Adventuring, Exlporing & Offroading

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Lightbar Conundrum

We’ve all seen the anti-lightbar memes or have seen someone being denigrated for buying a lightbar instead of buying other “more appropriate” modifications.  

Today I am here to support your utility lighting choices and take a stand against lightbar haters!

I often do crazy things in my Jeep but I also do many things that are accessible to a stock 4x4 vehicle.  In fact, some of my most popular photos and videos were taken in places accessible to stock vehicles.  Sometimes my Jeeping adventures are easy and other times more difficult but there is one thing all of my adventures have in common and that is the potential for break-downs, road wash-outs, obstacles that may not have previously been there, the potential for personal injury and countless other things that could go wrong.  That means there is always  a chance that you will find yourself trail driving in the dark and in the the remote places of the world, dark is VERY dark!  So, whenever you go out adventuring in your 4x4 you should always bring safety and recovery gear and that includes lighting.

Even if you think the adventure is going to be easy and that you’ll be home by dinner you should always be prepared for the worst.   Here’s one example: one time, I went driving on the beach.  This was not challenging driving.  Although I have these things, neither a re-gear or lockers were required to drive on this beach.  Heck, I even saw cars on the beach that day!  We were about half a mile from the exit but when it was time to leave, the tide was coming in and it was incredibly dark. No one bothered to GPS track our trip that day because it was mostly highway driving and the exit was just a short distance away.  With just headlights we were unable to find the path to get off of the beach.  I was the only driver with utility lighting.  If I did not have my lightbars we may not have found the exit path in time to beat the rising tide and could have found ourselves in a very dangerous situation.

My story is not the only one like this.  I’ve heard countless stories of night time rescues and recoveries.  If you don’t want to take my word for it, think about KOH.  How many of the drivers that came back after dark were without utility lighting?  None!  

So you see, lighting is actually a very important safety feature for your off-road vehicle.  Ok sure, you may not NEED a big lightbar but let’s be real for a moment… The 80’s called and wants it’s round KCs mounted on a tube back.  I grew up in the 80s.  While it is occasionally fun to get nostalgic and sing along with Journey I don’t really want to relive that time period. Especially on my adventure rig.  Be brave, say no to the 80s and live in the century!  Jokes aside, whether you choose lightbars or some other form of utility lighting be sure to buy a good quality light that will last.   

So there you have it fellow lightbar lovers.  Go forth, light up the world and feel confident in your choice to lightbar!

In closing I just want to throw a bone to the lightbar vs lockers/gears crowd.  I do believe that your rig should be modified to handle the type of driving that you want to do.  Get what you need for the type of driving you want to do and definitely prioritize recovery gear.  Seriously… don’t be the guy on a D30 with open diffs on 33” tires with no recovery gear being towed through the Rubicon.  It won’t be fun for you and it won’t be fun for everyone that built a capable rig that has to wait for you.  Similiarly, there’s no need to overbuild your rig.  Sure it might “look” cool but it’s a mighty expensive way to appear cool.


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