AJP Experienced Members wheeling at Wolf Caves.
AJP Experienced Members wheeling at Wolf Caves.

Based in Austin, TX, Austin Jeep People (AJP) is a Jeep Group that welcomes members from all over Texas as they go on rides to some amazing off-roading locations, including Wolf Caves LLC Texas, Katemcy Rocks Off-Road Park, and the Hidden Falls Adventure Park. To make their off-roading expeditions a more interesting experience the group also has been seen off roading in States other than Texas.

 

AJP member Cole Rich spotting other members at Wolf Caves. Cole Rich is one of the best spotters/guides around. Note: This is not a newbie run. LOL
AJP member Cole Rich spotting other members at Wolf Caves. Cole Rich is one of the best spotters/guides around. Note: This is not a newbie run. LOL

Although Austin, TX, is located in an area where there are no public lands open to off-roading, Austin Jeep People (AJP) has thrived. They have events and going on rides almost every weekend. The members of AJP are always up for an adventure and make sure that every member has an amazing time, whether they’re veteran off-roaders or newbies who share a love for off-roading.

 

Mary Wintz Carr, a member who joined AJP in 2017 said

“I joined AJP I believe in 2017! After buying my first Jeep, I noticed all the AJP decals on several Jeeps. So I looked them up! I read an article about all the charitable work they had done all over Austin and even further into other states. Specifically, remember the flooding in Houston! They were donating supplies, water, and non-perishable foods. There was a group of Jeepers delivering all the supplies to those who needed them.

AJP Annual Christmas toy delivery to soldiers' families at Fort Hood.
AJP Annual Christmas toy delivery to soldiers’ families at Fort Hood.

So that sold me to this amazing Jeep community, that I just had to be a part of! They have a great time and give back to the community!

Not long after I got to be a part of an event that took Christmas to the families at Fort Hood. This was the most humbling experience ever!”

Humble Beginnings

AJP was formed in 2013 by a small group of people who would get together in the Big Lots parking lots in Austin just to hang out. As they met at Big Lot’s their numbers started to grow. Over the years, AJP has grown into a massive community of off-roading enthusiasts of varying skill levels who love helping new Jeep owner learn about off roading and by showing their support helping their community. Anybody can become a member of AJP, provided you have a Jeep. This is because they know Jeeps and how to maintain, upgrade, and if one breaks down on the trail, they have experience getting a Jeep home.

AJP members participating in the local 4th of July parade in Lago Vista.
AJP members participating in the local 4th of July parade in Lago Vista.

AJP is one of the first and possibly the biggest Jeep group in the area. Because of their size several members have branched out to start new groups. AJP works together with these groups and several other off-road clubs in the area, collaborating on various events designed to give back to the communities by raising money for different charities.

 

“A technology challenged, anonymous but well know AJP member” said,

“I found AJP driving by the Catfish Parlour one evening…all these Jeeps stacked up all over the place. Would have been December of 2013. Had to exit the freeway and go see what this was all about. Chatted with several Jeepers for a bit. They were having their Christmas party. Told me to join Facebook to find the group. One of the best decisions I ever did. 1st event we went to was the 1st Polar Bear Run. Where Tripp was named President!! (I think) Joining was the best decision as we have made some amazing friends!!!!”

AJP Annual Christmas toy delivery to soldiers’ families at Fort Hood: View Video

 

Drone picture taken at the 2021 Polar Bear Run event
Drone picture taken at the 2021 Polar Bear Run event

Austin Jeep People – A Jeep Group For The People

Perhaps one of the most impressive things about AJP has been the group’s incredible drive and determination to help the community. The Polar Bear Run (PBR) is the main annual event hosted by AJP, always held the weekend before MLK day in January, to raise funds for well deserving charities.

Each fall before the event, AJP members meet to nominate charities. Once all the nominations come in, AJP members then vote, and the top two charities are selected. A third Charity is selected randomly through a draw, this gives smaller, relatively unknown local charities a chance to benefit from the PBR funds that are raised.

Video about the AJP Polar Bear Run Fundraised: View Video

AJP’s Polar Bear Run has always been a success each year. Between 2015 and 2021, the group has raised and donated over $137,000 to various organizations. The 2021 PBR raised funds for Wheelers for the Wounded – Texas, PAWS Shelter of Central Texas, and Backpack Friends.

Besides the PBR, AJP has been extensively involved in helping the community over the years. In fact, many AJP members who join the Jeep Group were drawn to it precisely because of all the work they do for the community.

 

Chris Vallee Member since 2018 said,

The annual Polar Bear Run raises tens of thousands of dollars for charity every year and is sponsored by local businesses which benefit from the support of the AJP community. The impact of this group is felt well beyond the Jeep community, and I love that this group provides so many opportunities to be a positive influence in the central Texas region.

 

AJP not only drives Jeeps but since they like to Eat Barbecue the members dreamed about making a Jeep BBQ Grill. Dreams do come true with AJP. View the final results after Members pitched-in and built a Jeep BBQ Grill. Yes it is made from an actual Jeep.
AJP not only drives Jeeps but since they like to Eat Barbecue the members dreamed about making a Jeep BBQ Grill. Dreams do come true with AJP. View the final results after Members pitched-in and built a Jeep BBQ Grill. Yes it is made from an actual Jeep. Photos of Building the AJP Jeep BBQ Grill: View Photos

A Group That Loves Including Everybody

We talk a lot about inclusivity these days, but with AJP, it seems like it is effortless for the group. AJP has an extensive list of organizations that it has helped over the years, and the group says that it’s only getting started.

Being a part of AJP means joining a community of like-minded people who share the love for their Jeep, off-roading and helping the community. It doesn’t matter what your skill level is. The group goes on off-roading adventures of varying skill levels so that everybody can have a great time.

 

AJP member Brad Hale guiding New Jeepers at a AJP Newbie Runs. This Newbie Run was held at Hidden Falls.
AJP member Brad Hale guiding New Jeepers at a AJP Newbie Runs. This Newbie Run was held at Hidden Falls.

Newbie Runs

AJP tries to hold “Newbie Runs” each month. They have several guides within the group that specifically help with the “Newbie Runs,” helping people who are new to wheeling feel more comfortable on the trails as they become a part of the Austin Jeep People family. Safety is always paramount, and the group also holds pre-wheeling meetings before all newbie runs to review all the instructions to ensure a safe and fun experience for every member each time. During these runs, guides volunteer their time to help these new jeepers learn and have a good time.  Typically, all we ask for are donations.  These donations go to either jeepers in need, or other local charities.

AJP Newbie Run Video: View Video

 

Vanna Vinton, who joined AJP in 2016 said,

“We joined AJP back in 2016. We learned quickly how much this group and the people that make it up are willing to do to help others. We have met some lifelong “fr-amily” members that we would do anything for and that has helped us in many ways. This group is made of some of the very best people that the world has to offer. The events that are put on are always fun and help the communities around the area in many ways.

This is more than “just another Jeep group”, this is a whole, crazy, family!”

If you’re based in Texas and want to learn more about this fun and exciting bunch of people, feel free to check out their Facebook here.

 

 

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