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Types of Off-Roaders Part 1

Akhil Nayak

The Bone Stock This guy stays as close to stock as possible. He knows that aftermarket parts would compromise the reliability of his beloved ride. Recovery duties are generally handed over to this guy if primary and secondary recovery vehicles are busy. Most of the videos are shot by him and is the sanest of the lot. Chaperone of the group.

The All-Show-No-Go You can hear his off-road vehicle (fondly called "the beast" by the owner) from a mile away. Fully loaded. Ladders, snorkel, winch, high-lift jack, 33" MT tyres...everything. But can't unmount a jack if his life depended on it. Gets beached on some of the easier obstacles. Hands over the keys to the more experienced guys in the group after all his attempts have failed. Buys beer for the whole group after being rescued at least thrice.

The Mall Crawler This guy will have a dozen auxiliary lights, huge AT tyres and a big thumping subwoofer on his 4x4. DJ of the convoy. Doesn't like getting his 4x4 dirty. Balks at the first sight of mud. Gets into the trail after a lot of coaxing. He refuses to get down from the vehicle as it might ruin his fancy shoes. Uploads kickass videos of others having fun. Parks as close to solid ground as possible. Leaves the afterparty asap.

The No-Show-All-Go Has a stock 4x4 but drives as if it were the Paris-Dakar rally. Insists on crossing all obstacles even if it means he will lose a fender or two. Binary style of driving. Loves challenges (even if no one challenged him) Has a tow strap on its last legs. Usually is the last man standing at the after-party.

The Silent Killer Has a sleeper off-road vehicle. Looks stock from the outside but has different locks on both axles, ECU upgrade, maybe even an internal roll cage and a 4 point harness. Crosses obstacles with the same ease as parallel parking. He gets a small crowd every time he gets out of the vehicle. Doesn't talk much, at least not until he has downed 3 pegs

The I’m-On-A-Budget Has a decent off-road vehicle which is peppered with jugaad engineering. Loves getting dirty and rescuing others. Carries a lot of spares and tools. Usually finds a way to temporarily repair vehicles that have broken down. Always has gumboots on. The vehicle wouldn't have been washed for at least a month or two. Is the life of the party.

The Vintage Has a lovingly maintained old school 4x4. Beams with pride when anybody checks out his vehicle. He doesn't hesitate to get dirty but avoids all the hard obstacles as spares are not easily available. Knows a few off-road tricks which the younger guys don't. Has a couple of bottles of 18-year scotch in the boot. Offers it to all.

The Overlander Has an SUV that is kitted out for expeditions. The vehicle usually has a lot of stickers from previous road trips. The most important modification would be a drinks cooler. Has 5 co-passengers in various stages of intoxication. Avoids the hard obstacles due to the wheelbase and is usually the secondary recovery guy. Is the back-up drinks provider.

The Spectator Comes to the entry of the trail in a 2wd. Hitchhikes throughout the trail. Shouts all kinds of instructions (usually the wrong kind). Extremely enthusiastic. Helps with recovery. Covered head to toe in muck at the end of the day. Settles down with a drink in a quiet spot and contemplates trading it for a 4x4.

The Flower Power Female offroader. Has a decent 4x4 with important mods and a spotless interior. Can off-road with the best. Deflates alpha male egos on a regular basis. Doesn't hesitate to ask questions or answer them. Surprises most men with her ability to down drinks while staying relatively upright.

The Bakra Clueless about off-roading. He bought a 4x4 because the TV advert said it was cool to have one. Enters the trail in 2wd. Loses it when someone asks him to shift to 4wd. Has cheap knock off tyres because the seller saw him coming from a mile away. The last guy to get rescued. Gets into arguments after a peg or two.

The "RFC" types Has a vehicle that has been extensively modified. Has taken part and won in at least 1 heavy-duty off-road competition. Is considered the "Yoda" of off-roading by his buddies. He loves to answer all kinds of questions about his vehicle. Encourages everyone to get stuck so his expensive and powerful winch gets some run time. Is the primary recovery guy. Gets everyone drunk but stays relatively sober.

The Pilot/Sweep He starts as the Pilot but ends up as the sweep or starts as the Sweep and ends up as the Pilot. Has a standard 4x4 with functional ham radio. He is the first/last guy to attempt all obstacles. Makes sure everyone crosses the trail safely. Shouts at everyone who doesn't follow protocol, but makes peace immediately after. Is the bartender at the afterparty because his vehicle has all the drinks and the ice.

The Factory Guy He has a standard 4x4 but with some prototype mods. He is flooded with questions the minute he rolls down his windows. Is very accommodating. Gives tips and tricks on maintaining vehicles. Has a huge contact base. Doesn't drink much lest he gave away prototype secrets/details. One of the last guys to leave the after-party.

The Family Man Has a standard 4x4 with some essential mods. Gets his family along. Usually has a panicky co-driver and very enthusiastic/excited kids who also double up as video recorders. He has a habit of blocking the convoy due to his secondary hobby of sightseeing. Slow and steady driving style. He is the first guy to leave the party.

The All Terrain Mile Muncher Is the all rounder of the group. Has a heavily modified 4x4. Lots of experience when it comes to off-road shenanigans. Is the best spotter. Is the second-best driver. He doesn't compete. Usually does the recce. Tows broken down vehicles back to tarmac. Gives practical advice about off-roading as well as life and how to live it. He drinks like a fish and passes out in the backseat of his 4x4.

The Pick Me Up Has a pick-up truck. The load bay is filled with parts that have fallen off from the other 4x4s. He has numerous dents, dings, and scratches on the underside thanks to the overhang and wheelbase. Has oversized biceps thanks to the turning radius. Gets along with everyone. Has a spare carton of beer under the backseat. He loves to sing country songs once he is drunk.

The Photographer Has 2 top of the line cameras with 10 different lenses, tripods, filters and whatnot. Doesn't mind getting waist-deep in muck to get the perfect shot. Shouts and threatens anyone who comes in his line of shot. The ladies usually make a beeline towards him only to get totally ignored. Drives a sedan/hatchback but badly wants a reliable 4x4. He is not allowed to drink until he shares all pictures in the WhatsApp group.

The Missing link Has a beautifully maintained 4x4. He loves posting pictures of his vehicle on social media all day. Encourages everyone to turn up for the weekend OTR. Is conspicuously missing on the actual day of the meet citing back pain issues. Is back in action on social media the day after the OTR. Calls everyone during the afterparty and rues missing the meet.

The Keyboard off-roader Doesn't have a 4x4. But that doesn't stop him from joining each and every 4x4 group on social media. Shares a lot of videos from international groups. Comments on almost all the posts. Gives genuine advice that is actually copy-pasted from Google. No one has actually seen the man. Drinks alone at home.

The Medic Has a stock 4x4. Loaded to the gills with recovery gear. Wears rainproof clothing from head to toe. Uses a snatch block as a keychain. Has at least 3 sets of tow ropes and 4 pairs of D-shackles. He doesn't get dirty but helps rescue other 4x4 from the comfort of his own. Is usually the float in the convoy. Carries most spectators in his vehicle while feeding them Redbull/snacks. Only drinks Redbull.

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