Nena's Blog

Overlanding 101: Eating, Sleeping, Pooping

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

The term “overlanding” is quite the buzzword these days. I would say the difference between “overlanding” and “camping” is determined by your primary intention for setting up camp: Are you setting up a camp to just squat around a fire and drink beer in one place all weekend, or are you exploring cross-country and you need a place to sleep each night on your journey? Whether you are “camping” or “overlanding,” the bottom line is that there are three simple things that one must do in the great outdoors: eat, sleep, and poop. Here’s a quick look at how I do it when I’m overlanding or camping.

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Barlow’s Pet Policy

All of us at Barlow’s are pet lovers, so we are committed to doing everything we can to be able to allow people to bring their pets with them. If you are considering travelling with your pet, please take the time to read all of the following.

We have a limited number of Jeeps available for guests who want to bring their pets with them in the Jeep. Advance reservations are strongly recommended, as these Jeeps do fill a long ways in advance for many dates. If a pet-friendly Jeep is not available on the day you wish to go, we can offer you alternate dates, or you can find other arrangements for your pet. We will not make exceptions as to which Jeeps allow pets, out of respect for our other guests.

If any pet hair is found in a Jeep that is not designated pet-friendly, a $150 cleaning fee will be applied. However, minimal cleaning fees will only be applied to our pet-friendly Jeeps if there is excessive hair throughout the Jeep, vomit, feces, etc. For our pets, we have seat covers to minimize pet hair and damage, and maximize pet safety and comfort. Under most circumstances, no cleaning fee will be applied to our pet-friendly Jeeps.

 

It is critical that guests discuss their pets with us in advance, because there are other circumstances of which pet owners must be aware:

  1. Hair and scratches takes much longer to clean so Jeep can be ready for next guest. Because many of our customers are sensitive, we have pets limited to certain Jeeps.
  2. Parks and archaeology sites. Pets are not allowed on hiking trails in National Parks or Monuments, and never at any historic or archaeological sites. We want to help you plan a day with trails you can enjoy with your pet.
  3. Safety and security. Our moderate and adventurous trails are not appropriate for pets, if they are not secured or accustomed to the bouncing and steep angles. We don’t want to see pets injured from being dumped off the seat on steep hills, or injure other occupants in their desperate attempt to find some way to “hold on.”

Note that smoking is not allowed in the Jeeps at any time, and often not on the trails due to fire restrictions.

Four-Wheeling Lessons From a Hellcat

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

I could say that the day spent at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving was strictly for work, but, seriously, it’s just something I have always wanted to do. One can always learn new skills from other professionals. What I came away with, aside from a day of adrenaline-junkie-pleasing driving, was that the same skills we emphasize for 4WD training are just as critical for high-speed driving: where you look, smooth driver inputs and corrections, and constant focus.

Being accustomed to driving lifted rigs on a minimum of 35-inch tires, the first thing I thought while settling into the nearly ground-level seat of my assigned Challenger Hellcat was, “Wow! How can I see anything from down here?” The answer is the same as it is from the seat of the Jeep—look farther. On the track, this meant that as we headed into a 180-degree turn, we were looking almost 90 degrees to our left, at the exit of the turn where we would again start applying the throttle. Because if we were looking over the hood at the tire wall in front of us, we would not be able to execute steering input or the right amount of braking to result in a smooth turn.

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When Do You Lock Your Jeep’s Axles?

By Nena Barlow
This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

Ever since the introduction of the Rubicon model in 2003, the axle lock feature or “locker” has been a mainstream feature for anyone who walked onto a Jeep dealer lot. The continued growth in sales of Rubicon-model Jeep Wranglers (new and secondhand) will mean more new owners on the trails who may not fully understand when and where to best use the electronically activated lockers in the front and rear axles of the Rubicon model. Even for the experienced, a refresher and examination of our own thinking can be helpful.

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Airport Pickup Special

June 27 through Aug 15, 2018

7-day Jeep Rental with airport pickup
$1,490 + taxes

Just in time for those Summer get-aways! We’ll pick you up curbside at the Phoenix or Flagstaff airport and transport you in private comfort to Sedona to pickup your Jeep and start your Southwest adventure! No more hassling with shuttles or rental cars to get to Sedona.

Call us to book your Airport Package (928) 282-8700

Includes curbside pickup at Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX), Phoenix-Mesa Gateway (AZA) or Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG).
Package accommodates up to 3 people with carry-on sized luggage.
Special includes pickup at airport before your Jeep rental, and drop off to airport after your Jeep rental. Pickup times available 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.

If you will be arriving after 5 pm, stay at one of our partner hotels and we can pick you up the next morning.
Economy: Green Tree Inn  https://www.greentreeinnsedona.com/  928-282-9166
Moderate: Sedona Real Inn  https://www.sedonareal.com/  928-282-1414
Upscale: Courtyard Marriott   https://www.sedonacourtyard.com  928-325-0055
Luxury: L’Auberge  https://www.lauberge.com/sedona/  800-905-5745

Package includes free maps and trip planning tips for the region! See here for itinerary ideas.

Must be booked and all necessary documents received at least 72 hours in advance of pickup time at airport.
Deposit & Cancellation: 50% deposit taken to book package. Balance due at time of Jeep pickup. Cancellation policy: More than 7 days notice receives refund, less 10% of full price. Less than 7 days notice is non-refundable.
Mileage: Jeep Rental includes 150 free miles per day (1050 miles per week). Additional miles $0.35 per additional mile.


Private airport transportation may be arranged at any time throughout the year, pending availability, and added to any Jeep rental term for a fee of $325 plus tax each way.

How to Prep a JL for Rental Duty

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

I won’t say I’m old, but I will say that I have been in the Jeep guide and rental business long enough to ride out the transitions between CJ, YJ, TJ, JK, and now JL. So far, other than waiting for the aftermarket to have time to develop the things we need for our typical trail use, the introduction of the JLs into our fleet has been relatively painless. As mentioned in my last article, almost every single thing that we had wished was better on the JK is better on the JLs.

What is required to make a factory Wrangler worthy of Barlow Jeep Rental status is less and less with each new generation. Barlow-worthiness is the ability to traverse the majority of the area trails without billable damage when driven by a novice to moderately experienced driver who will simply pay attention and drive slowly, with the intention to be safe and responsible. Our Jeeps are expected to traverse much of Arizona, Moab, and the Rubicon Trail, with minimal exertion.

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Soldier Pass Jeep Trail Returns!

Popular Sedona 4x4 Trail Reopens to Public Under New Permit System

Following an extensive review process by the US Forest Service, one of Sedona's most popular 4wd roads has reopened to the public once again. Soldier Pass Trail has long been a staff favorite at Barlow Adventures, and we're thrilled to see it back in business! This short and scenic trail has experienced a dramatic increase in use during recent years, resulting in noise and traffic congestion in area neighborhoods, and management challenges for the Red Rock Ranger District and Sedona law enforcement. In consultation with local businesses, recreational users, residents, and other stakeholders, the US Forest Service issued a decision in March of 2017 limiting motorized travel on the trail to 12 permitted users per day.

About the Permit System

Barlow guests who would like to run Soldier Pass while visiting Sedona are required to obtain a permit by visiting the Coconino National Forest website and applying online. Click the button below to apply at fs.usda.gov.

Applications may be submitted between 3 days (72 hours) and 90 days in advance. Applications submitted less than 72 hours prior to the desired use will not be processed. Requests will be processed in the order received, Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays, based on the email time stamp.

  • Permits are available to individuals only.  You may obtain no more than one permit per day. Businesses, clubs, and organizations may not apply. Barlow Adventures cannot reserve a permit for you.
  • Permits are free and nontransferable. 
  • Permit holders may hold only one permit at a time and wait until after the permit date before requesting another permit.
  • Permit holders are responsible for knowing and obeying all forest rules, regulations, and closure orders.
  • You must have your valid permit with you at the time of your visit.

A Classic Sedona Jeep Trail

Soldier Pass Trail remains a Barlow's staff favorite because it offers a concentrated mix of spectacular red rock scenery, history, unique natural features, and fun 4x4 obstacles that make for an ideal introduction to Sedona 4-wheeling. Easy to get to in the heart of Sedona, the trail starts behind a residential neighborhood before winding 1.5 miles up and over the red rocks for a 3 mile out and back adventure. The trail is also very popular with hikers and mountain bikers so be sure to drive with care. Allow at least an hour and a half to take in highlights along the trail like the Devil's Kitchen Sink Hole and the Seven Sacred Pools - both worth a stop for pictures and further exploration on foot. The trail earned the name "Soldier Pass" in 1871 as part of a resupply route established by the US Cavalry under General George Crook. It wound down from the Mogollon Rim and over Brin's Mesa to an area known then to the army as Camp Garden. An oasis along Oak Creek we now call Sedona.

Is the New Jeep Wrangler JL Better Than the JK?

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

With the introduction of the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL, one can’t help but wonder how it compares to the previous generation Wrangler, the bestselling JK. If you read no further than this, here it is: The JL is better than the JK. For simplicity, I will only discuss how the JL Rubicon compares to the later-version JK (2012–2017) Rubicon. I won’t even discuss comparisons to any Wrangler built before the 2012 model, because, well, that just wouldn’t be fair.

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Cooperation for the common good

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

It’s a human tendency to lump ourselves into groups. We are naturally attracted to groups of people who have similar interests and values. Jeep enthusiasts are no different. Along with the enthusiasm for the vehicle comes a shared interest in traveling the great outdoors in it, and a desire to see 4×4 trails and dirt roads kept open for exploration. But in our efforts to keep trails open we should remember that hunters, mountain bikers, motorcycle riders, equestrians, hikers, and many other outdoor enthusiasts (including, yes, UTV drivers) also have an interest in keeping 4×4 trails and dirt roads open. What is important to the future of public roads and trails is that all of us who use them learn to identify as the same tribe—one large group of people who really enjoy the outdoors and having access to beautiful public places upon which to recreate.

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The Pressure: Where Should You Run Your Tires?

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

You all know by now that airing down your tires is one of the simplest ways to improve the trail performance and ride quality of your Jeep. The big question is always: To what pressure should I air down? Whenever this topic comes up on forums or social media, the answers vary from to “tire circumference minus rim diameter, multiplied by pi, minus GVWR, multiplied by ambient air temperature, and divided by your age” to “6.” What I have found is that there are two methods to effectively and safely adjust tire pressure that apply to a variety of vehicle and tire types.

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