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12 Must Have Books for the 4 Wheeler

Must have books Click picture for a larger image

Summer is here, and the newspapers have released their lists of favorite books to enjoy while you’re lounging in an easy chair somewhere. Reading isn’t just for fun, though. It can be educational, as well.

Over the decades I’ve amassed quite a collection of books devoted to 4 wheeling and other outdoor activities. Some of these are real gems. If you are serious about spending time outdoors, you owe it to yourself to begin building a library of reference materials. With perhaps hundreds of titles to choose from, the task can be challenging. Allow me to help you with this assignment.

The following list covers many aspects of outdoor activity, broken down by skill set. With these books you tap into the knowledge and experience of some of the top names in outdoor recreation.

True, there are a lot of books here. But unlike your typical novel, you will keep these for years and refer to them often. You don’t need to buy all of them at once. If finances are tight, pick up one or two at a time. And hunt for bargains on eBay, Amazon, or at your local used-book store (when possible).

Happy reading and happy trails.
  1. Driving: 4-Wheeler’s Bible by Jim Allen

  2. Mechanical: Get the shop manual for your vehicle. Normally you need to contact a dealer for this, but check eBay. They are a bit pricey; expect to pay up to $125.00. The shop manual is more detailed than a Chilton’s book, because it is tailored to your make and model.

  3. Navigation: Staying Found: The Complete Map And Compass Handbook by June Fleming.

  4. Trail guides: You have several to choose from. Select the book that best describes the area(s) you will be visiting. This valuable resource helps you find trails in your area. Some of the passages have a little history about the trails, to make for interesting reading.

  5. Camping: The Complete Walker IV by Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins.
    Another great reference book is the Boy Scouts’ Field Book. I prefer the 3rd edition.

  6. Cooking: A camping trip isn’t the same without some great Dutch Oven cooking. The Field Guide of Dutch Oven Cooking: From Novice to Champion by the International Dutch Oven Society will turn you into a Dutch Oven pro. Or at least give you some bragging rights.

  7. Knot tying: A must-have skill for outdoor life. The Ashley Book of Knots by Clifford Ashley is considered the definitive book on knots. It’s huge, but you won’t find a better reference guide.

  8. Survival. Another important skill, especially if you like to head out to remote areas. Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival just may save your life if you’re stuck in a difficult situation.

  9. First aid: Medicine for the Outdoors: The Essential Guide to Emergency Medical Procedures and First Aid by Paul S. Auerbach, MD. Covers everything from basic injuries to life-threatening situations. Professional help could be hours away. This book will help you make sound decisions.

  10. Communication: This is a more limited category. Ham radio operators will find a copy of ARRL’s Repeater Directory useful. Repeater info can change, so make sure the directory is not more than three years old. Non-hams should make sure they have a list of emergency and non-emergency numbers on them before they leave home.

  11. Leadership: This may sound strange, but leadership skills are important off road. That is especially true during crisis situations, but routine driving requires good management skills, as well. Pick up a copy of Outdoor Leadership Theory and Practice (Bruce Martin and others).

  12. Plant identification: It can be fun identifying the various plants. I have a copy of An Amateur Botanist’s Identification Manual For the Shrubs and Trees of Southern California Deserts by Jim W. Dole and Betty B. Rose. This book is very specific, but an Internet search will provide you an assortment of field guides for your area.


Some other books Click picture for a larger image
Rats. I know I promised only 12 books. Problem is, there are other great books to consider. These include:



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Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

Did you miss the previous articles?



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Recent Calendar Changes & Upcoming Events


Monache Meadows
  • The Customer Appreciation Event is September 30, 2012.

  • Look for a schedule of Getting Started off-Road Driving Clinics in the San Diego area starting in September this year. More details below.

  • Begin planning now to attend the 4 day Death Valley trip October 12-15.

  • Check out the TDS raffle Jeep flyer.

  • See volunteer opportunities at Bickel Open air Museum below.

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Getting Started Off-road Driving Clinic - LA September 08, 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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Getting Started Off-road Driving Clinic - San Diego September 22, 2012


Getting Started Off-Road Clinic

Redondo Beach, CA – Badlands Off-Road Adventures today is launching an additional training location for their “Getting Started Driving Off-Road Clinics”.

Tom Severin, President of Badlands Off-Road Adventures, announced that Badlands Off-Road Adventures will begin conducting monthly clinics in the San Diego Area starting in September 2012.

The Getting Started Driving Off-Road 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. The class covers basic information about 4WD vehicles. The class concentrates on safety and environmental concerns off-road. The bulk of the class is devoted to driving technique and picking lines to get you through a variety of terrain. Students receive a textbook and handouts of the material covered. Some of the topics covered in the class: Off Road Vehicles, How 4WD Works, Driving Technique, Safety, Pre Run Check, Survival & Peace of Mind Kits, Options & Accessories, Getting Unstuck / Winching, Post Trip maintenance, Trail Etiquette & Tread Lightly. This class does not address vehicle build-up options and issues.

The clinic is held in Borrego Springs, CA about 90 miles east of San Diego. Tom said “Our goal is to make it easier for students in San Diego and surrounding counties to attend a clinic on safe off-road driving.”

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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TDS Sweepstakes Vehicle

TDS Sweep Stakes

http://TDS4x4.com/jeep/
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Volunteer at the Bickel Camp

Bickel Camp

Friends of last Chance Canyon are looking for additional volunteers to help by camping at the Bickel Camp.

Bickel Camp is a museum in the desert preserved in context with the help of volunteers and the BLM. Located in Last Chance Canyon below famed Burro Schmidt's Tunnel, Bickel Camp is mostly intact because of the help from volunteers. Friends of last Chance Canyon (http://www.tflcc.org) is a non-profit formed to help preserve Bickel Camp and other cabins and artifacts within last Chance Canyon.

Want to spend a week or a weekend in the desert? They are always looking for volunteers to help by camping on site (with or without docent responsibilities). It's fun! And you'll be helping to preserve our California Mining History. There is a motor home on site, a porta-potty and support from volunteers with water and other supplies. Contact Charlie Hattendorf through the website above so you can be scheduled in!

For more information about the Bickel Camp check out Bill Gann's web site. http://www.zyworld.com/billgann/BickelCamphome.htm


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I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-374-8047
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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