Jeeping 101: Mud

For any Jeep owner, mud is an obstacle of conquering. We see mud and immediately we are fearless children who know no limits. Mud is just wet dirt calling our names to sling about everywhere. Mud is a wanton desire to cover our tires and every inch of aluminum and steel. A good mud hole is also disguised as a treacherous foe to any overly fearless seemingly arrogant and skilled off-road driver. Jeeping 101 tells us to always survey any obstacle, including mud.

alligator Juniper, ponderosa pines, jeep trails, AZ jeep trailsImagine our excitement on a warm, partly cloudy day in Prescott, Arizona. Winding dirt trails, pine trees, mistletoe, rain spurts and cool mountain air. Varying elevations of hidden valleys of alligator Juniper surrounded by soft, pristine prairie style hills littered with sandstone that resembles any fiery Arizona sunset. Mingus Mountain trails showcased the beauty of Arizona in all her glory.

As we began our descent off the trail we found what could only be any Jeep owners delight: obstacles. Obstacles in the form of the rich, rugged red sandstone generally found in Sedona. Obstacles by way of mud puddles from the recently rain quenched area. Shifting on the fly into four wheel drive we flexed our way along the rocks and slung mud when we could.

Until we came across the mother of all mud.

She taunted us. She was calling our name. She told us we couldn’t do it. She begged us to come play.

dammit chad, jeeping and mud, jeep in mud, muddy jeepWe were suckers. We violated a cardinal rule of Jeeping 101 which was to validate if any other tire tracks had been seen in that area. Validate if any other vehicles had gone through, as in seen on the other side of, the mud. Mud is oh so deceiving due to the hidden dangers and risk.

Blessed were we that we never Jeep alone. Jeep Rule #1 is like any other rule, the buddy system. Our dear friends were there to help be our moral support when we felt defeated and the gravity of the shit began to sink in to our situation. By shit, I do mean shit…the mud hole which was actually a putrid, rotting pile of waterlogged cow manure began to seep through the doors of our Jeep. Mind you, we are lifted on a 2.5″ Rock Krawler Stock Mod lift with 35″ tires and the funk of mud and water filled up the entire wheel wells and spilled into the doors and onto our floorboards.

jeep in the mud, stuck in the mud, muddy jeepDespite all of our best efforts to zigzag the wheel and rock the Jeep, the Arizona mud and mucilage of the manure were overpowering.

We were in logging country, we could conquer this situation, somehow, someway. Quick thinking as I evaluated the situation and our surroundings. Visions of grabbing some logs for traction, sinking thoughts of possible flood damage, explaining this to my insurance company, offers of jumping out to help our dear friends that were also knee deep in the crap trying to push us out. I saw the logging truck and knew there was a winch on board, or at least that was the story I told in my head. Telling The Chad we needed to get that guys attention to help us before the stench and mud swallowed us whole. Emphasizing the situation for dramatic effect.

The Chad’s fight or flight reflexes kicked in. We threw open the top, The Chad jumped out and he asked our friends son to flag down the driver of the logging truck. All the while we kept the engine running, as The Chad leaped out I jumped into the driver seat and kept feathering the throttle to prevent the engine from stalling and taking on any water and mud. Praise God for our friends, all of our cat like reflexes, as well as the generosity of the logging camp driver who used his winch to humble us in our moment of broken pride and spirit, albeit a bit embarrassed too.

Where there is mud there is water. Water, if too deep, can cause serious damage to your engine, differentials, transmission, and, with newer models, the electronics. Mud acts in the same fashion as water only thicker, sludgier and quite frankly she’s a bitch to get out of the cracks and crevices of your Jeep. Think sand in your shorts at the beach.

What any driver needs to keep in mind is not lay off the throttle (gas) in order to prevent stopping and bogging down, as well as to prevent taking on water in the engine. A Jeeping 101 rule of thumb regarding mud should always be to never be too overly confident. When in real doubt, hop out and check the depth or avoid altogether if you do not feel comfortable in these driving conditions or obstacles and or do not have proper clearance. Remember to always Jeep responsibly.

Meet the Author

Karie Herring

Karie Herring rambles of a former life in Phoenix, AZ while raising a teen and tween twins in their new home in Orlando, FL. She has been featured in AOL Money & Finance, Betty Confidential and Career School Now. She's a full-time technical writer, functional fitness athlete, overachieving wife and mom. She loves talking about maneuvering motherhood, womanhood, and her passion for essential oils and natural living.

21 comments… add one
  • Joie Sep 23, 2015, 12:51 pm

    I don’t even know what I would do in that situation. Have a heartattack for sure but it sure looks fun.

    • Karie Herring Sep 23, 2015, 2:13 pm

      I was panicky at first but then started analyzing what to do next and keeping my mouth shut when The Chad started to panic and look at options. We look back now and laugh at how fun and dumb we were LOL

  • Jenine Sep 23, 2015, 2:18 pm

    Dry Season Only! I have mud trauma. I’ll explain at another time. 🙂

    • Karie Herring Sep 23, 2015, 5:11 pm

      Mud trauma? Uh oh….I personally love mud, but this was not your ordinary mud.

  • Bill Sep 23, 2015, 4:51 pm

    That’s good times! Sounds like a lot of fun and I am glad a friendly logger was there to help.

  • vickie couturier Sep 24, 2015, 5:24 am

    ive never been mudding but my grown kids have an love it

  • Darlene Cruz Sep 24, 2015, 3:31 pm

    I had a similar situation, muddy fun and got towed out. Every time I think of it I have to smile.

  • Tamra Phelps Sep 24, 2015, 7:32 pm

    Add another rule to Jeeping 101. Always smell the ‘mud.’ You don’t want to get caught again in a big manure puddle!

  • Julie Lundstrom Sep 24, 2015, 9:26 pm

    Oh what a mess! I bet it’s not easy getting the jeep out of that mud.

  • Lisa Coomer Queen Sep 25, 2015, 3:02 pm

    I have a few muddin stories but none quite like this. You were lucky you had somebody with you. Hugs!

  • Nancy Hilderbrand Sep 26, 2015, 2:25 pm

    I am against mudding. We have a river lot which mudders seem to hit whenever the roads are muddy. They ruin the drives and roads of many people, while tearing up their yards.

  • Barbara Platt Sep 28, 2015, 10:04 pm

    My husband goes 4-wheeling and they go through the water and mud. I hate it and avoid going with them. They love it. As long as they play safe I don’t care. They go where they are supposed to and follow the trails.

  • Sally Wilsey Sep 30, 2015, 10:37 pm

    Wow the angels were watching on this one. You never know in these situations. Glad all is okay.

  • Linda Manns Linneman Oct 1, 2015, 1:36 pm

    This sounds like some adventure. I can’t imagine sinking in manure. How awful. How nice of everyone to pitch in and help. Thank you for sharing

  • ellen beck Oct 13, 2015, 11:38 pm

    We used to go 4 wheeling a lot in our younger days. I have went through, over and across many things but a pool of cow manure wouldnt be on the list ha! I am surprised you dodnt smell it first, I bet it was a mess to get out of everything.

  • Rachel Beltz Oct 20, 2015, 4:38 pm

    Mud and cars are always a scary situation hah! I avoid any mud at all costs!

  • Edna Williams Nov 15, 2015, 12:32 am

    I have personally been 4-wheeling a lot but never been caught in cow manure! What a story!

  • Dorothy Boucher Nov 22, 2015, 7:46 am

    Thank for the tip and although you got stuck , this sure seem like a
    wonderful day you still had going jeep riding 🙂

  • Michael Jul 28, 2016, 7:17 pm

    Another thing!!

    If you’re driving a manual through mud, DO NOT push your clutch in. If mud gets up in your clutch it can be rough for your clutch. I have a jeep tj and I’m able to start my jeep without the clutch. Makes things a bit safer.

  • Carolann Leibenguth Nov 6, 2016, 10:29 am

    wow that sounded scary I think being overly confident in any situation can be dangerous. So glad you had friends there to help you out.

  • Kelly Dec 16, 2016, 3:56 pm

    You are far more courageous than I am. We go riding in our ATVs and I stress when conditions get nasty. I had fish swimming through the base board one time. It was not fun.

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