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Break Camp Fast And Easy

Lion at Toroweap

A lot of trips involve moving camp each day. Those trips require a bit more planning when youíre a part of a group. Itís critical that you organize your gear and coordinate your activities so that youíre ready to go when the rest of the group is. Doing so ensures your day goes according to plan, and that everyone arrives in camp that night as scheduled.



In an earlier column, Respect Your Teammates. Arrive Prepared , I discussed the importance of being a team player while off road. A key component of that entails packing your vehicle so that setting up and breaking down camp proceed as efficiently as possible. Because everyoneís situation is unique, I canít offer specifics on what and how to pack. That comes from experience. But we can review some important concepts.

My first bit of advice is, bring less stuff. It always amazes me how much people try to pack in and on their vehicles. Many items are rarely used and seem to be more creature comforts. Gear and other items that have multiple uses are more valuable than a single-use item. Focus on them.

Pack your gear in reverse order. Items youíll need first should be packed LAST. Plus, organize your vehicle so everything goes in the same place each time. Once you develop a pattern, youíre less likely to forget something, and packing goes much faster. Thatís important when youíre breaking camp in the morning.

Organize your gear by frequency of use. Recovery gear, winch, and other stuff that doesnít get used much can be boxed together and tucked away. Donít put your hatchet in there, because youíre likely to need it.

Water jugs are always cumbersome. You need water to douse your campfire, so store at least one jug where you can get to it after packing your vehicle. A good place is just inside the back hatch. Since hygiene is very important when camping, having the water jug right there also encourages more frequent hand washing. The rest of your water jugs should be packed to distribute the weight.

After arriving, set up your camp with an eye toward a fast departure in the morning. You may have only an hour or two to break camp. The more efficiently you pack, and the faster you move in the morning, the less likely you are to hold up the group. That shows respect.

Here are some additional tips:
  1. Multitask. Roll up a sleeping bag while waiting for the coffee to brew, for example.
  2. Take out of the vehicle only the items you need to use. And put Ďem back right away when youíre done.
  3. Donít leave anything outside over night. First, the item is already packed, and second, it doesnít get wet, lost, or damaged. Plus, you wonít be (or shouldnít be) bothered by coyotes, burros, or vagrants.
  4. Complete some tasks at night, such as fueling up and cutting veggies for omelets.
  5. Prioritize your morning tasks: packing, eating breakfast, checking oil, and taking care of bathroom duties.
  6. Lastly, put the groupís need to depart on time ahead of your desires. Roll up the tent wet, for example, instead of making everyone wait for it to dry. (But remember to dry it later!)
    1. With a little practice youíll develop a pattern for packing your vehicle and coordinating your activities. The result is a more enjoyable camp and off-road experience for all.



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Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

Did you miss the previous article? If so, read it here



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Wilderness First Aid Course Jan 29 & 30, 2011


WFA Clinic Example

I feel that Wilderness First Aid is very important and have scheduled a Class for January next year. But, we need at least 12 people to sign up by December 12th to make it a go! A number of people sent me an email indicating they would be interested. We need everyone to register and we need about 6 additional. So if you are interested follow these links. More Details...


You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#WFA




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Mojave Road October 30


Mojave Road

There is still time to sign up for this one.

On October 30th we will follow the Old Mojave Road for 3 days. This was the earliest wagon road into California. This time we will run it west to east just like the old miners going to the gold fields near the Colorado River. We will visit tons of history and see some incredible views. More Details


You can register directly at http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Mojave


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NEW: T&T Rail Road Adventure in November


Death Valley

Be the first to go on this trip with me and debug it for the next group!
Our goal is to cross through Johnson Valley, enjoying what it has to offer, and making our way North along the old Tonopah & Tidewater (T&T) Rail Road bed to the Rasor OHV, Afton Canyon and the western edge of the Mojave Preserve. On the way we will skirt the Rodman Mountain Wilderness and cross I-40. This adventure is 2 days of scenic, historical, light wheeling and a night (2 if you prefer) of primitive camping under the stars. We can plan a Dutch Oven pot luck for our evening meal.
Check out the details and sign up on the website: http://www.4x4training.com/Adventures/TTRailroad.html


You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#TTRailroad


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Winch Clinic December 12, 2010


Now what

This one day clinic starts with the basics but goes way beyond. By the end of the day you will be safely rigging some complex recoveries. The course covers: safety related issues, basic operation of the winch, simple and complex riggings, stuck assessment, winch capability, and minimizing environmental impact. This is a hands on class. More Details...


You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Winch


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2011 Schedule

Rubicon

The event schedule for 2011 is now on the web site.
Thank you to those who brought a few date errors to my attention.



I hope to see you on the trails!

Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc
4-Wheel Drive School
310-374-8047
http://www.4x4training.com
Make it Fun. Make it Safe.

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Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information:

Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2010, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.





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