2020 Life Lessons, Long Island Life, Long Island Living, 2020 was a year, motivation for 2021, 2021 motivation

4 Things I’m Grateful For From 2020

Back at it again with a personal post – Sometimes I think it’s helpful to share some personal stories with the hope that they can help someone else. So here’s mine! Looking back at 2020 as a whole, here are 4 things that I am grateful to 2020 for. All of these things are lessons and adventures that I hope will guide me through 2021. It’s all about living and learning, right?

Being Back On Long Island

This is a tough one to swallow at first, but at the end of the day being back home on Long Island has been a blessing. Leaving Boston was very emotional – it took a lot to leave the city. It was leaving everything I’ve known and knowing that my ultimate plans didn’t pan out how I anticipated them too. I felt like a failure. But at the end of the day, it was the exact opposite of failing. Moving back to Long Island was the best decision I could of made and has allowed for some great additions to my life. From a new job to new goals, and a new relationship – I think it’s safe to say that I am truly happy. I guess the Long Island life is for me.

Getting Out Of A Toxic Relationship

Navigating a toxic relationship is a situation I never want to be in again. Although it was short, the relationship took such a toll on my self-esteem, self-worth, and the direction I wanted my life to go in. You are the culmination of the 5 people who you spend the most time with – meaning the person you are in a relationship with is a direct representation of you. Being with a narcissistic person who is manipulative and emotionally abusive was something I didn’t want to admit. Acknowledging how I was being put down daily and noticing the negative habits, left removing myself from the situation as the only solution. So here’s my giant Thank You to 2020 for allowing me to see a bad situation and remove myself from it before it was too late. I hope anyone else in a toxic situation realizes it early and listen to your friends! Don’t be blinded!

Giving Me Back The Time To Work On The Blog

There’s always some silver lining to being stuck at home and not being able to do anything right? For me that was being able to dedicate a lot more time to this blog. I’ve always wanted to get this up and running – but between every thing I do and the consistent traveling to events, the downtime allowed me to focus my energy here! It’s been amazing and a lot of fun to work on growing the blog – I’ve learned so much and met some amazing people. The power of social media and the internet is really incredible. Seeing the follower numbers increase, the amazing comments, the messages, and the positive encouragement has been amazing and so much motivation to keep being consistent posting. So thank you to everyone reading this and for the on-going support – this has been an amazing outlet and and incredible learning experience for me. I’m excited for what’s to come! Get ready for some new content, helpful messages, and more fun tips for living the Long Island life!

Having Lacrosse Back In My Life

If you checked out the 10 things you might not know about me post, you’ll see how lacrosse has been in my life for pretty much it’s entirety. I’ve played team lacrosse since I was in second grade – it really has molded me to the person that I am today. While living in Boston, I shut lacrosse from my life and no longer coached, trained, or played the sport. Throughout 2019, I was able to get my foot back in the door to the lacrosse world. Last year (and early 2020), I was commuting back and forth from Boston to Long Island every weekend in order to coach. It took a toll on me personally and my friendships. Being back on Long Island full time has allowed me to not only coach two lacrosse teams but has allowed me to maintain a full schedule of private trainings. I’m excited to announce that I am going to be starting my own lacrosse brand which focuses on training and mentoring youth lacrosse players to help grow the game, all while giving back to areas where lacrosse is not present. I’m so excited for this new venture and journey. So thank you, 2020!

What are some things that you are thankful for 2020 for?

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jeep wrangler, jeep life, jeep wave, advice for jeep wrangler owners, jeep wrangler tips, used jeep wrangler, buying a jeep wrangler, off roading

5 Things You Must Do After Buying a Jeep Wrangler

Just because I bought a daily driver doesn’t mean I forgot about the Jeep Life. In case anyone needed reassuring, I am still 125% obsessed with my Jeep Wrangler. Not a thing could change that. Over my almost 5 years of owning my Jeep Wrangler and meeting what feels like every person in the Jeep World, I’ve come up with a list of few things a new Jeep Wrangler Owner should do.

If you’re reading this as a new Jeep Wrangler owner – Congrats and welcome to the squad! I hope you are enjoying every minute of bumpy driving and jeep waving. I’ve owned 4 cars and I still have the same feeling of excitement every time I get behind the wheel my Jeep Wrangler. I hope the same goes for you!

5 Things You Should Do After Buying A Jeep Wrangler

Go On A Roadtrip!

Pack your bags and hit the road! A Jeep Wrangler is the ultimate adventure vehicle so why not start off your ownership with a road trip?! Make a new playlist with your favorite songs and drive wherever your heart desires. It could be down the street or to another state, it doesn’t matter. There’s so many amazing places to go and see. Now that you own a Jeep Wrangler, you might as well start crossing off some locations on your bucketlist! Get some driver seat time in your new, or used, Jeep Wrangler and go explore!

7 Tips to Stay Healthy While Road-Tripping

I’ve been on enough road trips and learned from way too many mistakes to compile this list of ways to stay healthy while on the road. Hope you find them helpful! Drink Water & Pack Extra There’s nothing worse than being dehydrated when stuck in your car. Did you know that most of the time … Read More

Join A Local Jeep Club/Group!

So you own a Jeep Wrangler, no you need some Jeep friends! There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the Jeep World then to join a Jeep Club or Jeep Group. You can find these on Facebook pretty easily by searching for “your state” or “county” and “Jeep.” I would honestly be shocked if that search came up with no results, there are seriously clubs everywhere and new ones popping up all the time!

Getting involved in a Jeep Group is great because you do make new friends and can start going to meet-ups and events with your new squad! It’s also very beneficial for a new Jeep Wrangler owner to join a club because you will learn so much from the veteran members. Some people have had Jeeps their entire life and can share with you a wealth of knowledge and give you tips that you wouldn’t have even thought of. They can help you plan your build and give you information of reputable shops nearby to do the work. You can learn so much more about your Jeep Wrangler by simply joining a club!

I would highly recommend joining a Jeep Club shortly after buying a Jeep Wrangler!

Go Off-Roading!

If you bought a Jeep Wrangler and don’t go off-roading, did you really buy a Jeep Wrangler?

It’s what the Jeep Wrangler is meant to do! Doesn’t matter if it’s a beach, a grassy knoll, or a full blown rock course. You should experience driving off-road if you own a Wrangler. Yes, it does get scary sometimes when you are driving off-pavement, but it is such an adrenaline rush and really can push your limits. Driving off-road is exciting and it helps you become a better driver on-road. You start to become very in-tune with your vehicle because you have to pay very close attention to your wheelbase and what’s in front of you. Taking your Jeep Wrangler off-road is almost like a right of passage! You just have to do it!

Don’t Buy Cheap Parts Off Amazon

You will be tempted to buy upgrades for your Jeep, and you will search for them on Amazon, and you will see them for dirt cheap, and you will want to buy them because they’ll be on your doorstep in two days. Don’t. I repeat, do not, but cheap products on Amazon.

Yes, you can find reputable companies selling their products on Amazon, absolutely buy those. But putting cheap products on your Jeep can harm it, from headlights to suspension components. Your Jeep Wrangler is going to be driving on highways and off-road, you need products that can handle that type of pressure. Putting cheap products on your vehicle can cause it to break and not be reliable. Lots of companies overseas will copy designs from American companies and put out look-a-like products for half the price. Please Please Please stay away from this.

The last thing you need is for something to fall apart because you didn’t want to spend the extra $50 dollars on the proper part. I also promise you that other Jeep Wrangler owners will know as well. One thing to remember, the Jeep World is super small and people talk.

Black Jeep Wrangler in Blue Hills State Park in Massachusetts. Boston, Massachusetts is visible in the background.

5 Pieces of Advice for New Jeep Wrangler Owners

Owning a Jeep is pretty cool, you’re entering into a world of some pretty crazy people. Everyone has a different image for how they want their Jeep to be and why they got it in the first place. Here are some tips for new Jeep owners!

Take Off The Top And Doors!

If you didn’t do this already, I’ll be upset! Taking the top and doors off your Jeep Wrangler and driving around carefree may be one of the best driving experiences you can have. It really is not that difficult to do either. One person can absolutely take the doors and freedom panels off of a Jeep Wrangler by themselves. Taking down a soft top is also a one person task. When it comes to taking off a hard top, it is easier with two people and maybe even a garage hoist.

Once you drive without doors you will never want to put them back on! It really is a cool feeling driving around with nothing above or next to you. Let’s be real there’s not many other vehicles out there that let you do this! So take advantage (weather approving) and take off the top and doors of your Jeep Wrangler!

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Buying a Used Jeep Wrangler

What to Look for When Buying a Used Jeep Wrangler

Buying any large purchase can be intimidating, especially when it comes to a new vehicle. Finding something that is reliable, is mechanically sound, and will last for the long haul can be difficult. It’s important to do your research to make sure the vehicle you are buying is right for you.

When buying a used Jeep Wrangler there’s specific things you should always check and look for. If you’re like me, I’ve wanted a Jeep for most of my life and buying a Jeep Wrangler was a huge accomplishment for me. When I made the decision to buy a used Jeep Wrangler, I wanted to buy the first one a saw. Even though in reality Jeep Wranglers are everywhere and are really a dime a dozen. Take your time, do your research, and make sure you get a good deal! Great used Jeep Wranglers are out there and are easy to find if you know what to look for!

**These tips and advice are for the person who is looking for a used Jeep Wrangler as a daily driver. If you are looking for a used Jeep Wrangler for a project build, ignore everything I am saying. I’m sure you have a solid build plan and will be replacing most parts that come on the used Jeep Wrangler you purchase.. You’ll probably be hacking it apart with a sawzaw as well (I know I would be).**

Know the difference between models.

Before committing to buying a used Jeep Wrangler, make sure you do your research on the year, make, and model. Each model comes with its own features and standard parts, so it’s important to know the different. I won’t go into the details on this post, but know that Sport is the base model and Rubicon is the highest model. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon comes with a Dana 44 front axle (larger than the other models), electronic front and rear differential lockers, electronic sway bar, and other features that make it extremely off road ready upon purchase. The other models do not have these features included. Rough rule of thumb – If you are looking for a vehicle that is stock ready to go on and off road, a used Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is for you. If you are looking for a used Jeep Wrangler that will be a used on pavement only, any of the models will work for you.

Not all used Jeep Wranglers are created equal.

This might be an unpopular opinion but it is important to consider. Yes, Jeep Wranglers are incredibly reliable vehicles, but not all are created equal. Not all used Jeep Wranglers are the same, even the ones that look alike. You might know where I’m going here.

Between the years of 2007-2011 (JK), Jeep Wranglers were built with a 3.8L engine. This engine is notorious for over-heating and burning oil. The reliability is also always in question. If there is no proper upkeep on these engines, disastrous things can happen. They typically do not last much longer than 100k miles. Even though some have lasted longer, I would be careful if looking to buy a used Jeep Wrangler from 2007-2011.

Starting in 2012, the 3.6L engine was used which gave the Jeep Wrangler much better gas mileage and efficiency. If you are looking for a used Jeep Wrangler JK, I would recommend looking after 2012.

In some articles, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler is considered the least reliable year ever. There were 9 recalls on this specific year for various problems. Granted there are many recalls on all vehicles. The catch here is that each recall on this year averages over $1,000 in repairs. I think the overall theme here is do your research!

If you are looking for a newer used Jeep Wrangler, I’d stick to 2012 and later for the 3.6L engine. Regardless of what year you are looking at, there are some things you should always be aware of when shopping for a used Jeep Wrangler.

Rust is the enemy.

This goes out to all the people in the Northeast, look out for rust! Between all the salt on the road and salty air from the ocean, rust is bound to happen. Buying any vehicle with rust is a big issue, same goes for used Jeep Wranglers.

Make sure you look closely at the undercarriage and frame before you buy. Rust damage isn’t one of those things you want to discover at a later date. Plus if you find rust damage before a sale, you might be able to use the cost of fixing it (if major) in negotiating the price!

Make sure modifications are installed correctly.

This is super important. Buying a used Jeep Wrangler opens up the option to buy a Wrangler that was kept stock or to buy a Wrangler that has been heavily modified by the previous owner.

Owning a lifted vehicle is awesome, personal opinion. It may be tempting to pull the trigger and buy a Jeep Wrangler with a big lift and tires. It’s important to learn where the work was done and what parts were used. There are a lot of driveway mechanics out there, and when it comes to changing major suspension components on a vehicle, I would only trust a professional or someone with an insane amount of experience. The last thing anyone would want to happen is to have a part fail while driving.

Do your due diligence, and have a mechanic check out the Jeep Wrangler before a purchase. Not only can install be in questions, but there are a lot of other parts that get shifted when lifting a Jeep. There may need to have updated steering components added, re-gearing, and other updated drive train components that need to be added for the vehicle to operate correctly. If the previous owner as driving around on a vehicle that was not built properly, there may be other underlying issues that resulted from an improper lift that will fall into your hands and responsibility. Buying a used Jeep Wrangler with inherited issues can lead to a high cost to correct or repair when things inevitably fail.

Don’t get intimidated by prices.

Just a little bit of real talk here – there are a lot of people out there who have their used Jeep Wrangler for sale for an exorbitant amount of money. Most of those people have an unrealistic view of what their rig is actually worth. Research. Research. Research! Check out Kelley Blue Book and look at dealerships for an average cost for the year and model you are looking. Most people will be obnoxious and not budge on price, so do not feel discouraged. Used Jeep Wranglers are a dime a dozen. You’ll find one that’s perfect for you. I feel like a relationship counselor but for a Jeep, this is what my life has come to.

Find out if the used Jeep Wrangler was used off-roading and how often.

This is so so so incredibly important for a few reasons. It’s a well known fact that Jeep Wranglers are vehicles capable of driving through terrain on all seven continents (hence the seven slots on the grill). With that being said, people use them to do just that. When looking at a used Jeep Wrangler make sure the previous owner didn’t beat the living crap out of it!

If I were to ever sell me Jeep, which I never will, I would feel so bad for the next owner. The beating that my Jeep has been through is insane and quite frankly, the next person to own it will have so much on their plate. So with that blatant confession, make sure you don’t buy a used Jeep Wrangler that was put through the ringer. Lord knows what problems will fall onto your plate. If you are planning on using the Jeep as your daily driver, the last thing you want is to buy a Jeep Wrangler that was someone’s weekend warrior getting beat up.

Owning a Jeep Wrangler is owning something that is capable of doing so much. A Jeep Wrangler stock can do so much! Customizing it is a whole different animal. There are so many amazing companies that make incredible products to help you build your dream Jeep! It’s an awesome vehicle that comes with an incredible community. Making sure you are investing in the right used Jeep Wrangler is so important!

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Father's Day Gift guide for Jeep Dads and Dad's who love Jeeps

Father’s Day Gift Guide for the Jeep Dad

Picking out a great gift to give to someone may be my favorite thing ever. A well thought out gift goes a long way. Whether it’s listening closely and remembering a conversation that sparks a gift idea or doing some research into a person’s hobby. There’s always a unique gift that you can give someone that will make their day!

Dads are pretty special people. They put up with our crap and help teach us life lessons along the way. Shout out to all the dads out there! Father’s Day is creeping up fast, June 21st to be exact. If you haven’t started brainstorming some gift ideas, don’t worry I got you. Or if you’re a dad and looking for a little gift then check this list out!

Here’s a list of some Father’s Day gift ideas for the Dad who loves Jeeps.

Father’s Day Gifts for Jeep Dads Under $50

Father’s Day Gifts for Jeep Dads Under $100

Father’s Day Gifts for Jeep Dads Under $250

Father’s Day Gifts for Jeep Dads Under $500

Father’s Day Gifts for Jeep Dads Under $1000

Father’s Day Gifts for Jeep Dads Under $2000

Driving Your Car on the Beach

PSA: For Anyone Driving on an Off-Road Beach

This past weekend was the taste of Summer that everyone on Long Island needed. People flocked out to the beach, myself included. The drive on-beach was flooded with people fishing, surfing, and enjoying the sun. There were tons of Jeep Wranglers and other 4×4 vehicles.

Unfortunately some people were way more prepared than others. Driving through the cut to the Atlantic Ocean side of Democrat Point, I saw 4 vehicles that were frame deep in the sand blocking traffic. Not to mention the other 3 that I saw get stuck as I sat in my beach chair enjoying the ocean view. Those weren’t the only ones of the day either! In the Beach Hall of Shame Facebook group, these pictures of stuck vehicles were shared by members this weekend.

Yes, that is a Bentley SUV stuck in the sand. Not only is getting stuck on the sand insanely embarrassing, but it’s an issue that is easily preventable. Simply airing down tires could prevent most, if not all of the stuck vehicles I saw. This is a reoccurring issue every single year and it seems like people never learn.

Driving at high PSI causes tires to dig into the sand and not “float” on top of it.

The moment you get stuck you will see the sand spitting out from beneath your tires, just digging the wheels further into the sand. The main purpose of airing down is to give your tire a wider, softer, footprint that covers more surface area as you drive over the sand. Tires with higher psi will not grip and spin more. The more your tires spin, the more likely you are to start digging in the sand. Digging in the sand is deadly and will result in your frame sitting on the sand pretty quick.

Not only does your tires digging in the sand take a toll on your vehicle and it’s performance (it tends to run a little hotter on the beach), but it also ruins the sand and the beach. The ruts on the beach keep getting dug out because of drivers who drive on the beach without airing down to a lower psi. Simply lowering your psi to around 15 can help preserve the beach and your Jeep/truck. Don’t be the guy that ruins it for everyone.

Don’t drive on soft sand without airing down.

If you’ve ever driven on Daytona Beach, you’ll see Ford Mustangs, old Toyota Corollas, and even Harleys out driving on the beach. They drive there with no issues because the sand is so packed down. It is pretty comparable to a dirt road and not sand, that is until you get to the soft sand. If you see people stuck, it is mainly because they drove onto the soft sand.

The beaches on Long Island, Democrat Point, Gilgo Beach, and Sore Thumb, to name a few, are not like Daytona Beach. The sand is soft and you tires will dig the moment you hit the sand.

Keep your speed consistent while driving on the beach .

Constantly stopping and going can cause your tires to dig into the sand even if you are aired down, but becomes a huge issue when you are not aired down. This is especially true on inclines and declines. When you drive on the beach, pay attention to where you are driving and what you are driving on.

Staying in the ruts is a safe place to stay. It generally gets tough when a driver decides to stray from the path and cross over the tire ruts. This is because the sand is soft and because your tire doesn’t have a full footprint on the sand you are driving on.

Avoiding soft sand is easy on Long Island, just stay clear of the dunes and don’t get too close to the water. Easy enough right? Just avoiding the soft sand won’t save you if you do not air down. I really can’t stress that enough.

What do you need to air down? What do you need in case your truck get stuck on the beach?

I put together a view of some essential gear that is helpful when planning a trip on an off-road beach. It’s one thing to know what to do, but a whole other animal to be prepared to do it. Don’t be one of those people who know they should air down but don’t because they don’t have the equipment to air back up. Even if you take all the necessary planning measures, you can still get stuck. You should always be prepared for the worst case scenario.

If you’re stuck and don’t know where to look, check out the list I put together of tire deflators, jacks, tow straps, etc. Everything you need to air down and to rescue yourself is there! There are several examples of each, so you can pick which is your favorite! Trust me you do not want to be the guy who is stuck buried on the sand with no way out.

For more tips and tricks for off and on-road adventures, subscribe for updates on new posts!