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I sank my Hummer about a year ago... and for Simi it is not over yet.
I don't think Simi (my SO) has not got over the sunken Hummer thing yet... That was a shock for her because she was afraid that she was going to drown, trapped inside of the Hummer.
She did not know how deep it was (and I did not think it was that deep, either) and she thought that we might just be "floating" on top of the water.
After I started to walk around in the water, she felt much "safer" since I could reach the ground, I could help her.
So what is my point? When you off-road, remember you might have done something X many times... but your passengers might not have. As a driver, you're responsible for the safety of your passengers. Even when you do not feel there is not any danger, your passengers might not see it your way.
Remember to ask them how they are doing...
Explain how your will overcome an obstacle. That way they will not be as scared when you do it, and will know if something goes wrong. Show them your maps, and were you are going, and how to get back.
Show them your emergency:
Tell them also to keep their heads / arms / legs inside the Hummer at all times. If you roll, body parts will be crushed. Rear seat passengers cannot see well, and might get a branch to the side of the face.
Show them where the first aid kit is, show them how to use the radio (CB / Ham).
Show them the basics of how to start your truck, and operations of the controls (if you get hurt they might have to drive you out).
Some passengers will not want to go over some of the stuff you will, and might opt to walk around. If the area is hot / cold outside, then make sure you give them water, or what ever is needed to keep them healthy.
To add some more to this discussion, I have a little "speech" that I give whenever there are "newbies" (drivers or passengers) in my group.
I try to make it humorus (people tend to remember it better that way), but it has some very serious messages.
"Drivers - Your responsibilities are: your passengers, your trucks, and yourselves... IN THAT ORDER!."
To all passengers: Off-roading is supposed to be fun - not an exercise in "fear control". If you are uncomfortable about a spot in the trail, please feel free to get out and walk over it. Anyone who heckles someone who gets out to walk WILL BE RUN OVER BY MY HUMMER!
Drivers: If you are not sure, GET HELP! Use a spotter, talk to other drivers, watch someone else, "close your eyes [bg]", whatever it takes, but don't do what you don't feel comfortable doing. I won't let anyone heckle you either.
Remember: this is supposed to be Fun!"
I don't want anyone who is afraid of an obstacle to be even more afraid to get out of a truck. Nothing good can come from that situation. I also don't want any driver to think that he must do something (that he thinks that he can't do) just because everyone else does it. If he is not sure, he might not have the necessary skill or experience - and that could be dangerous.
Don't get me wrong - there is nothing wrong with a little good-natured teasing. I just really want the people with me to have a good experience and to want to go again.
When I go over a difficult obstacle, I frequently stop, get out, and go back to "watch". In addition to being fun (watching, that is), I am also available for spotting without someone having to "break down and ask".
In 25+ years, we have never lost anyone, or damaged a vehicle (nicks and scrapes don't count as damage). I have also never had anyone refuse to go again because of a bad experience. (Some people just don't like off-road as a sport, but that is another matter.)
My $.02 worth...
That is among the best words of advice I have read on the list. I was speaking about that with another Hummer owner just the other day, and this is not limited to Hummer owners. This is a team sport, and the name of the game is finesse. There are challenges, but safely and getting back without damage is impressive, and I don't care if you have the money to fix it! It's still a hassle when someone rips apart their truck because they were afraid to get out, or refuses to to listen to the spotters because they think that if they go fast enough, they can overcome anything. If you go do a lot of offroading, you'll notice that it's always the same idiots that are always getting themselves in trouble. In the civilized world a person may think they are a big shot, but leave the ego at the campsite, because in the woods the trail leader and mother nature are boss, and if you can't handle that, you have no business being out there scewing up things for everyone.
Sorry about the soapbox, but it happens....
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