Some Habits of Highly Admired 4 Wheelers

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We all know a person we enjoy when they go 4-wheeling with us. And you are not alone in your view. Everyone likes this person's company.

Have you ever stepped back and asked what is it you appreciate about them? What habits do they exhibit that you would like to adopt?

Here are some of the habits I have identified of highly admired four wheelers. The list is neither exhaustive nor refined. There is plenty of room for you to pull it apart, reorganize it, add to it and come up with a better list.

Can one person exhibit all these habits? I know a few. But we can all strive to do better in each area. Perhaps, the one habit that trumps all the others is number 10 in the list.


  1. They show up on time and are prepared. They arrive at the appointed time with a vehicle thatís gassed up and ready to go. They donít make others wait for them. They pack up the night before and budget enough time to get to the trail head. While camping, they get packed up quickly each morning so the group can resume the drive on time.

  2. They set an example in many ways. Picking up trash is a good example. When they see trash on the ground, they pick it up without a second thought. Often others in the group quickly follow suit. They are willing to share food, equipment, and spares.

  3. They offer to spot. One of the more crucial tasks of off-road driving is spotting. They take the initiative and help fellow drivers find the proper lines. Other drivers appreciate the gesture.

  4. They help during breakdowns. Their confidence that it can be solved encourages everyone. They keep their vehicle in good mechanical order by following basic maintenance, and inspecting their vehicle after every outing. Breakdowns can occur off-road; some trails are really punishing. Routine maintenance, like replacing heater hoses and bushings, should be routine.

  5. They are aware of their surroundings. As they travel through an area, they survey the bigger picture. They familiarize themselves with various terrain features such as mountains, gullies, streams/washouts and other landmarks. Of course, they are focused on driving, but also take in the scenery around you. This helps them find their way should they get off the established route.

  6. They respect others by keeping music and conversation to tolerable levels at night. They avoiding slamming car doors while others are sleeping, and engaging in other disruptive behaviors.

  7. They are a coach. They help less-experienced drivers grow in our wonderful hobby by patiently imparting their knowledge. They reach out to newer drivers wherever they find them. They make it a habit of talking up our hobby and encouraging non-members to join along on a simple outing.

  8. They are safety conscious. Four wheeling can be a dangerous hobby. Certain aspects require concentration and care. Notable among these are winching and recovery. Highly admired 4-wheelers always take these tasks seriously; they donít rush; and they make sure everyone else proceeds safely.

  9. They are neat. They keep their vehicle and campsite tidy. They dispose of trash and waste properly. They know being tidy is practical: Itís easier to find stuff when itís put away properly. Have you ever tried to find your gear left outside after a snow storm?

  10. Overall highly respected 4-wheelers maintain a positive mental attitude despite the challenges presented. They donít whine. They enjoy the moment and embrace the challenges.
Because four wheeling is often a team activity, itís important that all drivers take on a team mentality. Doing so helps ensure a smoother outing, and enhances the reputation of those who participate with the proper attitude.

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Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

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Some Upcoming Events

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The 2014 schedule of events (as we know them today) has been populated on the web site. Since we are planning these events anywhere from 5 months to 17 months in advance, there are times when we have to make some adjustments.

Next year we are bringing back the Wine Safari.

New in 2014, will be several months when students (particular those traveling from out of town) can sign up for a 3 day block of clinics to maximize their travel. The 3rd day will be the Monday following a Getting Started and Advanced Beginner weekend. The third class will offer either a Winching Clinic or a Tire Repair Clinic.

It is not too early to sign up for the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad Adventure just after Thanksgiving.

The schedule of events through the end of 2013 is listed below.
  1. November 02 Getting Started Off-Road - LA:

  2. November 03 Advanced Beginner Clinic- LA:

  3. November 16 Getting Started Off-Road - San Diego:

  4. November 17 Sand & Dunes - Borrego Springs

  5. October 25 T&T (Tonopah & Tidewater) Railroad Adventure

  6. December 07 Getting Started Off-Road - LA:

  7. December 08 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic

  8. December 14 Getting Started Off-Road - San Diego:

  9. December 15 Advanced Beginner Clinic- San Diego:


T&T Rail Road Adventure in November

Death Valley

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

Start thinking of Christmas gifts - Winch Recovery Bandana

Winching Recover Bandana
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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 ďVehicle Recovery PlanĒ with pathways to more detail. A unique section of the Bandana, gives the steps for a ďWinch Rigging Check: Walk throughĒ 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 Adventureís Winching Clinics.

Warning Ė 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
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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.
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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 2013, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

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