Stay off the brakes (feather them, do not stomp) or you will lock up and skid out of control. When you get to the bottom, review what just happened. Do you need to be in a different gear? Do you need more speed at the base of the hill? What can you do differently to crest the hill gracefully? Is it time to pull out a winch cable or find an alternate route altogether?
For mud holes, practice mud techniques by carefully entering the hole and making steady progress. I do not recommend “blasting” into mud because you do not know what lies beneath the surface. A large rock or stump can quickly put a damper on your day if you break something that is critical, and it’s no fun fixing broken parts in the middle of the mud. As your forward progress slows, try sawing your steering wheel back and forth. Sometimes the sidewall of the tire can grab new traction and keep you moving. If that doesn’t work, tr y backing directly out through your existing tracks. Worst case, you’ll need a tow strap and a bit of help from a buddy.
After your technique is smooth enough to negotiate most trail obstacles, reach down and touch that button for the selectable lockers. There’s nothing wrong with using the best technology available to make your trip enjoyable. But don’t count on replacing good technique with high tech…or you might find yourself slicing out of bounds instead of staying on the fairway!
Related – Choosing the Right Rubber for your Rig
* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.