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John Bronco

Badlands
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Texas
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Ram 2500/ Jeep Rubicon
Your Bronco Model
Badlands
After 6 months on this forum I can see that there are lots of potentially new off-road enthusiasts looking to get into Broncos! This is exciting and it’ll be great to see the 4x4 community grow in general.

I also see lots of “what’s this do”, “do I need this or that” type questions, so I thought I would lend my 2 cents on my general philosophy after having been heavy into off-roading the last ~15 years or so. With my below suggestions, I will assume that you may someday want to do some serious trails - not just gravel roads and an occasional mud rut.
  1. Get a good driveline. The number one thing I want to tell you is that I believe it as FAR more advantageous to pony up as much money as possible to purchase the stoutest factory driveline that you can get in your rig - if you even remotely think you may wheel aggressively. I’m talking about making sure you spend your money on things that AREN’T easy to change or add on in the aftermarket / used market world.
    • The prime example of this would be axles. If you think you will someday want to run 35”+ tires, do everything within your power to get the M210 axles. An example of this in the Jeep world would be the Dana 35 axles - which are a serious drawback when one wants to get serious about wheeling. Especially with lockers.
  2. Which brings me to my next point - lockers! The #1 single biggest improvement I made to my ‘79 Bronco was adding a rear Detroit-style locker. It’s simply AMAZING what happens when you get all tires turning in all conditions. Therefore - I HIGHLY recommend putting down the cash for lockers. Lockers are both difficult and expensive to add aftermarket. Adding a front locker also takes you to a whole other level.
  3. Transfer Case. Swapping or modifying transfer cases is VERY difficult post-purchase. Therefore - get the best transfer case you can afford. Specifically, lowest available gearing is what you are after. Secondary transfer case features like automatic engagement are also highly valuable, but may not be justified as needed on it's own (if it were separate from the gearing).
  4. Sway-bar disconnect. You NEED a sway-bar disconnect. You do NOT need the fancy-pants electronic disconnect Bronco offers as there will be aftermarket versions available cheap, but you cannot underestimate the value of this extra articulation. Adding an aftermarket version will likely be a nice intro to DIY vehicle modifications. Disconnects I think will be even more important with the Bronco due to the already lesser articulation compared to a solid front axle.
  5. MINIMIZE any lift that you add. It’s amazing how much fun you can have on a small lift and 35” tires. You likely do not need >2in of lift in this Bronco to keep you happy and entertained for a LONG time. Honestly, I would recommend stock Badlands height and no lift for as long as possible. The primary reason for this is keeping your center of gravity as low as possible. High CGs equate to bad off-road handling. Good driving skills overcome lack of lift in many situations.
  6. You do NOT NEED BEADLOCKS! I regularly run 12psi in the rear, and 15psi in the front. This is plenty low to get adequate deformation of the tire (see above picture). I have only had 1 problem with unseating a bead, which was due to winch operator error (I winched myself sideways when it wasn't necessary). Until you're doing expert level stuff, save your money for those lockers ;)
In summary - I’m part of a Jeep Club and I CONSTANTLY see people buying expensive D44 crate axles, paying for lockers with install labor, etc., and generally speaking they always wish they would have just bought a Rubicon to begin with. It can eliminate a lot of headache if you’re think you might get serious. Starting with the best available hardware to begin with has a lot of advantages.

Important Contributions From Other Members (Paraphrased)
  1. Trail Etiquette @Ramble_Offroad
    1. Never go wheeling alone
    2. Stay on designated routes
    3. Always pick up your trash
    4. Tread lightly
    5. Don't be an asshole
    6. Pay it forward
    7. Leave it better than you found it
    8. https://staythetrail.org/
  2. Wheeling Advice @Ramble_Offroad @Bronco @WillisC’onnors @BLTN @broncoenthusiast @BAUS67 @395N @pan-y-cerveza @RevealItAsap
    1. Understand and stay within the limits of your equipment and skillset
      • Be realistic
      • Don't let anyone (especially cute girls/guys) talk you into exceeding your limits
    2. Carefully select your line and read the terrain. Walk the critical sections first. Walking the next obstacle section of the trail is a VERY helpful.
    3. Too much throttle + hopping = broken shit
    4. Join a local club. They will have access to private wheeling ground you won't. Also a great deal of experienced people.
    5. Anticipate the effects of poor weather. A moderate trail can become nearly impassable after just a few minutes of rain/snow
    6. Don't be afraid to use it. Part of wheeling is occasional damage. Obviously don't trash your rig, but using your common sense know that damage can be fixed.
    7. Traction is everything. Minimize wheel spin wherever possible. Tire placement on obstacles is very important.
  3. Gear advice @Ramble_Offroad @Gr8Hortoni @Blksn955.o
    • You NEED a first aid kit. It can be simple.
    • Tire puncture repair kit & air compressor = gold
      • Great way to pick up 4x4 chicks err I mean friends
    • LOCKERS BEFORE LIGHTBARS!!!
      • When the rubber meats the road, ONLY functionality matters.
    • A blanket - girls love them and so do you
    • Roll of toilet paper. Definitely necessary - keep a full roll in a plastic bag. Leaves or a sacrificial sock are your alternative...
**EDIT 3/12/21**
Regarding recovery gear kits and what recovery gear you actually need:

Honestly I would stay away from the "ready made kits". It's not that the kits are bad, it's just that to me they seem overpriced for what you get and I prefer to build out my kits according to my unique needs and exactly what I want.

Here's what I take with me on every wheeling trip. Actually this stuff never leaves my vehicle because I have it stowed away so nicely. I'll try to organize things into "mandatory" and "optional".

Mandatory
  • TWO 3"x30' tow straps - One for main connection vehicle to vehicle and other to serve as a tree strap (simply wrap around anchor point as needed to get right length) I really like these from Smittybilt and they're what I carry: https://www.amazon.com/Smittybilt-C...ds=smittybilt+tow+strap&qid=1615563540&sr=8-5
  • Tree strap of some form (see above). I prefer just to use a second full-length strap, not the shorter purpose made tree straps. You are responsible for protecting the tree, and your gear. Never wrap your winch line around your anchor point and hook it to itself - you will damage your winch line and the tree.
  • TWO metal clevises. 1 for attaching to vehicle and other for attaching to anchor point
  • Non-bumper vehicle anchor point. Hooks bolted directly to frame, or 2" receiver hitch shackle (my favorite, provided that receiver hitch mount is in good shape and distributes load well) Welded recovery points are permissible as long as the welder was at all competent. If you can't judge competent weldments quickly visually, stay away from them.
  • Jack for the appropriate height of your vehicle. I carry a bottle jack as the OEM jack is worthless on my lifted vehicle in offroad situations
Optional
  • Extra clevises / shackles. One thing you can never have too many of
  • A second 2" receiver hitch shackle. Always keep your first one in the rear hitch, and the second one for an unprepared buddy who has to pull you out :)
  • Winch
  • 2 Snatch blocks - incredibly valuable for tricky situations and winching sideways (it happens!) I use the Smittybilt ones.
  • Dedicated tree strap - it is convenient to have but I would rather have a full length 2nd strap if I had to choose
  • Log chain - only for unique situations and non-dynamic / non-shock loading
  • High Lift Jack - I carry a 60" and it does come in handy occasionally
  • High Lift Jack winch kit - Yes, you can use your High Lift Jack as a winch. A poor-man's winch and I used many times prior to getting an actual winch
  • Shock-absorbing snatch strap. Good for when stuck in mud and you need to use dynamic momentum to break loose without breaking stuff
  • Synthetic clevises - don't own any personally but a nice lightweight alternative to steel shackles
MIOBI (Make It Or Break It) - Knoxville, IA (private owned park)
IMG_4197.JPG


Strike Ravine - Moab, UT
StrikeRavine3.jpg


Iron Range - Gilbert, MN (Public DNR run park)
DSCN1073.JPG
Man. This started off as a great topic and got hijacked almost immediately. Thanks for your initial contributions OP and a few others.

I know I’m way late to the conversation but couple other things I think should be added.


You should almost never be walking around a vehicle while it’s on a trail or obstacle. If you absolutely have to, make sure you make eye contact with the driver so that you know that they know you are there, communicate what you are doing and let them know when you’re clear.

Don’t get under or behind a vehicle unless it’s parked. Even then stay to the side or uphill if it’s on a slope. Parking prawls can slip.

As for your components, if in doubt, it’s not strong enough. Even if you build it up, it can still break.

If you wheel a lot, your skills will eventually outgrow your vehicle. No vehicle is a silver bullet. There is just some things one can do that another can’t. 4 inches of wheelbase can make all the difference in the world.

One of the best shortcuts to learning is to spot and watch others spot. See how the vehicle works in different scenarios. (turning the wheel could lift a tire 3’ in the air and putting it in neutral could let it settle completely. Both without moving an inch.)
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Last edited:

King Luis

Black Diamond
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Volvo XC60 & MK5 Jetta TDI
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Black Diamond
Clubs
 
fantastic post. a very good read. but i'm guessing this is not entirely directed to everyone. more a long the lines of the guys who will have the bronco as their first 4x4 and will be pursuing off roading in an extreme way. imo, (and i could be wrong), the SBD is not a must have unless you are crawling on higher level trails.
 

John Bronco

Badlands
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AND….

Keep you’re arms and hands inside at all times.

The roll bar is NOT a handle. Don’t touch it. It seems obvious but when you go over, the natural reaction is to hang on to what you got. If you’re holding a tube get ready to say bye bye to your fingers.
Best thing to do is grab the bottoms of your seat or oh shit bar and duck.
 

John Bronco

Badlands
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Badlands
fantastic post. a very good read. but i'm guessing this is not entirely directed to everyone. more a long the lines of the guys who will have the bronco as their first 4x4 and will be pursuing off roading in an extreme way. imo, (and i could be wrong), the SBD is not a must have unless you are crawling on higher level trails.
Yep. In reality, the majority of the people who buy these vehicle won't NEED any of the buttons on the dashboard other than hazards. Rear diff and traction control will help you through most dirt trails. Front/rear diff and traction for mud and deep sand. Disconnect is good for when you start getting on real trails and you're likely to carry a tire.
Turn assist seems kind of tacticool but I don't know enough about it. If you can use it on rocks with traction, then it's an awesome feature. If it's only in sand, it's seems kind of silly IMO.
 

wrbix

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LR Def90, F250 7.3, Caterham 7, LR Series III, etc
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Badlands
Clubs
 
Most useful “accessory” to stay out of troublesome places off-road - reverse gear. Uhhn-uh, ain’t going there. Know when/where/how to turn back. There’s no shame in that.
 

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AJKitebrder40

Badlands
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Adam
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'23 Bronco Badlands 2D SAS, Eruption Green
Your Bronco Model
Badlands
Clubs
 
Great post, joining a club is key. I've definitely reached out to my local Jeep club (still in a JL until/if Bronco shows up). The discussion on the best overall on/off road with respect to the stock Badlands is kinda where I'm at on deciding on shifting my build (when it eventually/likely gets moved to a '23).

I don't care about creature comforts, I want a 7 spd, 2.3L, the primary thing I need is a hard top and MGV/washout floors. I'm using it as a daily driver mixed with surf and hiking trips. My JL is setup pretty well for this right now, it's a stock Rubicon with Armorlite flooring and Bartact seat covers. I sleep in it with a DeepSleep mattress, surf equipment on top.

I'm still debating shifting to a Black Diamond SAS, but I have used the sway bar disconnect in Uwharrie and other spots, and I think with the SAS I'll barely be able to fit it in the garage with roof racks (82" height on garage) and the hit on gas mileage.

With my price protection Badlands stock (w/optional wheels, MIC, modular bumper, and roof racks) is roughly the same as a Black Diamond SAS. So......really it's which is more liveable for me long term.
 

C1 Ret

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Wildtrak
After 6 months on this forum I can see that there are lots of potentially new off-road enthusiasts looking to get into Broncos! This is exciting and it’ll be great to see the 4x4 community grow in general.

I also see lots of “what’s this do”, “do I need this or that” type questions, so I thought I would lend my 2 cents on my general philosophy after having been heavy into off-roading the last ~15 years or so. With my below suggestions, I will assume that you may someday want to do some serious trails - not just gravel roads and an occasional mud rut.
  1. Get a good driveline. The number one thing I want to tell you is that I believe it as FAR more advantageous to pony up as much money as possible to purchase the stoutest factory driveline that you can get in your rig - if you even remotely think you may wheel aggressively. I’m talking about making sure you spend your money on things that AREN’T easy to change or add on in the aftermarket / used market world.
    • The prime example of this would be axles. If you think you will someday want to run 35”+ tires, do everything within your power to get the M210 axles. An example of this in the Jeep world would be the Dana 35 axles - which are a serious drawback when one wants to get serious about wheeling. Especially with lockers.
  2. Which brings me to my next point - lockers! The #1 single biggest improvement I made to my ‘79 Bronco was adding a rear Detroit-style locker. It’s simply AMAZING what happens when you get all tires turning in all conditions. Therefore - I HIGHLY recommend putting down the cash for lockers. Lockers are both difficult and expensive to add aftermarket. Adding a front locker also takes you to a whole other level.
  3. Transfer Case. Swapping or modifying transfer cases is VERY difficult post-purchase. Therefore - get the best transfer case you can afford. Specifically, lowest available gearing is what you are after. Secondary transfer case features like automatic engagement are also highly valuable, but may not be justified as needed on it's own (if it were separate from the gearing).
  4. Sway-bar disconnect. You NEED a sway-bar disconnect. You do NOT need the fancy-pants electronic disconnect Bronco offers as there will be aftermarket versions available cheap, but you cannot underestimate the value of this extra articulation. Adding an aftermarket version will likely be a nice intro to DIY vehicle modifications. Disconnects I think will be even more important with the Bronco due to the already lesser articulation compared to a solid front axle.
  5. MINIMIZE any lift that you add. It’s amazing how much fun you can have on a small lift and 35” tires. You likely do not need >2in of lift in this Bronco to keep you happy and entertained for a LONG time. Honestly, I would recommend stock Badlands height and no lift for as long as possible. The primary reason for this is keeping your center of gravity as low as possible. High CGs equate to bad off-road handling. Good driving skills overcome lack of lift in many situations.
  6. You do NOT NEED BEADLOCKS! I regularly run 12psi in the rear, and 15psi in the front. This is plenty low to get adequate deformation of the tire (see above picture). I have only had 1 problem with unseating a bead, which was due to winch operator error (I winched myself sideways when it wasn't necessary). Until you're doing expert level stuff, save your money for those lockers ;)
In summary - I’m part of a Jeep Club and I CONSTANTLY see people buying expensive D44 crate axles, paying for lockers with install labor, etc., and generally speaking they always wish they would have just bought a Rubicon to begin with. It can eliminate a lot of headache if you’re think you might get serious. Starting with the best available hardware to begin with has a lot of advantages.

Important Contributions From Other Members (Paraphrased)
  1. Trail Etiquette @Ramble_Offroad
    1. Never go wheeling alone
    2. Stay on designated routes
    3. Always pick up your trash
    4. Tread lightly
    5. Don't be an asshole
    6. Pay it forward
    7. Leave it better than you found it
    8. https://staythetrail.org/
  2. Wheeling Advice @Ramble_Offroad @Bronco @WillisC’onnors @BLTN @broncoenthusiast @BAUS67 @395N @pan-y-cerveza @RevealItAsap
    1. Understand and stay within the limits of your equipment and skillset
      • Be realistic
      • Don't let anyone (especially cute girls/guys) talk you into exceeding your limits
    2. Carefully select your line and read the terrain. Walk the critical sections first. Walking the next obstacle section of the trail is a VERY helpful.
    3. Too much throttle + hopping = broken shit
    4. Join a local club. They will have access to private wheeling ground you won't. Also a great deal of experienced people.
    5. Anticipate the effects of poor weather. A moderate trail can become nearly impassable after just a few minutes of rain/snow
    6. Don't be afraid to use it. Part of wheeling is occasional damage. Obviously don't trash your rig, but using your common sense know that damage can be fixed.
    7. Traction is everything. Minimize wheel spin wherever possible. Tire placement on obstacles is very important.
  3. Gear advice @Ramble_Offroad @Gr8Hortoni @Blksn955.o
    • You NEED a first aid kit. It can be simple.
    • Tire puncture repair kit & air compressor = gold
      • Great way to pick up 4x4 chicks err I mean friends
    • LOCKERS BEFORE LIGHTBARS!!!
      • When the rubber meats the road, ONLY functionality matters.
    • A blanket - girls love them and so do you
    • Roll of toilet paper. Definitely necessary - keep a full roll in a plastic bag. Leaves or a sacrificial sock are your alternative...
**EDIT 3/12/21**
Regarding recovery gear kits and what recovery gear you actually need:

Honestly I would stay away from the "ready made kits". It's not that the kits are bad, it's just that to me they seem overpriced for what you get and I prefer to build out my kits according to my unique needs and exactly what I want.

Here's what I take with me on every wheeling trip. Actually this stuff never leaves my vehicle because I have it stowed away so nicely. I'll try to organize things into "mandatory" and "optional".

Mandatory
  • TWO 3"x30' tow straps - One for main connection vehicle to vehicle and other to serve as a tree strap (simply wrap around anchor point as needed to get right length) I really like these from Smittybilt and they're what I carry: https://www.amazon.com/Smittybilt-C...ds=smittybilt+tow+strap&qid=1615563540&sr=8-5
  • Tree strap of some form (see above). I prefer just to use a second full-length strap, not the shorter purpose made tree straps. You are responsible for protecting the tree, and your gear. Never wrap your winch line around your anchor point and hook it to itself - you will damage your winch line and the tree.
  • TWO metal clevises. 1 for attaching to vehicle and other for attaching to anchor point
  • Non-bumper vehicle anchor point. Hooks bolted directly to frame, or 2" receiver hitch shackle (my favorite, provided that receiver hitch mount is in good shape and distributes load well) Welded recovery points are permissible as long as the welder was at all competent. If you can't judge competent weldments quickly visually, stay away from them.
  • Jack for the appropriate height of your vehicle. I carry a bottle jack as the OEM jack is worthless on my lifted vehicle in offroad situations
Optional
  • Extra clevises / shackles. One thing you can never have too many of
  • A second 2" receiver hitch shackle. Always keep your first one in the rear hitch, and the second one for an unprepared buddy who has to pull you out :)
  • Winch
  • 2 Snatch blocks - incredibly valuable for tricky situations and winching sideways (it happens!) I use the Smittybilt ones.
  • Dedicated tree strap - it is convenient to have but I would rather have a full length 2nd strap if I had to choose
  • Log chain - only for unique situations and non-dynamic / non-shock loading
  • High Lift Jack - I carry a 60" and it does come in handy occasionally
  • High Lift Jack winch kit - Yes, you can use your High Lift Jack as a winch. A poor-man's winch and I used many times prior to getting an actual winch
  • Shock-absorbing snatch strap. Good for when stuck in mud and you need to use dynamic momentum to break loose without breaking stuff
  • Synthetic clevises - don't own any personally but a nice lightweight alternative to steel shackles
MIOBI (Make It Or Break It) - Knoxville, IA (private owned park)
IMG_4197.JPG


Strike Ravine - Moab, UT
StrikeRavine3.jpg


Iron Range - Gilbert, MN (Public DNR run park)
DSCN1073.JPG
Excellent Post. Thank you for some great ideas. I am veteran UTV off roader, but that Polaris was a different beast compared to the Bronco. I would like to add some underlines to your post: bring tire plugs.....lots and lots of tire plugs along with a portable compressor. I have seen torn sidewalls, 30 miles out in the desert, repaired with just a bunch of tire plugs and an extra can of rubber glue. This saved the spare tire in case it is needed later.....How many tire plugs do you need? More......I carry about 30 plus a can of glue.

Cheers, and thank again. Good info.
 
OP
OP
vrewald14

vrewald14

Badlands
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Excellent Post. Thank you for some great ideas. I am veteran UTV off roader, but that Polaris was a different beast compared to the Bronco. I would like to add some underlines to your post: bring tire plugs.....lots and lots of tire plugs along with a portable compressor. I have seen torn sidewalls, 30 miles out in the desert, repaired with just a bunch of tire plugs and an extra can of rubber glue. This saved the spare tire in case it is needed later.....How many tire plugs do you need? More......I carry about 30 plus a can of glue.

Cheers, and thank again. Good info.
Appreciate it! Great tip! I would like to get into the UTVs someday.
 

Mammal

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Heritage
Thanks OP! Thread bumped. Making my way though the FAQ pages is proving very beneficial.

edit: reading back through this thread now that our bronco is almost here really has me wanting to volunteer with stay the Trail and join a local club.

Thanks for saving me $2000 on Beadlocks!

After 6 months on this forum I can see that there are lots of potentially new off-road enthusiasts looking to get into Broncos! This is exciting and it’ll be great to see the 4x4 community grow in general.

I also see lots of “what’s this do”, “do I need this or that” type questions, so I thought I would lend my 2 cents on my general philosophy after having been heavy into off-roading the last ~15 years or so. With my below suggestions, I will assume that you may someday want to do some serious trails - not just gravel roads and an occasional mud rut.
  1. Get a good driveline. The number one thing I want to tell you is that I believe it as FAR more advantageous to pony up as much money as possible to purchase the stoutest factory driveline that you can get in your rig - if you even remotely think you may wheel aggressively. I’m talking about making sure you spend your money on things that AREN’T easy to change or add on in the aftermarket / used market world.
    • The prime example of this would be axles. If you think you will someday want to run 35”+ tires, do everything within your power to get the M210 axles. An example of this in the Jeep world would be the Dana 35 axles - which are a serious drawback when one wants to get serious about wheeling. Especially with lockers.
  2. Which brings me to my next point - lockers! The #1 single biggest improvement I made to my ‘79 Bronco was adding a rear Detroit-style locker. It’s simply AMAZING what happens when you get all tires turning in all conditions. Therefore - I HIGHLY recommend putting down the cash for lockers. Lockers are both difficult and expensive to add aftermarket. Adding a front locker also takes you to a whole other level.
  3. Transfer Case. Swapping or modifying transfer cases is VERY difficult post-purchase. Therefore - get the best transfer case you can afford. Specifically, lowest available gearing is what you are after. Secondary transfer case features like automatic engagement are also highly valuable, but may not be justified as needed on it's own (if it were separate from the gearing).
  4. Sway-bar disconnect. You NEED a sway-bar disconnect. You do NOT need the fancy-pants electronic disconnect Bronco offers as there will be aftermarket versions available cheap, but you cannot underestimate the value of this extra articulation. Adding an aftermarket version will likely be a nice intro to DIY vehicle modifications. Disconnects I think will be even more important with the Bronco due to the already lesser articulation compared to a solid front axle.
  5. MINIMIZE any lift that you add. It’s amazing how much fun you can have on a small lift and 35” tires. You likely do not need >2in of lift in this Bronco to keep you happy and entertained for a LONG time. Honestly, I would recommend stock Badlands height and no lift for as long as possible. The primary reason for this is keeping your center of gravity as low as possible. High CGs equate to bad off-road handling. Good driving skills overcome lack of lift in many situations.
  6. You do NOT NEED BEADLOCKS! I regularly run 12psi in the rear, and 15psi in the front. This is plenty low to get adequate deformation of the tire (see above picture). I have only had 1 problem with unseating a bead, which was due to winch operator error (I winched myself sideways when it wasn't necessary). Until you're doing expert level stuff, save your money for those lockers ;)
In summary - I’m part of a Jeep Club and I CONSTANTLY see people buying expensive D44 crate axles, paying for lockers with install labor, etc., and generally speaking they always wish they would have just bought a Rubicon to begin with. It can eliminate a lot of headache if you’re think you might get serious. Starting with the best available hardware to begin with has a lot of advantages.

Important Contributions From Other Members (Paraphrased)
  1. Trail Etiquette @Ramble_Offroad
    1. Never go wheeling alone
    2. Stay on designated routes
    3. Always pick up your trash
    4. Tread lightly
    5. Don't be an asshole
    6. Pay it forward
    7. Leave it better than you found it
    8. https://staythetrail.org/
  2. Wheeling Advice @Ramble_Offroad @Bronco @WillisC’onnors @BLTN @broncoenthusiast @BAUS67 @395N @pan-y-cerveza @RevealItAsap
    1. Understand and stay within the limits of your equipment and skillset
      • Be realistic
      • Don't let anyone (especially cute girls/guys) talk you into exceeding your limits
    2. Carefully select your line and read the terrain. Walk the critical sections first. Walking the next obstacle section of the trail is a VERY helpful.
    3. Too much throttle + hopping = broken shit
    4. Join a local club. They will have access to private wheeling ground you won't. Also a great deal of experienced people.
    5. Anticipate the effects of poor weather. A moderate trail can become nearly impassable after just a few minutes of rain/snow
    6. Don't be afraid to use it. Part of wheeling is occasional damage. Obviously don't trash your rig, but using your common sense know that damage can be fixed.
    7. Traction is everything. Minimize wheel spin wherever possible. Tire placement on obstacles is very important.
  3. Gear advice @Ramble_Offroad @Gr8Hortoni @Blksn955.o
    • You NEED a first aid kit. It can be simple.
    • Tire puncture repair kit & air compressor = gold
      • Great way to pick up 4x4 chicks err I mean friends
    • LOCKERS BEFORE LIGHTBARS!!!
      • When the rubber meats the road, ONLY functionality matters.
    • A blanket - girls love them and so do you
    • Roll of toilet paper. Definitely necessary - keep a full roll in a plastic bag. Leaves or a sacrificial sock are your alternative...
**EDIT 3/12/21**
Regarding recovery gear kits and what recovery gear you actually need:

Honestly I would stay away from the "ready made kits". It's not that the kits are bad, it's just that to me they seem overpriced for what you get and I prefer to build out my kits according to my unique needs and exactly what I want.

Here's what I take with me on every wheeling trip. Actually this stuff never leaves my vehicle because I have it stowed away so nicely. I'll try to organize things into "mandatory" and "optional".

Mandatory
  • TWO 3"x30' tow straps - One for main connection vehicle to vehicle and other to serve as a tree strap (simply wrap around anchor point as needed to get right length) I really like these from Smittybilt and they're what I carry: https://www.amazon.com/Smittybilt-C...ds=smittybilt+tow+strap&qid=1615563540&sr=8-5
  • Tree strap of some form (see above). I prefer just to use a second full-length strap, not the shorter purpose made tree straps. You are responsible for protecting the tree, and your gear. Never wrap your winch line around your anchor point and hook it to itself - you will damage your winch line and the tree.
  • TWO metal clevises. 1 for attaching to vehicle and other for attaching to anchor point
  • Non-bumper vehicle anchor point. Hooks bolted directly to frame, or 2" receiver hitch shackle (my favorite, provided that receiver hitch mount is in good shape and distributes load well) Welded recovery points are permissible as long as the welder was at all competent. If you can't judge competent weldments quickly visually, stay away from them.
  • Jack for the appropriate height of your vehicle. I carry a bottle jack as the OEM jack is worthless on my lifted vehicle in offroad situations
Optional
  • Extra clevises / shackles. One thing you can never have too many of
  • A second 2" receiver hitch shackle. Always keep your first one in the rear hitch, and the second one for an unprepared buddy who has to pull you out :)
  • Winch
  • 2 Snatch blocks - incredibly valuable for tricky situations and winching sideways (it happens!) I use the Smittybilt ones.
  • Dedicated tree strap - it is convenient to have but I would rather have a full length 2nd strap if I had to choose
  • Log chain - only for unique situations and non-dynamic / non-shock loading
  • High Lift Jack - I carry a 60" and it does come in handy occasionally
  • High Lift Jack winch kit - Yes, you can use your High Lift Jack as a winch. A poor-man's winch and I used many times prior to getting an actual winch
  • Shock-absorbing snatch strap. Good for when stuck in mud and you need to use dynamic momentum to break loose without breaking stuff
  • Synthetic clevises - don't own any personally but a nice lightweight alternative to steel shackles
MIOBI (Make It Or Break It) - Knoxville, IA (private owned park)
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Strike Ravine - Moab, UT
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Iron Range - Gilbert, MN (Public DNR run park)
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