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Woah, $1000 for a class?! Just know your limits and don't be afraid to push them. If you feel uncomfortable, then see if you can skip the obstacle. It's a lot easier if you go with a club or some friends.
 

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I am taking the late April courses in Borrego Springs, also pretty new to off-roading (in jeep). The classes were recommended to me by some friends who are pretty serious about it, so I figured they are at least worth a shot!
 

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Another option is to find a local club and tag along. I've never met a group of dickheads at a Jeep meet. Depending on where they're going, they might have requirements so make sure you've got what you need (ie, on a really technical trail they might require a lift, winch, etc). Check around the various jeep and 4x4 forums (there are a TON). Also facebook...the active group around here started a facebook group and that's where most trail runs are posted now instead of on forums like this one.
 

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Try a club for the first year or so and if you feel like you need the class then go for it. Just do your own research on the trails they are doing to make sure you don't get in over your head. Some people think a trail is easy while others think it's incredibly hard. That was the hard part in starting out. I always built my rig to handle more then I would put it on. I went to South Dakota once and met a group there and they said it was an easy trail and it turned out to be the hardest one I had ever been on. If I didn't have skid plates I would have broke down. One of the new guys busted his radiator and we had to leave his truck. I didn't know the guys but there idea of easy was a 6-10 trail rating. I think easy as a 1-3. That was the first place my skids made contact with rocks and it's an uneasy feeling being so far away from home, and now it's not a big deal as I am used to it. Once you get to know someone you can trust on the ratings things will be easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm so amazed at how helpful everyone is with most of my questions.

Thank you so much for all your insight and helpful information.

I am definitely going to try Azuza Canyons Soon, so you think I should get skid plates for that?
 

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^no you don't. Just take the 605n to the 210e, exit Azusa, turn left...and straight ahead up to the mountains. You'll probably lose cell reception but keep driving till you see the ranger station on your right side (there will be trucks entering so you can't miss it)

Pay the fees (cash only), air down your tires (or not) and have fun. Keep it on 4wd. You don't need 4lo there unless you start playing in the mud.
 

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Save the $1000 because once you get the hang of driving off road you are going to want to add mods galore to your Jeep and the grand will be a decent start point. :)

As others have said, join a local club and the members will teach you as much as you want to learn plus it will provide a group to go out with. Going out alone is never a good idea unless you are survivalist and can be away from your every day activities for a week or more.

If you have ever gone snow skiing, it just like starting on bunny hill and before you know it you are jumping of ledges at the peak and going down black diamond trails.

Don't buy anything for your Jeep until you've driven it stock a few times. Then watch other drivers for a while and see how they navigate through technical terrain. By then you will be able to tell the difference between driver skills and vehicle mods.
 

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+1 on a local Jeep club.

By me they are very helpful, good people walking newbies (like me) through the early stages and lessons. FUN.
 

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It's not $1000, that was for a private lesson. It is $250 for a class with up to 9 other Jeeps. I did something similar out here on the East coast and recommend it. The advantage of a class (assuming it is similar to what I took) is that the Instructor provides walkie talkies to everyone and talks you through all of the obstacles. And that helps you gain confidence in yourself and your vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Save the $1000 because once you get the hang of driving off road you are going to want to add mods galore to your Jeep and the grand will be a decent start point. :) As others have said, join a local club and the members will teach you as much as you want to learn plus it will provide a group to go out with. Going out alone is never a good idea unless you are survivalist and can be away from your every day activities for a week or more. If you have ever gone snow skiing, it just like starting on bunny hill and before you know it you are jumping of ledges at the peak and going down black diamond trails. Don't buy anything for your Jeep until you've driven it stock a few times. Then watch other drivers for a while and see how they navigate through technical terrain. By then you will be able to tell the difference between driver skills and vehicle mods.
Very useful information! But my thoughts exactly where, what mods do i need to do first.

Thank you!
 

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Very useful information! But my thoughts exactly where, what mods do i need to do first.

Thank you!
Assuming you do not already have them. A good set of off road tires will do wonders to improve your Jeeps off road performance. IMO tires are the best bang for the buck followed by rock sliders.




As a former LE EVOC instructor. I vote for taking the class. Why? You will learn correct driving technique. A good driver in a stock Jeep using proper technique can put to shame a drive of lessor technique in a highly modified Jeep. Just because some(?) folks in "clubs" have highly modified Jeeps does mean they have or can teach proper technique. To to often the only technique you hear many of them preach is, "Are you locked up?". Which seems their answer to any interesting obstacle that should be present on a given trail. My goodness what would happen if they did not have the "one trick bag" to pull from.


Take your class you will be a better, more technically skilled driver for it and have a "full bag of tricks" to pull from as your skill level grows.


If you decide not to take the class make sure you check out the Califroina section of this forum. Lots of open runs taking place every weekend from beginner to advanced.
 

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My local club does an annual class and "newbie" runs - and on any run the more experienced folks will always help out a newbie.
 

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I've spoken with the gentlemen that runs 4x4training.com. He will run a quality basic course.

The cost is high, but I believe that to be a function of supply and demand. My guess is that he raises prices until he does not have a waiting list. There are a bunch of folks in socal that don't even blink at a $100k suspension, so $250 for an intro course is not insane compared with that.

Additionally, his advanced courses *are* worth it. He sells a DVD version of his winch course if you want a teaser.

Edit to add: in case you are truely a outdoor newbie, the classes are run in the desert. There are pit toilets, but no water. Bring about 3x the water you think you'll need as you will dry out really fast out there.
 

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Since your out in Cali check out Bad lands Adventure. Tom Severn. He teaches everything from
Off Road 101 to Expert and many other things related to off roading. If I ever get the money I want
To do the death valley run with them. I beleave they have two locations out there.
 

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^no you don't. Just take the 605n to the 210e, exit Azusa, turn left...and straight ahead up to the mountains. You'll probably lose cell reception but keep driving till you see the ranger station on your right side (there will be trucks entering so you can't miss it)

Pay the fees (cash only), air down your tires (or not) and have fun. Keep it on 4wd. You don't need 4lo there unless you start playing in the mud.
Pay what fees? When I used to go there it was free...

Amazing how time flies.

.
 

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If you have ever gone snow skiing, it just like starting on bunny hill and before you know it you are jumping of ledges at the peak and going down black diamond trails.
.
Spinlock... who starts skiing on the bunny hill? My first run was at Blueridge (now Mountain High)... When it still had a one-person lift at midpoint that took you to the top.

They didn't have a bunny hill at that place.. You learned the hard way.

:lmao:

.
 

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:bop::bop:
^no you don't. Just take the 605n to the 210e, exit Azusa, turn left...and straight ahead up to the mountains. You'll probably lose cell reception but keep driving till you see the ranger station on your right side (there will be trucks entering so you can't miss it)

Pay the fees (cash only), air down your tires (or not) and have fun. Keep it on 4wd. You don't need 4lo there unless you start playing in the mud.
I remember the first time we took the red jeep out, oh man was that a classic day!
 
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