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What I’ve Learned (from my 2nd year blogging about Jeeps and the Great Outdoors!)

When September rolled around I received my annual web domain and add-on renewal notices, and I realized that I’ve been blogging on this site for two whole years now! On any given day I often feel like I’m not doing as much on/for this site as I’d like, mainly because I don’t have the time (although honestly that’s probably just a go-to excuse). But taken as a whole, when I look at the site and the posts I’ve done over the past year, I am pleasantly surprised to see a whole bunch of awesome stuff once again!

Here are some things I learned about off-roading, outdoor recreation, and preparedness during my second year blogging for Chicks On The Rocks -

I was honored to join in support of U.S. Veterans at the 1st Annual Wheelers for the Wounded of Colorado trail event. I ran sand dunes for the first time and took out-of-town guests through Rocky Mountain National Park. And, took a few soccer moms out for some muddy fun!

I learned better options for airing up/down tires at trail runs, and that there are many ways to rotate tires for longer use. I realized there were even more reasons to bedline the interior of an off-road rig. And, how to stay toasty warm in a topless/doorless Jeep even when temps dip below freezing. And, well, why it’s better to modify a Jeep after purchase.

I learned about staying safe while wheeling in the winter, and compiled a more complete list of vehicle recovery items. I also figured out how to fix the annoying squeak coming from my cargo storage box. And, I learned how to install cut fender flares and trim the liners all by my little ol’ self! And THEN I had my front bumper chopped and welded into a cool stubby width!

I decided to make my own net windows and then post the how-to. And finally write down the rules of the trail that I think make it a safer and more enjoyable experience for all.

With improvements to our camp setup this year, I learned how to set up and take down a Rhino Rack Foxwing awning, and how to install, set up, and take down a roof-top tent. And, friends built another off-road camp trailer and were kind enough to share the build photos. Plus, we discovered some pretty cool camp gadgets to make outdoor adventures even more fun!

And then the camping: from Custer County to the Sand Dunes to Vedauwoo in Wyoming - each trip we took this year was unique and a story to remember.

I decided to be more prepared and learn about everyday carry essentials. And compile a bag of most-used trail items to keep within arms’ reach on the trail. Plus, I created a teeny tiny survival pack that anyone can put together!

I wrote about BattlBox, and how it makes a great gift for any outdoors person with an emphasis on bushcraft and survival, knife and blade care, cleanliness, camping, hiking, and much much more!

I decided to create a separate page on the site for camp and trail food. And then I decided to design a new home page altogether.

And the checklists! A pack list for hiking with dogs. A 2017 edition car camping pack list, specific to mountain terrain. And a checklist for traveling light.

Whew! I guess I did learn a lot in one year’s time, and that makes me happy! I’m looking forward to another year of outdoor adventures, and here are some of my goals for the site during the next 12 months -

- Continue to write, at least one post per week. Sometimes it’s hard to sit down and write, and I’ve realized it’s more about creating a habit than anything. It’s easy to slip off the writing wagon and just read a book or play a board game with my son (though that’s important too) or spend random time outdoors and not do anything with this site at all. So, writing or designing on the site daily is something I struggle with, but strive for, and I hope to get a post up at least once a week.

- Organize at least two easy trail runs in northern Colorado during the next year’s time. I’ve had several ladies recently ask me about trail runs, or mention that they have stock Jeeps and would like an easy trail, or they’ve never wheeled before and would like to go on a no-pressure run with some other ladies. Not that guys can’t attend too, but I want to put together a couple of fun but easy runs to give some of the local lady Jeepers experience and confidence on trail.

- Look into starting an online store to sell some Chicks gear. I have an awesome Chicks On The Rocks coffee mug that I’ve used for over two years now and it’s still in great shape – it’s the best mug I’ve ever owned! Keeps my coffee hot for an hour and I use it every day. No one else dares to touch my mug (yes, I do take my coffee seriously). I’d like to offer at least an awesome mug and maybe some other items for purchase.

- Of which a portion of the proceeds will go to charity. I’m not sure which one yet but it will be either women-specific (e.g. breast cancer research, etc.) or for Military Veteran support, or maybe both.

Well, that’s about it. If you have any comments or suggestions please leave a note below. And if you’d like to guest post about off-roading, outdoor adventures, or preparedness please shoot me an email – I’d love to include on this site your good times in the Great Outdoors!

Thanks for reading, and Happy Trails!!

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