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Make Outdoor Resolutions You Can keep

Happy New Year Photo by Frank at South Bay Truck

Well, itís that time of year again. Time for handing out gifts, partying, stuffing our faces, having a jolly good time (too good, sometimes), and then the customary New Yearís resolutions. You know, that list of promises for the coming year that donít last past Super Bowl weekend.

Iím here to add a new twist on that: a list of resolutions designed to get you more enthusiastic about outdoors and more involved in our exciting hobby. So while shedding pounds and cutting down on sweet are good for you, these steps are fun and have a higher probability of success!

As you know, weíre frequently under pressure by those who want to deny us access to public lands. By becoming more involved in our hobby, you help protect our privileges.

Please donít be intimidated by the length. I donít expect you to do all of them. Instead, pick three or four that you can accomplish. Some go quicker than others. Perhaps after accomplishing those youíll want to add another one. Good for you. The more the merrier, as we say, and not just during the holiday season.

The key to accomplishing a goal is to make it ďSMARTĒ.

A SMART goals is:
  • Specific: Itís a well-defined task.
  • Measurable: Results are quantifiable. For example, 10 camping nights completed, 25 geocahes found, new bumper installed. You did it or didnít do it.
  • Achievable: Itís good to set high expectations, but be sure you can accomplish the task. Otherwise, you will become unhappy and give up.
  • Relevant: It is a worthwhile use of time; not some busy work. You need to accomplish this task, and you will benefit from it.
  • Time-bound: The task is accomplished within a particular period of time. It has a deadline.
Here is an example of a SMART resolution: ďI will update the expired meds in my first aid kit by the end of March, 2012.Ē It is very specific on what you will do, it is not hard and you know how to do it, therefore achievable, the result is an updated first aid kit. We know the deadline -by the end of March and it is easy to measure the results. It was done or not done

In no particular order, here are suggested resolutions for 2012:

  1. Take more 4WD trips. Be specific Ė for example, schedule one day (or weekend) per month. Mark those on your calendar, so you commit yourself now.

  2. Do one of the big adventures. Go on the Rubicon Trail or Moab trails.

  3. Finish those vehicle upgrades. Pick one or two that are doable. Could be a new front bumper, swing-away rear bumper, roof rack, new axle, whatever you need.

  4. Purchase necessary additional equipment for your vehicle. There are a lot of possibilities: navigation equipment, extra recovery gear, first aid kit, onboard air, a winch, and so on. What can you add this year?

  5. Buy a new (or new to you) vehicle or another one you can take off road.

  6. Become more disaster prepared. This applies to home and vehicle. Perhaps you could use a 72-hour kit for home or a go-bag for the vehicle. Refer to the FEMA website www.fema.org or these columns for more suggestions: Urban Disasters No Match For a Prepared 4-Wheeler and Your Gear Is Not Complete Without An Emergency Packet!

  7. Obtain more training. Become a Tread Lightly! trainer. Take a first aid course or renew your accreditation if necessary. Sign up for one or two of my off-road skills courses. Find a course on GPS. The key is to schedule it now. Donít put it off, or youíll never do it.

  8. Take your kids out. Commit to spending more outdoors time with your kids. Try to incorporate four-wheeling (theyíll enjoy it), but itís important to enjoy more quality time with your kids.

  9. Along those lines, teach your kids age-appropriate outdoor skills. These can include how to camp and start fires safely; how to use a map, compass, and GPS unit; knife safety; backpacking, tying knots; and so on.

  10. Join all of these associations. Well at least one or two. These include
    Your support of and membership in helps keep public lands open to 4-wheelers.

  11. Get a ham radio license. Ham radio gear is quite useful off-road. Plus, you can use it to participate in charity event and disaster training in your home community. Hamming is just plain fun - go to www.arrl.org. For a related column, see Communication Equipment is Critical for Off-Road Driving .

  12. Once licensed, consider joining the Outdoor Adventure USA net www.oausa.net. We meet on VHF frequencies every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. PST to discuss outdoor related topics, including maintenance and repair, disaster preparedness, and useful gear, to name a few. Though weíre located in California, you can participate in our nets from anywhere in the country via IRLP (Connect to the Western Reflector node 9251).

  13. Go geocaching; This is a great activity to get the kids involved. You can combine kids, 4-wheeling and navigation into every outing. Set a goal to find a certain number of geocaches. For example a SMART goal might be ďWith the kids, find and log 6 geocaches each quarter in 2012Ē. Start at the geocache web site http://www.geocaching.com/ and start with geocaches close to home.

  14. Commit to bring back a full Trasharoo each outing. Pick up trash you see on the trails. http://www.trasharoo.com/iWeb/TRASHAROO%20/About.html

  15. Give talks to area groups about 4-wheeling. Help dispel the myths, and encourage others to join the fun hobby (or at least support it). Talks to service clubs (Rotary, Lions, etc.), Chamber of Commerce meetings, and civic clubs.

  16. Write about our hobby. Use blog posts, tweets, Facebook comments, letters to editor of local papers, and other venues.

  17. Contact radio and TV stations and offer to be interviewed. This is especially important when negative stories break. Our hobby needs eloquent people to present a good side to four wheeling.


This may seem like a daunting task, but once you accomplish a few of these, youíll find itís a lot easier than shedding pounds and giving up doughnuts. Try it!



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Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

Did you miss the previous articles?



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Major Events Planned for 2012


Monache Meadows

While we are on the subject of planning, Badlands Off-Road adventures, Inc. has a number of significant events on the schedule for this year. If you wish to participate, you need to start making plans soon. Some events have early due dates, may require significant preparations, have limited positions and require time off from work.
  1. Easter Safari April 2 - 6 (registration cutoff Feb 15)

  2. Wilderness Advanced First aid June 28- July 1 (WAFA)

  3. Rubicon Trail a week in August

And of course we will have our Mojave Road and Death Valley Adventure Trips.

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Tread Trainer Clinic January 7, 2012


Tread Class Example

You still have time - but not much - to get into the Tread Lightly! Tread Trainer Certification Clinic Jan 7, 2012. This year it will be held in Anaheim. You are encouraged to sign up for the Tread Lightly! Tread Trainer Certification Clinic. This is a one day course. There is a minimal fee of $25 to cover class materials and handouts. It requires a commitment to teaching and spreading the word about Tread Lightly! Principles and outdoor ethics.

You can find out more details on line at http://www.4x4training.com/TrainingClinics/Tread.html .

And register on line at http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Tread.

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GPS Adventure Weekend January 28th


GPS

This is a hands-on class combined with a weekend of camping and 4-Wheeling! You need to bring your own self-contained GPS receiver unit. The focus of the class is how to operate your GPS unit and how to use it for basic navigation in the field.
Check out the details and sign up on the website: GPS Adventure Weekend:


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


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Getting Started Off-road Driving Clinic January 14, 2012


Getting Started Off-Road Clinic

The clinic is held in Hungry Valley State Vehicle Recreation Area near Gorman CA. This clinic is specifically designed to meet the needs of novice off-highway drivers or someone with a bit of experience who is looking for a more complete understanding. This is a one-day session. The session includes classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction. More Details...


You can register directly here


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Advanced Beginner Clinic January 15, 2012


Advanced Beginner Clinic Example

The clinic is held in the El Paso Mountains near Mojave CA. The goal is to help you get a "better feel" for tire placement and to visualize the obstacles as they move into your blind zone. You will gain more behind the wheel experience combined with picking lines. The difficulty level is one step higher than the basic class and you can expect some pin striping. More Details...


You can register directly here


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Tire Repair & Hi-lift Jack Mini Clinic February 4, 2012


Plug a tire?

This 3 hour clinic will provide you with the knowledge and skills to repair the most common tire problems and to use a Hi-lift jack safely to aid you in the process. To drive confidently off-road learn how to:
  • Fix a bead
  • Plug a puncture
  • Break a bead
  • Replace a valve stem


You can find out more details on line at Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic:.

And register on line at http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#TireRepair.

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Additional February Clinics


Rocks Clinic Example

  1. Sands Clinic Feb 18
  2. Winch Clinic Feb 19
  3. Rocks Clinic Feb 25


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The Badlands Off-road Adventures Store

Click here if you cannot see the full store



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I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
http://www.4x4training.com
Make it Fun. Keep 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 2012, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.





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