We all have been there. That giant pit of mud looms in front of us and all we want to do is drive through it, spinning our tires and making the mud fly everywhere. There is something thrilling about seeing the muck project outward. If you embrace your vehicle being caked in layer upon layer of mud, then you might be into mudding.
What Is Mudding?
Breaking it down to its simplest definition, mudding just means getting down and dirty and driving through the muck. Going by numerous names, mud bogging, mud slinging or mud racing, this is off-roading that focuses on getting filthy dirty. While many in the off-roading community find this less than thrilling, others really enjoy it. Recently we read an article that states, “the real reason why there’s so much anti-mud sentiment in the off-road community isn’t that mudding is difficult, it comes down to the fact that people hate cleaning their cars and that mudding takes an enormous toll on vehicles.”
The reality is that mud does indeed get everywhere. No matter how hard you try to avoid it mud ends up in your car’s interior, its wiring, brakes, small creases in the body, wheel bearings, tie rod ends, and ball joints. It’s horrible stuff, and while the traction on rock-crawling trails likely puts more average stress on a vehicle’s drivetrain, there’s no doubt that mudding is tougher on vehicles.
But every now and then that big stretch of mud calls out to us and the challenge is just too hard to resist. Ready to get really dirty? Here are a few tips when that stretch of mud and muck is just too tempting to avoid.
Know The Terrain
This is off-roading 101. Understanding and investigating your environment is key to not getting yourself and your vehicle into serious trouble. Mudding can be hazardous for the simple fact that you don't always know what's hidden under the mud. Hazards that could potentially slash your tires, rocks, tree trunks and roots all lurk in the deep. So be aware of what cannot be immediately seen. There are also many types of mud, from thin and soupy to thick and slimy. Driving into the various forms of mud can be as different as driving on sand and ice. Each type of gunk presents its own challenges and requires variations in your driving technique. Just like staring down a stretch of standing water, make the right decision before attempting to drive into it. As great as it may look at the moment, you might want to just drive around it.
Speed Is Everything
Once you have assessed the terrain, the occasional strip of mud that you race across that splashes everywhere and makes us all whoop is different than heading into a stretch of muck deliberately. Mudding requires you to maintain and control your speed and does require skill. Determining how fast you will need to move through this depends on the type of mud and of course the vehicle that you are driving. You’ll want to drive fast enough so that you can get through it without stopping or sinking, but slowly enough so that you can manage any hidden obstacles beneath the mud. If you're not careful, you might wind up spinning your tires and digging yourself deeper into the muck. The key to mudding is maintaining a steady speed the whole way through. Just remember to read the terrain and make a safe judgment about your speed.
Tires Are A Consideration
Depending upon the difficulty of what you are about to drive into, you can go mudding with just about any tires. For hard core adventures, specially designed mud terrain tires are the best. Mud terrain tires have extra large lugs with wider and deeper spaces in between them. This design keeps mud from getting stuck in between the lugs, and maintains traction. Making sure that your vehicle and your equipment are appropriate can save you the headache.
A Recovery Kit
Getting stuck in the mud and muck might be inevitable. That’s part of the fun. That’s why you should always bring a quality recovery kit with you when you go offroading. You can pick up one of GearAmeria's Ultimate Recovery Kits which includes everything you need to get unstuck and get back on the trail. Don’t let your off-roading adventure end early because you went unprepared, these few simple tools can make or break your trip.
Wherever you end up - GearAmerica is right beside you. Now go get dirty.