Happy Holidays from Badlands Off-Road Adventures!
Christmas Tree Happy Holidays!

With the holiday season upon us, I am reminded of all that we are grateful for throughout the year: family, friends, good health, and the nearly unlimited opportunities available to us in this great country, including off-road driving.

Whether cruising sandy dunes, tackling the rocky trails in the mountains, or surviving the blistering heat of the desert, four-wheeling offers us thrills and adventures not found anywhere else.

Trails are as varied as the landscape, and offer novice and experienced drivers alike the chance to pit skills and wit against Mother Nature herself. We enjoy the camaraderie and friendship of our fellow off-road enthusiasts as we admire the wonderful scenery around us.

This has been a great year for my family and I; I hope the same is true for you. We value the relationship we have developed with you, and look forward to seeing you next year.

May the spirit of the season be with you and your family. And may the new year bring continued happiness and success.

All the best. Enjoy the article!

10 More Tips Your 4WD Instructor Didn't Tell you!

Wash Board End of a good day!
Photo by Chris Laskowski
(Click picture for a larger image.)

Regular visitors to my blog know I sometimes present material in list format. Lists offer an easy way to read and digest information.

Well, I’ve come up with some additional tips to keep your four wheeling fun. These suggestions cover a wide variety of issues, but mostly center around safety. That’s a common theme of mine, for good reason: If you’re not safe out there, bad things can happen.

In no particular order, here are 10 additional tips to help you enjoy your day of four wheeling.
  1. Don't move a vehicle with the hatch open. After pulling into a campsite you realize that you’d like to reposition your vehicle. So you hop in and throw it in reverse. Next thing you know, you’ve just smashed the tailgate (or hatchback) into a tree. Make sure all doors are closed before you move the vehicle.
  2. Close car doors when you stop to take pictures. This is more of an aesthetic issue. Vehicles photograph better with all the doors closed. For one thing, you’re not showing the world just how messy it is inside. Close the doors, get the sun behind you, and snap those images.
  3. Check your lug nuts if you get help with a wheel. Don’t be surprised if others jump in when you have a tire problem. Just remember that it’s your responsibility to ensure your wheels are on tight before you resume. If the guy who helped you seems offended, shrug your shoulders and say, “Sorry, Mac. It’s just a habit of mine.”
  4. Stow your gear at night. Bad weather can bury your gear in snow, mud or debris. If you’re in one of those old ghost towns, a grizzled and gap-toothed gold miner may take a fancy to a piece of your gear. Pack up properly at night, and you’ll be able to find everything the next morning.
  5. Stay out of mines. Now I’m getting serious. Avoid old mines, period. They weren’t safe 100 years ago, and they aren’t safe today. Take a peek inside, take a picture outside, then split.
  6. Mount a fire extinguisher where it’s visible and accessible. This is as much for your guests as it is for you. An emergency causes everyone to panic a bit. You shouldn’t have to think about where the fire extinguisher (or first aid kit, for that matter) is. Mount it prominently.
  7. When in doubt, don't commit until you spot the trail. This is especially true when you’re climbing a hill. As you near the top, your view is obstructed by the hood. Don’t assume you know what’s coming next. Get out and verify.
  8. Be careful when driving into the sun. If you can’t see the trail well, don’t assume all is well. Either you or your spotter must get out for a look. Repeat that step as often as necessary. Be patient, especially at the end of the day. (Though you can encounter a bright sun early in the morning, too.) You’re eager to get back to camp, which is when mistakes occur. If necessary wait until the sun sets. Remember this axiom: Don’t try if you can’t see.
  9. Always face the danger when turning around. Another important safety tip. Let’s say you need to turn around on a narrow shelf road. As you perform your 3 point turn, back up toward the canyon wall. This keeps the danger—the drop off—in view. Never turn the other way, or you’re likely to go sailing right down the side of the mountain.
  10. Tie your boot laces in the shape of a square knot with a bow. You’ll be more stylish, and your laces are less likely to come untied. (I hate that when it happens!)

Tuck these suggestions into the back of your mind. And make then a habit whenever you backup, turn around, get out of the vehicle, have a flat tire, camp out, drive into the sun, or tie your boot laces.

# # # # #


Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

Did you miss the previous article?

Some Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)

Small Cabin in Wyman Canyon, White Mountains
(Click picture for a larger image.)

Summary of upcoming events.
  1. Jan. 10 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  2. Jan. 11 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Mojave:
  3. Jan. 24 Getting Started Off-Road - San Diego area:
  4. Jan. 25 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Borrego Spgs:
  5. Jan. 31 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic - Hawthorne:

Stocking Stuffers: Winch Recovery Bandana & Winching DVD

Winching Recover Bandana
Click for higher resolution image
We have our new stock with many new colors (Red, Orange, Green, and Blue) on hand. The Bandana is packed full of useful information and is a quick reference in the field when no DVD player is available."

The Bandana layout follows the “Vehicle Recovery Plan” with pathways to more detail. A unique section of the Bandana, gives the steps for a “Winch Rigging Check: Walk through” so that you verify every element of the rigging before you commit to the pull. Stuff this in your recovery kit and you will always be ready!

Pick up or order the Winching DVD too! There is no substitute for hands on training. If you can, sign up for one of Badlands Off-Road Adventure’s Winching Clinics.

Warning – the Bandana and DVD are not a substitute for proper training and use of quality equipment that is used within the bounds of their safe working load. We advise you to use the information provided in both the Winching Recovery Bandana and the "Basic to Advanced Winching and Recovery DVD" at your own risk. We cannot control the quality and specifications of the equipment used and the methods actually employed.

Winch Recovery Bandana Order Button

Order a Basic to Advanced Winching & Recovery DVD too!

Winch DVD
(Click picture for more details)

I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
Make it Fun. Keep it Safe.
If you find this information valuable, please pass it on to a friend. You can forward them the email. If you received a forwarded copy of this newsletter and would like to subscribe for yourself, go to: www.4x4training.com/contacts.html and follow the instructions to join our mail list.
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 2014, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Back | Phone 310-374-8047