On Thursday, June 25th 2022, the Girls Tribe met again at the Summit 4×4 shop for an On The Trail Training led by Chris Ramm of the Summit 4×4 crew. Chris, a seasoned adventurer and overlander, led the group, providing instruction and feedback based on years of experience exploring and being involved in the outdoor industry. The training would cover an array of topics tailored towards those beginning their off-roading journey. These topics included the various modes and features found in off-road equipped vehicles including terrain management systems (TMS), crawl control or “off-road” cruise control, sway bar disconnects or KDSS systems, as well as the basics of 4-wheel drive and lockers.
The class began with an up-and-close look at a Jeep JKU and the components one would be keen to inspect prior to hitting the trail. A pre-trip inspection was demonstrated with a Jeep on a lift and members were given the opportunity to ask questions and see firsthand the elements of a suspension system, axles, and differentials, as well as how to inspect for damages or worn items.
At the conclusion of the inspection demonstration, it was time to get ready for the trail. The Tribe quickly lined up and were off. After a short drive to the trailhead, it was time to learn how to engage the 4-wheel-drive system. The group was composed of individuals with varying levels of expertise ranging from years of off-roading experience to those who had just purchased their vehicle and were taking off of pavement for the first time. Chris provided the team with in-depth instruction on how 4-wheel-drive systems work, including the difference between a high and low-range system as well as when and how to use a front and rear locker. Afterward, each member was provided with individual instruction on how their specific 4-wheel-drive system worked.
With everyone in 4-wheel-drive and rearing to go, the tribe made their way down the bumpy trail. Stops were made at obstacles that challenged each member to become comfortable with a vehicle that is not entirely level. Large berms and rocks which lined the trail provided the team with an opportunity to feel their suspension systems working beneath them and with Chris close by their side, the confidence to push past their comfort zone.
Hills were climbed and rocks were topped by the convoy of vehicles ranging from heavily modified Jeeps to those which were entirely stock. Feelings of apprehension and discomfort were quickly overcome by smiles and laughter as the group began to gain trust in the ability of their vehicles and driving techniques. A clear distinction could be seen as lessons from previous obstacles were applied to ones further down the trail. The group began to increase its pace naturally as their confidence grew and before the team knew it, they were stopped for lunch atop a gorgeous peak overlooking Thumb Butte.
After a quick bite to eat, the team was eager to get back into their rigs and descend the rocky trail leading back to civilization. With hesitation no longer a factor, the group made their way to a clearing at the base of the trail. Questions were answered and goodbyes were said as the team disengaged their 4-wheel-drive systems and went their separate ways in anticipation of the next training event.
The Girls Tribe is a growing community of women eager to explore and push the bounds of their comfort zones. Vehicle familiarity is a crucial part of doing just that. This course was developed to introduce a variety of concepts to those on the fence or at the beginning stages of their off-road adventure. We hope that you’ll join us for the next training and if you’re second-guessing whether or not the off-roading life is for you, we would encourage you to take a leap of faith and do it. We are here to help guide you through the complexity of the off-roading experience and build a foundation for you to further develop your abilities. Our highly experienced trainers have spent countless hours behind the wheel in a variety of environments and are eager to share their passion with you. Who knows, it may just turn into a passion of your own.
Check out these pics from the trail!