Puddles are a different story-especially big, muddy ones. Going around doesn't sound like as much fun as wheelying through, but it beats sinking in some broad expanse of bottomless muck. If you can't skirt the bog completely, minimize your exposure with the shortest, most direct route to_ terra firma._ Those edges are usually shallower than the middle, and closer to solid ground if you do get stuck. Tree-huggers don't like us "lensing out" puddles like that, but they'd like a 500-lb. mud-encrusted memento in the middle of the trail even less. Stay away from deep ruts if you can, but if you_ do_ slip into one, follow it until you can slip out easily. And make sure you keep both tires in the same rut; getting cross-rutted is an invitation to impromptu swimming lessons.