Frequently Asked Questions

Question

Answer

 

Where is the Club located?

We are based in Eastern Ontario, Canada. We have members from Ottawa, Kingston, Brockville, Cornwall, Gatineau and everywhere in-between.
Ottawa Trail Runs usually depart from Loblaws in Bells Corners in Ottawa-West. Loblaws is located at the intersection of Moodie Dr. and Robertson Rd. at 45deg 19.3729 N 75deg 50.0025 W
Kingston Trail Runs depart usually depart from a meeting point just outside the city limits.


 

How do I become a member?

To qualify to be a member you must come on at least one Trail Run with the Club.
This gives you a chance to check out the Club and for the Club to check out you. If everything goes well you will be invited or can ask to join the Club and can usually sign up the first day or at our next event.


 

Is there a fee to be a part of the Club?

There is a Club membership fee which helps to cover insurance costs and covers some of the costs of running the club including food at special events like club bbqs, prizes for club contests and administrative costs (like the eotb.ca domain name).
The membership fee varies based on the time of year. Ask a Club Director at the next club event!


 

How do I find out more?

Use our Feedback Form. This address is monitored. You should receive a reply within a few days. If you ask to Subscribe, we will add you to our announcements mailing list so you will be informed whenever there is a club event taking place that is open to the public.
Come on out! we’re not that scary!


 

I want to help out!

Volunteers are always welcome. There is lots to do in running a Club of this size. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out our Feedback Form.


 

Should I be worried about off-roading?

If you have never gone off roading in your 4X4, it is normal to be concerned. You might be worried about damaging your vehicle. Maybe you are apprehensive about getting stuck. Or you might feel that you won’t be able to go to the same places with specially modified vehicles. Or maybe you feel that you don’t yet have the skills necessary to tackle those trails.

If you have any of these worries, RELAX – it is normal. All our club members and off-roaders have them…at first.


 

How can EOTB accommodate both modified and stock vehicles at the same time?

Some of our members drive their stock vehicles off-road, weekend after weekend. Guests often join us on the weekend in their own stock vehicles.

Because we know the trails, we can advise newcomers or stock vehicle off-roaders when certain obstacles are not suitable for their vehicle. There are “go-arounds”. We know the trails so well we will always be able to advise you beforehand at each “Y” in the road. We will never push you or put you in a circumstance where you feel uncomfortable. Off Roading is fun…and we want you to come back. Mind you, you will have to spend some time cleaning your vehicle afterwards. A small price to pay if you enjoy it.


 

How can I obtain training and tips?

Both off and on the trail, our more experienced members will give you tips and hints.

At many obstacles, even very experienced off-roaders leave their vehicles to look over the next obstacle and plan their approach. Vehicles pass these obstacles one at a time. The others wait. In some obstacles, people who will help guide you through the obstacles (called “spotters) place themselves in strategic locations to guide you foot by foot. As a newcomer, you will benefit from this kind of help and you will get help whenever you need it.


 

Will I get stuck?

Probably. Everyone gets stuck. At EOTB, however, once you get stuck, it is our job to get you out. We have lots of experience at that. Don’t worry. Normally, all we have to do is attach a tow rope and pull you out. It only takes a few seconds.


 

Will I damage my vehicle?

We cannot mislead you and say it will never happen. Accidents happen. But some of our members have been off-Roading a long time without ever having sustained any damage.

When damage to a vehicle occurs, it is often a result of using inappropriate techniques, such as continuing to spin madly while stuck. At E.O.T.B., we will tell you to stop right away and pull you out.

Another way of damaging vehicles is to run through obstacles at high speed with tires spinning wildly. This can lead to vehicle damage. You will almost never see an experienced off-roader do this.

The correct way to go through most obstacles is in a technical, efficient and slow manner. We will teach you how. The chances of vehicle damage when you know what you are doing is minimal. Be prepared for a scratch or two. We do pass by trees. Many scratches are superficial and can normally be buffed out.


 

Why do some off-roaders have their vehicles lifted and use big tires?

Most off-roaders start with stock vehicles, but as they learn, they decide they want to tackle harder obstacles and no longer use the “go around”. To do the harder obstacles, it does become necessary to lift the vehicle and do other modifications. But you should modify your vehicle only after you have spent time learning how to off road so you can better understand the capabilities of your vehicle.

Remember that you don’t need a modified vehicle to enjoy the sport. That’s why we have the “go arounds”.


 

What do I need to go off-roading?

To go on the trail, your vehicle should be fully operational and you must have a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance. You should also have a tow hook in front and back. (Getting stuck in the mud is part of the fun – don’t worry – the Club members will make sure you get out quickly – we are fully equipped). A CB is very handy but you don’t have to have one. It’s also a good idea to buy a tow rope (no hooks or chains). A 25,000 pound tow rope can be purchased for about $75.

Don’t buy tow ropes with chains or metal hooks. Buy the fabric kind only. Those with metal can be dangerous.

Our most experienced members have winches and we use them depending on the circumstances.


 

How do I get started and what if I really get interested in off-roading and want to join EOTB?

If you get the bug, you can apply to join our Club. As long as you are a responsible off-roader, EOTB will welcome you to the Club.

You can always go out on the trail yourself. But it’s a lot safer with the Club. One November, EOTB members rescued a vehicle that had been stuck for 5 days – a driver who went by himself and did not have the experience or equipment to extract himself from his predicament. The EOTB members who helped that individual got his vehicle out in 20 minutes. If he had gone out under the guidance of EOTB, he would have been out quickly and with a vehicle that did not need hundreds of dollars in repairs.


 

How often does the Club go out off-roading?

We post an event calendar with Trail Runs and other events. For more information about these events watch the web site or fill in our Feedback Form. If you request Subscription, we will add you to our club announcements list. Guests are welcome at most events. We sometimes have special outings to other locations with other 4X4 Clubs, and sometimes we arrange picnics and bbqs.

We don’t go out every weekend. We aim to have an event about every two weeks. Sometimes members get together and organize a Trail Run or social event. There is a monthly Ottawa Wing Night to get together and talk trails, trucks and plan events. Everyone is welcome.

We utilize different trails that offer different terrain features, from rock to mud. And don’t forget that Mother Nature is always at work…a trail can change from one weekend to another. There are many kinds of obstacles and lots of challenges and fun.


 

Off-roading clubs sound awfully macho. What is it really like?

It is true that some clubs have members who may be considered by some to be risk takers and adventure seekers. In every sport, no matter what, there are always extremes.

The philosophy of the Eastern Ontario TrailBlazers is, however, to make the sport enjoyable to all…to make it suitable for the family. Most every weekend you will see children in our vehicles…sons and daughters having fun… Sometimes, girlfriends and wives take over the driving duties with the boyfriend or husband sitting (unhappily we think) in the passenger seat. Mostly it is guys..yes…but increasingly the sport is becoming a sport for everyone.

At one time, the sport was for mechanics only. Today, with 4X4 vehicles being made so well, and with training and experience, and the right kind of Club, anyone, with no experience as a mechanic, can enjoy the sport. Our Club does have mechanics, so if something does happen, we can fix you up on the spot or at least get you out so you can get your machine to a garage. Since we do not encourage activities that can damage the vehicle, it is unlikely that something will happen, but unless your vehicle is in tip-top shape, something might happen. Examples might include a bent tailpipe or your license plate falling off. It is very rare for something serious to happen. Our experience is that extreme driving can result in broken u-joints but you don’t have to drive in an extreme way to be good at the sport.

Our Club is not extreme and we do not encourage macho like activities. That kind of driving is not really good for the vehicles either. Normally, taking it nice and easy is the best way technically, best for the vehicle and actually the most fun. The best way is to make it look easy…to look efficient…and technically proficient. There are many techniques that have to be learned…and we will teach you.

Most of the time, travel on the trail is very slow…5 to 10 KPH is the norm.
Our Club is family oriented…we think the sport can be fun and we want it to be that way.


 

Perhaps a testimonial from one of our recent members might help to explain it:

After taking a course on off-roading offered by the manufacturer when I bought my 4X4, I looked for people so I could join them off-roading. When I asked one guy who was organizing an event what I needed, he said to bring spare axles, u joints and a whole bunch of other stuff that I don’t even know what it is. That was too much and not for me. I don’t want to break my vehicle and these guys sounded crazy.

When I contacted E.O.T.B. and asked what I needed (saying I had a tow hook and a tow rope), they said… that was all I needed. They had everything else. They said they would teach me and work within my capabilities and that of my vehicle. I have to say that’s the way it was.

I admit I was nervous the first time out but I had so much fun that I joined EOTB and have been out every weekend since then. The guys explain, teach and respect my limits. They don’t laugh or make fun or me if I choose to go around an obstacle. They have good advice and knowledge and I have learned to depend on them. I usually have a great time and I can see that the others in their stock vehicles have fun too.


 

Who we are

The Eastern Ontario Trail Blazers 4X4 Club (EOTB) is a family oriented, non-profit, incorporated off-roading club with a great deal to offer its members;

We travel Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Valley area, with some events in Quebec.

Our members drive all kinds of vehicles – Jeeps, Land Rovers, Nissans, Fords, Land Cruisers, and Suzukis. Our members come from Belleville, Kingston, Brockville, Ottawa, the Ottawa Valley, and Quebec. You will see wives, husbands, friends, kids and dogs around the camp site and on the trail. Come explore nature up close with the entire family.

Years ago most off-roaders were mechanics. Things have changed. Our members include many people with little or no mechanical background. There are hunters and fishermen. Our members include software and hardware engineers with some of the region’s best known hi-tech companies, economists, truck drivers, and, of course mechanics. That is really a bonus because it is good to have this kind of experience on the trail and to share technical know-how. Many off-roaders upgrade and maintain their own vehicles and our mechanic members are great teachers.

We are neither extremists nor crazy. Our interests are off-roading in a technically precise way. You will almost never see us madly spin our tires as that is the best way to damage the vehicle and trail. We follow the “Tread Lightly” philosophy by off-roading responsibly, respecting the rights of others, avoiding sensitive areas and most of all doing our part by trying to leave the area better than we found it.

Control…Patience…Knowledge…Technique…That is how EOTB goes off-roading.


 

What we do

EOTB is dedicated to the sport of off-roading in a safe and environmentally and family oriented manner.

We follow the concept of TREAD Lightly – a concept in off-roading that refers to being gentle on the environment.

Our club members are not the kind of off-roaders who tear through the forest ripping up trees. In fact, the best off-roaders rarely spin their tires, travel slowly and succeed in passing very difficult obstacles with little or no damage to their vehicles. Tearing around and driving fast is a sure way to break your vehicle.


 

Where we go

We use a variety of trails in every direction around Eastern Ontario. Travel times vary but normally it takes less than one hour to reach the trail we use. Terrain varies significantly from trail to trail. Best of all, because we know the trails, both stock and modified vehicles can go – we know all the “go-arounds” so you can always ride in safety without fear of having to traverse an obstacle not suitable for a stock vehicle.


 

Why we go Off-Roading

In one word – for fun. But there are many reasons. To enjoy the outdoors. To learn techniques about driving that cannot be learned anywhere else. To learn about what vehicles can do. To make new friends. To learn.


 

When we go

EOTB holds an event about every two weeks during the summer and socials and other events in all seasons.

Most trail runs take place on weekends and usually start between 8 am and 9 am. Meeting places are pre-arranged. Watch the web site calendar for more information and subscribe to our announcements list to get the latest information. If you have questions please ask!


 

Our Objectives

  1. To provide organized, structured, responsible four-wheeling to Club members.
  2. To promote and educate members in safe four-wheeling techniques.
  3. To pool member resources.
  4. To focus a means for members to share recreational, social, educational and land-use management/conservation activities on a level that encourages and provides for direct and significant input from each member.
  5. To focus activities on recreational four-wheeling and local, regional and national issues affecting trail riding and the pursuit and continuation of the sport.
  6. To participate in and support civic activities that will benefit our communities and enhance the public image of recreational four-wheeling and its enthusiasts.
  7. To promote responsible driving both on and off the highway through observance of provincial and federal vehicle laws, and by education of Club members concerning appropriate off-road vehicle equipment, driving techniques, and the principles of Tread Lightly Canada.