If you are reading this article, I’m going to assume that you are probably male (90% of our readers are) and like going overlanding and/or off-roading. Have you ever wished that your significant other was into it as well? There are ways to entice your woman to learn off-roading in a safe and welcoming environment. Hook them up with trainers in your area (we have a list on our forums page), and check out our women’s only trainings. This article, from our in-field contributor, Susan Bodnar, is about an annual event for novices as well as advanced wheelers that takes place in Tremont Pennsylvania, called Women’s Wheeling Day. Read on, see what these women got up to and TAP into Adventure…with your partner!
Women’s Wheeling Day is an all-inclusive, family friendly event run by coordinators Christie Vinson and Susan Bodnar (both of OK4WD). It’s held annually at Rausch Creek Off-Road Park in Tremont Pennsylvania. In 2016 it was held on October 22nd, in the midst of Autumn’s fiery beauty. The inception of this event began with a vision of creating a welcoming event where women could off-road with their peers and learn in an environment where they didn’t feel intimidated or frustrated. The inaugural event brought in 8 drivers. The following years we had 40 participants, then 100, and this year we had over 200 drivers!
Attendees were greeted and placed in groups for the day. Groups were formed according to driver’s experience level and vehicle build. The runs range in difficulty from novice to black diamond. Each group was led by a an experienced trail guide and tail gunner who ensured that all vehicles were trail ready and reviewed trail etiquette with their group. The trail guide and gunner’s job is to make sure that everyone feels safe and has the support (spotting) they need to run a trail safely and successfully. We want everyone to complete this event feeling competent and frankly, psyched to get out and wheel some more! We have found that women who participate in this event do go out and spread the word to other drivers…hence the event’s massive growth.
A full day on the trails was enjoyed by all. We were pleased to see the drivers band together to help each other through both easy and difficult trails and obstacles. Drivers and passengers shared a lunch break on the trails then headed back out.
Some minor breakages occurred on the trails but were quickly fixed as the women worked together to fix any problems that arose.
While intermediate and advanced groups hit the trails early, approximately 60 beginners participated in a class taught by NorthEast Off-Road Adventures out of Ellenville, NY. Instructors Jon Mapes, Rich Brody and Owner Scott Trager, taught a three-hour “Basic 101 Off-Roading” class before heading out on the trails.
The class included 3 Stations: A vehicle 360: teaching the drivers how their 4WD vehicle differs from an average vehicle. The instructor also taught the participants how to perform a vehicle inspection/check points to ensure that their rig is well maintained and trail ready. The second station involved education on safe driving, trail etiquette and what to expect on the trails. The third station, taught drivers the fundamentals of torque and picking a line, as well as working with a spotter. Drivers learned hand signals and practiced maneuvering over obstacles and through tight areas. After the class was complete, Scott Trager raffled off a free, full-day training class at their training facility in Ellenville, NY.
After a day on the trails, all drivers and passengers were welcomed back to the pavilion for a delicious BBQ Dinner hosted by OK4WD and Globex Performance. Dinner was followed by a very generous raffle. We are very grateful for all the sponsors (listed below) who provided amazing raffle prizes for the participants. During dinner, stories from the trails, adventures and advice was exchanged and many new friendships and bonds were created. We can’t wait for next year!!
Click here for information on Women’s Wheeling Day 2017, October 21st.
Rausch Creek Off Road Park
OK Auto 4WD & Tire
Outten Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM of Hamburg, PA
Northeast Offroad Adventures Inc.
Seven Slot Society
Carolina Metal Masters
Trail Team Six
Moon Shine Camo
The Adventure Portal
Muddy Girl Country
Clayton Off Road
ARB 4×4 Accessories – USA Office
Krazy Beaver Tools, LLC
ACE Engineering & Fab
Mayhem Offroad LLC
Girls ‘N Garages
Daves Offroad Supply
Fortec 4×4 – Roswell, GA
Option It Off-Road
Amy Briggs Photography
venture4wd.com Chris Shontz