What is Mudding? (Getting Dirty With Friends!)

So, what is mudding you ask … Great question. Urban Dictionary defines mudding: to go out in the mud in the back of a truck or jeep or other 4x4 vehicle and spin in the mud until all the occupants are covered in mud.

Muddy tire tracks

Not bad, but mudding is so much more than that. It’s the camaraderie of friendly competition. It’s the satisfaction of helping a friend and then beating him into the dirt. It’s taking a weekend with friends and family and just playing. Playing like you did when you were a kid, but now you have bigger and louder toys.

There are different kinds of mudding, but lets get rid of the thought that mudding is the same as off-roading. It is not rock crawling, it is not winding through the back country on a trail in your closest national forest with your friends, it is simply family and friends getting together to play in the mud.

Let’s forget about the snow and ice for a few minutes and put ourselves back in our shorts and tee shirts, tipping back our favorite adult beverage (soda, lemonade, high quality H2O…).

What does it mean to go mudding?

Have you ever seen a big muddy pit and wanted to drive through it, spinning your tires and making the mud sling everywhere? Do you embrace your truck being caked in layer upon layer of dirt? Do you cry a little when you have to wash it? Then you might be into mudding.

Mud bogging (also known as mud racing, mud running, mud drags, or MUDDING) is a form of off-road motorsport popular in Canada and the United States in which the goal is to drive a vehicle through a pit of mud of a set length. I, however think it has more to do with its simplest form, mudding just means driving through its slimy, grimy namesake, MUD.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not all fun and games. There is a great deal of skill that goes into this sport. From the building to the driving to the repairs (ok, it is all fun and games). You have to have the right equipment, understand the nuances of the track, the mud and your truck. You have to be able to give it your all, and still remember that we are all here for fun.

Mudding can be tricky for the simple fact that you don't always know what's hidden under the mud, rocks, tree trunks, anything you can imagine. There are also many types of mud, from thin and soupy to thick and slimy. In fact, driving in two different kinds of mud can be as different as driving on sand and ice. Each type of gunk presents its own challenges and requires variations in your driving technique.

One of the keys to mudding is maintaining a steady speed the whole way through. How fast you drive when mudding really depends upon the type of mud you're in and your vehicle. The important thing is to assess the terrain and make a safe judgment about your speed. While you can go mudding with just about any tire, specially designed mud terrain tires are the best (and look the coolest). Mud terrain tires have extra-large lugs, with wider and deeper spaces in between them. This arrangement keeps mud from getting stuck in between the lugs, allowing you to maintain your traction, and speed.

Some things to keep in mind when you are headed out to play in the mud:

  • Don't 4-wheel by yourself.
  • Only use your tow hooks and your hitch for recovery points.
  • Don't get water in the air intake, you can hydro lock your engine.
  • Test some spots to make sure the mud isn't too deep.
  • Don't use chain as a recovery strap.
  • Tell someone where you are going and have a way to communicate with the outside world if everyone gets stuck.
  • Have a good jack.

If you have ever been to a mudding event, you know it is as fun to watch as it is to drive. Having learned to drive in an old Jeep, and having owned more Jeeps and trucks then I care to think about, I can tell you how wrong that thinking is. Go play in the mud, and if you or your loved ones come home clean, go out again and do it right this time.

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