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Snow Wheeling and Recovery Class 101

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We're a multi-faceted company here at MULE. In addition to providing and installing the equipment you need for your Overland or Off-Road vehicle build, we also enjoy the opportunity to instruct on how to use your newly acquired gear.

This week, 15 students along with our MULE crew of instructors and special guests Jay Fellenstein of Bigfoot Winch Ropes and Marc Bowers of Nitro Gear and Axle, enjoyed a fantastic day in the mountains practicing basic vehicle recovery skills and doing a short snow run together.

Our morning started inside at our Issaquah store where we discussed how to prep your vehicle; what to bring on a trip; basic communications (HAM vs CB vs Walkie Talkie); and an overview of the gear we would be using on the trail.

Then, like any fun adventure, we took it outside! Upon everyone arriving at our outdoor classroom space, we discussed tire deflators and got everyone aired down to about 8psi. Then Jay of Bigfoot Winch Ropes graciously volunteered to get stuck so class members could practice using the Bigfoot Soft Shackles and Kinetic Recovery Ropes to pull him out.

 Jay taking a few for the team by getting his Jeep TJ stuck a few times so class members could practice with the Bigfoot soft shackles and Kinetic Recovery ropes.

Other members of the class look on as Victor S practices attaching the rope and rescuing Jay.

For instruction, we also demonstrated the use of recovery boards including Maxtrax and Tred Pros.

But, as always, the BEST way to learn any new skill is to do it. So, after only about 30 minutes of outdoor instruction time we set everyone loose within the immediate area with the instructions to "go get stuck!" With so many instructors on hand it was a safe way to let participants get their vehicles bogged down in the snow and learn how to recover it themselves without worrying about how they were going to get home that night.

Lou S. decided to bury his JK in 2 wheel drive so he could practice using the Tred Pro Recovery Boards to drive out.

Tina got some ride along instruction on how and when to engage her air lockers and things to try without using additional recovery devices.

While Bill of MULE decided to get high centered and just sit and enjoy the show for a while.

Once everyone was well practiced (sadly we missed capturing some of the really stuck vehicles -- class members: any more pics to share??!) we grabbed a bite to eat and then headed out on a short trail run which offered some mild off camber sections along with plenty of mud and water to drive through and some potholes to either soak up or avoid.

Tony and Tracy navigating a slippery, rocky section.

Tina leading the way up through some slush.

Part of the group getting ready to head home by airing tires back up after leaving the trail.

Special thanks to Jay of Bigfoot Winch Ropes for helping teach the class and offering our participants special pricing that day! Also to Marc Bowers of Nitro Gears for coming along as extra support. And mostly to our class participants for coming out and enjoying a beautiful sunny day in the mountains with us!

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