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Frequently Asked Questions- Answered by Maureen:

1. What is Jeep Thrills?

In a nutshell, we're a group of people based in Las Vegas who like to hit the trails together and have fun. This group was started because its organizer (yours truly) wanted more people to go out into the desert with and the scheduled runs from other groups never seemed to work well with her schedule.

2. I don't have a Jeep. Can I join?

Sure! We might have "Jeep" in our name (I never could resist the opportunity to drop an atrocious pun!) and most of our members own Jeeps of one sort or another, but there are plenty of groups out there that do the " Only" thing. We're a bit more casual than that. If your 4x4 can handle the trail, we'd love to ride with you. There might be a bit of good natured joking in all directions, but as long as it isn't malicious, it's all good. In fact, we think it's part of the fun.

3. What can I expect on a Jeep Thrills Run?

Well, the answer to that question depends on the type of run it is.

Trail runs are done at a moderate speed in non-technical areas- this is normally about 15 MPH tops so we can try to keep the dust to a minimum (more on that issue later) and be able to brake in case of critters. (Don't laugh- I had an entire herd of deer jump in front of my Jeep once! shock It happens.)

Technical areas are typically done at a crawl, with frequent stops as we spot and assist each other through the tricky parts. Part of why these things are done in a group is so that noone gets left behind.

As time goes on we will have themed runs (Jeeps with Christmas lights!!) and other fun activities which will be detailed later. Should we find a charity or good cause that we want to help out, a poker run might be in order, but we'll cross that rock garden when we come to it.

4. What should I bring with me?

The obvious two are yourself and a 4x4 vehicle that can handle the trail. (Any questions on this- ask us! There's enough experience between the members here where we can help you make a judgement call. That and when we post more pictures of our usual runs that will also help!)

A full tank of gas is important, and I try to organize rendezvous points close to water, gas and simple last-minute conveniences. However, it is best to show up at the appointed time with all of this taken care of. I allot for a half hour time between the meeting time and our actual roll time, but we typically air down (more on this later) and have a quick drivers' meeting to go over the basics of where we are running.

As we go out into the desert, the remote nature of these places forces us to take responsibility for our own welfare and safety. I normally carry a first aid kit (this can be as simple or extensive as you want depending upon your own skill level- though I think that everyone should be familiar with basic first aid and CPR techniques), fire extinguisher and basic repair and survival supplies. I will also post a "tickler" list to remind people of those useful things they might not initially think of. Believe me, I carry a LOT more in my Jeep than I did when I first hit the dirt and almost every one of those items has a story and lesson behind it!

CBs are strongly recommended in all vehicles- a cheap one can be had for under $50 and it is a very good thing to have in one's rig. If there are no spares amongst us to have and there are vehicles without CBs, we'll place you between vehicles that have a CB so noone is completely out of touch. We typically chatter on Channel 4 (the 'traditional' off-road channel). Aside from the usual talk (making sure that noone's lost/stuck and informing drivers of hazards/turnouts), we are a casual group so there may be jokes, stories and the like when nothing important's being transmitted. Think of us as the Southwest Airlines of off-roading- except our organizers are cuter!

Oh, and before I forget, a sense of humor is paramount to enjoying the trail and company. We all like to smile and I've found that laughter's contagious. We're out here to relax, unwind and have fun.

5. OK. What's with the dust thing?

This is something that has been used as an effective weapon against off-roaders in the Sourthern Nevada region, and many trails have already been closed off as a result. There are a lot of misconceptions out there regarding off-roading and dust and I don't think that I would be able to do the issue justice with short shrift. For example, the massive amounts of construction around the valley cause a lot more dust to be kicked up than any trail ride I have been on. Still, dust is something that we need to be sensitive about lest it continue to be used as a weapon against us. Because of this, trail rides take the slow/moderate pace mentioned above so our impact on the environment is minimal. In severe cases, we may slow further and/or spread out the line of vehicles in order to minimize dust generation.

Unfortunately, image and public impressions are very important if we are to keep the trails we still have. We need to provide a visible counterpoint to the image of "Dusty the Dusthole" which many people in the general public equate with off-roaders thanks to some very aggressive PR and billboard campaigns. The other side on this issue is spending a lot of money to demonize us and while we might not have the same deep pockets ourselves, we can get out there and raise public awareness in a more positive manner.

While I'll gladly help with doing this and will collaborate with other groups when the opportunity arises, I think that it is important to clearly state that I want our primary focus to remain running trails and having fun. There are other groups which are better equipped than us to wage these political wars, and I encourage everyone to get involved with them as they see fit.

6. What's airing down?

Simply put, airing down is the process of letting enough air out of your tires so that the tire conforms more readily to rocks, washboard roads and other terrain irregularities. It also helps improve traction since a larger surface area of the tire is in contact with the trail at any time. This comes in very handy when one needs to manage deep gravel or sand like you get in river washes because the broader contact surface works somewhat like snowshoes- it makes it harder to wind up digging oneself into a bad situation. The downside to this is that your MPG will be lower than it would be with your tires aired up to pavement levels, though after a dig-out or two, you'll be glad that you did it- believe me! If noone has an on-board air compressor, it's just a matter of re-inflating your tires at the next gas station you see.

(More questions and answers will be added to this FAQ as things come up. If you have a specific question that you want to see answered, please email the Organizer at Thanks and Have Fun Out There. smile)

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Trail Ratings August 17, 2007 12:34 PM anonymous
About JEEP THRILLS in VEGAS. January 4, 2008 1:33 PM anonymous

Henderson, NV

Founded Jul 12, 2007

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