Thursday, June 13, 2019

My Negative Trait

Self Doubt - lack of confidence in oneself and one's abilities

This is my negative trait I am trying to overcome. It wasn't until this year did I realize how much self-doubt I carry with me. It has been a life long trait I am now coming to grips with.  

During the past couple of my off-road trips I began to realize how strong my self-doubt truly is, and it's utterly unnecessary. Even after five years of wheeling on the rocks, I continued to question my off-road driving abilities and Jeep knowledge.

A fellow Jeeper and great friend of mine, Bryan with Carolina Trails Off Road, was the first one to point out my self-doubt. He opened my eyes and I began to take notice of this negativity I put on myself. 

I don't recall his exact words, but in a nutshell he told me I needed to quit doubting myself.I am more than capable of doing the things I don't think I can or am good at. 

He is also the one who knew I would be able to wheel the three most difficult trails in Uwharrie in 2018, and I did, in typical Jeep Momma fashion. I was scared and nervous, but I didn't need to be. I was in good hands with a great spotter and a lot of experience under my belt. I started off with off road driving lessons and have learned from a lot of great Jeepers which means I have a lot of wheeling knowledge. 

SO Jeez Tammy... YOU'VE GOT THIS!!!

Then again during the Krawlin' for Cops event at Rausch Creek Off Road Park, I questioned my driving abilities when it came time to wheel a black trail called Cemetery. A fellow Jeeper, Alan, who was in my group pushed me to do it.

He told me I was way more than capable and my Jeep definitely was capable. So I ventured out onto the trail to catch up to the others. I ended up doing the first part of the trail picking my own lines. In the end I wheeled the trail without any damage and with great skill minus the F-bombs I dropped. 

10th Grade - My First Year of High School

I remember my self doubt all the way back to elementary school. I am sure most everyone starts out with it when they are younger. Even through junior high school, high school, and my 20's it continued. It is now a half of century of living and I realize I don't need this negativity in my life.

9th Grade Junior High
One more person helped me to realize I am a beautiful person inside and out. A blast from the past, a junior high school and high school classmate reached out to me during one of my self doubt times. He said I was attractive then, and still am and one of the funniest women he knows. That was another big eye opener for me as I never felt that way about myself back then or even a couple of months ago.

My Early 20's
I started to look back on all those years I thought I was not pretty or fun. All those years of a lack of confidence. On letting other people shape me. My Jeep in a round about way has helped me to realize I am a strong, independent, capable beautiful woman who can persevere.    


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Hi-Lift Jack Safety

The Hi-Lift Jack is one of the most versatile tools for off-road recovery. However, it can be one of the most dangerous and deadly tools if not used properly. 

It is very important when using the Hi-Lift Jack to read over the instructions several times to familiarize yourself with the do's and don'ts. Safety should be number one. 

Hi-Lift Jack sent me a jack to review and post a "How To Safely Use" video. After several hours of research reading and watching videos, I put the jack to use. 

I found during the basic use of lifting my Jeep Wrangler it works great. I had no issues, but I was following the instructions and safety protocol. 
A Jeep Momma's Garage Video

Stay tuned for my Top 5 Must Have Hi-Lift Jack Accessories. I also hope to show the other uses for the Hi-Lift Jack. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Uwharrie Off Road Fun!

Expect the Unexpected! 

This is something every off-roader should be prepared for when they hit the trails. It's one thing I learned when I wheeled in Uwharrie during the Carolina Trails Off Road Spring Invasion. 

In May of 2018, I wheeled the three "D" trails at Uwharrie; Dickey Bell, Dutch John and Daniel. Those three trails are the most difficult trails there. This year I decided to wheel the other trails I wasn't able to wheel last year. 

The rains in the area days before the event created very slick, slippery red clay covered trails. Last year the trails were dry and dusty which allowed for good traction. Not this year. It was a huge learning experience for me. 

I was very frustrated on parts of the trails because my Jeep was getting no traction. I had to be towed on one trail where my driver's side tire kept slipping into a two foot rut. Several other off-roaders made it thru, but they had their throttle timing down to a tee. Something I needed to work on. 

My Jeep Wrangler Fail - You Tube Video

It took a few slick trails to get used to hitting that skinny pedal harder than I am used too. I am usually crawling up rocks not muddy slick trails. By the end of the day I was doing pretty good.

Learning to Throttle Up 
You Tube Video

All in all it was a great trip. I learned new off road skills and got to hang out with my Carolina Off Road Friends! 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Importance of Keeping Your Jeep Clean

                                                                                              A Dirty Jeep is a Happy Jeep they say. While this is true, your Jeep likes a good bath as well. 

It is very important to get the mud, dirt, and salt off your Jeep after a day on the trails or beach. Even in the wintertime after a salt dump on the roads. All those elements play havoc on those precious Jeep parts.  

While you are washing your Jeep you can inspect it for possible problems you need to take care of like loose bolts, rust, or leaks. Taking care of your Jeep now will give it a much longer life. 

For some great Jeep Cleaning Tips check out my YouTube video in the link below. 

Jeep Momma's Garage You Tube Video 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Winch Install

Finally after five years of patiently waiting, I won a winch. I was hesitant to spend the money on a winch when the chances of me using it were slim to none. My hope was to win one at a raffle at one of the many wheeling events I attend.

My patience paid off. During the raffle at the Women's Wheeling Trail Guide Class with Off Road Consulting my number was called. I was very touched as not ever participant got the chance. 

Never having done a winch install I went to the guys at Adrenaline Off Road to show me the way. 

Now it looks like it's time for some Winch Recovery Classes.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

On My 3rd Steering Stabilizer

Back in 2016 was my "big" first trail damage. 

Blog Post October 2016

It was my stock stabilizer and was easily fixable on the trail. However, the ding to the rock caused a slow leak which meant replacement time. I bought a stabilizer that was seated above the draglink to get it out of the way of those pesky rocks.   

A year after the new stabilizer was installed I added the Yeti steering system by Steer Smarts to my Jeep. 

Blog Post - October 2017 

Once the steering components were installed I needed to get an alignment at a different shop. The shop that did the alignment didn't adjust one of the bolts on the draglink back to the exact place. So when it came to my max flex in my Jeep while I was on the trails that bolt pushed into the steering stabilizer. 

This caused a very slow leak, a two year leak. So once again time for replacement. This time before we installed the part I painted it purple! It's the Rubicon Express Steering Stabilizer. It's a super easy install by just removing two bolts and replacing the part.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Day in a JL Wrangler

My surprise treat while my Jeep was in the dealer garage for warranty repairs was a day with a JL Rubicon Unlimited. The folks at DarCars Chrysler Dodge of Rockville let me take the JL for the day while my Jeep was up on the lift to fix leaky axle seals. 

I was super surprised how much I liked the JL. The ride was quite nice after being in my lifted JKU. Compared to the jittery steering in the stock JK's the JL rides smoother. 

If you are into all the latest new technology the JL's is upgraded from the JK's. The dashboard has a new look with the configuration of the buttons a little different. The powers that be at Jeep heard us Off-Roaders as they added some new cool features.

One of my favorite features are the built in Aux buttons for an easier aftermarket off road light install. 

Another cool feature is the built in molle panels for storage in the back seat.

Finally they add heat/AC vents for those back seat passengers. 

In my book there only two negatives. The first is the start/stop feature which is now a feature on all new vehicles. This is to help save MPG's. So when you are in drive with the foot on the brake the engine shuts off and automatically comes back on as soon as you take your foot of the brake. This drove me nuts while I was driving it. The other negative is the high price tag on the Rubicon - $60K.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Jeep Gladiator Joy Ride

Earlier this week I needed to take my Jeep in for a leaking axle seal, which awesomely was covered under the drive train warranty.

While I was there, I asked if I could take a new JL to drive while my Jeep was being fixed. The Jeep Dealer said yes! However, I was only allowed take it from 9am to 9pm. So I decided to come back the next morning to pick up a brand new JL Rubicon to drive to work while my Jeep was in the shop. 

Before I headed home, I was told the Jeep Gladiator was out front! I immediately went to check it out. What a sweet ride! Of course I wasn't allowed to drive it, not even the salesmen where allowed to drive it. So I did a quick Facebook live video of the new Gladiator. 

I arrived back to the Jeep Dealer- DarCars Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Rockville the next morning to an amazing surprise! I was given exclusive permission to take the Gladiator for a spin! WOW!!! I was so excited. So I hopped in the drivers seat and the salesman, Just Ask John, and I took it out for a 30 minute ride around town.

A Jeep Momma YouTube Video

I was completely shocked at how smooth of a ride it was compared to my JKU. Plus all the cool features! The same dash as the JL with my favorite feature. 

Jeep listened to the Jeep Community and added Auxiliary Buttons for ease of wiring in aftermarket lights.   

Under the seat 
storage in the back!

Air Vents -- FINALLY!! -- for the back seat passengers.

A center arm rest for those back seat passengers too! 

Plus so much more! Those were some of my favorites. It's a really cool Jeep Pick Up, I suggest if you get a chance to go check it out at your local dealer!  

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Trail Guide Training Class

What a journey the past five years has been. My first off road experience was with Kyle from Off-Road Consulting. The private 101 off-road driving course I took was just the beginning of a great addiction. My new passion...  My new hobby... 

My last off-roading experience a couple of weeks ago was again with Kyle. This time it was a trail guide training class with some great women I have met over the years. 

I sure have stepped up my game. From being one of the new Jeep women to now teaching and mentoring the new Jeep women coming into the fold. 

Kyle has so much amazing knowledge to share and I am so thankful to learn from him. The many classes I have taken with Off-Road Consulting gave me great off-roading skills that will continue to grow even greater.

Kyle is a certified off-road trainer with i4WDTA, The International 4-wheel Driver's Training Association. He is lucky enough to have a job that is off-roading 7 days a week, most people's dream job. 

I shared a video on YouTube of Kyle showing the ladies hands on instruction of a good trail guide.

In the next couple of weeks I will be sharing two other videos from the class. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Primative Camping Lessons

I love camping and being in the great outdoors. I love sitting by the campfire with friends and great conversations. I grew up in Minnesota and North Dakota  camping and fishing my whole childhood. I have some really great memories on the lakes and in the wilderness. 
Now I combine my off-road adventures with my childhood love. Each time I go, I learn something new about being prepared. This last time was a cold weather camping trip and I was glad to have brought my Buddy Heater.

Another item that I found was a necessity because of the rainy weather was tarps and lots of them. And don't forget the S'mores.  
Jeep Momma's Garage YouTube Video

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Learning to Be More Flexible

Part of my Jeep Journey has been discovering the importance of being flexible. I am a pretty OCD person. I make lists. I make plans. I would get frustrated if my plans were not followed to a tee. I have realized over the years this only leads to my disappointment.   

I would drive my family crazy on vacations making sure we followed my itinerary. Since my soul searching journey of six years, I have become more flexible with my plans. I try not to have too many expectations. 

Flexibility is a good trait to have, especially when you are off-roading. Around every turn a new adventure awaits you whether you planned it or not. 

The first weekend in April I loaded up my camping gear and headed to Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area for a weekend of off-road fun. I was looking forward to a day of wheeling on the rocks. 

This is where my flexibility needed to come in. We spent the morning getting dirty driving thru mud puddles then stopped for lunch. 

After lunch one more big mud puddle. That is when the lead Jeep, our trail guide, broke his driveshaft. We were dead in the water. 

One of the Jeepers in our group insisted I continue on with the rest of the group while he stayed back to help the broken Jeep. I was hesitant to lead as I don't know AOAA that well. After several minutes of persuasion, I headed out with the group. 

The group wanted to stick to the green trails. No rocks for me that day. I was somewhat disappointed we didn't hit the rocks, but there is always next time.         

My new flexible outlook told me I need to look at the positive. I successfully guided a group of seven Jeepers through unfamiliar  trails. There was no damage or breakage and they all had a great time. 

The group hosting the event thought I did such a great job they invited me to guide a women's group in September.