Only a little over 4 months before we leave - sign up and start preparing
The Rubicon Trail is the stuff of legends.
It is considered the Grand Daddy of trails.
If your vehicle has a weakness, it will find it. Any serious four-wheeler needs to "Do the 'Con" at least once.
There is no guarantee of avoiding vehicle damage.
Even the most skilled driver can succumb to the fatigue of 12 unrelenting miles of rocks.
Just bring a good attitude and the best prepared vehicle you can.
This could be a once in a lifetime trip but a lifelong of bragging rights.
While you are at it, sign for for one or more of the Rock Clinics to up your driving skills and check your vehicle.
Rocks Clinic Sign Up
Our Southern California location allows us to operate our training school year round.
Many of our clinics are conveniently located 50 miles north of Los Angeles with easy access from LAX airport and the Bakersfield airport (BFL).
(The Clinic is about 50 miles south of Bakersfield, CA)
You can fly into LAX, rent a car, and drive north into the mountains of the scenic Los Padres National Forest area.
Then check into one of the nearby hotels.
We will meet you in the morning at the classroom with a 4WD vehicle for two days of
instruction and fun!
Bakersfield airport (BFL) lets you avoid the congestion of LAX with flights from San Francisco, Denver, Phoenix, and Vegas.
With the drive to the classroom only 45 to 50 minutes, you could even book a hotel in Bakersfield and drive to the clinic in the morning.
Of course, we encourage you to bring your own 4-wheel drive vehicle if it is practical. Nothing better than starting with the vehicle you are going to drive.
We have access to thousands of square miles of desert within 80 to 90 miles of Los Angeles. A variety of off-road trips can be arranged
ranging from 1 to 6 or more days, camping or hotel based, involving specialized missions, incorporating training, or an exciting expeditions.
Our Getting Started Driving Off-Road Clinic is the idea place to start if you have your first 4WD vehicle, are just getting into Overlanding or
recently purchased a 4-wheel Drive vehicle to pull behind you RV.
The Badlands Off Road Adventures Driving Clinic is a must have for anyone who wants to learn or improve their off road driving skills.
The lecture component of the clinic is comprehensive, very informative, straight to the point and fun to learn.
The instructor, Tom Severin, gives a well articulated, no nonsense presentation on well organized material which can definitely make the difference
between having a safe and pleasant off-road adventure, or not. Tom's answers to questions are intelligent, well informed, confident, and friendly.
The driving component of the clinic was fun, fun, fun. The obstacles were challenging with ever increasing degrees of difficulty.
Tom explains how to address the challenge, personalized instructions gives the student the confidence and skill to conquer the obstacle.
After practicing basic off-road driving techniques, Tom lead us on a "follow the leader" tour where we got to apply all the skills that we learned and gained very valuable experience.
I traveled 295 miles and rented a hotel room for two nights to take this driving clinic, it was worth the time, the money and the distance.
I highly recommend Badlands Off Road Adventures to people that are new or already have experience in the off-road driving sport;
I for one, look forward to take additional classes.
Is damaging an expensive vehicle or the risks of off-highway driving keeping you from using your 4-wheel drive vehicle?
Then review the 4x4 off-road training schedule and register for a 4x4 class to learn the right way.
You will save more than the cost of the clinic by learning how to avoid vehicle damage and towing charges. You will also save
money by buying the right equipment the first time! But more importantly you will learn how to drive safely to protect yourself
and your passengers.
If you have a group that requires 4x4 off-road training, contact us. Flexible hours and locations for 4x4 off-road training can be arranged.
The classes listed are designed for the recreational 4WD driver. A unique, focused 4-wheel Drive clinic is available for groups
who use four wheel drive at work. Specific themes can be worked into the 4x4 off-road training for corporate users
(e.g. safety, team work, etc.). The off-road training location is flexible and can be arranged on your site.
Make it Fun. Make it Safe.
We had a great weekend offroading through Goler Gulch and Last Chance Canyon a few weeks ago.
The trails were moderate to difficult.(some quite difficult due to the big rocks in the canyon)
I felt so confident and relaxed while I was driving thanks to my 2 day offroad training with you.
I knew exactly how to handle every obstacle we encountered with skill.
Everything I learned in your class came in handy on the two days of offroading.
I also had alot of fun since I felt so confident.
I know I would not have driven these trails had I not taken the classes.
I probably would have been too intimidated. Thanks for your great offroading school.
Going to Montana
Hey, Tom. I have made it to Montana.
Because of the condition of the roads where I want to go, I am using 4WD by necessity almost every day,
and I call upon my May 12 training with you just about as often.
I have yet to encounter an obstacle I couldn't pass or a hill I couldn't climb.
And just knowing how to perform the actions correctly has prevented me from doing any cosmetic damage to my truck.
I am getting to know the truck mechanically as well -- in addition to the frequent inspections I do per your training,
I installed an aux battery and split-charger system (with a roof-rack- mounted solar panel to help trickle-charge
when sitting dormant on location). Directly inspired by your rig, I also built a wood deck in the bed and installed
an Engel 45 fridge (cold beer with just-caught brook trout -- sweet).
I am still studying the excellent book and other materials you gave me,
but you were right-- time behind the wheel was the main thing I needed.
I spent 10 days traveling from CA to MT and followed a strict no-motel/no-KOA rule,
which put me in the dirt (and into some great, completely secluded flyfishing territory) quite a bit.
By the time I got here to Montana, all the terrain I have encountered has been familiar and usually trivial to pass through.
No Montanan that has led me or accompanied me has batted an eye at my skills
(although they are a pretty non-judgmental lot in general here,
and I have yet to hear a single word of 4x4 jargon -- if you make it up the hill, you made it up the hill).
As you can probably tell, I consider the day of training I had with you a terrific bargain.
You threw quite a bit at me, but I've spent the time since following up on every bit of it that I could remember.
6 Reasons Why Your Spouse Should Learn to Drive Off Road.
She can be a back-up driver: If something happens to you, your wife could drive out. Chances are, the training course will teach her how to overcome most of the challenges she’ll face on trails. Even if you’re out cold, she should be able to drive you out or at least get you to an extraction point.
Building confidence: Learning to drive off-road entails mastering new skills. It involves unusual terrain, special driving techniques, and different equipment, like standard transmissions. Experiencing all these while under the watchful guidance of a trained instructor builds confidence.
Better all-around driver: Off-road skills are put to use in the city during bad weather, such as a snowstorm or heavy rain. In the aftermath of an earthquake or tornado, there could be sinkholes or debris in the roadway. Drivers need to negotiate around those obstacles. That’s standard procedure in four wheeling. Someone who has taken a 4WD course is better able to handle these difficult and stressful situations.
Additional spotter: The best spotters are also good drivers. Having gone through a 4WD course, your wife will be able to read the trail as well as you, providing you a valuable second set of eyes.
One catch, guys: If your wife starts to enjoy off-road driving, you may end up the spotter. But that’s OK, right? On the other hand, your wife may still just want to sit and enjoy the ride. Encourage her to get behind the wheel on occasion to keep her skills sharp.
Wait - one more catch: You may end up buying another 4 wheel drive vehicle just for her!
An extra driver to spell you: Driving off-road, as you know, is very demanding. Fatigue can set in after just a few hours. It’s a comforting to know that a skilled driver can take over if needed.
Companionship on the trails: Fishing buddies are great, but you can’t beat having your spouse along. You experience the adventure together, share great memories, and really bond while outdoors.
Our Latest Articles:
Tom, I would like you to know how much I appreciate all your emails.
I know that they go out to hundreds if not thousands of people.
I just felt I needed to thank you for the time you spend informing me of all the aspects of 4WD.
Although I don't get to go as often as I would like, and the time spent between outings can vary from a week to a year or more,
I feel confident about my abilities to make each and every outing a safe and successful one, thanks to you.
Taking your classes and just being associated with Badlands in general has made my life a lot more fulfilling and interesting.
So keep up the good work and keep the emails coming, and " I Hope To See You On The Trails". Thanks Again
Chris Reeves ( '72' Jeep Commando)
Basic to Advanced Winching & Recovery DVD (Click picture for more details)
Just a note to say we liked the winching DVD and the winch bandana. We're old-timers at off-roading, but rarely use a winch.
It's dang good training material.
Bet that we'll watch it a couple times a year, likely in anticipation of a trip.
The "winch bandana" with calcs, notes, and safety info condensed on it is quite an idea.
Much more durable than paper, and it's exactly the reference material I wanted in my recovery bag.
Something like this printed on a bandana is unique enough that it's hard to resist."
Colors available: Red, Blue, & Green.
We are out of Natural, Yellow and Orange.
More are on order.
(Click picture for more details)
"I think the bandana that you sell is an fantastic idea.
I’ve done two recoveries since I started using my winch this summer.
Each time when I debriefed myself afterwards, there were small
improvements I could have made. I plan to use your Recovery Plan List
and Winch Rigging Checklist on all my future recoveries to catch every
detail. These are awesome!"
Best Regards, Jason White
"I would to thank you and your staff for a very informative and enjoyable 4x4 basic training class.
The pace and content of the classroom session was excellent , as was the hands on driving portion ,
I now feel a lot more confidant about taking my family and a $30,000 plus vehicle off highway.
The pace of both sessions was just right, and at no time did I feel rushed.
I look forward to taking another one of your classes, and or, trail rides in the future.
"My wife and I would like to thank you for such a great time! I know the whole group had a lot of fun and it was because of you it
happened. I loved the challenge at each turn. Since taking your beginners class at Hungry Valley, I tried putting into effect
everything I was taught. I have been doing some small runs but nothing like we did today. I needed to know my overall
limitations - mental, physical and vehicular abilities. I have set most fears aside and let my Jeep do all the work along with a bit
of guidance. What were the Alps in Hungry Valley are now sand dunes. Today was more than I ever expected! My wife truly enjoyed
the 4 wheeling trip and we will be four wheeling together as a couple."
Are you a 4-Wheel Drive Trainer? Click on the image to start the process of acquiring the
highest quality certification on our industry.
If you feel that a tune up of your skills and knowledge would be helpful,
prior to taking the written and field exam for the Certified I4WDTA Trainer, sign up for one or more of
the clinics offered by Badlands Off-Road Adventures or ask us about the next
Instructor Training Clinic.
Read the September 2015 issue of The Voice from UFWDA
(Click picture for a link.)