off-road safety consderations - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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off-road safety consderations

Hi folks: This is not meant to insult anyone's intelligence, only to help people who are new to off-road fun. I've read a few threads that include questions and comments about off-road gear. A tiny bit of relevant personal history; I've downsized to my 2016 Colorado Z71 from a 98 AMG Hummer. My old truck had built in air deflation/reflation and a 1200lb winch plus 37" tires and over 16" of clearance. It was great fun off-road if not just a little too wide for most of the trails out here in Western Canada.

Here's my 2c:

- Subscribe to the Expedition Portal (Expedition Portal) it really is the best place to learn about everything to do with off-roading and expedition vehicles, equipment and planning. Some of us are already there.

- Either team up with friends or join an off-road club for your own safety; getting stuck or hurt in the middle of the bush by yourself can kill.

- Never go off-road without the basics to get out of trouble; a spare wheel, equipment to change it, a small shovel, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, blankets, warm clothing. I know that some of this sounds obvious but it amazes me how many people drive in sub zero weather with nothing but a T shirt and light jacket because they have a warm truck to sit in and lots of optimism. Other stuff I always carry when off-road: an axe, a collapsible saw, something to make fire with (fire starters and a lighter work great). Walkie talkies are a cheap alternative to a CB radio.

- Practice changing wheels before going off-road; again this sounds obvious but it's really common for folk to upgrade to bigger sizes only to find that the stock truck jack will not work and that the oem spare tire will not fit, even just to hobble home. I have only had my truck about three weeks; it has a BDS 5.5" lift and the oem spare wheel will not even fit on the axle. My first purchase of the new year will be a full size spare and rear carrier.

- Hi-Lift jacks are a great tool but they are also very deadly. If you go this route, learn how to use it properly and practice at home before having to use it for the first time in an emergency. Also secure it properly to your truck. Spend some time scaring yourself on the Internet then go play. You may need to get some attachments to enable the thing to lift your truck. I have not had a chance to take a good luck at my truck yet but I don't see an obvious place to lift using a Hi-Lift. Any comments?

- Learn where your winch/tow points are front and back. It's a great idea to keep a few decent shackles in the truck but I strongly advise against keeping them hanging on a tow point if not in use; they will bang around while driving and chip paint and plastic. Having your own shackles makes it easier to connect to someone else's rope/strap. Take a look at the new soft shackles; all rope. These will not bash around

- Even better, get your own straps. My ARB recovery bag contains a tree protector, a tow/winch extension strap and a snatch strap. I use the bag as a recovery damper; if you don't know what this means watch some YouTube recovery videos.

- Even better get a snatch block ( I have 2).

- Now you have almost all you need except a winch so get one of these too. Winches are great but also deadly so if you go this route, practice at home or in the bush before you get yourself into a real emergency. There are loads of Internet reference tools on winching technique. I miss my winch and will be getting one of these next year after my bank account recovers.

- Other really good stuff to carry: Maxtrax or similar (the more the better), an air pump so you can air-down and back up again after.

This list is not exhaustive; there are loads of YouTube vids about recovery gear. There are also some really great YouTubers. One of my favourites is Ronny Dahl (https://www.youtube.com/user/RonBacardi666 and About us.)

some cool stuff shown below.

Be safe!
Attached Images
File Type: png jack.PNG (527.3 KB, 79 views)
File Type: png shackles.PNG (709.3 KB, 77 views)
File Type: png soft shackle.PNG (131.7 KB, 73 views)

Rick 2016 Colorado Z71 Crew Cab, long bed
BDS 5.5" lift, Fuel Vector 20x9 rims, Toyo Open Country AT II Extreme 305/55R20 tires
Bushwacker pocket fender flares

Last edited by mhr900ss; 12-30-2016 at 02:41 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 09:54 PM
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Great basics here, thanks. I do lots of Forest Service trail riding, and carry most of these things in a tote secured in my bed. Still need to pick up a winch, just use a come-along for now.

"Stormtrooper"
2016 Colorado Z71 - Crew Cab - Long Box
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 12:43 AM
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Without rock sliders, one option for lifting with a hi-lift are wheel straps.

uploadfromtaptalk1483076563260.jpeg

uploadfromtaptalk1483076580716.jpg

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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yup but not to change a wheel unless you are carrying jack stands! I will take a good look at my truck tomorrow to see where a Hi-Lift could be used.

I also forgot wheel chocks from my list above.
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Rick 2016 Colorado Z71 Crew Cab, long bed
BDS 5.5" lift, Fuel Vector 20x9 rims, Toyo Open Country AT II Extreme 305/55R20 tires
Bushwacker pocket fender flares

Last edited by mhr900ss; 12-30-2016 at 01:47 AM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 06:12 AM
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Excellent write up. It's good to read over something like this every now and again even as an experienced off roader.

One thing I would like to add for people who are new to winching, it's important to pre-load your winch cable after you first install it. As with all new wire rope it will stretch as much 10% the first time you put a load on it. If this stretch occurs while trying to actually recover it could lead to a dangerous situation.

I find the easiest way to pre-load is to find a nice flat parking lot somewhere and hook your winch up to a friend's truck, have them put their truck in neutral at the transfer case and winch them in while they apply slight pressure on their brakes. (Make sure your truck is in park with parking brake on)
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 11:15 AM
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One thing to add: Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back. No matter how prepared you are, there may be a time when you just can't get out of the backcountry. In my 25 years with one of the busiest Search and Rescue groups in the U.S., I've lost count of the times when we were called to search for an overdue party "somewhere in the Moab area."
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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More on winching: I used to do exactly what Scurvynick describes above if I hadn't used the winch for a while. ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES! I missed this really important item in my previous list. I did this procedure for three reasons; checking to make sure the winch worked, inspecting the cable (mine was a steel line) and wrapping the cable neatly. I hate seeing a nest wrapped around a winch spool; not good as it can jam the whole thing up.

I also forgot a flashlight from my list above of bare-bones necessities.

One more thing regarding first aid kits; they are pretty much useless if you don't know how to use them. A long time ago, I lived on motorbikes and took advantage of a free first aid at work course; I figured that one day one my biking-buds may fall off in front of me and it would be good to know what to do.

Also, just my opinion, chainsaws are a really bad idea in the bush; they are far more dangerous than Hi-Lift jacks and it's so common to see people using them without any protective gear. If you've ever had one kick-back or lose a chain, you will know just how dangerous they can be. Better to take a bit more time with a collapsible saw.
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Rick 2016 Colorado Z71 Crew Cab, long bed
BDS 5.5" lift, Fuel Vector 20x9 rims, Toyo Open Country AT II Extreme 305/55R20 tires
Bushwacker pocket fender flares
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 03:32 PM
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Thanks for the link to the Expedition Portal. Very useful information there.

2016 Canyon SLE diesel, Brownstone Metallic, Towing Package, etc.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhr900ss View Post

Also, just my opinion, chainsaws are a really bad idea in the bush; they are far more dangerous than Hi-Lift jacks and it's so common to see people using them without any protective gear. If you've ever had one kick-back or lose a chain, you will know just how dangerous they can be. Better to take a bit more time with a collapsible saw.

I would have to disagree with this. I would say it's a matter of proper education and training. With that, I would say a hi-lift is way more dangerous than a chainsaw. Now someone who doesn't know how to use a chainsaw is dangerous as hell, and had no business being anywhere near one.

I say this as a former logger, from before the time of saw chaps and and other modern safety gear. I don't have a single saw related scar, and none of the guys I ever worked with over the years did either. Not saying it didn't happen, but it wasn't very common.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 04:41 PM
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Here in Texas we are watching reruns of Texas Chainsaw Massacre...

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 05:41 PM
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This is a website I made about 10 years ago..... Safety & driving tips.

Welcome to LIEBLWEB.com!

Warn Winching Techniques
https://www.warn.com/corporate/asset...US.readers.pdf

And don't forget to TREAD LIGHTLY!! (And keep it legal)
https://www.treadlightly.org
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 05:53 PM
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Hi lift jacks can be a very useful tool when out on the trail. You need to keep them CLEAN AND LUBRICATED or they won't function smoothly and properly.

http://www.hi-lift.com/media/pdfs/jack_instructions.pdf

Search Google. There's a gazillion websites that show you the versatility and usages of a HiLift. The AUssie's have it figured out:

https://www.4x4australia.com.au/gear...high-lift-jack
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 08:08 PM
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mhr900ss, thanks a bunch.
After my original post "pictures off road" I started looking at getting a few things. I already had two tow straps (a 20' & 30') but I realized how I really should have a way of attaching them sooner than later when helping those guys out.
Scurvynick opened up a whole new way of thinking when going off road and I thank you for that as well.

I've been stuck in a few different vehicles over the years so I always pack plenty of clothing for any trip. I had to use a pair of jeans to get me out of a mud hole in my scirocco when I was 16. Clothing can come in real handy.
Blankets and tarps can come in real handy as well. I've had to give some people my blanket because they were trapped in their vehicle after driving off road from an iced bridge. A Hi-lift would have been great for that issue since my jack was far too short.
I always have at least two flashlights with me because one will always die from being dropped or something else.
Plenty of water because being thirsty really sucks and it's just really refreshing after freeing up your vehicle.
As a lonely 4 wheeler I always go up trails unless I know for certain that I can get back up it. There were many trails I wanted to check out in Angels camp but they went down first and were either too slick or a bit too technical for my liking. If I can get up then I can get down is my thought on this.

I'm going to purchase quite a bit more stuff in the coming months because what I have now won't do me any good. I've watched some videos regarding the Hi-lift and have some ideas for my setup, it'll definitely include a Jackmate. I learned quite a bit already and there's so much more to learn.

Thanks again for all the help


-mac
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 08:09 PM
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Here's what I currently have
So dismal lol




-mac
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macr88 View Post
Here's what I currently have
So dismal lol


-mac
You've got a nice start!!!
This *preparing* stuff doesn't happen overnight and you can't possibly prepare for every situation. There's always that ONE situation you get yourself into that you never thought...and didn't have exactly what you needed. You have to 'think' on your feet and use the tools that you have to make the best of it. Your arsenal of preparedness gets bigger as you go. LOL

It all depends on what type of offroading you do. The situations I've usually been in, have always been offroad parks with purpose built trails with larger groups. There was never a fear of an overnight emergency as the owners of the park kept track of everyone on the trails. The network of people involved never allowed that to happen. Packing for the trails was more for extraction and mechanical failure.

It's a whole other ball game if you're out in the middle of no-where, making your own trails, and even camping overnight.ANYTHING can happen.
I will always say ...NEVER go offroad alone. Have at least 2 vehicles in your group!!!!
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 12:53 AM
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off-road safety consderations

Went out today with a buddy and I definitely see the need for some radios.

Luckily I didn't have to use any of my recovery equipment. I did pick up a snatch strap last night to add to the arsenal just in case for today's trip.

I picked up a container from COSCO for 7 bucks and had it strapped in the back with two straps. One holding it down and the other holding it against the tail gate of the truck.









-mac

Last edited by macr88; 01-04-2017 at 09:53 AM.
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