Now that summer is finally in full swing, here are 5 tips to make sure your next DirtRoadTrip is a success. Here are some words of wisdom that will ensure you don’t end up being “that guy” everyone is talking about around the campfire.
5. Plan Ahead
You would think this piece of advice would be common sense, but you’d be amazed at how many people we run into on the trail that don’t even know the location of the nearest town. Don’t get me wrong, there is something to be said for “going on an adventure” but doing some basic googling of an area will leave you much better off than just saying “YOLO”. You have more technology in your pocket than the guys flying the Apollo missions had to work with, so the least you can do for yourself is locate the nearest gas station, hospital, and beer store.
4. Be Flexible
Planning doesn’t mean you have to execute your trip with military precision, but making sure you build in some “flex” time for a few detours is always a must. On every trip we’ve been on, there has always been a detour of some sort, and they’ve ranged from hiking a few miles to check out an awesome waterfall, to stopping to replace 2 CV’s in under 200 feet. So don’t forget that shit will just happen, especially if you drive a Land Rover.
3. Be an Early Bird
If DirtRoadTrip had an award for the guy that always showed up 2 hours late to the Haymarket Sheetz for a 6 AM rendezvous, I would have a shelf full of trophies. Yet, if there is one thing I’ve learned, getting an early a start as possible makes all the difference. Not only is it safer to drive during daylight hours, but it’s also a lot easier to find and setup a camp site when you still have the sun on your side. Also keep in mind that most of the small towns you’ll be traveling through don’t run 24/7 operations like a lot of the places we’ve become accustom to.
2. Trust Your Gut
Should you really go down that trail solo? Is that water crossing safe? Does that chick across the bar have an Adam’s apple? Always trust your gut, the last thing you want to do is put yourself in a situation that could have been completely avoided. There’s a time and place to take calculated risks, but that time is not when you’re 50 miles from civilization with only half a bottle of Deer Park and a box of Mike and Ike left in your truck.
1. Talk to the Locals
Want to know where we get the majority of our routes and tips for all of our trips in the Mid-Atlantic?
We ask our contributor Dave. They come from spending time and dollars at the local watering holes. Striking up a friendly conversation with a bartender, gas station attendant, or the guy with no teeth on his ATV headed to the store to get a case of beer and a can of Skoal is always a good idea. Forget whatever your parents told you about talking to strangers, because our experience has been that people are generally happy to share what information they have (note, if you’re a carpet bagging Yankee that also happens to be Asian, American flag shorts and a little bit of off color humor are the perfect icebreaker).