The experience of Jeeping is unique for every person, every time.
No two trips are ever the same, and even the experience amongst drivers on the same day on the same trail can vary wildly. Don’t believe me? Watch a few videos of people on Black Bear or Imogene Pass, here in Southwest Colorado, and see (and hear) the emotions range from absolute amazement to absolute terror. Sometimes in the same Jeep!!
The reality is that Jeeping has an incredible freedom to it – you can drive these amazing machines from mud bogs to deserts to high alpine peaks to everywhere in between. For every four wheeler finding your niche, your Zen, your reason for wheeling is really more important that you think.
Take the time before investing in significant upgrades to explore and sample as many types of Jeeping as you can – sand and slickrock in Utah, overland adventures, family camping trips, ledgy high alpine tundra, winter wheeling, day trips to scenic spots… find your niche. Not everyone wants adrenaline pumping, never-ending challenge of trails like Hells Revenge.
When you find the type of wheeling you enjoy, build your Jeep accordingly and focus on functional, high value upgrades. E.g. for rock crawling more difficult trails, invest in high-end, rock solid suspension and drivetrain components to maximize travel and off-road capability. Consider buying a truck and trailer for long hauls to the trails.
Or, if you like overlanding, invest in a lift that gives you both highway driveability and decent off-road handling. Put your remaining budget into recovery equipment, lights, gear storage, or a rooftop tent or rack-mounted awning.
Building and customizing your Jeep is a uniquely personal experience. One of the best parts of ownership is making your Jeep truly “yours”.