So we recently jumped on r/askreddit and other reddit pages and asked them what their worst Off-Road Stories were, and damn there were some doozies! From getting stuck in snow to having to dodge sheep, as well as many more exciting tales, here’s our top picks for the worst off road stories that were out there. Unfortunately the majority of the commenters were from the USA, so please, stick your story in the comments below and we’ll add the good ones to the post!
“I can drive over this patch of snow!” Says my girlfriend in her new and unmodified and base model 1995 Jeep Wrangler out in the Sierras in June on a dirt road hoping to get to a small lake. She couldn’t. She didn’t shift into 4WD first. So our little drive to go fishing was over and it was already late afternoon. I collected some rocks and put them under the tires, but that didn’t work so I got out the emergency jack and the jack area was over snow so I placed it under the back of one side of the pair of stupid fake U shaped bumpers on those Jeeps and lifted one wheel with that, placing rocks underneath. It bent the bumper a little but we were able to finally back up off the snow. The bumper was still bent upwards about 1″ off level the last time I saw it several years later.Anonymous
I honestly don’t expect to see any Faroese 4X4 owners commenting. You can hardly get it off the road without hitting a guardrail/fence. And even if you get it off the road, there is the problem of sheep. They’re everywhere. That, and The Faroe Islands is an island archipelago consisting of 18 islands. (19 if you count Mykines hølmur)U/Anerdattheirdesk
So one of my friends had finally had his Toyota all fixed, got the Roadworthy Certificate Passed, put some registration on it and we were good to go! So out we go on a nice summers day, have a nice day out, lunch, cruising around the local national park and all was good. All of a sudden he spots a big mud puddle and says “I’m gonna go for it!” despite our pleading over the radio for him not to. Next minute we’re winching him out of this mud puddle with a busted engine (He had no snorkel) So we tow him with a tow strap back to a road, and then walk up to the top of a massive hill, find some reception, manage to co-ordinate with my wife and another friend to hire a car trailer and come out and get us. My friends wife was 100% unimpressed as the car he’d just spent months fixing and thousands of $$ is now sitting in the driveway with a bent engine.U/Rumbuck274
Them Starbs stories
OMG! Once, this total bitch cut me off in the Starbs drive thru and i totally drove one of my Land Rover’s tires up on the curb to go around her! I had a mind to have her pay for the new detailing job for the scuff in my tire!U/ShackintheWood
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I might be held liable
I lived in a small city surrounded by farmland. A friend called asking if I would be willing to help recover a friend of his. The kid had taken his parents bone stock 4runner with no lockers and factory tires into a rice farm trail. By the time I got there with my Bronco the 4Runner was up to it’s frame in mud. The trail was blocked on one side, so I only managed to get the 4Runner from the rear. I told him that there were no reasonable recovery points and that he was so deep that any attempt would risk damaging his vehicle. He insisted that I pull him out. I hooked my winch around his hitch receiver. It was making some awful noises as I winched in. He insisted again. The receiver hitch sheared two bolts. Frustrated and worried that I would be held liable, I unhooked my winch and told him that I would offer him a ride, but the recovery attempt was over. The kid didn’t offer me any gas money. To add insult to injury I spent another $10 at the pressure washing station that night.U/QuattroStig
When the Race doesn’t go to plan
Right then, a story of “a bit stuck”. It was May 2012, and we (my friend was driving, I was co-driver) were racing in the Proto class of the Ladoga Trophy. For those that don’t know, this is a week-long off-road race around the largest lake in Europe, lake Ladoga near St. Petersburg, Russia. It is known for its swamps. Many, many swamps.U/elbekko
The first stage started off well, we were having fun. We got to the first proper swamp, sank down, but managed to winch out, pulling down a few less-anchored-than-they-looked trees in the process. Aired the tyres down, and continued. I walked in front of the car over the swamp, knowing that where I could walk and not sink, the car would do the same. It went fine for about 200m, until there was a soft spot I didn’t see. Shouldn’t have been a problem, but the front locker on the Volvo portal axle had been giving us trouble for ages, and had once again decided to give out and allow a wheel to dig into the swamp. Then the other wheels followed. And it looked like this. 200m from the nearest tree, in the middle of a swamp that our support cars could in no way cross. We started walking towards the finish line, where our support crew was waiting. About 3km through the swamp and forest (which apparently had bears, didn’t know that at the time), carrying as much of our gear as possible that we’d rather not leave behind.
Back in camp we managed to scrounge together enough rope so that we should be able to reach the nearest tree. So we went back the next day. All the ropes were together were just about long enough, and we started winching. Front and rear hydraulic winches, powered by a pump connected directly to the engine crankshaft. She started moving, it was working! Trying a little driving assist… and the engine stalled. And it wouldn’t start back up. The starter didn’t like being submerged in a swamp for a night, apparently. No spare, and even if we did have one, no way to even reach it on the car. So that was game over. Some crazy Russian guy named Dmitry tried winching from the tree line with his Land Cruiser, but that wasn’t doing much. Almost burned up his winch, almost pulled a tyre off the wheel. We weren’t getting out.
In the end, it took a week to get it out, with the help of a swamp logging truck. Sadly I wasn’t there to see it, only a few people could travel back from the camp, which was moving around the lake with the race, and the rest of our team which still had another car in the race. By the time we managed to arrange the logging truck, it was ~700km from the camp to the swamp the car was stuck in.
That’s probably the most stuck I’ve ever been. Not the only time I’ve been stuck though, if you don’t get stuck on a day out you’re not trying hard enough!
Hillbilly Savant to the rescue
This was about 10 yrs ago in My buddy’s Rubicon. He owned a few acres in southern Ohio where we grew up. We been in the woods together since we were kids, started with wheelers, then a couple beaters when we turned 16 so by this time when we had better money we some nicer toys. So he buys this brand new Jeep with a winch and we go out to play like we’re still kids. Anyways, I go over to his place to see this new trail he’s been working on, no intention of being out all day so we don’t tell anyone where we are or anything and this is the kid of place cell phones don’t do much good. This trail has a spot where you have to cross a ravine about a half mile from the road, basically so tight that once you get the front tires in the water the front bumper is touching the other side and its almost straight up. We get thru no problem, go back another few hundred yard once we winch to the top and hit a dead end, basically the property line so we get out a look around. After a few minutes we decide to leave and he has to do a 12 point turn to get us headed in the right direction, I didn’t get back in to help him watch for trees and I wasn’t too focused on the little ones apparently. I still have a crystal clear picture in my head of the plug on the front of the winch for the remote bumping a sapling no more than 1/4″ wide and sparks stray flying and the damn thing shorts out. Winch start winding its self up and straining against the guard, we freak, throw up the hood and both of us try to bare hand no tools rip the fucking battery out to make it stop, but it’s too late. The rollers did their job and didn’t let the hook come thru before the cable snapped.U/Hottoddy1
So here we are, late winter no cell reception, no one knows where we are, soggy ground, nights coming, busted winch caused by a fucking thick weed, were fucked. So best thing we think of to give it a shot, might as well try. We get back down the hill and actually were able to power thru the ravine and at least get our nose point back up the trail. Hike back to my truck and call his brother for help, now this guys shows up two hours later in a ’89 Mazda. But this guy is one of those hillbilly savants, so he bring hundreds of feet of 2″ rope. We get my truck within a couple hundred feet of the jeep, as close as we thought we could get without getting both stuck and this guys starts running ropes from me around several trees making loops and “pullies” and then to the jeep. I throw it in reverse an hold pressure on this rope, my buddy hammers his jeep, we can’t see each other in the dark, but we both see his brother running thru the woods full speed a body slamming this fucking rope. Apparently he was smart enough to know that the little pressure he put on the rope, combined with all these “pullies” would be enough force to yank the jeep a couple feet every time. I slow realize that in getting traction and after about 20 lunges here comes this jeep up over the crest.
TL;DR the small tres can hurt ya, and never doubt a hillbilly.
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My stuck story conviced me that I needed a 4×4. I had a 2000 ford ranger 2wd. I swaped in a narrowed 8.8 with 4:56 gears and a welded spool. This truck was a beast. I’d pull out stuck 4x4s and all proud of my little “Danger Ranger” until the day I decided to go for a drive on the beach in San Felipe during a low tide. I went in parked my truck and decided that was the perfect spot to open up my cooler and pound a few. 2 turned to 4, turned to 12 and all of a sudden in my drunken haze I dump the clutch. Holy shit ive never lost a beer buzz so fast in my life! The waves made it to my bumper before a 4×4 I had pulled out the day before came to my rescue. No I have a 2003 F-150 and its a 4×4. Also loading a quad is so much easier when you sink the bed and turn on the 4×4 to drive away.U/Brunohammy