Playground of Man is Made of Mud
Driving around Southwest Florida, you may have noticed a lot of trucks. Some of them are huge – barely-fit-in-the-lane, will-crush-your-Prius kind of big. Big like it looks like they stole the exhaust off of a semi-truck and escaped in a big cloud of smoke. And most of these trucks will be covered in mud. Mudding is a lifestyle the same way fishing and hunting are. It’s an investment of time, knowledge, and money. It takes experience, development of skills, and can be done at multiple levels of intensities from family fun to drop-the-hammer. And all of these lifestyles require safety tips that will ensure everyone makes it home for dinner.
TIPS FOR THE INEXPERIENCED MUDDER
Mudding can be very destructive without any knowledge or experience and it’s best to go with someone who knows what they are doing if you’ve never done it before. Stories of people getting their trucks stuck in the mud because they got too excited, didn’t know any better, and wanted to try without four-wheel drive are common. And they’ll usually end with wrecking their truck and needing to get pulled out by an ATV or a different truck. Don’t be another cautionary tale! Go with someone experienced who will make sure you have a good time and have the right ride.
Mudding is all about traction. It takes some recon of new and old areas because terrain can be unpredictable. Poking around for ruts and holes that could trap a truck or ATV are worth looking for before diving in, even at a park designated for mudding. When a group goes mudding together with a couple trucks, you’ll notice people pick their own path and stick to it while staying as straight as possible because they are trying to keep up the momentum. They avoid any kind of drag because that means they will avoid getting stuck. As passengers, when the truck gets stuck we may think, “Just gas it and you’ll get out!” This is not true. If you continue to try to jimmy out when you’re stuck, the truck will start sinking. It’s worse when you get stuck in mud with water because the mud creates more suction, like quicksand pulling the truck further in, and it will take more time and energy to get out. This is why it’s best to go to some designated locations.
PLACES TO GO MUDDING IN FLORIDA
Parks like the Redneck Yacht Club, Florida Cracker Ranch and the Iron Horse Mud Bog were created out of necessity. It provides a safe environment for mudders on a more predictable terrain that’s made to be torn up. In Southwest Florida, the Redneck Yacht Club filled a need for off-road enthusiasts. It brings people together by holding big events and concerts in the park. There are also some unique events, like the Swamp Buggy Races hosted at the Florida Sports Park. Swamp buggies are also often spotted in the parks. They look like huge platforms with wheels and tend to be sportier and spray more mud. Florida has little shortage of fun outdoor activities and mudding is definitely something every resident should add to their list.