Calling hikers who drive 4x4's

Post your plans for upcoming hikes and invite others! Look for hiking partners
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Posts: 1444
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 11:06 am
Location: Troutdale

Calling hikers who drive 4x4's

Post by Webfoot » December 19th, 2017, 10:26 am

For a few years I have been driving a 4x4 and very much enjoying going places I was unable or afraid to in a 2WD sedan. I do not want to go alone in winter deep into the backcountry however, and I am looking for other people who have a 4x4 and share my interest in exploring and hiking.

I know there are "4x4 clubs" but I do not believe these are what I am looking for as they appear focused on the game of pushing a vehicle to its limits and beyond rather than using a vehicle safely and carefully to access beautiful places.

Posts: 371
Joined: May 31st, 2011, 7:46 pm
Location: Chehalem Mountain

Re: Calling hikers who drive 4x4's

Post by pcg » December 19th, 2017, 11:56 am

I will offer that I have found that winter is NOT a good time to explore away from plowed roads using a 4wd vehicle. Snow is not just an obstacle (which 4wd and high clearance may or may not surmount), it also hides terrain traps like holes and stumps. If you know the road that helps considerably, of course. Just be sure you are out before the next big storm. I had a friend who drove five miles down a road with a few inches of snow (late October in Colorado) and spent the night in his camper. The next day he was at the wrong end of five miles of six foot snow drifts. He xc skied to the highway and convinced Grand County to plow him out. They tried and failed. He was then faced with leaving his truck and camper there until spring or paying for a private snow blower. He paid.

In my experience, I've found that having another 4wd vehicle along was only helpful because it held another person that could work a shovel and a come-along. If one vehicle does not have enough traction, it is likely that the other won't have enough to pull you out. Chains, hi-lift jack, come-along, and a shovel are your best companions.

I love to explore in winter, but I'm very leary of venturing onto roads that are not regularly plowed. I usually park at sno-parks and then use skis or snowshoes. IMO, snowmobiles are a better option for travel on un-plowed roads, but you can easily get them stuck if you are not careful, and they are hell to get unstuck. I used to own them BITD, and am thinking of getting one again.

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