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Rough Country News

  • Mud bogging takes center stage in Florida

    It takes a special kind of off-road driver to enjoy mud bogging. The risk involved with each trek through the deep mud, the thrill that comes from successfully navigating a treacherous landscape and the skill required to outfit a vehicle with all of the necessary truck mods to conquer the terrain are all qualities that make mudding an attractive pastime for motorists to work up to. 

    Mudding differs from more standard off-road driving because those who take part in the pastime rely, at least in part, on Mother Nature. It's hard to go mud bogging without mud, and that means you need to be able to access waterways or be in a location that has frequent rainfall. 

    The perfect climate
    If there's one thing that makes Florida stand out from other off-roading locations, it's the climate. The state is well known for having warm and sunny weather year-round, but what often gets lost in the shuffle is the fact that it has frequent rain showers as well. Summer storms are a regular occurrence, and the state is also home to countless lakes and ponds throughout its central region. This diverse landscape helps to create a top-notch setting for off-roading, and the consistent rains ensure that mud is almost always plentiful. 

    High humidity helps to keep the land damp throughout the day, but it can also make for an uncomfortable setting. If you aren't used to the heavy heat or simply want to make sure your vehicle is armed with the right extras to keep you comfortable, be sure to give your ride a tune up before departing and finishing any last-minute truck mods you had planned. 

    Make the trip
    Fans of mudding know there are some spots that should not be missed when it comes to experiencing off-road driving in new locations. Florida is certainly one of these locations, as the ideal climate and wide array of potential driving locales makes it a can't-miss destination. 

    Before heading south, you should examine your off-road vehicle to make sure it has all of the modifications needed to succeed in Florida's mud. The right tires are must-haves for the difficult muddy landscape, and often that requires installing a lift kit to provide enough room and clearance on a vehicle. Some locations also require a safety flag to be included on all automobiles, from full-size trucks to ATVs, so drivers may want to pick one of these up beforehand and figure out the best place to include it on the vehicle. 

    Locations to check out
    Florida is a big state, and even excluding major cities and protected areas, there is plenty of room to roam. One place that attracts many drivers is Horse Hole Creek. Located west of Ocala, Fla., this mudding spot features an impressive course and is a favorite of local drivers. The area hosts a number of competitive events throughout the year, but it is also open to the public, and drivers can purchase a weekend pass to explore the land on their own. 

    Another alluring location is Coyote Mud Bog. This off-road park hosts special events throughout the year and is frequently used as a campground for drivers who want to pack a lot of fun into their visit. Miles of off-road trails and a 400 by 600-foot mud pit for general mud bogging and official events are open to the public, making this area an all-in-one stop for recreational drivers. Coyota Mud Bog is open every weekend, from Friday at 9 a.m. to Sunday at 6 p.m., and it is an ideal weekend getaway for fans of off-roading. 

  • Maintenance tips every driver should follow

    All drivers know they have to follow certain steps to make sure their auto maintenance is on target. Despite the general knowledge many fans of off-roading have regarding vehicle upkeep, things can change when truck or Jeep modifications enter the mix.

    Whether you're an auto expert or beginner, there are a few areas of car maintenance you need to focus on no matter where you are driving. Keeping these matters in mind allows you to care for a vehicle and yourself, and it can certainly pay off in the long run. 

    Pay attention before off-roading
    Sometimes just reaching your off-road driving destination can be half the battle. When you're operating a truck or SUV that's loaded with modifications that make it bigger, stronger and more powerful, you become an immense presence on the roads. While this may be exactly what you want for off-roading, it can cause problems when you're on the pavement driving to reach a destination.

    Maybe you have larger or more significant blind spots thanks to a few alterations or are still getting familiar with the more difficult handling of an altered vehicle - regardless of the issue, you can take steps to recognize the concern ahead of time. Take a few shorter drives on quieter roads before heading to the highway. This allows you time to familiarize yourself with any quirks or recognize areas that will need extra attention later on.  

    Brakes matter
    A vehicle's brakes are designed to create friction that eventually slows down the automobile. However, when you have completed truck mods that ultimately make a machine bigger and stronger, it can wear down the brakes at an increased rate. You don't want to encounter a problem with your brakes when you're in the middle of the wilderness, so it essential you do regular checks of the gear to make sure everything is functioning properly and there are no signals of wear. 

    Additionally, if the brake light appears on your dashboard or you notice things like a delayed response or strange noise emanating from the gears, don't hesitate to check it out. It's much easier - and more affordable - to change brake pads than to repair damage that comes from faulty equipment. 

    Engine systems need maintenance
    You should be providing regular maintenance to the entirety of the engine system. From the oil to the air filter, all areas of the motor should be examined before you head out on intense off-roading experiences. All engine parts will be required to work harder to propel a heavier machine through difficult terrain, and although many models were created with off-road driving in mind, taking steps to extend the life of the motor is a good idea. In particular, keep an eye on the engine coolant. If the motor is working overtime to power your souped-up vehicle, the engine could be feeling the strain, and maintaining the proper coolant can help you avoid overheating. 

    Stick to regular tire checks
    The tires are one of the most important aspects of an off-road vehicle. While there is a good chance you have upgraded yours after installing a lift kit, you still need to perform regular checks of the wheels. Having the right tire pressure is vital, especially if you plan on dune bashing or rock crawling, as these activities place a lot of demand on the tires. You should also make it a point to survey the general wear on the tire surface and tread. The grooves are just another essential aspect of tires, and inspecting yours to verify they are safe can save time, money and aggravation. 

  • Jeep Wrangler Polar is ready for extreme off-roading

    The Frankfurt Auto Show is in full swing, and much of the attention has been focused on European automakers and their offerings. Largely consisting of smaller vehicles and innovative new designs, most of the action surrounding the auto show didn't appeal to avid fans of off-road diving - until Jeep stepped into the spotlight. 

    As the American brand unveiled a new option that should have many off-road vehicle lovers salivating, it also launched a new niche of machines that may spawn some other creations in the near future. Before looking too far ahead, however, take a look at some of the facts and features surrounding the automaker's surprise: the 2014 Jeep Wrangler Polar special edition. 

    Jeep's big reveal
    Jeep is no stranger to the world of off-roading - in fact, as most people know, it's one of the staples of the industry. So although it is not surprising to see the manufacturer create a vehicle designed for off-highway adventures, the timing and niche of the Polar was a bit more shocking. That hasn't dampened the enthusiasm for the machine, however, with many already praising the special-edition Jeep. 

    During the auto show, the Polar was unveiled as a four-door Jeep, but it will also be available as a two-door ride. Drivers will also be able to select their preferred engine from either a 200 PS 2.8-liter Fiat diesel or a 284 PS 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, Auto Evolution reported. These powerful motors allow plenty of flexibility for future owners, who should be able to make certain Jeep modifications without having to worry about the functioning of the vehicle. 

    More about the Polar
    While the hype surrounding the Polar will certainly - and rightfully - revolve around its capabilities, the impressive exterior of the vehicle should not be overlooked. The first thing you're likely to notice is the Hydro Blue paint color, a vibrant shade that is perfectly complemented by pitch-black accents on the front grille and plenty of sleek gear like the 18-inch gloss black wheels. 

    The vehicle is also equipped with many extras that will be extremely useful for off-roading. A limited-slip rear differential is designed to provide top-of-the-line traction on any terrain. With Trac-Lok anti-spin qualities, it should keep the machine functioning in any situation, and it even goes so far as to direct torque to the tire that has the best grip on the ground to improve safety. 

    Well suited for the cold
    With a name like Polar, you know the Jeep is going to be ready to handle the cold. Its capabilities are not just limited to the standard snowfall and freezing temperatures typically found in winter, either. The Polar is a heavy-duty machine ready to handle severe climates and extreme conditions more associated with Arctic tundra than general off-roading sites. 

    On the inside, heated leather seats maximize comfort, and white accents create a unique look. To go along with this revamped appearance, there is a new leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic climate control, Hydro Blue instrument dials and a 6.5-inch infotainment screen. As if that wasn't enough, the Jeep has a Polar badge emblazoned directly on the automobile. You can find it on the front fender flares, where it shows off the coordinates of Vostok in Antarctica, which is more commonly known as the location of the lowest-ever recorded temperature. 

    The Polar may not be for everyone, but it is certainly an interesting look at some of the potential options in the world of off-roading. 

  • Beware of the dangers of carbon monoxide when off-roading

    There are a few potential dangers that most people watch out for when off-roading. Things like vehicle safety, obstacles on the trails and similar mechanical problems are common issues that drivers usually know to pay attention to. However, other sources of harm are not given the same focus, and this could be to the detriment of motorists everywhere. 

    Carbon monoxide poisoning has been a problem for people all across the world, and it can strike in any situation, whether you are off-roading or simply sleeping. While devices like carbon monoxide detectors can help in the home setting, you may have to go the extra mile to protect yourself from harm when in an automobile. 

    The dangers of carbon monoxide
    Carbon monoxide is a gas that can cause major damage to unsuspecting individuals. In areas where there is a high content of the compound in the air, red blood cells in the body absorb the gas instead of oxygen. As a result, necessary oxygen is not distributed to organs, wreaking havoc on basic functions. Additionally, too much carbon monoxide can damage tissues, which further intensifies the damage. 

    Part of the reason carbon monoxide is so dangerous is because it is an odorless, colorless gas - making it extremely hard to recognize until you have already been exposed. That is part of the reason drivers must always be conscious of where they are off-roading and how the terrain may be affecting the automobile.

    The gas can build up even in semi-enclosed spaces that individuals may have believed were safe. Because you can never be too careful about the ventilation, it is best to keep windows open whenever possible and to take regular breaks where you can relax in the fresh air away from a vehicle. 

    How to avoid harm
    Many issues arising from carbon monoxide poisoning in off-road driving come when the exhaust of a vehicle is blocked by mud or other debris. After mudding, be sure to take a short break just to check the exhaust. Similarly, if you are crossing a muddy area or waterway and find yourself stuck, open the windows and periodically check on the back of the vehicle. Should the exhaust become blocked, it could back up into the passenger compartment completely unbeknownst to you, which may lead to dangerous situations, so take breaks out in the fresh air and encourage passengers to do the same. 

    Carbon monoxide can also be found in small gasoline stoves or lanterns. If you wind up camping during your off-roading adventure, be sure to check and see if your gear produces carbon monoxide and take steps to ensure these devices are used in open spaces where you won't be breathing in the gas. 

    When working on truck or Jeep modifications, be sure not to restrict yourself to a closed garage or poorly ventilated space. If the car is running at any point, it is releasing carbon monoxide into the air and putting you at risk. 

    Know the symptoms
    One of the best ways to stay safe when off-road driving is by knowing the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and being able to identify potentially harmful situations. Some of the most common symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness and general weakness. 

    These signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can occasionally seem like other sicknesses, so it's important to have the notion in the back of your mind to avoid further harm. If you or a passenger starts experiencing any of these symptoms, do yourself a favor and stop driving. Pulling over the side of the trail, opening windows and getting out of the car could go a long way to feeling better. At this time you can also check out the exhaust on your off-road vehicle and see if there are any noticeable issues. 

  • What to do before you go off-roading

    Most drivers have a firm grasp on what needs to be done before venturing out for an off-roading experience. Whether it's your first time out on the trails or you're a seasoned expert, you still have to go through the motions of preparing for off-road driving. Even off-road experts may occasionally need to be reminded of the things you should be checking off a to-do list before heading out for an adventure. 

    Get a permit
    Before you can hit the trails and start taming the landscape, you have to make sure you have taken care of all of the truck mods and paperwork required to handle the dirt roads. First, you'll need to verify that your vehicle - and all of its truck modifications - is legal for both street use and off-roading. Once that has been taken care of, reach out to the location you plan on exploring to see if the property requires individual driver permits and find out how to get those if necessary. 

    Check the weather
    There are a variety of reasons you should be checking the weather forecast before you jump in your off-road vehicle, and it goes beyond deciding what to wear. Knowing the climate can help you equip yourself with the right tools that could come in handy in any situation. 

    The predicted weather should influence what kinds of tools you bring along. For example, if snow is on the horizon, you may want to pack up a winch, while drivers who are going mud bogging should bring along recovery straps in case they find themselves mired in the soft ground during their ride.

    "A change in a set of one tires to another set of tires can make it handle completely different," Chad Schroll, an expert from a company that makes winches, told KCBY News. "In snow, in particular, I end up using a winch way more because the snow consistency can change so much - from the dry, powdery snow that you can drive through easily to the wet, heavy snow." 

    Snow may be the farthest thing from your mind at the moment, but the point still stands: Knowing what to expect weather-wise is an important part of off-roading, and making the right preparations could save you some frustration in the long run. 

    Scout the area
    If you're planning on off-roading in a location you haven't explored or don't know that much about, you should scout the area ahead of time. This could be as simple as checking in with a governing body or ranger station to see what kinds of regulations are in place on the grounds, ensuring that you can comply with all restrictions. At this time you should also ask about especially difficult areas or common problems off-road drivers frequently encounter. This can clue you in as to what situations you should expect and what equipment you may want to bring along. 

    "The most important thing is knowing how your vehicle is going to behave in the different situations," winch manufacturer Andy Lilienthal told the news source. "Much like any other adventure sport - like skiing or rock climbing or anything like that - you've got to be sure that you know your limits. And you really have to know what you're doing or you need to go with people that can teach you." 

    These are just three of the steps you should be taking before you start dune bashing, mudding or any engaging in any other off-road activity. Once these basic tasks are complete, you can turn your attention to truck mods and improvements you'll need to handle whatever comes your way. 

  • How to comply with lift kit laws

    A lot of fun can come from installing a lift kit. However, it can also be a big hassle - especially if you aren't up to speed on lift kit laws in your home state. These regulations can be incredibly complicated, even for the most esteemed off-road drivers, but it's essential that you pay attention to these restrictions and make sure all of your truck mods are in line with the law. 

    State by state
    Lift kit laws and regulations vary on a state by state basis. In fact, no two states are alike, which can make it incredibly difficult to plan on installing a lift kit that can be used on off-road trails across the U.S. 

    Not only do states have different laws, but many have made it a complicated process to filter through the websites and codes in search of the applicable regulations. Luckily, organizations like have done the work for you and compiled the rules in one convenient place. There, you will be able to find laws regarding acceptable dimensions for a street or off-road vehicle, as well as information about brakes, tires, suspensions, bumpers, the engine and much more that may come in handy when making truck mods. 

    The key area you will want to look at is the frame. Each state has a maximum frame height that varies based on the type of automobile, so be sure you know what segment you should be looking for prior to starting your research. 

    Possible repercussions
    If you make truck mods that don't comply with restrictions, you could face a complicated series of challenges. Many of the repercussions depend on the individual case - for example, the laws can be enforced to different extents based on the law officer involved or the location of the violation. 

    One of the more common problems that may arise if your automobile isn't up to code is that you will be pulled over by police. The resulting tickets and fines could put quite a dent in your wallet and throw off your future plans for modifications. 

    Another possible issue? If you get into an accident or have any need for help from your insurance company, they could refuse to provide coverage. In some cases all coverage could be revoked, so be sure to check out your policy and see what's covered by the plan. There are a few companies that will even protect the off-road gear itself, making it extremely important that you're taking the time to find the right policy as well as checking your restrictions. 

    General rules to follow
    Although the restrictions depend upon the state your vehicle is registered in, there are a few general rules you can keep in mind while considering your options for truck modifications. For one, you should have a few tidbits of information figured out beforehand. Record how much your off-road vehicle weighs and its dimensions. This will make it easier to find the applicable laws and regulations when you search the Lift Laws database. Knowing these figures also allows you to measure how much of a difference your chosen lift kit will make and whether or not the upgraded vehicle will comply with codes. 

    Similarly, if you are making plans to visit an off-roading trail you've heard about in a different state, or if you have a destination you visit frequently where you may want to go off-road driving eventually, you should check the regulations of that area. That way, if you end up in the wilderness in a given region, you'll know you are in compliance with the law. 

  • Modern SUVs ready for off-roading adventures

    Sport utility vehicles were originally designed for off-roading, but over the years many models have transformed to be best suited for daily driving. However, there are still a number of SUVs that can handle dune bashing, mud bogging and other off-road adventures. You may need to install a few truck mods to these SUVs to make sure they can handle everything you throw at them, but it's a small price to pay to protect the vehicles when you veer off the beaten path.

    Jeep Wrangler
    The Wrangler is perhaps the No. 1 SUV that comes to people's minds when they think about off-road driving. The core of this machine is rugged, with standard four-wheel drive on all trim levels, and heavy duty parts like front and rear axles that are designed to take a beating in the wilderness thanks to a unique axle ratio. According to, the Wrangler is also a favorite among off-road enthusiasts because of the sheer multitude of Jeep modifications that can be made to the vehicle, so drivers can fine-tune their rides to their exact liking.

    Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Unlike the Wrangler, the Grand Cherokee has become moreand more civilized over the years, with numerous features that provide luxury and creature comforts rather than focusing on off-roading truck mods. However, it hasn't lost its edge entirely, even if it has gotten a bit soft, which is why U.S News and World Report ranked it No. 1. While they don't come standard on every model, the available off-roading features, like the Quadra-Trac II AWD that makes it easy to traverse any terrain, give Jeep lovers plenty of reasons to consider the Grand Cherokee.

    Toyota FJ Cruiser
    Tying with the Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rover Range Rover Sport for fourth place on U.S. News' ranking, the FJ Cruiser is a great choice for drivers who want to pick up an SUV made for the wilderness without breaking the bank. The FJ, which has a starting MSRP of about $27,000, was made for the wild. Consumer Reports indicates that even though it leaves plenty to be desired on the road, the FJ Cruiser shines as soon as it leaves the pavement. It can traverse waters up to 28 inches deep, and its undercarriage is built to protect the SUV from damage caused by boulders, tree roots and anything else that lies in its path.

    Land Rover Range Rover
    Most people think of the Range Rover as a luxury SUV, but they are forgetting that this behemoth is built to get dirty. Second only to the Grand Cherokee, according to U.S. News, the Range Rover packs a punch. Its brethren, the Range Rover Evoque and Sport models, came in third and fourth, respectively, highlighting just how versatile the luxury SUVs can be. Largely due to the sophisticated technology, the Range Rover is more than ready to splash through the mud. The only problem is that after spending upwards of $80,000, drivers might be less than thrilled by the prospect of potentially damaging the ride.

    Plenty of other SUVs are capable of holding their own in the wild as well. The Land Rover LR4, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota 4Runner and other models have plenty of available options to turn them into off-roading champions. Plus, there are countless aftermarket truck mods that you can install on virtually any SUV to enhance the off-roading experience no matter what you're driving. Many truck modifications, like adding a Toyota lift kit or modifying a Jeep suspension, can take your ride to a whole new level the next time you head to your favorite off-road spots.

  • Watch out for heat damage to a vehicle this summer

    We're smack dab in the middle of summer, and while that may mean trips to the beach for some, almost everyone has to deal with scorching temperatures. Although the heat can help to create a good environment for off-roading adventures, it can also cause damage to a vehicle if you're not careful. 

    "Prolonged exposure to high temperatures is not only a threat to passengers, but a vehicle concern as well," said John Nielsen, managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair for AAA. "Knowing the dangers and preparing your vehicle for extreme heat can keep your vehicle running smoothly during the hot summer months." 

    Dangers of heat damage 
    One of the major areas of concern when it comes to heat damage is the engine. Over-heating is a real threat, as excessive heat and humidity can cause different parts of an engine to expand or put additional strain on the motor. It's not uncommon to see drivers pulled over on the side of the road in the heart of summer, waiting for their engines to cool down, but you should pay attention to how you're pushing a vehicle to ensure you are never in that position. 

    If you're ever participating in some off-road driving and hear a peculiar sound like bubbling or gurgling, pull over and shut the engine off immediately. These sounds can signify a motor that is much too hot, and driving on this motor can destroy an engine beyond repair. Allow the machinery under the hood to rest once you pull over - the radiator cap and other gear will likely be too hot to touch, and the interior fluid could have been transformed to dangerous steam in the heat. 

    You also need to keep an eye on the vehicle's battery. Heat can cause a lot of damage to the electrical core of a vehicle, and although there isn't much you can do to control temperatures, you can make sure other areas of the battery's maintenance are up to date to prevent factors from accumulating. Double check the battery to ensure it's mounted properly to reduce vibrations and test it to see what its life expectancy is. Heat can speed up the decline of a battery, so if you have one that is near the end of its life span you may want to keep a spare nearby. 

    Tires are another part of a vehicle that could be affected by the oppressive heat. High temperatures can lead to under-inflated tires, so be sure you're checking the pressure throughout the season and comparing it to what the vehicle manufacturer recommends. 

    How to prevent problems
    Despite the potential for mechanical issues that come about when temperatures rise, there are many steps drivers can take to protect themselves and their off-road vehicles from harm. One of the easiest and most basic things you can do is consistently monitor coolant levels and replace the fluids when needed. Refresh these liquids and flush out the engine system periodically to ensure your vehicle is clean and efficient. 

    Last, but certainly not least, you should keep an eye on your air conditioning system. Even if you're not the type of driver who consistently uses the tool, it's important to periodically check on the HVAC system to make sure everything is working properly. Not only can a poorly functioning service be indicative of other problems under the hood, but you never know when an emergency will strike and you will need the amenity. Going off-road driving in the summer and getting stuck could leave you at the mercy of nature, and having the ability to take a break inside an air conditioned cabin could be just what you need. 

  • Are you keeping up with summer maintenance?

    Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in making truck mods that you forget to focus on standard vehicle maintenance. However, it is essential to be constantly watching different aspects of a truck to ensure everything is functioning in a safe and proper manner. Even doing a few simple tasks throughout the summer can go a long way toward preserving your truck and keeping you behind the wheel for longer periods of time. 

    Here are a few areas of maintenance that needs to be done on a consistent basis throughout the summer: 

    Replace your fluids 
    You should be replacing all of the fluids that keep your truck running, from engine coolant to oil to wiper fluid. Each of these liquids has their own job, so stocking up at regular intervals can have a system running smoothly while making sure you have a safe driving experience. A good rule of thumb is to flush out and replace coolant when you go in for an oil change - every 3,000 miles or three months, in general - and wiper fluid should be checked before you head out off-roading. The last thing you want is mud to splatter your windshield, only to find you have no way of cleaning it, and doing this simple check can help you avoid that scenario. 

    Check the tires
    Extreme weather changes and high temperatures can wreak havoc on your tire pressure. That means you should be monitoring your tires throughout the summer, pumping them up whenever necessary. You may even want to switch from all-season tires to summer tires to get the maximum efficiency from your vehicle, but keeping the traditional all-season gear on a truck won't be detrimental. 

    Pressure isn't the only thing you need to look out for. Tire treads can be worn down after a long winter and multiple off-roading adventures, which makes it particularly important to examine the treads to ensure there is an adequate grip. Use the penny test to check the tread on your tires. All you need for this is a standard penny. Simply place the penny in the grooves of a tire - as long as part of Abraham Lincoln's head is always at least partially covered, the treads are deep enough to be effective. has outlined the ways drivers can use different coins to find tread depth, so if you want to make sure your tires have enough grip to keep you safe on rocks, sand or any other terrain, you can still check on it yourself. 

    Clean and wax
    The happenings under the hood are important, but that doesn't mean you should ignore the exterior of your truck. For example, sudden rain showers can harm the outside, so waxing a vehicle regularly may help prevent rust and water spots while also extending the life of a paint job. Car wax also deflects the sun's rays, allowing you to avoid fading even in the hottest of conditions. 

    You should be washing your truck frequently in the summer, as well - especially if you make it a point to go off-road driving whenever you can. Even the most basic wash can get rid of dirt and debris left over from an adventure, which preserves the exterior and ensures you aren't allowing this mess to infiltrate the systems under the hood. 

    Have an emergency kit
    You should always have an emergency kit stored in your vehicle. The contents of this package may change with the seasons, but good things to keep on hand include basic tools, a flashlight, jumper cables and recovery straps, just to name a few. It's also a smart idea to have a few pick-me-ups for you kept in the kit, as well. Bottled water and nonperishable snacks can be a tremendous help without taking up a lot of space. If you find yourself stuck for an extended period of time under the hot sun, you'll be happy you have this nourishment on hand. 

  • Finding the best off-road trails

    Unless you own a large tract of land, you'll need to find trails to take your Jeep or other truck off-roading. If you're a seasoned off-road driver, you probably know all the best spots already, but those who are new to the sport will have to do a bit of research to track down the best trails in their area. Here are a few tips for finding the best trails to take your vehicle with all of its truck modifications out for a spin in the wilderness:

    Pay attention during everyday driving
    When you're shuttling the kids to school or commuting to work, keep your eyes peeled if you live in a more suburban or rural area. There may be trails that you've simply never seen before right around the corner. You can try taking different roads than you usually travel, as this could expose you to new areas and lead you to a diamond in the rough. When you find one, make sure your off-road vehicle is ready for action and head out for a fun adventure.

    Ask your friends
    If any of your friends or family members love off-road driving as well, they might have an inside scoop on a hot trail that you're sure to love. The benefits of getting references from people you know are two-fold. First, they have at least somewhat of an idea of the experience you're looking for when you get behind the wheel, so they won't bother telling you about a mud bogging spot that you wouldn't enjoy. Second, since you know them, you don't have to think twice about their opinion. If a friend tells you he or she experienced a lot of problems with a certain off-roading locale, it's more likely a genuine sentiment.

    Go online
    There are countless resources for off-roading enthusiasts trying to find trails. You can check out forums dedicated to the sport, which will allow you to browse through other users' questions and answers as well as posting your own to get specific feedback. The National Park Service website is another valuable resource, as it can provide information about whether or not certain parks allow recreational vehicles to leave the roads. The same holds true for state parks and other wilderness areas. It's always best to make sure that off-roading is OK before hitting the trails to avoid problems.

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