehicles wide.
    Easy
    Dirt road. Rutted, washes, or gulches. Water crossings up to 6″ depth. Passable mud. Grades up to 10 degrees. Small rocks or holes. 4WD recommended but 2WD possible under good conditions and with adequate ground clearance and skill. No width problems for any normal vehicle. Vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.
    Easy
    Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves but rocks to 9″. Water crossings usually less than hub deep. Passable mud. Grades moderate, up to 15 degrees. Side hill moderate up to 15 degrees. 4WD under most conditions. No width problems, vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.
    Moderate
    Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves. Rocks up to 12″ and water crossings up to 12″ with possible currents. Passable mud. Moderate grades to 15 degrees. 6″ holes. Side hill to 20 degrees. 4WD required. No width problems.
    Moderate
    Quite rocky or deep ruts. Rocks to 12″ and frequent. Water crossings may exceed hub depth with strong currents. Shelves to 6″. Mud may require checking before proceeding. Moderate grades to 20 degrees. Sidehill may approach 30 degrees. 4WD necessary and second attempts may be required with stock vehicles. Caution may be required with wider vehicles.
    Moderate
    Rocks frequent and large, 12″ and may exceed hub height. Holes frequent or deep (12″). Shelves to 9″. Mud 8″ deep and may be present on uphill sections. Grades to 25 degrees and sidehill to 30 degrees. Water crossings to 18″ and may have strong currents. 1-1/2 vehicles wide. 4WD required. Driver experience helpful.
    Difficult
    Heavy rock and/or severe ruts. Rocks exceeding hub height frequent. Shelves to 12″. Deep mud or uphill mud sections. Steep grades to 25 degrees and can be loose or rocky. Water crossings may exceed 30″ in depth. Side hill to 30 degrees. One vehicle wide. Body damage possible. Experience needed. Vehicle Modifications helpful.
    Difficult
    Severe rock over 15″. Frequent deep holes over 15″. Shelves over 15″. Mud bog conditions (long, deep, no form bottom). Over 30″ water crossings with strong currents. Steep grades over 30 degrees. Sidehill over 30 degrees. May not be passable by stock vehicles. Experience essential. Body damage, mechanical breakdown, rollover probable. Extreme caution required.
    Extreme
    Severe conditions. Extreme caution recommended. Impassable by stock vehicles. Winching required. Trail building necessary. May be impassable. Impassable under anything but ideal conditions. Vehicle damage probable. Personal injury possible. Extreme caution necessary.

    #198984

    Guy Miner
    Participant
    Area Coordinator

    A rating system is a good idea Otis.

    I suspect we could easily adopt an existing one, rather than come up with our own unique system too.

    That’s something I try to describe when I create an “event” for NWOL. Route difficulty and vehicle recommendations – and I do try to keep most of my trips viable for a stock SUV with good tires.

    Hmm… Something for us to toss around.

    Thanks! Guy

    #198992

    Otis Ranhofer
    Participant
    Premium Member

    We are definitely up to challenge our ability and that of Otis. Never stop learning. Just do not want to hold anyone else back.

    #198994

    Steve Marchiando
    Participant
    Basic Member

    Using a rating system is a great idea. Unfortunately when I am planning a trip, there is a good chance that I haven’t been there either. All I have to go on is what I can get from the rangers/forest service (if available) during a phone call.

    #198995

    Ole Hellevik
    Participant
    Basic Member

    I definitely enjoyed the trip to Douglas Creek last weekend.  I liked seeing beautiful scenery, and old ghost town, Waterville & Douglas, and the area around Douglas Creek.  The first water crossing was more fun than I expected, and I had a great time meeting a cool group of guys.

    Camping a couple of nights is a great option for me coming from the we(s)t side.  I didn’t get to see much of Swakane Canyon, but I’m looking forward to exploring it more next month.  As an alternative for those days that get us to camp early, starting a little later in the morning makes it easier to come across the mountains the same day.

    I will probably pass on some of the more technical outings, I don’t mind a few more pin stripes but I’m not looking to spend a lot at the body shop either…  Seeing how others ahead of me approached challenges with more or less success was very instructive, so learning more skills is absolutely interesting.  I expect I’ll also do a few trips on my own, so learning self-recovery and becoming aware of my limitations is very useful

    Most of my outdoor activity has been hiking and backpacking, so I’d enjoy combining this with hikes as well.  In the end it’s all about enjoying the great outdoors together with a great group!

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