What to Expect
Before the Ride
All Jeepers are welcome but there are a few things that are required before you join us on the trail.
Jeep in good working condition. If there is a problem while off the beaten path, we will do our best to get you going again or towed back to pavement where you can get additional help. Perform all normal maintenance to help ensure this is not needed.
GMRS or HAM** radio. SDJC uses both GMRS and HAM (VHF simplex) to communicate on the trail. We use GMRS for general conversations for all drivers and HAM for working the trail. We will use the following channels on the trail.
Group A - GMRS:16, HAM: 146.415
Group B - GMRS:16, HAM: 147.405
Group C - GMRS:16, HAM: 147.570
Good Attitude. Leave your cares and worries behind and enjoy the beautiful outdoors with us. We will do our best to inform you of what is possible or probable, but be aware and prepared that damage to your Jeep may occur. Safe and responsible off roading is a team effort and we all need to work together. Being respectful of each other on the trail makes for a better experience for all.
There is often no gas available at the meetup spots so please plan ahead and arrive early with at last ¾ tank of gas. Before hitting the trail you will want to “air down” for better traction and ride as well as disconnect your front sway bar. If you don’t know what that means or how, we will be there to help you. We want to start a the driver's meeting at the scheduled meetup time and at this time you should be ready to hit the trail.
Additionally, each Participant must submit a signed Vehicle Self-Inspection form and Liability Waiver prior to each trail ride (please download these from the links and bring them filled out). Any Participant who operates a motor vehicle at a club function must possess a valid driver’s license and carry insurance on said vehicle which satisfies the minimum legal requirements in the state for which the vehicle is registered.
SDJC shall not be held responsible for injuries to a participant and/or guest. SDJC shall not be held responsible for damage or loss to any vehicle or personal property at any SDJC event, meeting, or scheduled trail ride. Participation with SDJC is voluntary and is solely at the risk of those who choose to participate. Because of the nature of off-roading, all children must be a minimum of 2 years old and able control head movement in order to participate in the trail ride.
Just before hitting the trail we will have a quick meeting to review expectations and details about the trail. It is important to be present to catch any last minute changes and details before we hit the trail. At the driver's meeting you will meet the following folks that will be running the event.
Trail Boss - The trail boss will go over where we will be going and details about what to expect. The trail boss will lead the Jeep train, establish the lines and set the pace. While on the the trail, the trail boss is in charge so be sure to listen to their instructions.
Mid Gunner - Because we often see very long Jeep trains, we have a mid gunner to ensure effective communications from the front of the train to the back. This is especially important because GMRS has limited range and needs to be relayed multiple times before everyone gets the message.
Tail Gunner - Last on the trail and last off the trail. The tail gunner takes the rear position and will be there to help in the event of an issue. If need be, the tail gunner will tow you off the trail where additional help can be called.
Black Ops - Black Ops are key members that have been identified for their knowledge and willingness to help. They will be intermixed in the train to make them most accessible.
Medical - We would like to recognize and identify anyone with advanced medical training at the driver's meeting. In the event of any medical emergency we will request your expertise and help.
Hitting the Trail
Turn on your head lights for better visibility and fall in behind the trail boss as they slowly roll out past the tail gunner. As the train rolls out allow for black ops to position themselves in the train (which will also let you know who they are if you need their help). Please be patient as it can take a while to get the entire train going. We are a Tread Lightly club and will be staying on established trails. Take your trash as well as trash you find on the trail out with you.
Operating a vehicle while consuming or under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substances is not permitted on trail rides. In addition, drivers are to obey all posted park-specific and state / federal rules and laws. Absolutely no drugs or intoxicating substances, prescription, legal or illegal, shall be consumed prior to and during any trail ride.
While on the trail try to keep up with the Jeep in front of you with a safe distance between you. Following too closely doesn’t allow you to see rocks and obstacles on the trail that you will need to navigate. This is especially important on obstacles or steeper hills where a mechanical failure could cause the Jeep in front of you to roll towards you.
Keep watch for the Jeep behind you. Anyone not comfortable with the speed of the Jeep train is encouraged to slow down. If you lose sight of the Jeep behind you, slow down or stop and wait. This will work it’s way all the way up to the trail boss to let them know to adjust the speed of the train.
There are often no restrooms at the meetup spots or on the trail. We will schedule bathroom stops throughout the run, but if you can't wait, get on the radio and let us know so we can stop the train. You might not be the only one and this gives everyone the opportunity. We ask for your patience and understanding as finding good spots to stop on the trail (especially for women) can be challenging. When we do stop on the trail we need to leave room for others to get by use. Look for open spots and pull as far as possible to the side of the trail.
When we get to the end of the trail, take a moment to check out your Jeep while airing up and reconnecting. You have been driving at slow speeds for a while and may not have noticed something that will be a problem at freeway speeds. Look to your trail leaders and black ops for help.
Remember we are a tread lightly club so please be sure to pack out what you pack in and stay on the trail. Also if you see trash please pick it up. Let's all work together to keep our trails clean and open.
*CB offers the easiest way for folks to communicate as it does not require licensing; however, it does have limited range especially in canyons.
**San Diego Jeep Club (SDJC) does not promote the use of operating a HAM or GMRS radio without the proper license. It is up to the operator of the radio to be sure you are FCC compliant and operating within your class of license.