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Phoenix7

How to handle breakages deep in the dunes?

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49 minutes ago, Drupanddown said:

This ^^

Our group helped theses guys out, things they were lacking was a plan and fresh legs. Four out five sxs were stuck, each guy had a different idea how to get them out. When we rolled up we made our own plan told the guys to get in your sxs and gas it when we say hit it. I would say less then 15-20mins they were all out. To many chiefs not enough Indians with bit of panic.

 

350ABB60-C41C-4615-8EB4-EA355CCAD405.jpeg

That's some funny shit.  

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How the hell does someone get a SxS with 4wd stuck in the sand?   :lol:

 

No one has yet mentioned one of the most important pieces of safety equipment: a race radio powerful enough to reach back to camp. You can contact someone in camp immediately and if they have the parts and tools, they can arrive in a matter of minutes with cordless tools, floor jacks, new parts, fresh beverages, a sense of humor and after a little ribbing and wrenching, you're back up and running in no time.

I'm not saying I'm McGyver, but quite often what seems like a no-brainer appears to never come to other people. For example, always carry a snatch strap in addition to 2 tow straps. You can use the tow strap hooked to the roof of your vehicle and to the rear of another vehicle pointed away from the side of your car and it can tip your car up, like a floor jack, except without having to carry a floor jack. If you do need to get towed, the snatch strap will stretch and allow for a much smoother tow, in addition to allowing the tow vehicle to hit it harder and snatch you up and out of a rut or get up to towing speed much easier than from a dead stop and trying to ease into it.

As mentioned above, you should have all of the common spare parts that are prone to breakage back in camp, then you can just call on the radio and someone in camp can bring out the parts and tools to help get you fixed asap. A piece of thin plywood can be used like a ski in case you have to 3 wheel it back to camp but the suspension keeps digging in.   

The trick is to think of the best way to handle the situation within the first few minutes. It seems like some people come up with their best ideas 5 hrs later, right at sundown. I've seen 2 Polaris 900s hooked together to help pull a sandrail out of a very deep bowl, then 1 of them towed it back to camp via sand highway. A lot of people are scared to tow other vehicles, thinking they're going to burn up a clutch or blow up their tranny. The reality is, they're doing more damage to their clutch feathering while pulling in or out of their trailer. Once the clutch is engaged (way before the 2 tow straps and snatch strap is tight) the tow vehicle uses it's mass and momentum to pull the towee up to speed, after that, it's just duning and if they're doing it right, there's no extra strain on the drivetrain, it's just going with the flow of  the terrain.

I'd also recommend carrying most of the tools for simple repairs in the dunes, including some spray ether and some matches (especially if you or others don't have beadlocks), maybe a small compressor, a few extra nuts and bolts, a few extra fuses for others, since you should be using resettable breakers, hint hint.  ;) 

 

Don't forget medical emergencies. A lot of people are diabetic these days, so I learned the hard way one trip to always have some OJ in the cooler, just in case. We should all carry bandages, antiseptic, tape, wet wipes, etc. I hope this helps!

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18 minutes ago, 1newbie said:

Another quick tip - maybe common knowledge for u gd guys.  Couple years ago I was a total newbie in the oregon dunes and got my rzr800 stuck. Guy shows up and leans on the cage (works better with 2 people) and starts rocking the rzr. Every time he rocked it, he kicked a bit of sand under the tire. 2 min later I was unstuck, no tow strap or anything.....

6 of us did that with a v8 car at Buttercup 4 or 5 years ago. He broke rule #1 and was out alone then proceeded to stuff it into a soft witch eye and kept digging further and further down with each failed attempt. Ten minutes and some lifting we had him out. 

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I know it's been talked about a lot but never hurts to be a reminder. 

Fire extinguisher 

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Radio's are nice to have but I don't know who these people are sitting at camp listening to it, waiting to bring parts and tools. The people that don't go on the runs are usually not someone that could assemble the tools and parts needed for a fix, let alone get them to you. :lol: 

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I have nothing to add to this thread as there has been some quality information shared. I do want to say bravo and thank you for all the members who posted in this thread. That is what this board is all about! :clap:. Helping members and sharing you experience and expertise. Fantastic job guys!

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You know one thing that helps is Hand signs.....if you are in a group passing another group, hold up your hand to signal how many more cars are behind you....If you are stopped and people come by give the OK or thumbs up so they know to just keep going....

When I hold up my hand with 5 fingers out, I'm not saying hi, there are 5 guys behind me....  Last guy is the black power salute, closed fist.

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2 hours ago, socaldmax said:

How the hell does someone get a SxS with 4wd stuck in the sand?   :lol:

 

No one has yet mentioned one of the most important pieces of safety equipment: a race radio powerful enough to reach back to camp. You can contact someone in camp immediately and if they have the parts and tools, they can arrive in a matter of minutes with cordless tools, floor jacks, new parts, fresh beverages, a sense of humor and after a little ribbing and wrenching, you're back up and running in no time.

I'm not saying I'm McGyver, but quite often what seems like a no-brainer appears to never come to other people. For example, always carry a snatch strap in addition to 2 tow straps. You can use the tow strap hooked to the roof of your vehicle and to the rear of another vehicle pointed away from the side of your car and it can tip your car up, like a floor jack, except without having to carry a floor jack. If you do need to get towed, the snatch strap will stretch and allow for a much smoother tow, in addition to allowing the tow vehicle to hit it harder and snatch you up and out of a rut or get up to towing speed much easier than from a dead stop and trying to ease into it.

As mentioned above, you should have all of the common spare parts that are prone to breakage back in camp, then you can just call on the radio and someone in camp can bring out the parts and tools to help get you fixed asap. A piece of thin plywood can be used like a ski in case you have to 3 wheel it back to camp but the suspension keeps digging in.   

The trick is to think of the best way to handle the situation within the first few minutes. It seems like some people come up with their best ideas 5 hrs later, right at sundown. I've seen 2 Polaris 900s hooked together to help pull a sandrail out of a very deep bowl, then 1 of them towed it back to camp via sand highway. A lot of people are scared to tow other vehicles, thinking they're going to burn up a clutch or blow up their tranny. The reality is, they're doing more damage to their clutch feathering while pulling in or out of their trailer. Once the clutch is engaged (way before the 2 tow straps and snatch strap is tight) the tow vehicle uses it's mass and momentum to pull the towee up to speed, after that, it's just duning and if they're doing it right, there's no extra strain on the drivetrain, it's just going with the flow of  the terrain.

I'd also recommend carrying most of the tools for simple repairs in the dunes, including some spray ether and some matches (especially if you or others don't have beadlocks), maybe a small compressor, a few extra nuts and bolts, a few extra fuses for others, since you should be using resettable breakers, hint hint.  ;) 

 

Don't forget medical emergencies. A lot of people are diabetic these days, so I learned the hard way one trip to always have some OJ in the cooler, just in case. We should all carry bandages, antiseptic, tape, wet wipes, etc. I hope this helps!

Yes, all your tips were a big help, ESPECIALLY the one about using tow straps to simulate a jack.  Thanks!

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Thanks to everyone who contributed today.  I never dreamed that this volume and quality of information would be posted in just one day.

I feel that this topic will help many people in the future, or at least it will be a good read.

Drupanddown's photo and story about all the SxS's getting stuck was interesting and will make me try to think wisely and patiently if I get involved in any kind situation with my own vehicle or in helping others.

My personal thought tonight, like something that just struck me tonight, is that with all the comments and stories about camps and spare parts, I realized I could be at a disadvantage there because so many people have Rzr's, and the Can Am X3 is wildly popular, and I have a Maverick XC.  Anyway, I'm just sharing my thoughts, but I'm not too worried about it.

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A lot of great info in here. It's almost impossible to be prepared for everything but taking a lot of these suggestions will go a long ways. I've had my share in the dunes and suffered a few days out there commiserating with others that were broken. One thing that almost always helps when you'll be out there a while is having food and drink on hand, even if you are too pissed to eat or drink it. I went for a "quick" ride early one morning expecting to be gone about an hour and didn't make it back to camp until about 1am... it wasn't pleasant. Now I don't leave camp without enough granola bars/jerky/etc to at least be comfortable for a night in the dunes.

Also, a cell phone charger - the reception is better than ever out there and between friends, this board, a few FB forums you can likely get to one of them and communicate to someone that you are broken down and what the situation is.... which means you need to know where you are at ;) so get a map and learn the lay of the land... even something as vague as "a valley west of Brawley Slide" narrows down the search quite a bit... and if you do get or use a GPS be sure not to follow it directly... the dunes don't run in a straight line and following one will get ya hurt in a hurry - I carried one and I did exactly that on a parts run back to camp while the wife and kids waited with the broken buggy, too big of a hurry and almost didn't make it to camp!

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22 minutes ago, HozayKwarvo said:

A lot of great info in here. It's almost impossible to be prepared for everything but taking a lot of these suggestions will go a long ways. I've had my share in the dunes and suffered a few days out there commiserating with others that were broken. One thing that almost always helps when you'll be out there a while is having food and drink on hand, even if you are too pissed to eat or drink it. I went for a "quick" ride early one morning expecting to be gone about an hour and didn't make it back to camp until about 1am... it wasn't pleasant. Now I don't leave camp without enough granola bars/jerky/etc to at least be comfortable for a night in the dunes.

Also, a cell phone charger - the reception is better than ever out there and between friends, this board, a few FB forums you can likely get to one of them and communicate to someone that you are broken down and what the situation is.... which means you need to know where you are at ;) so get a map and learn the lay of the land... even something as vague as "a valley west of Brawley Slide" narrows down the search quite a bit... and if you do get or use a GPS be sure not to follow it directly... the dunes don't run in a straight line and following one will get ya hurt in a hurry - I carried one and I did exactly that on a parts run back to camp while the wife and kids waited with the broken buggy, too big of a hurry and almost didn't make it to camp!

Wow another great post!  These are things I didn't think about.  I'm going to verify my cell phone charger works in the recepticle in the Maverick, and if not, buy one that works.  I'm also going to buy the map I saw in the beach store that seemed to go into much greater detail than the BLM map which was free.  BTW I'm a tequila fan too.  I like Espolon and Patron the best.

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First thing I would suggest is replacing the belt you have. Much easier to find that wrench you throw across the garage in frustration then to find it in the dark in the middle of a cold night in the dunes.

As far as real breakdowns in the dunes, broken belts are not real breakdowns just unwanted stops.  Anything and everything can break so being resourceful and thinking outside the box will get you back to camp much easier than trying to prepare for every possible scenario. 

I have done everything from letting the air out of a 3-wheelers front tire strapped the front wheel into a 6-pack rack and driven it out like a trailer to using a piece of rope to tie on a rear wheel of a quad, to using a perfectly fine running bike as a parts bike and brought parts out in the middle of the night.  I have seen buggy's 3 wheeled and open end wrenches turned into clutch levers.

Like Sandpycho said duct tape, zip ties and ingenuity will get you out of most bad breaks

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11 hours ago, HozayKwarvo said:

A lot of great info in here. It's almost impossible to be prepared for everything but taking a lot of these suggestions will go a long ways. I've had my share in the dunes and suffered a few days out there commiserating with others that were broken. One thing that almost always helps when you'll be out there a while is having food and drink on hand, even if you are too pissed to eat or drink it. I went for a "quick" ride early one morning expecting to be gone about an hour and didn't make it back to camp until about 1am... it wasn't pleasant. Now I don't leave camp without enough granola bars/jerky/etc to at least be comfortable for a night in the dunes.

Also, a cell phone charger - the reception is better than ever out there and between friends, this board, a few FB forums you can likely get to one of them and communicate to someone that you are broken down and what the situation is.... which means you need to know where you are at ;) so get a map and learn the lay of the land... even something as vague as "a valley west of Brawley Slide" narrows down the search quite a bit... and if you do get or use a GPS be sure not to follow it directly... the dunes don't run in a straight line and following one will get ya hurt in a hurry - I carried one and I did exactly that on a parts run back to camp while the wife and kids waited with the broken buggy, too big of a hurry and almost didn't make it to camp!

If you do use a phone to call someone, then you can just text them your location and it will link right back to a dot on google maps. I'm sure those Iphones have a similar feature as well. This will get them within 10 ft or so. Unless there's a raging sandstorm going on...

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11 hours ago, Phoenix7 said:

Thanks to everyone who contributed today.  I never dreamed that this volume and quality of information would be posted in just one day.

I feel that this topic will help many people in the future, or at least it will be a good read.

Drupanddown's photo and story about all the SxS's getting stuck was interesting and will make me try to think wisely and patiently if I get involved in any kind situation with my own vehicle or in helping others.

My personal thought tonight, like something that just struck me tonight, is that with all the comments and stories about camps and spare parts, I realized I could be at a disadvantage there because so many people have Rzr's, and the Can Am X3 is wildly popular, and I have a Maverick XC.  Anyway, I'm just sharing my thoughts, but I'm not too worried about it.

 

I have a very good feeling that you're smart and resourceful. After all, you had the foresight to post this topic and listen to the responses, so a guy who thinks ahead like that and wants to be prepared beforehand is definitely already ahead of the game. 

Along the lines of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, here are some tips to help prevent issues. Until you get really familiar with the dunes, it's probably best to watch and follow directly in the tracks of the guy in front of you, this way if he goes over a dropoff, you see it and can slow down in time. If you're in his tracks, you're a lot less likely to hit a witches eye, which could be as close as a foot away on either side. Witches eyes are usually the start of the whole broke it/now we have to fix it cycle. 

You should have 5 pt harnesses and strap yourself and your passenger in nice and tight. I recommend a pre-ride safety talk, telling the passenger if they feel apprehensive, just cross their arms and hang onto the harnesses nice and tight. Under NO circumstances are they to grab the roof bar or try to put their hand out to stop the roll. That's how people lose their hands or get them severely damaged. I'm sure you've got a few more ideas to help keep them safe in case of a rollover.

Have fun and stay safe!

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pack your cooler with enough beer for a long breakdown (kinda like a motorcycle helmet and jacket, you dress for the crash not the ride)

make sure your buddies have beer also because they will drink yours when they run out

if you  break down in the bottom of a bowl have a car park on top as a marker so a group of people dont fly over a dune into your area

bring enough toys and food to keep the kids and ladies happy

dont stress and make it a party

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After 30 years of doing this you learn to bring stuff with you. I think John of Outfront had a great thread a while back as to what you take with you. So here is my list everything on this list I learned the hard way not to leave camp without. Especially if you have kids in your group. If somebody is broke down and the sun goes down before it gets fixed you will have some miserable crying kids if you don’t have spare non perishable food and blankets. In hindsight think about breaking the group up and sending the kids and ladies back to camp. The guys turn it into an adventure to get back. Not too many people think about a basic first aid kit.

 

There is a story associated with each of these items, don’t find out like I did - the hard way.

 

 

1   Spare 930 or ball bearings cage, star and grease

  1. Two crescent wrenches big and little
  2. Space blanket as well as spare jacket and blankets if you have room
  3. Ratchet straps
  4. Duct tape
  5. Beard tow straps (everyone should have one) these can be daisy chained together (weaved) and that can be helpful in pulling someone out of a large witches vagina (big enough to swallow a car)
  6. Pliers, various screw drivers small set of ratchets one that has the socket to get a 930 bolt out. Hammer, vise grips, channel locks
  7. First aid kit
  8. Spare food, extra water wherever you can stuff it
  9. I have three different size heim joints on my buggy, I carry spares for all three
  10. Spare fuses, relays
  11. Jumper cables
  12. Jumper wires with alligator clips on both ends
  13. Always top your cooler off before even going to the vendors
  14. Can of fix a flat (only use in emergency) bad for aluminum rims
  15. As people have said if you are in a side by side have spare belt and tools to change it

 

Please feel free to add, always good to see what has helped others get out of a jam

 

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2 hours ago, socaldmax said:

 

I have a very good feeling that you're smart and resourceful. After all, you had the foresight to post this topic and listen to the responses, so a guy who thinks ahead like that and wants to be prepared beforehand is definitely already ahead of the game. 

Along the lines of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, here are some tips to help prevent issues. Until you get really familiar with the dunes, it's probably best to watch and follow directly in the tracks of the guy in front of you, this way if he goes over a dropoff, you see it and can slow down in time. If you're in his tracks, you're a lot less likely to hit a witches eye, which could be as close as a foot away on either side. Witches eyes are usually the start of the whole broke it/now we have to fix it cycle. 

You should have 5 pt harnesses and strap yourself and your passenger in nice and tight. I recommend a pre-ride safety talk, telling the passenger if they feel apprehensive, just cross their arms and hang onto the harnesses nice and tight. Under NO circumstances are they to grab the roof bar or try to put their hand out to stop the roll. That's how people lose their hands or get them severely damaged. I'm sure you've got a few more ideas to help keep them safe in case of a rollover.

Have fun and stay safe!

Thanks for the compliment about being smart and thinking ahead.  But I'm human and I have my faults.  I'm the guy who thinks more about having fun and less about mechanical things (like spare parts and mechanical know-how).  But I can see that this hobby is more difficult than golf, and more precarious, so I'm trying to be as wise as I can within my own personality and habits.

Until you said your warning about witches eyes, I didn't really know what they were.  I found this YouTube video title (not sure if I can post links here): "guy hits witch's eye in sand rail glamis pres weekend 2013".   Thank you!!  Now I know what they are, and how dangerous they can be.

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1 hour ago, Turn and Burn said:

After 30 years of doing this you learn to bring stuff with you. I think John of Outfront had a great thread a while back as to what you take with you. So here is my list everything on this list I learned the hard way not to leave camp without. Especially if you have kids in your group. If somebody is broke down and the sun goes down before it gets fixed you will have some miserable crying kids if you don’t have spare non perishable food and blankets. In hindsight think about breaking the group up and sending the kids and ladies back to camp. The guys turn it into an adventure to get back. Not too many people think about a basic first aid kit.

There is a story associated with each of these items, don’t find out like I did - the hard way.

1   Spare 930 or ball bearings cage, star and grease

  1. Two crescent wrenches big and little
  2. Space blanket as well as spare jacket and blankets if you have room
  3. Ratchet straps
  4. Duct tape
  5. Beard tow straps (everyone should have one) these can be daisy chained together (weaved) and that can be helpful in pulling someone out of a large witches vagina (big enough to swallow a car)
  6. Pliers, various screw drivers small set of ratchets one that has the socket to get a 930 bolt out. Hammer, vise grips, channel locks
  7. First aid kit
  8. Spare food, extra water wherever you can stuff it
  9. I have three different size heim joints on my buggy, I carry spares for all three
  10. Spare fuses, relays
  11. Jumper cables
  12. Jumper wires with alligator clips on both ends
  13. Always top your cooler off before even going to the vendors
  14. Can of fix a flat (only use in emergency) bad for aluminum rims
  15. As people have said if you are in a side by side have spare belt and tools to change it

Please feel free to add, always good to see what has helped others get out of a jam

 

Witches Vagina LOL!!  Thanks so much for this list.  I have already emailed it to myself, and will edit and add to it, and then I'm sending to my phone.

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U would be surprised what u can fix with a small battery operated drill and a few bits. I have removed broken bolts and sheared off heim joints in the dunes thankfully never my car. Easy outs of different sizes are great to have. I always carry lug nuts and wheel studs also. 

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3 hours ago, socaldmax said:

You should have 5 pt harnesses and strap yourself and your passenger in nice and tight. I recommend a pre-ride safety talk, telling the passenger if they feel apprehensive, just cross their arms and hang onto the harnesses nice and tight. Under NO circumstances are they to grab the roof bar or try to put their hand out to stop the roll. That's how people lose their hands or get them severely damaged. I'm sure you've got a few more ideas to help keep them safe in case of a rollover.

Have fun and stay safe!

This is good advice but what is better and I feel more important then the stupid helmet the libtards make you wear, is wrist restraints. Literally less then 5 seconds to put on and you don't have to remember not to put your hand where they will get crushed. Even more, in a violent roll over where you are not going to be able to keep your arms in or hang on, they will do it for you.  They are cheap and after a very short time you forget you have them on. Trust me on this on hand and wrist surgery suck and sometime those surgeries are to remove parts that can be saved. There is absolutely no valid reason to not have them. In our cars you wear them or you walk.

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17 hours ago, SANDPSYCHO said:

Radio's are nice to have but I don't know who these people are sitting at camp listening to it, waiting to bring parts and tools. The people that don't go on the runs are usually not someone that could assemble the tools and parts needed for a fix, let alone get them to you. :lol: 

A lot of times the wives or GFs are back in camp and can respond to an incoming call. There's usually someone who stayed back to work on something or help someone with their ride back in camp. There have been at least 5 times I've received a radio call and went and helped someone. 4 of them I was in camp or just returning to camp, the 5th one I was near Olds and met up with Duneflyer who was towing someone from way down south over to Olds, where a group of us took over and helped the guy out.

I know you like to mock people, but if you take a second to think about all of the race vehicles and support vehicles that rely on race radios just for that purpose, maybe you'd see the wisdom of having one for more than just talking trash to your friends and ordering lunch from the wife while you're still enroute.

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Make friends with someone that has a 500hp jeep with a 8,000 lb winch! :lmao:

This was not a fun day, I was here this day only as passenger in the white truck. This was an all day excursion on a hot day and not that many people out there. The jeep guys saved the day!

 

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I'm not sure if its been mentioned yet ..but if you buy just one extra accessory for your sxs..buy a two radio with it preprogramed .if you are ever stuck out there I'm sure that if you were to get on the radio someone will answer and come get you or call someone for you..cell phones don't always work .The two way radio will pay for itself on the first break down..also it fun to give the guys you are on a ride with crap over the radio ..but keep the small talk for when you stop.

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I rigged up a portable 12v spot to clamp on the battery. Nice for a night time breakdown. Ditto on the food and water. Been broke down for many hours several times. Tire plug kit and a nice compressor are handy to have. 

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53 minutes ago, socaldmax said:

A lot of times the wives or GFs are back in camp and can respond to an incoming call. There's usually someone who stayed back to work on something or help someone with their ride back in camp. There have been at least 5 times I've received a radio call and went and helped someone. 4 of them I was in camp or just returning to camp, the 5th one I was near Olds and met up with Duneflyer who was towing someone from way down south over to Olds, where a group of us took over and helped the guy out.

I know you like to mock people, but if you take a second to think about all of the race vehicles and support vehicles that rely on race radios just for that purpose, maybe you'd see the wisdom of having one for more than just talking trash to your friends and ordering lunch from the wife while you're still enroute.

You are talking about almost 10 years ago back in the 13.5 and Compound days, yeah you could radio back. Those days are done and everyone is spread out and in small groups, it's not going to happen. Most camps are empty when they are on a run. If someone doesn't make a ride it's usually someone's wife and even if they had a radio and knew what tools and parts one was talking about they have no way to get the parts there. None of us are racing and we don't have support vehicles and a crew to support our adventures in the dunes. It just not a realistic situation for 99% of the people out duning. I can't say I like mocking people, it's just something that comes naturally to me when someone says something so easily made fun of. 

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