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Old 12-12-2012, 02:00 PM   #1
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Never Wheel Alone

I posted this in the Colorado forum but I had a suggestion to post it here as well. This lady was very lucky, her boyfriend was not.

Snowstorm survivor made video to say goodbye to her boys - TODAY News

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:22 PM   #2
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I'm not so sure that "wheeling alone" is risky, but rather wheeling "unprepared". There's lots to be said for having the proper gear when going off the beaten path. I hunted a lot over the years, and I always had a plan for the unexpected. You can't always have the right stuff handy, but preparedness goes a long way.

My heart goes out to the families.

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:30 PM   #3
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The lesson to be learned here is not "Never Wheel Alone." I wheel alone all the time. I prefer it that way.

The lesson here is simply the good ol' Boy Scout Motto: "Be Prepared." These people went into snow country "without water, blankets, cold weather gear, or cell phone reception." They probably told no one where they were going or when they expected to be back. Despite what some cell carriers would have you believe, there are an awful lot of places out there where cell phones simply do not work. That's definitely the case around Moab.

If going into the backcountry in winter, anyone should have at least the items mentioned above...water, blankets, and cold weather gear. I would also add flashlights and spare batteries to the list...along with some way to start a fire. The list could go on and on (equipment to get unstuck, etc.) but these are the bare minimums you need to survive...and possibly signal rescuers.

And if you do get stuck or stranded, the worst thing you can do is leave the vehicle in most cases...especially in winter. Children are taught in schools to Hug a Tree if they get lost. The same applies here. I've lost count of the number of people we've had to track down in the backcountry because they kept moving after calling or signalling for help.

If you insist on not letting anyone know exactly where you will be going (or do not know), then carry some type of satellite signalling device like a Personal Locator Beacon or SPOT Messenger. They don't cost that much...some can even be rented.

I feel sorry for the families in this case. But a little preparation and planning could probably have saved a life.

The lesson to be learned here is "Wheel Prepared."
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Moabite View Post

If you insist on not letting anyone know exactly where you will be going (or do not know), then carry some type of satellite signalling device like a Personal Locator Beacon or SPOT Messenger.
I own one, but didn't mention it because most people won't make the investment. Whenever someone sees mine and asks what it is, I usually get a raised-eyebrow look and a smirky smile from them. They are, in my opinion, the very BEST piece of survival/emergency gear that you can carry. If all else fails, turning on a transmitter on 121.5 MHz or 406 MHz and lighting up a government-monitored emergency satellite receiver WILL get you fairly quick results.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:58 PM   #5
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Les Stroud did a "10 Days" in Norway, I think fairly recently. It was a 2 hr deal and was excellent. He did discuss the pros/cons of staying with the vehicle in such a case.
I read about the case the OP mentioned a few days ago. Tragic, yet it happens with alarming regularity in this country. Too bad for them.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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Terrible way to learn a lesson. No matter how prepared you think you are, you're not. Period. You can all talk about how you have a CB radio, satellite mounted on the roof, enough food and water to last you years after nuclear fallout, or whatever. The fact of the matter is that NONE of these things will do you ANY good if you wind up badly injured.

Plain and simple, YOU DON'T WHEEL ALONE.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:33 PM   #7
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Terrible way to learn a lesson. No matter how prepared you think you are, you're not. Period. You can all talk about how you have a CB radio, satellite mounted on the roof, enough food and water to last you years after nuclear fallout, or whatever. The fact of the matter is that NONE of these things will do you ANY good if you wind up badly injured.

Plain and simple, YOU DON'T WHEEL ALONE.
Sorry...but I completely disagree. Some things are just plain stupid...such as being unprepared. But there are also times when taking on a certain amount of risk has benefits. I've been wheeling alone for at least 30 years...hiking and skiing alone for far longer. I've enjoyed backcountry and a solitude few others get the chance to experience. If you personally feel the need to have someone along with you as a safety net, that's fine. But a blanket statement such as "YOU DON'T WHEEL ALONE" is simply absurd.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:39 PM   #8
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Sorry...but I completely disagree. Some things are just plain stupid...such as being unprepared. But there are also times when taking on a certain amount of risk has benefits. I've been wheeling alone for at least 30 years...hiking and skiing alone for far longer. I've enjoyed backcountry and a solitude few others get the chance to experience. If you personally feel the need to have someone along with you as a safety net, that's fine. But a blanket statement such as "YOU DON'T WHEEL ALONE" is simply absurd.
Sure, you're right. All the food and water you can carry will help you when your vehicle flips over and your arm gets crushed under it.

Do me a favor. When it happens, please call me first, because I wanna be the first guy to show up so I can look down at you and say, "Told ya so."

"I've been wheeling alone for 30 years." "I've been riding for 30 years," says the Harley guy who lost his legs due to the mistake of an inattentive driver!

Absurd? Go ahead and start a poll. We'll see how many other people here are "completely absurd," too. You should ALWAYS make sure there are two vehicles.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:51 PM   #9
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Sure, you're right. All the food and water you can carry will help you when your vehicle flips over and your arm gets crushed under it.

Do me a favor. When it happens, please call me first, because I wanna be the first guy to show up so I can look down at you and say, "Told ya so."

"I've been wheeling alone for 30 years." "I've been riding for 30 years," says the Harley guy who lost his legs due to the mistake of an inattentive driver!

Absurd? Go ahead and start a poll. We'll see how many other people here are "completely absurd," too. You should ALWAYS make sure there are two vehicles.
I'm not the least bit interested in a poll. Most humans are pack animals. Most people need to live and recreate where everyone else does. Most people are afraid to go into the wilderness alone. Go ahead, go out with the pack. I couldn't care less what you do. But don't go spouting things like "Never Wheel Alone" as if they were the law of the trail. If your lemming train passes me by as I'm layin' under the jeep with my arm pinned, I'll wave with my unpinned arm and a wry smile knowing that I've lived a life that most people only dream about. Every risk has it's rewards. Stupidity is what has consequences.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:07 PM   #10
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I'm not the least bit interested in a poll. Most humans are pack animals. Most people need to live and recreate where everyone else does. Most people are afraid to go into the wilderness alone. Go ahead, go out with the pack. I couldn't care less what you do. But don't go spouting things like "Never Wheel Alone" as if they were the law of the trail. If your lemming train passes me by as I'm layin' under the jeep with my arm pinned, I'll wave with my unpinned arm and a wry smile knowing that I've lived a life that most people only dream about. Every risk has it's rewards. Stupidity is what has consequences.
Oh, so now it's a "law" I'm trying to enforce? I couldn't care less what you do.

...And I'm sure you'd be all smiles as you're dying in the middle of nowhere. You'll be wishing that a "lemming train" just happens to ride by and see you.

Or course you're no interested in a poll. I can't imagine why...
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:21 PM   #11
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I agree with Moabite.

We often go alone, but don't go unprepared. Now-days we also take a Spot Locator.

That said, there are folks that shouldn't go alone. It was a needless loss and my condolences to the friends and family.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:52 PM   #12
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Holy Crap! You guys turned this thread into a "measuring" match.

The bottom line is this: There is NO WAY, NO HOW, that you can totally assure your personal safety. No manner of guns, knives, flares, ropes, radios, etc can assure you that you're going to be safe. It's a matter of life. Saying not to do anything alone is severely limiting some people's lifestyle. While I TOTALLY agree with Con Artist that traveling in a group is almost assuredly safer than doing most outdoor activities as an individual, some people choose to cherish and enjoy the solitude. And they do it every day safely as Moabite does. As long as it doesn't put another person at risk (as the person who died). I say we just enjoy the fact that we all have different thoughts about how we go about our activities and are full willing to accept any consequences that may ensue. I bass fish during cold weather alone sometimes. Is it "safe"? Probably not in some folks' eyes. But I take the proper precautions and am full well aware of the consequences if I "screw the pooch" while doing it.

You guys (and others of us) have different views on this issue. That's a GOOD thing. If we were all alike it would be a very boring world to live in. But I don't think we should criticize each others views on this topic when it doesn't threaten our own individual way of doing things.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:03 PM   #13
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Oh, so now it's a "law" I'm trying to enforce? I couldn't care less what you do.

...And I'm sure you'd be all smiles as you're dying in the middle of nowhere. You'll be wishing that a "lemming train" just happens to ride by and see you.

Or course you're no interested in a poll. I can't imagine why...
Sheesh...Some people will just never understand.

This thread has taken a wrong turn because it sounded to me you are trying tell people they should never go out alone (big bold, capital letters)...as if it is some kind of unwritten law of Jeepdom. I'm not going to argue the point further with you. It will obviously do no good.

You certainly have the right to suggest that people wheel in packs...and sometimes that can be fun. Would the outcome of the incident for which this thread was started have been any different if there had been another jeep? Possibly...but I doubt it. Would the outcome have been different if those people had been prepared for the conditions? Absolutely.

Never wheel alone? You can lay down that law to your kids...not to anyone else. No one should be dissuaded from going out alone...as long as they are prepared and willing to take responsibility for their own actions. Preparation is the key...not population.

If people feel the need to have others with them as a safety net or for any other reason, no problem. That's the modern human condition and being alone is simply frightening to an increasingly large percentage of our population. But I've been on many more rescues of groups of unprepared people than I have lone riders or jeepers. People going out alone usually tend to be better prepared because they take responsibility for their own safety and survival. To most of those people, quality of life is far more important than quantity of life. But they still do everything they can to minimize the risks of being in the backcountry alone...because it's an incredibly envigorating experience and they want to live to do it all again someplace else.

This is my last post in this thread and I won't even be back to visit because I feel like my jeep just ran up against an insurmountable object. I'll take the bypass.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:57 PM   #14
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Well said Moabite and Steve305 As I said earlier, some folks shouldn't go out alone.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:17 PM   #15
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Sheesh...Some people will just never understand.

This thread has taken a wrong turn because it sounded to me you are trying tell people they should never go out alone (big bold, capital letters)...as if it is some kind of unwritten law of Jeepdom. I'm not going to argue the point further with you. It will obviously do no good.

You certainly have the right to suggest that people wheel in packs...and sometimes that can be fun. Would the outcome of the incident for which this thread was started have been any different if there had been another jeep? Possibly...but I doubt it. Would the outcome have been different if those people had been prepared for the conditions? Absolutely.

Never wheel alone? You can lay down that law to your kids...not to anyone else. No one should be dissuaded from going out alone...as long as they are prepared and willing to take responsibility for their own actions. Preparation is the key...not population.

If people feel the need to have others with them as a safety net or for any other reason, no problem. That's the modern human condition and being alone is simply frightening to an increasingly large percentage of our population. But I've been on many more rescues of groups of unprepared people than I have lone riders or jeepers. People going out alone usually tend to be better prepared because they take responsibility for their own safety and survival. To most of those people, quality of life is far more important than quantity of life. But they still do everything they can to minimize the risks of being in the backcountry alone...because it's an incredibly envigorating experience and they want to live to do it all again someplace else.

This is my last post in this thread and I won't even be back to visit because I feel like my jeep just ran up against an insurmountable object. I'll take the bypass.
Well, congrats with wasting your time posting that long, drawn-out diatribe about how I'm trying to "lay down the law." As I mentioned before, I could not care any less what you or anyone else here do. I thought I made that abundantly clear but apparently not.

You go do you solo four-wheeling trips if that's what makes you happy. You're clearly an expert and have nothing to fear!
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:41 PM   #16
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I've only owned my TJ for less than a year, but the day I got it home, I packed dehydrated food, water, a Zero degree sleeping bag, flashlight, and 1 chord of wood. I wheel alone a lot, but I never want to be without supplies to keep me alive, should I have a problem. My heart goes out to the family of the guy that froze, and I have to give props to the brother and his friend, for daring to go out rescue that lady. If you wheel at all, alone or with a group, BE PREPARED!
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:43 PM   #17
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I agree, be prepared, don't take what I call "Idiot's Risks", and stay collected....you can't save yourself, if you're frantic...
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:13 PM   #18
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I can sum this up with a saying that my Dear 'old Dad told me once before he left this world....... "There's a fine line between BRAVE, and STUPID." Make sure you know which side of that line you're fixing to jump onto.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:53 PM   #19
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I have too much to loose, wife, family, friends and unfortunately a mortgage!
I'll suck up my pride and always off-road accompanied. It's a great social activity imo.

To many good men have died with this "18yr old, I'm invincible attitude".
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Moabite

I'm not the least bit interested in a poll. Most humans are pack animals. Most people need to live and recreate where everyone else does. Most people are afraid to go into the wilderness alone. Go ahead, go out with the pack. I couldn't care less what you do. But don't go spouting things like "Never Wheel Alone" as if they were the law of the trail. If your lemming train passes me by as I'm layin' under the jeep with my arm pinned, I'll wave with my unpinned arm and a wry smile knowing that I've lived a life that most people only dream about. Every risk has it's rewards. Stupidity is what has consequences.
Quite possibly the best post I have seen on WF to date.

I go many, many places all by my lonesome. I go very prepared, and I avoid high risk situations, like serious wheeling. Of course, I don't have a "serious" rig, either (more the Fire Road rider ). I would take a bet that more people are hurt by park benches than are seriously injured wheeling alone anually. Should you NEVER SIT AND FEED BIRDS ALONE? Lmao.

A cord of wood is 4'x4'x8', and will not fit in a Jeep. Or small pickup. Carry an axe unless you live in the desert. It weights a lot less than enough wood for just 1 night.

Oh, and for what if town... I would reach with my good arm to my 2M and establish contact with E911 or local ems via repeater

Tragic outcome for sure, but complacency was the culprit here.

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