What is the Perfect Coffee Cup?

“Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love.” attributed to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord on Coffee.

Whenever I stop at a doughnut shop in the morning, I walk over and say hi to the old guys, enjoying their morning coffee with old friends. I am doing research to determine what group I am going to join. I am sure they have heard each other’s good stories many times. But that doesn’t stop them from gathering each morning. There is a feeling of humor, stability, and good times emanating from those regulars over coffee.

Seems like a nice way to start your morning – when I retire that is.
Trouble is if I join a group, there will have to be rules. For instance, no discussion of your latest medical procedures!

The real reason the old guys gather and linger is because coffee is a good social drink. You have to take time to sit and enjoy the cup of coffee because you can’t work and savor coffee. Besides, it cuts through the sweet donuts.

In addition coffee is additive. It stimulates the brain and you feel alive. You get a nice release of dopamine and warms you up.

What is the best coffee cup?

What is the perfect cup?

What is the best coffee cup? By that I mean the cup you drink your coffee from. A favorite fictional character Jack Reacher (author Lee Child) got me thinking about this question.

The best coffee is hot coffee. By the time the coffee becomes cold, it goes down the drain. So, a cup that keeps it hot for as long as possible is ideal. A good coffee cup delivers coffee at the proper temperature.

For me the ideal temperature is about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. When it reaches 130 degrees Fahrenheit it is drinkable but barely.

Here are my criteria for a perfect cup (IMHO).

A normal sized mug or cup in the 6-8 oz range. I avoid the oversized ones. By the time I can finish 12 to 16 ounces the last bit is cold or cool. There is no reason I can’t refill my cup over and over again and enjoy hot coffee. If you need to travel, put the reserve coffee in a good thermos.

Cups Ceramic & wide mouth tin

I have measured the diameter of the top of countless coffee cups. The best cups are 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter. Two and a half inches is better than three inches! The reason for a smaller opening is that the small surface area loses less heat yet is sufficient to allow the aroma to enhance the taste.

Ceramic cups are the best. They retain heat and are neutral in imparting any additional flavor.
Glass is neutral but does not retain heat.

Paper is just pain nasty, loses heat and your lips stick to the rim. Plastic is not much better than paper. Double-walled stainless-steel cups are, again IMHO, second best and great for camping. It retains heat, will not break.

Camping Stainless 3 inch top

A commuter cup, built like a thermos in stainless steel (e.g., some YETI cups), will keep the coffee hot for hours but I find it too hot to drink straight out of the bottle. I need to pour it into a regular cup. The same is true for store bought coffee. As you walk out the coffee is well above 160- 170 degrees. The lid needs to be removed to allow the coffee to cool.

If you want proof, just look at a Denny’s coffee cup. They have to serve a good hot cup of coffee each and every time. It is ceramic, the sides are ¼ inch thick, the top is 2.5 inches in diameter and it holds 8 ounces when filled to the rim. Perfect. And they keep filling it up.

Coffee is brewed at 195- 205 degrees Fahrenheit. A thick-walled ceramic cup absorbs some of the heat bringing it down more rapidly into the 150-degree range and transferring heat back as the coffee cools. Adding cream will also  affect the temperature quickly.

The proper coffee cup allows you to enjoy your coffee. A ceramic cup, roughly 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter is ideal while a double-walled stainless-steel cup is perfect for outdoors.

#  #   #


Did you miss the previous articles?

2021


The 2022 schedule of clinics and adventures trips has been posted on the web site.

All dates are posted to our web site. You can register for any 2022 event now except Rubicon trip and a few others. We are taking reservations (try the online reservation) now for those events and will notify you after Jan 2, 2022 when the official registration opens up.

November 2021
November 12-14, 2021 Panamint Valley Days

November 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

November 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
November 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
November 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area

November 27, 2021 Turkey Day Club Run

December 2021
December 11, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
December 12, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
December 11-12, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

December 11, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
December 12, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
December 11-12, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area

December 29, 2021 Saline New Years Deal


73 KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
www.4x4training.com
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/w/contact-us.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, 4×4 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 2021, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Behind The Scenes At Badlands Off-Road Adventures

Grand Canyon

These monthly articles naturally focus on various aspects of four-wheeling and outdoors life. For this article, I lift the hood and give you an inside look at part of my business. Namely, how I structure my class/training schedule, and how the various programs benefit newbies and experienced four-wheelers alike.

I view Badlands Off-Road Adventures as a four-wheel drive training school and guide service. Classes, which span one to three days, provide the training needed to confidently handle many of the issues a driver is likely to face off road.

Multi-day excursions give drivers practical experience in the concepts they studied. But there’s a bonus: Those trips offer a chance to explore historically or geographically significant areas. They truly are learning experiences. We provide the guidance and training in a unique learning environment, the great outdoors. (For a complete listing of my clinics and trips, go here.

Class room

Entry-level classes valuable to all drivers

The Getting Started series is designed primarily for beginners (though all are welcome). The series is comprised of three one-day courses.

Held partly in the classroom, Day 1 clinic is 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 largest part of the class covers driving techniques needed to get you through a variety of terrain. We also provide an overview of options for getting unstuck, safety and spotting commands, post-trip maintenance, trail etiquette, and Tread Lightly!.

Day 2 clinic takes place entirely outdoors. We focus on tire placement, wheel cheat, picking lines, and handling obstacles. Students gain experience dealing with different types of terrain and challenges.

Students may take the classes on separate weekends, though they enjoy a discount for taking both on the same weekend.

Also, there is no charge for kids to attend. Pets are allowed as long as they are well-behaved.

Pandemic Class Room

During the Day 3 clinic, students are exposed to a variety of scenarios encountered during Day 2 but also new terrain and challenges. We encourage students to tackle the challenges first without help, but a trainer is available should coaching and spotting be necessary.

Drivers of all skill levels can benefit from the Day 1 and Day 2 clinics. The training ensures everyone is on the same page.

Advanced classes prepare for major trips

Rock Class -Bull Frog

Advanced classes train people for taking more difficult trips. I run a beginning rock crawling class in the first part of the year for those considering the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

I offer it again in June and July timed primarily for people planning on driving the Rubicon. (Although everyone is welcome to attend.) Some people are comfortable after taking the course one time. Others take it two times (June, then July) to fine tune their skills and test modifications to their rig.

The Sand classes are held during the winter months. It’s just too hot in the desert during the summer.

Tire Repair class- This tire has been repaired a lot. Need to get better tires.

We offer roughly 15 trips a year. Most are of moderate difficulty but offer fairly high historical content and great scenery. People are generally not looking for hardcore trips every time. But they do want some four-wheel drive challenge every day.

For the multi-day trips, we prefer camping to staying in hotels or motels. This keeps the group together and builds camaraderie. Plus, it’s just darn fun sitting around a campfire at night.

Wherever possible, a trip incorporates a Wow! factor at the end. Examples include the north rim of the Grand Canyon and the Striped Butte in Butte Valley, part of the Death Valley National Park.

Proper four-wheeling encourages self-sufficiency

Although four-wheeling is often done in groups, it’s important that all participants be as self-sufficient as possible. Each vehicle should be equipped with the basics for the occupants. Such items include shelter and sleeping needs, food and cooking gear, hygiene products, and such.

Four-wheeling naturally occurs in areas that are distant from stores and gas stations. Plus, each group of drivers includes a diverse range of interests and tastes. This is particularly so as regards to food.

Keep it simple. Everyone brings their own food and basic supplies.

This principle helps keep my trips affordable. If I had to factor in food for the event, my rates would be higher.

Classes ideal for those interested in the outdoors

Now that pandemic-related restrictions have eased, there’s been a huge interest in outdoor activity. Americans are tired of being couped up and are rediscovering the nation’s parks in record numbers.

Sales of outdoor equipment and four-wheel drive vehicles are on the rise. In June, Jeep sales in the U.S. were up about 6 percent over the same period in 2020, according to CareSalesBase.com. Vehicle sales often translate to new drivers going off road. Some are interested in leisurely drives. Others will go exploring, with camping and other activities a part of the experience.

That’s what so cool about four-wheeling. There’s more to the hobby than just driving.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look at Badlands Off-Road Adventures. It’s been a pleasure training and guiding countless thousands of four-wheeling enthusiasts the past 20 years. Hopefully, I’ll keep at it for several more years. It is so much fun enjoying the great outdoors with like-minded people. As I like to say, “I’ll see you on the trails!”

#   #   #


Did you miss the previous articles?

2021


Some Upcoming Events (click on the link for details)

October 2021
October 15,2021 Death Valley Adventure

October 23, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
October 24, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
October 23-24, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

October 23, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
October 24, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
October 23-24, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area

November 2021
November 06, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 07, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 06-07, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

November 12-14, 2021 Panamint Valley Days

November 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

November 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
November 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
November 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area

November 27, 2021 Turkey Day Club Run

December 2021
December 11, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
December 12, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
December 11-12, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

December 11, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
December 12, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
December 11-12, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area

December 29, 2021 Saline New Years Deal


*Christmas Shopping *

Trailhead Automatic Tire Deflator Set $65.95

https://www.4x4training.com/w/product/trailhead-automatic-tire-deflator/

We can accept orders again for all colors except Red. The factory has new material to begin building deflators.  There is still several weeks or more delay from time of order to ship, so if you want one for a Christmas gift, order it now.

TRAILHEAD™ Automatic Tire Deflators will automatically reduce the air pressure in a tire to a predetermined level and stop, preventing any further loss of air from the tire. They will function properly whether your vehicle is stationary or traveling at speeds of 20 mph or less.

To use, simply screw on to valve stems and drive off. Two separate adjustment ranges are available: 5 psi to 20 psi, and 15 psi to 40 psi. Choose from; RED, BLUE, and ALUMINUM. (Specify range and color when purchasing.)

The Trailhead Automatic Tire Deflators Kit includes: four screw-on, anodized aluminum deflators, a high-quality pressure gauge, a slide-scale pressure chart, plastic coated (weather-proof) instructions, and adjustment tool all in a handy zippered pouch that easily fits in glove box. The deflators come with a Lifetime Warranty.

Note: We do not stock the deflators. They are made to order for us and shipped direct from the factory to you.

 


73 KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
www.4x4training.com
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/w/contact-us.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, 4×4 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 2021, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Ham Radio is an indispensable part of any trip

Jeep backed off the rock in the dark helping vehicle with broken drive shaft.

A recent trip on the Rubicon trail showed the value of radio communication. We experienced multiple incidents from a fire chasing us to an overturned Jeep with injuries and a request for spare parts.

Forest fires continue to burn in dozens of locations in the western U.S. Yet four-wheelers still want to – and should – enjoy their hobby. Of course, no one would drive into an area knowing that a fire is raging nearby.

But let’s say a fire occurs while you’re off road. How will you hear about it and stay informed? A cell phone helps, as long as you’re within range.

If you’re on or near the Rubicon Trail, ham radio could be your lifeline. I learned firsthand during a recent excursion through the Rubicon Trail.

Small fire gains intensity quickly

Our trip began as planned on Monday, Aug. 16. It was designed to last five days on the Rubicon Trail.

I had hoped to spend the entire five days on the trail. Even though we were forced to cut back to three days, we successfully completed the entire Rubicon Trail.

What is now called the Caldor fire began near Grizzly Flats, California, on the morning of Aug. 14. It quickly devoured that town as it spread mostly east and north. As I write this, the Caldor Fire has consumed more than 219,000 acres and is just 67% contained. At one point it reached the southern edge of South Lake Tahoe, forcing the evacuation of all 22,000 residents.

Whipped by high winds at times, the Caldor fire was really moving. In one day alone, it moved 8 miles in one direction and 7 miles in the other.

We began our trip in South Lake Tahoe. At the junction of U.S. 50 and Ice House Road we turned north. From there we proceeded to the trailhead at Loon Lake. Passing the South Gatekeeper, we entered the heart of the Rubicon Trail.

We couldn’t see the fire that first day (or at any time). It was well over 25-30 miles away (as the crow flies) with lots of granite rock and a major highway between us, but the sky was constantly hazy. We never saw the sun, as far as I recall.

Our destination on Aug. 16 was the campsite at Little Sluice.

The second day, Aug. 17, started ominously: My tent was covered in ash. No fire in sight; the sky still had that hazy, smoky appearance but no one smelled smoke.

Over coffee, several in the group asked me if I heard the people running by our camp site yelling for help about midnight. No, I had slept through it.

Getting vital information via ham radio

Normally the ham radio is fairly quiet during this excursion. But this day the radio was really active.

The first conversation was from a local resident asking if anyone had eyes on the overturned vehicle and to confirm its location.  They needed to plan what resources were required to recover the vehicle the following day.

It suddenly became clear what the cry for help was the night before. If they had stopped, we could have assisted with communication via ham radio.

When we reached the location of the accident, we used ham radio to confirm the exact location and other details to the rescue team. They felt they could do the extraction with minimal difficulty.

Unfortunately, another vehicle was also abandoned in the middle of the trail with a winch line deployed to the overturned Jeep, delaying us several hours.

Throughout the day I heard reports that residents were evacuating south of U.S. 50. Local Hams checked in about routes, which roads were open, and the location of open evacuation centers. Some operators speculated that the fire would hit the intersection of Ice House Road and U.S 50 effectively blocking that as a return route.

I don’t think that happened, but the fire did cross U.S 50 farther east four or five days later. U.S. 50 was eventually closed because the fire was too close to the road.

Near the end of our second day, I heard on ham radio that the Forest Service had closed the Eldorado National Forest. About an hour after that I hear that Eldorado County closed the Rubicon Trail. (Though it skirts national lands, the Rubicon Trail is a county road.) A volunteer fireman and ham operator on the trail behind us estimated we had a few days before the fire would reach our area. Yet he suggested we leave the trail as quickly as possible.

By that time, we had arrived at our planned campsite at Buck Island.

At this point we’re two days into what was originally scheduled to be a five-day excursion. We planned to camp for two nights at Dirty Dozen campsite at Rubicon Soda Springs before completing the trail. As our friend Bruce said “Why would we rush through the trail just to go back to Los Angeles?”

The next morning, Aug. 18, we held a drivers’ meeting. I wanted to make sure everyone was informed of our situation, especially since only half in our group were ham radio operators. Because we had more than half of the trail left, we agreed to make the final decision when we reached Rubicon Soda Springs and the turn off to the Dirty Dozen campground.

Beyond that is Cadillac Hill, a very difficult part of the trail. Driving up Cadillac Hill in the dark is not a good idea. If we made good time and had plenty of daylight left, we would continue through Cadillac Hill. If not, we would camp another night

An hour or so after leaving Buck Island, we received a call on ham radio from a group looking for parts. A Jeep had thrown an idler pulley. Unfortunately, the spare we gave them did not work.

Recovered Jeep running again but Tacoma flopped on side just before Rubicon Soda Springs.

At the last major obstacle before reaching Rubicon Soda Springs, we permitted a small group to pass us. While passing, they rolled one of the trucks on its side, dumping the contents on the trail and completely blocking the trail. Another hour-long delay in our goal for an expedient exit. Guess what – this was the same group that rolled the Jeep the first night.

Thankfully, we arrived at Rubicon Soda Springs with at least five hours before sunset. We pressed on. Helping our decision was that the temperature was 69 degrees, and the campsite was mired in a blanket of smoke. Not an appealing location to set up camp.

We arrived in South Lake Tahoe at the end of the day on Aug. 18. Tired and weary, yes, but everyone had completed the Rubicon Trail. Time for beer and pizza first then think about a shower.

About the repeater arrangement

Ham radio operators driving the Rubicon Trail can take advantage of a repeater located near Spider Lake.

Operating at 444.9875 MHz (+5 MHz offset). Transmit with a CTCSS (tone code) of 156.7 Hz, and you can cover all of the Rubicon Trail except east of Barker Meadows OHV trail. This system is often referred to as the Rubi repeater.

Flip to a tone of 107.2 Hz, and now you’re operating through Rubi +. Your signal will link to the 2 meter 805TAH system serving nearby communities. This option should be used only if you want to talk with someone outside the Rubicon Trail area.

This is an open repeater; hams are encouraged to use it while on the trail.

—————————-

The Rubicon Trail offers many challenges. One that newer drivers need to be aware of is that there is no cell coverage along the trail. It’s imperative that at least one driver in the group be able to communicate outside the area. That can be with a satellite phone or VHF/UHF amateur radio equipment.

Operating ham radio equipment requires a license, but the written test isn’t that difficult. A ham radio friend can guide you through the study process and help with on-air procedures.

Of course, you can use ham radio equipment to communicate any time. But it sure comes in handy while on the Rubicon Trail. I am so glad I was monitoring back in mid-August. Hearing those reports helped us immensely in our day-to-day operations. I can say unequivocally that ham radio played an indispensable part during that adventure.

#    #   #


Did you miss the previous articles?

2021
• 2021-08-13 Avoid 6 PM News – Don’t Start A Wildfire
• 2021-07-17 Celebrate Freedom to go Four-wheeling
• 2021-06-21 Great Books for Summertime Reading
• 2021-05-19 Beginning 4-Wheel Drive Mistakes
• 2021-04-20 A Great Campsite


Some Upcoming Events (click on the link for details)

We are close to finalizing the 2022 schedule of clinics and events. It will be some time yet before they are posted on the website. In the meantime, if you need a specific date for scheduling next year call or email me.

This is the current schedule until the end of the year.

September 2021
September 04, 2021 Labor Day Club Run
September 11, 2021 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic
September 25, 2021 Winching Clinic
September 26, 2021 Day 3 Getting Started Putting It All Together – LA Area

October 2021
October 15,2021 Death Valley Adventure

October 23, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
October 24, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
October 23-24, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

October 23, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
October 24, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
October 23-24, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area

November 2021
November 06, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 07, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 06-07, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

November 12-14, 2021 Panamint Valley Days

November 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

November 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
November 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
November 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area

November 27, 2021 Turkey Day Club Run

December 2021
December 11, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
December 12, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
December 11-12, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

December 11, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
December 12, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
December 11-12, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area

December 29, 2021 Saline New Years Deal


Trailhead Automatic Tire Deflator Set

$65.95

We can accept orders again for all colors except Red. The factory has new material to begin building deflators. They have a backlog of over 1,000 sets. You may have to wait a bit but you will not get one unless you get in the queue.

TRAILHEAD™ Automatic Tire Deflators will automatically reduce the air pressure in a tire to a predetermined level and stop, preventing any further loss of air from the tire. They will function properly whether your vehicle is stationary or traveling at speeds of 20 mph or less.

To use, simply screw on to valve stems and drive off. Two separate adjustment ranges are available: 5 psi to 20 psi, and 15 psi to 40 psi. Choose from; RED, BLUE, and ALUMINUM. (Specify range and color when purchasing.)

The Trailhead Automatic Tire Deflators Kit includes: four screw-on, anodized aluminum deflators, a high-quality pressure gauge, a slide-scale pressure chart, plastic coated (weather-proof) instructions, and adjustment tool all in a handy zippered pouch that easily fits in glove box. The deflators come with a Lifetime Warranty.

Note: We do not stock the deflators. They are made to order for us and shipped direct from the factory.

Order below:

Trailhead Automatic Tire Deflator Set

 


73 KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
www.4x4training.com
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/w/contact-us.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, 4×4 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 2021, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Avoid 6 PM News – Don’t Start A Wildfire

Each day brings more troubling news about the devastating wildfires raging in the western U.S. The Dixie Fire, in northern California, has burned more than 500,000 acres, including most of the town of Greenville. As I write this, on Aug. 12, the fire is less than one-third contained.

In Montana the Richard Spring fire is threatening numerous communities, including some in the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. It is further reports that 14 major fires are burning, mostly in the West.

Extremely dry conditions allow for fires to start easily and quickly burn out of control. It appears that a power line issue may be partly to blame for the start of the Dixie fire.

While lightning causes many fires – and has for millennia as a natural ecological asset – it is also true that fires are becoming more common due to carelessness or recklessness on the part of those who travel outdoors.

Four-wheelers must take precautions to ensure they don’t start a fire, out West or anywhere. These suggestions will keep you from starting the next devastating blaze.

How to prevent a wildfire

Driving and maintaining the vehicle: Avoid driving over dry grass and brush. The hot exhaust pipe, muffler or catalytic converter could start a fire.

Be especially cautious if your vehicle has skid plates but no lift kit. Vegetation can get stuffed between the skid plates and exhaust, muffler or other hot part. Be mindful of any smoke coming from under the vehicle.

Stop frequently and check the undercarriage for grass or brush caught in the frame when driving on seldom used trails with tall grasses.

Poor maintenance is also a problem. Worn, thin brakes lead to metal-on metal contact, which can cause sparking. Sparking can also come from frayed wiring, so inspect wiring harnesses regularly.

A small car fire isn’t going to stay small very long. Grass underneath and nearby will catch on fire as well.

This is a good time for a refresher on fire extinguishers. Look for one rated ABC. That means it’s capable of putting out most types of fires. The fire extinguisher should be at least a 2 ½ pound size, though bigger is better.

I like to have two in every vehicle. Place or mount one near the driver’s seat and the other in back. They should be visible and easily accessible. You won’t have time to dig through equipment during an emergency.

With a fire extinguisher handy, you can prevent a small vehicle fire from becoming a major calamity. Remember that if you use a fire extinguisher for even a small fire, take the extinguisher in for servicing. A partially discharged fire extinguisher will fail to deliver properly the next time.

For more on fire extinguishers, see “Pack A Fire Extinguisher So You Don’t Get Burned”

Element Fire ExtinguisherAt the time I wrote that article, the Element fire extinguisher hadn’t been invented. About the size of a flare, the Element discharges a blanket of nontoxic material that douses the fire. The manufacturer claims each Element offers five times the fire extinguishing capability of a traditional 5-pound chemical extinguisher.

Though pricey and used only once, the Element is something to consider.

Camping: Fire restrictions in much of the western U.S prohibit burning wood or charcoal. Any heating or cooking must be done with a propane device.

But even in areas where burning is allowed, take appropriate measures. Make sure there is at least 3 feet of cleared space around the fire. Keep water and a shovel nearby. Use water to douse all fires and embers; don’t leave the firepit until the ashes are at most warm to the touch. Don’t burn paper or carboard. They produce hot embers floating up from the fire. Those can ignite nearby grass and brush.

Best not to have a “breakfast” campfire unless someone plans to hang around for several hours. Never leave a campfire until it is thoroughly extinguished. Make it a rule: The last guy to throw a stick on the fire has to hang around to ensure the fire is totally out.

Fire Permit

Fire Permit – no cost – just their opportunity to refresh your memory.

California requires a campfire permit even for propane stoves. Research the area you intend to visit before leaving home.

Never shoot off fireworks over grasses or brush. It’s often illegal to shoot off fireworks, anyway. Best to leave those to more suitable environments.

Smoking: Experts recommend that if you smoke outside, choose a clear spot at least 3 feet from flammable materials. For indoors, smoke in designated areas or rooms. Of course, you may smoke in your vehicle but don’t throw the butt out the window. Countless grass fires have started that way along roadways.

Field repairs, outdoors work: Most repair work is of little hazard, but a few instances should be noted.

Welding, brazing, and propane soldering can be risky. Ditto for cutting with a torch. It’s important to watch that open flame. Stick welding, of course, generates a tremendous amount of sparking. Weld only while in a clear space when permitted.

Never set the newly welded object on grass-covered ground. It may be hot enough to cause smoldering.

Grinding also generates sparks. Try to do your grinding in the bed of a truck or over a cleared portion of land.

Chainsaws and other small engines that don’t have spark arrestors should be used carefully or not at all in dry environments.

What to do if caught in a wildfire

First, get out as quickly as you can. Don’t stand around discussing options. And definitely don’t delay trying to save valuables. Leave the tent and equipment behind – they can be replaced. Every moment counts during a fire emergency.

There is no best advice for a last-ditch action to save yourself if you don’t leave in time. All the options suck!

Roll up your windows and turn your A/C to recirculate (to avoid drawing in the smoky outside air); close and block all air vents. Drive slowly, and turn on headlights and hazard lights.

Ideally, try to keep something between you and the radiant heat, such as rocks, concrete wall, or another noncombustible material.

How might you be notified of a wildfire when you’re off road? An obvious sign is smoke in the distance. Try to judge its direction, but be ready to move on a moment’s notice.

You can try your smartphone: any notices or messages? If you have ham radio equipment, check into area repeater(s), especially one dedicated to emergency traffic. If you encounter other drivers, ask them. Of course, any park staff member you encounter should have the latest news.

Four-wheelers should always be extra-cautious when driving and camping in areas with dry vegetation. Know your evacuation options in advance. The smallest flame could have big consequences. And if you find yourself in danger, leave the area immediately.

#   #   #

 


Did you miss the previous articles?

2021


Some Upcoming Events (click on the link for details)

August 2021
August 16, 2021 Rubicon Adventure
August 28, 2021 Sand Dune Off-Road Driving – Oceano Dunes
August 29, 2021 Sand Dune Off-Road Driving – Oceano Dunes

September 2021
September 04, 2021 Labor Day Club Run
September 11, 2021 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic
September 25, 2021 Winching Clinic

October 2021
October 15,2021 Death Valley Adventure
October 23, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
October 24, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
October 23-24, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
October 23, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
October 24, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
October 23-24, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area

November 2021
November 06, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 07, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 06-07, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
November 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
November 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
November 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
November 27, 2021 Turkey Day Club Run

December 2021
December 11, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
December 12, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
December 11-12, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
December 11, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
December 12, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
December 11-12, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
December 29, 2021 Saline New Years Deal

 


73 KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
www.4x4training.com
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/w/contact-us.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, 4×4 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.

Celebrate Freedom to go Four-wheeling

Coyote Flats at just about 10,000 feet

Coming back from the Independence Day outing, I took some time to reflect on this amazing hobby. Over the years I’ve enjoyed countless hours admiring many fascinating places in the western US. There are so many possibilities open to four-wheeling that at times it’s easy to take this all for granted.

Four-wheelers know that driving privileges on public lands can be curtailed or eliminated. Responsible drivers are diligent about taking care of property and following the rules.

But when we act responsibly – and encourage others to do the same – we help ensure a future for this fun hobby. As I reflected further, I came up with five broad categories or qualities that we can celebrate about four-wheeling.

Magnificent natural areas to explore. Four wheelers have access to numerous state parks, federal parks, and BLM lands. The views can be stunning and the experiences last a lifetime. Some locations are only accessible by a 4WD vehicle.

Access to those public properties continues because 4WD enthusiasts are responsible individuals. They adhere to Tread Lightly!, “Pack It In, Pack It Out,” and other principles that promote good stewardship.

Saline Valley

A hobby that allows us to enrich our driving skills while we explore. Four-wheeling often exposes drivers to various obstacles and challenges, such as crevices, soft terrain, steep hills, and rocky terrain.

Skills gained mastering off-road obstacles can be applied to urban environments. Driving in snow, for example, uses many of the same techniques employed for sand or soft terrain.

Another example entails avoiding an accident on the freeway. Because you’re experienced driving in tight spaces, you can recognize an opening between crashed vehicles that other drivers won’t. You confidently slip through, knowing full well where your front and back wheels are.

Great vehicles that help us enjoy our hobby. Newer vehicles come equipped with features designed for off-road use. Some of those features include hill descent, traction control, anti-sway bar disconnects, and front axle disconnects.

The downside, though, is that all those new buttons can be intimidating. Instruction classes on the proper use of these features allow drivers to take full advantage of everything their vehicles offer.

Peer support in the four-wheeling community. Thousands of like-minded people are willing to share their knowledge and skills with others. This is really evident when there is a breakdown. Other drivers – sometimes total strangers – stop by to help get a disabled vehicle back on the trail.

Many four-wheelers post blogs, host podcasts, and offer other educational tools to educate audiences on the finer points of this hobby.

Green Lake

Strong organizations backing our cause. Professional associations, hobby publications, and four-wheeling groups further educate on the many aspects of four-wheeling. They encourage drivers to obey the rules and be courteous when off-road.

These organizations also work to spread a positive image of four-wheeling. They educate the lay public on the positive aspects of our hobby while dispelling many of the myths.

A four-wheel drive vehicle represents a degree of freedom. It allows us to go places and see things that not everybody can. But there’s so much more to the hobby. And the memories of time spent with friends and family members are cherished for a lifetime.

Having the freedom to go four-wheeling is truly something special to celebrate.
# # #


Did you miss the previous articles?
2021
• 2021-06-21 Great Books for Summertime Reading
• 2021-05-19 Beginning 4-Wheel Drive Mistakes
• 2021-04-20 A Great Campsite
• 2021-03-20 Four-Wheeling for Seniors
• 2021-02-13 How to Be a Great Camp Cook
• 2021-01-15 4WD Trail Guide


Some Upcoming Events (click on the link for details)

Camp in the pines

See the entire 2021 Schedule
https://www.4x4training.com/w/2021-schedule/

July 2021
July 24, 2021 Starting Rock Crawling
July 31, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – Day 3 – La Area

August 2021
August 16, 2021 Rubicon Adventure
August 28, 2021 Sand Dune Off-Road Driving – Oceano Dunes
August 29, 2021 Sand Dune Off-Road Driving – Oceano Dunes

September 2021
September 04, 2021 Labor Day Club Run
September 11, 2021 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic
September 25, 2021 Winching Clinic

October 2021
October 15,2021 Death Valley Adventure
October 23, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
October 24, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
October 09-10, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
October 23, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
October 24, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
October 23-24, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area


San Rafael Swell Off Road Guide Book & Companion Map $38.50

I have 4 of these books left.

If you want to order one: https://www.4x4training.com/w/product/san-rafael-swell-off-road-guide-book/

At almost 300 pages, “San Rafael Swell Off Road: A Trail Guide to 42 Destinations for Automobiles, 4WD Trucks & ATVs” is a guide to the in the San Rafael Swell area of Emery County. The desert area is ringed by small towns like Price, Green River and Castle Dale.

The San Rafael Swell area of south-central Utah. This is an area that provides approximately 2,000 square miles of fantastic scenery, fascinating history, and fun off-road adventures. The only paved roads in the San Rafael Swell are Interstate 70, which bisects the Swell in an east-west direction for 67 miles, and a spur of I-70 called the Moore Cutoff.


73 KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
www.4x4training.com
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/w/contact-us.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, 4×4 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 2021, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Great Books for Summertime Reading

Our friend Clive took a detour on his way to Las Vegas. His last-minute plan was to explore a section of the Old Mojave Road that runs through the Mojave River flood plain. The river didn’t look too deep. Driving his old, mostly stock Jeep XJ, he headed into the ford. It was too deep. The engine drowned and hydro-locked midway.

As the water swirled around his ankles, he abandoned the vehicle salvaging as much gear as he could throw up on the bank. With no help or solution in sight, Clive settled down in his camp chair to continued reading a rather good book. Sooner or later help will show up, he muttered.

A few hours later, two new Jeep JKs pulled him to the paved road to wait for AAA.

Later, not even the charities would take the donation of his poor, drowned Jeep.

It is a great idea to have a book in your survival gear to pass the time. Also, better to send your buddy and his vehicle through first.

Summertime is a great time to kick back and indulge in some fine reading. While I enjoy reading year-round, I find it especially relaxing to stretch out in a hammock or near a campfire with a good book.

What constitutes fine reading is, of course, subjective. What I like may not be of interest to someone else.

Even so, several books I’ve read have left quite an impression on me. In the spirit of summertime reading, I’d like to share those suggestions.

Below are an assortment of fiction and nonfiction. The first three are book series, so you have the chance to follow a subject and a story line over time.

Although I’m an outdoors guy, the stories aren’t set exclusively in the outdoors (though most are). The subject matter is a bit eclectic. But all provide very enjoyable reading.

If you need an idea for a good book, take a gander at these.

  1. C.J. Box’s series about Joe Pickett. Pickett is a conservation warden in fictitious Twelve Sleep, Wyoming. Most of the tales involve law enforcement, but not just standard conservation work. Recent books have touched on murders that Pickett was tasked with solving.

A number of the stories are based loosely on current events or technology. In one, Pickett tries to help a person who has created a Facebook-like platform called Confab. That’s a little over Pickett’s head, so he enlists the help of his wife and daughters.

C.J. Box writes one Joe Picket novel per year; currently there are 21 books in the series. The stories are fascinating reading – after finishing a book, you’ll want to get the next one.

The first four books in this series are “Open Season” (2001), “Savage Run” (2002), “Winterkill” (2003) and “Trophy Hunt” (2004).

You can read the books in any order, but I highly recommend reading them in sequence. The stories and timelines tend to flow together. Each new book references some incident from a previous story.

Check your library or used bookstores. Amazon carries a good selection in hard cover.

New books are announced in October. Get your name on the reservation list so you’ll receive an announcement when the next book is about to be released.

  1. Lee Child’s series. Another prolific author, Child has 25 books (and counting) in his Jack Reacher series. Born into a military family, Reacher joined the Army and became a military policeman. After spending a career bouncing around various bases, he settles in the U.S.

As he tours the country, Reacher gets drawn into a variety of dangerous situations. Those incidents allow him to tap into his MP experience. While hitchhiking one day, for example, Reacher is picked up by a group of people who, unknown to him, are a hit squad. In the back seat is a woman who’s been kidnapped.

Like Box, Child releases one book each year. At least two of the stories were turned into movies starring Tom Cruise.

These are very engrossing stories. I started one book recently and couldn’t put it down. Finished it in a day and a half. These books probably will not make it into your survival box unread.

The Jack Reacher series can be read in any order. Check your local library to borrow, or book sellers to purchase. You can find paper back version for a few dollars at a used bookstore.

  1. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” the first in a series of six comedy science fiction novels by Douglas Adams. The story line is based upon a radio show of the same name that aired in Great Britain in 1978. We follow the adventures of Arthur Dent, sole survivor after Earth was blown up to make room for a hyperspace bypass. He was rescued by an alien spaceship and is traveling the galaxy.

In the third book, “Life, the Universe and Everything,” Dent encounters a super computer that has spent 7 million years trying to determine the answer to that confounding issue that is the title to this book. When Dent hears the answer – which I won’t spoil by divulging here – he is rather perplexed. “You’re not smart enough to understand the answer,” the machine replies.

The other titles in the series are “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe,” “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish,” “Mostly Harmless,” and “Young Zaphood Plays it Safe.”

Although the storyline is a bit whimsical – the books are aimed at teenagers – many adults have been drawn into the stories. They are surprisingly fun to read.  (And popular, too. Sold around the world, the books have been translated into more than 30 languages.)

  1. “The Hunt for the Death Valley Germans” by Tom Mahood. About 90 pages, it’s only available online. You can begin reading the essay at:  https://www.otherhand.org/home-page/search-and-rescue/the-hunt-for-the-death-valley-germans/introduction/]

Four German tourists went missing in Death Valley on July 23, 1996. Despite a massive search effort, not a trace was found. The victims included 34-year-old Egbert Rimkus, his 11-year-old son Georg Weber, Rimkus’s 27-year-old girlfriend Cornelia Meyer and her 4-year-old son Max Meyer.

It’s an incredible story – not only a mystery surrounding the tourists, but also the author’s perilous journey to find them. Remember, he and his friend were searching Death Valley, and endured the same brutal conditions the tourists faced.

The 90-page book documents Mahood’s and Les Walker’s search over several years. Ultimately, in November 2009, they find the remains of the adults.

It’s a very interesting review of the men’s search and Mahood’s theory of where to look.

  1. “Seventy Years on the Frontier,” by Alexander Majors. Co-founder of the Pony Express, Majors hired William “Buffalo Bill” Cody as a rider when Cody was a young man. Cody had been through some rough times: His father was killed, and Cody took the job to support his mother and sister. The job lasted only about year when the Pony Express went under.

Majors enjoyed some success in freight hauling using horses and wagons. Later, Majors fell on bad times and went bankrupt. Cody came upon Majors one day while in South Dakota. When Cody learned his old benefactor was trying to write his memoirs, Cody offered to support, and even wrote the preface. The result is “Seventy Years on the Frontier.”

This fascinating book is available for free online thanks to Project Guttenberg. You can read it at: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/42195/42195-h/42195-h.htm]

 

 

 

 

 

5.5: “The Four-Wheelers Bible” by Jim Allen (3rd edition). A must-have for any 4WD enthusiast. This book was just published in June 2021. Jim Allen has updated the Four-Wheelers Bible with some very valuable information. Not exactly a page turner but a great reference manual.

 

Even if your reading collection is quite extensive, I feel pretty confident you’ll enjoy any of the books on this list. The combination of great writing and fascinating topics will keep you engaged all summer. Happy reading!

 

#    #   #


Did you miss the previous articles?

2021


Some Upcoming Events (click on the link for details)

July 2021
July 03, 2021 Independence Day Club Run
July 10-11, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
July 10, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
July 11, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
July 24, 2021 Starting Rock Crawling
July 24, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
July 25, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
July 24-25, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

August 2021
August 16, 2021 Rubicon Adventure
August 28, 2021 Sand Dune Off-Road Driving – Oceano Dunes

September 2021
September 04, 2021 Labor Day Club Run
September 11, 2021 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic
September 25, 2021 Winching Clinic


73 KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
www.4x4training.com
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/w/contact-

us.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, 4×4 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 2021, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Beginning 4-Wheel Drive Mistakes

We were cruising the dunes in Ocotillo Wells, California. It was a nice sunny day with great visibility. Though the area is mostly dunes, it is possible to encounter long stretches of level sand. From a distance such an area appears featureless. But looks can be deceiving.

The lead driver stopped on a level area. The second driver, probably 200 yards back, raced to meet him. Traveling about 6 or 8 feet to the right of the lead vehicle’s track, the second driver assumed the terrain remained the same.

Suddenly he arrived at a small cliff. Unable to stop, he launched off about a 4-foot cliff. The flat terrain merged with the visual horizon, and he never saw the cliff until it was too late.

That driver, who had several years of four-wheeling experience, made a rookie mistake. Two rookie mistakes, actually.

He was driving too fast and he didn’t recon the area.  He just took for granted that the terrain was level and featureless the entire way. He hadn’t counted on a drop off just a short distance to the right of the path the lead vehicle took.

This driver suffered only a bruised ego. But it could’ve been worse. As a four-wheeler, you must be on constant alert. And recon, recon, recon.

4WD mistakes to avoid

I have listed a few of the issues 4-wheelers have as they start to learn to drive off-road.

Throttle control:  One of the first issues for new drivers is to train your right leg to maintain a nice, steady throttle. When in 4 Low the engine delivers a lot of power. Pushing hard on the accelerator just like you do on the street causes the vehicle to jump. Realizing it was too much you ease up, and the vehicle settles down quickly, creating a hopping motion. If questioned about it, blame it on the rough terrain causing your foot to bounce on the accelerator.

Tire placement: The next thing new drivers need to master is placing your front tires exactly where you planned when you no longer can see the obstacle. Remember that there is a significant blind spot – anywhere from 15 to 20 feet – in front of your vehicle. Approaching an obstacle, you line up your front tires. Eventually that obstacle is in your blind spot. Are your tires still lined up? (The right tire can be particularly difficult to judge.) Practice this maneuver by picking out a small rock. Did you drive over the rock?

A student of mine took this idea to heart. One late night on a long drive on a lonely highway in Kanas he thought the lane markers Bott’s dots would be good practice and would stave off boredom. After explaining the concept to the cop he was spared a lecture and ticket.

More power when stuck: It is easy when first starting to drive off-road, to assume if you are not moving forward, you must not have enough power and you push down hard on the accelerator.

  • If you’re going uphill and not moving forward, there are a couple things that could happen by adding power:
    1. The wheels are spinning and the vehicle drifts off the trail. Where you end up is uncertain. You could drift right off the side of the hill. And you are digging holes that make it more difficult going up next time.
    2. If you’re using heavy throttle but not drifting, the vehicle front end might start jumping up and down in place. Every time those big wheels come down and hit the dirt, they send a shock wave through the drive train. So much torque is delivered when those wheels touch the ground, you could break an axle or tear a drive shaft off the pinion.
  • If you’re stuck in rocks, it could be that a wheel is trapped. Continuing to use throttle will break axles. You can try backing out, but use a light throttle and finesse. Turn on your lockers for more traction. If that doesn’t do it, use a strap or winch to get unstuck. Protect your vehicle and its drive train.

Insufficient reconnoitering: Four-wheelers tend not to do enough reconnoitering, in my opinion. By examining the terrain, you can avoid mistakes like hitting an obstacle, getting in a jam, or driving over an edge.

Get out of your vehicle and survey the area. You may have to walk up the hill to see if there’s something on the other side. When traveling downhill, stop and walk down the trail. Look back at the slope you want to come down. There might be a drop off on one side that you can’t see from the top.

Many times, just standing up by the driver’s door is sufficient.

Following too closely: If you follow too closely, the terrain immediately behind the vehicle in front of you is in your blind spot. You won’t see the obstacle yourself. You will not be able to formulate a plan, pick the best line, and visualize the obstacle as it moves under your vehicle.

Stay back far enough to see well but close enough to observe the other driver’s actions. Watching another vehicle may give you clues of what to do or not to do.

Fatigue and overconfidence: Do you know when most of the accidents occur off road? It’s late afternoon. The cause is fatigue. Drivers just aren’t as sharp as they were in the morning.

Another possibility is overconfidence. When a trip is going well, drivers tend to push on. They’re looking ahead to camp. At some point their concentration falters and mistakes occur. If your route is a particularly stressful one, arrange for a break in the early afternoon. Give your mind and body a rest before embarking on the final leg.

Sticking a hand out the window: The obvious reason is so you don’t break a wrist or arm on a nearby branch.

Another reason is not so obvious. Picture this: A vehicle is driving through a narrow canyon. It starts to climb a small ledge, causing the vehicle to tilt slightly to the left. The driver puts her hand out the window, thinking she’d keep the vehicle upright. It was purely an instinctive move, much like throwing your hands out when you’re about to fall. One little bounce, though, and her hand would’ve hit the canyon wall.

Hands and arms should always be inside the vehicle. That goes for drivers and passengers.

Getting caught up in the moment (“testosterone poisoning”): There’s a challenging spot in the trail up ahead. Drivers have attempted to negotiate it and failed. You’re determined to make it through the mud pit or up the hill. You’re caught up in the moment. You hit the throttle, hoping momentum will carry you through. Maybe it does. But sometimes it won’t.

Going fast you don’t have much time to react. And you don’t have the control over the vehicle you should. Next time you might hit those rocks or go sailing over the edge you couldn’t see. Check the ego, and drive smart.

Hanging on the vehicle while attempting an extraction: Dangerous. It’s too easy for someone to fall off or get stuck underneath if the vehicle is bouncing or moving. Some people think that added weight helps the situation. It doesn’t. Worse, it puts those lives at risk.

There are methods to safely free up a vehicle. Whatever is employed – winch, recovery strap or jacks – make sure bystanders stay clear of the vehicles and equipment involved.

Standing too close to vehicle when spotting: The obvious concern is getting hit by the vehicle. Also be mindful of boulders, trees or canyon walls nearby. Position yourself so you can provide valuable hand signals, but don’t get pinned between the vehicle and an obstacle.

A manual transmission adds another challenge. Moving slowly is difficult as the driver has to maintain a minimum speed to avoid stalling. If you as the spotter are too close, or in the wrong spot, you won’t have time to get out of the way. Give yourself extra room whenever spotting for another driver.

All four-wheelers make mistakes on occasion. Handled properly, they can be learning experiences. Even so, being aware of basic errors – what I call rookie mistakes – should help you avoid these issues when your off road.

#    #     #


Did you miss the previous articles?

2021


Some Upcoming Events (click on the link for details)

It is time to sign up for the Rubicon Trail Adventure. You have just over 2 months to prepare. And we recommend you take one of the Starting Rock Crawling clinics as part of the preparation.

All dates are posted to our web site.

June 2021
June 05, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
June 06, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
June 05-06, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
June 12, 2021 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic
June 19, 2021 Starting Rock Crawling
June 25, 2021 Field Day

July 2021
July 03, 2021 Independence Day Club Run
July 10-11, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
July 10, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
July 11, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
July 24, 2021 Starting Rock Crawling
July 24, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
July 25, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
July 24-25, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

August 2021
August 16, 2021 Rubicon Adventure
August 28, 2021 Sand Dune Off-Road Driving – Oceano Dunes


San Rafael Swell Off Road Guide Book & Companion Map $38.50

We  just received more books.

If you want to order one: https://www.4x4training.com/w/product/san-rafael-swell-off-road-guide-book/

At almost 300 pages, “San Rafael Swell Off Road: A Trail Guide to 42 Destinations for Automobiles, 4WD Trucks & ATVs” is a guide to the in the San Rafael Swell area of Emery County. The desert area is ringed by small towns like Price, Green River and Castle Dale.

“Every chapter includes helpful advice for novice or experienced explorers of the area, such as, “Easy dirt road for high clearance automobile, although four-wheel drive is recommended to several sandy sections along the road. “according to Ed Helmick the author.

The San Rafael Swell area of south-central Utah. This is an area that provides approximately 2,000 square miles of fantastic scenery, fascinating history, and fun off-road adventures. The only paved roads in the San Rafael Swell are Interstate 70, which bisects the Swell in an east-west direction for 67 miles, and a spur of I-70 called the Moore Cutoff. The major difference between off-roading in the Moab area and the Swell area is fewer people, and the area is more remote in regard to the distances to small towns with services. Utah towns that ring the Swell are: Price, Green River, Hanksville, Cainsville, Emery, Castle Dale, Huntington, and Cleveland.
The companion map, the National Geographic San Rafael Swell (#712) comes as a package deal with your book order.


 

DirtRoll Combo Pack – Woodland Camo

$59.99

https://www.4x4training.com/w/product/dirtroll-combo-pack-woodland-camo/

The DirtRoll Combo Pack is your tool storage solution. Each pack comes with the essential rolls you need to keep your tools clean and organized. Then order the Dirt Roll Bag to put them in.

Includes:

Qty (1) Wrench DirtRoll
Qty (1) Utility DirtRoll
Qty (1) Universal DirtRoll
Qty (1) DirtRoll Wrap
Product Features

-Made with heavy duty Woodland Camo Denier fabric
-Quality buckles and webbing sewn in for easy closure – no worries of Velcro losing the grip
-Elastic band secures the webbing after passing through the buckle
-Webbing handle provides durable grip for transport
-Designed, cut and sewn right here in the United States of America

**Tools Not Included**

 

Dirt Roll Bag – Medium – Black

https://www.4x4training.com/w/product/dirt-roll-bag-medium-black/

$27.99

The medium Dirt Roll Bag is designed to secure all of your Dirt Rolls together and provide enough room for extra items.

Product Features

-Made with heavy duty Black Denier fabric
-Quality webbing handle provides durable grip for transport
-Plastic sheet sewn into bottom to provide superior strength and structure
-16-inches long, 5-inches wide and 6-inches tall
Quality Dunlap metal coil zipper with 550 Paracord pull and webbing pull tabs
-Designed, cut and sewn right here in the United States of America


73 KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
www.4x4training.com
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/w/contact-us.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, 4×4 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 2021, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

A Great Campsite

In Camp

I was sitting around the campfire with a couple buddies one evening. We had completed another leg in a long but rewarding four-wheeling journey. Now relaxed, we were reflecting on the day’s adventures and the outdoors in general. Eventually the conversation came around to camping and campsites.

We were in a nice location that evening. As we reviewed our surroundings, it dawned on us that there are always certain qualities we like to have in a campsite.

Before turning in for the night I scribbled some notes from that conversation. That got me thinking further. What makes a really good campsite? I wondered. Within minutes I had a pretty lengthy list.

Camping in the Sweetwater Mountains

With the exception of remoteness, the following traits are in no particular order. Of course, we four-wheelers prefer to get away. At the heart of four-wheeling is a desire to discover new places. And with the exception of friends, we invite along, we prefer to enjoy the great outdoors without neighbors. So oftentimes, the more remote, the better.

No campsite has all these qualities. But the better ones have most. And I’m not talking about a specific campground. What follows are the attributes that make a great location to set up camp.

Qualities of a great campsite

  • Remoteness.
  • Level ground, or at least some level spots for tents, RTT’s and vehicles that people sleep inside.
  • Trees: For shade, but we want to enjoy the morning sun and great views. So, just the right amount of tree cover. And just enough dead kindling on the ground to start a fire. Oh, almost forgot – a good branch to hang food on in Bear country.
  • Morning sun to warm the soul and get the day off to a good start.
  • Clear view of the night sky for stargazing.
  • A clean fire ring in a clearing.
  • A bubbling brook or lake nearby. (fewer bugs with running water.)
  • Great view: Whether mountains, a wide-open prairie, or even a gorgeous sunset. Scenic surroundings add so much to a camping experience.
  • A little elevation, at least in summer. Scenery is generally better, and you’re less likely to encounter other campers.
  • Protection from the wind. Even better no wind the smoke from the camp fire goes straight up.
  • Tent stakes go in easy, come out easy but will hold in storm.
  • No bugs  no bugs that bite, no bugs that sting.
  • No music. Musical tastes can vary, and we don’t need any arguments during camp. If someone wants to lead the group in campfire songs, that’s OK. Those guests who insist on listening to music must pop in the ear buds.
  • No fees.
  • Bonus: Some sort of restroom, if just a pit toilet.

Tread Lightly with all camping

Just because a site has the above attributes doesn’t mean it’s ideal for camping. Many portions of the country are pristine and should be left that way. Try to find established campsites. You can still be dispersed, but you’re not creating a new fire pit or trampling down vegetation.

Regardless of where or when you go camping, always follow the Tread Lightly® principles. (You can learn more about Tread Lightly! at https://treadlightly.org/ ) Enjoy nature, but do so responsibly.

What makes a great campsite? I’m sure every four-wheeler and camper has their own thoughts on this. There is no right answer, of course. But by developing a list of what you like to see or experience, you can better select the right location for your outings.

#    #    #


Did you miss the previous articles?

2021


Some Upcoming Events (click on the link for details)

It is time to sign up for the Rubicon Trail Adventure. You have just over 3 months to prepare. And we recommend you take one of the Starting Rock Crawling clinics as part of the preparation.

May 2021
May 01, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
May 02, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
May 01-02, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
May 08, 2021 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic
May 15, 2021 Winching Clinic
May 29, 2021 Memorial Day Club Run

June 2021
June 05, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
June 06, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
June 05-06, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
June 12, 2021 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic
June 19, 2021 Starting Rock Crawling
June 25, 2021 Field Day

July 2021
July 03, 2021 Independence Day Club Run
July 10, 2021 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic
July 24, 2021 Starting Rock Crawling
July 24, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
July 25, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
July 24-25, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area

August 2021
August 16, 2021 Rubicon Adventure
August 28, 2021 Sand Dune Off-Road Driving – Oceano Dunes

 


73 KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
www.4x4training.com
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/w/contact-us.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, 4×4 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 2021, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

 

Four-Wheeling for Seniors

Long Valley Caldera - behind Glass Mountain

This is one reason we 4-wheel

Four-wheeling is truly a family affair. Participants are highly encouraged to bring spouses, children, grandchildren, even grandparents along for the ride.

And while driving off-road requires certain skills, there are no age limits. As long as the person can competently maneuver a vehicle over the chosen course, he or she is free to hit the trails.

There are inherent risks in the hobby, along with others found while outdoors. Some of these risks have a greater effect on older drivers.

Some hazards encountered while four-wheeling

Tires are the number one problem on backroads and trails.

Let’s say you have a flat tire. It’s a hot day, and you’ve been driving for a while. You step out of the air-conditioned vehicle into the scorching sun. A routine tire changing can become on ordeal for an older person.

A typical 4WD wheel (tire and rim) can weigh up to 70 or more pounds. Some older folks will find it difficult to heft a wheel on or off the vehicle spare tire carrier. The human body naturally loses muscle and becomes less flexible as we age. Of course being older and smarter we use levers and pulley instead.

Also, people tend to get really focused when engaged in a task. It’s easy to overlook pain, fatigue and other warning signs. Not wanting to lose driving time, they push themselves. In the process they fail to take breaks, stay hydrated, or get out of the sun. It’s all go, go, go.

Deciding who is young enough to be rock stackers.

The result can be disastrous. Heat is bad enough; heat stroke and heat exhaustion are real hazards. The wild swing in temperature experienced when stepping outside the vehicle puts stress on the body. Factor in an advanced age and possible underlying health issues, and the person is in real danger.

Death Valley is a good example of a hot location (record worldwide high of 131 degrees). In the high desert, temperatures can hit 100 to 105 degrees. In the low desert, you’re looking at 115 to 120 degrees. That’s some serious heat. (And don’t start on that “But it’s only dry heat!” hooey. Trust me: anything above 100 degrees is hot. And dangerous.)

Chollas

In addition to the heat, the outdoors offers a host of other hazards. You need to watch for dangerous insects, cactus and animals, even rocks or ruts to trip over. Falling down is a major cause of injury for older adults.

How to mitigate these 4WD hazards

The first step is a self-assessment. Start with your overall state of mind and body. Do you feel healthy and willing to go on that trip? If you’re just not up for it, don’t go. Similarly, if it’s a long and strenuous adventure, and you haven’t taken such a trip in a year or more, consider a shorter drive.

At the same time, be honest with yourself. As an older person, you just don’t have the strength and stamina you once did. You can still go off road. Just consider easier routes from now on.

Develop a stretching – and, possibly strengthening – regimen. This is good for the body overall and can help you while four-wheeling. Consult with a medical professional for your particular needs. Take a break every few hours. That right leg needs a break from the constant throttle modulation.

There is bound to be a repair at some point during the trip. Hand the young guy the tools.

Always travel with others. I’ve said this countless times over the years. You should never go four-wheeling alone. That’s especially true for an older person. You could get stuck, trapped in a rollover, or suffer a medical emergency, to name just a few possibilities.

Another passenger or driver can help you in a bind. That includes routine issues like flat tires, simple breakdowns and spotting. Plus, a four-wheeling adventure is more enjoyable with others around.

Another person can act as a health monitor (a spouse has a vested interest in this job). That person can remind you when to take breaks, grab some water, or get in the shade. You have to be particularly careful in hot environments and high altitudes.

Can you see well enough to 4 wheel?

Install a larger remote speaker for your two-way radio so you don’t miss any cautions about an upcoming obstacle.

Wear gloves and long sleeve shirts when engaged in activities outside the vehicle. As you grow older skin loses tone, oil, and fatty tissue underneath skin so it bruises and tears easily. It is also why you feel the cold more.

Watch for natural hazards. Those include bugs, plants and wild animals. Diseases are present, including hantavirus, which is spread by mouse droppings.

Impact Wrench makes work easier

Use power tools whenever possible. A battery-powered impact wrench, for example, would be a big help for someone struggling to remove bolts, lug nuts, and such.

Finally, maintain proper hygiene. Pack sufficient quantities of soap, water, hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies. Make sure everyone washes thoroughly after using the restroom and before preparing or eating food.

Four-wheeling isn’t just for young people. Older folks can enjoy the hobby, too. They just need to take some extra precautions before and during the trip. Don’t let Father Time keep you from enjoying the great outdoors.

#   #   #


Did you miss the previous articles?

2021


Some Upcoming Events (click on the link for details)

April 2021
April 10, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 11, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 10-11, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 18, 2021 Day 3 Getting Started Putting It All Together – LA Area
April 24, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
April 25, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
April 24-25, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area

May 2021
May 01, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
May 02, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
May 01-02, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
May 08, 2021 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic
May 15, 2021 Winching Clinic
May 29, 2021 Memorial Day Club Run

June 2021
June 05, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
June 06, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
June 05-06, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
June 12, 2021 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic
June 19, 2021 Starting Rock Crawling
June 25, 2021 Field Day


73 KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
www.4x4training.com
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/w/contact-us.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, 4×4 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 2021, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

How to Be a Great Camp Cook

In Camp

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.

I really wanted to give this guy a chance. He said he could cook, and he expressed a strong desire to cook during one of my four-wheeling expeditions. Though he tried hard, he simply couldn’t handle the duties.

From buying food to preparing the meals, nothing went right. This individual meant well, no doubt about that. He just wasn’t qualified to be camp chef.

Basics of being a camp cook

Just because you’ve cooked at home or during a family camping trip doesn’t automatically mean you can handle a group event off-road.

Let’s cut right to the chase: Can you handle basic breakfast meals such as bacon and eggs? With toast and an endless supply of coffee?

Grilling steaks while heating potatoes and other vegetables

Supper could be a three- or four-course affair. Imagine grilling steaks while heating potatoes and other vegetables. Maybe even baking a cake in the afternoon.

The various dishes must be presented on time and at the right temperature. Everyone must be fed in an orderly, clean and presentable manner. All that, despite the conditions at the campsite.

Many things can go badly on a trip. It can rain. Vehicles can get stuck or break down (messing up the daily schedule and setting nerves on edge). The campsite may be overcrowded and grungy. All that and more are possible.

As long as the four-wheelers have a good meal and they enjoy it, those issues are forgiven.

Any potential camp cook needs to understand the heavy responsibility they are undertaking. It takes exceptional planning and finesse.

But there’s a lot more to being a camp cook than just preparing the meals. The cook has to prepare to prepare all those meals. The process begins long before the vehicles hit the road.

 

Guidelines for the camp cook

Cooking outdoors for a group is an involved process. This list of guidelines will help you become a better camp cook.

Planning

  1. Pre-planning and lists are your friend. Go through the process of cooking each meal in your mind to help remember those small but critical ingredients and to make sure you have all of the cooking pots, cooking utensils, knives, cutting boards, etc.
  2. Determine the proper quantities of food to purchase. Err on the generous side because you don’t want to run out, including cooking fuels. Buy smaller containers to reduce waste. For example, individual cereal boxes instead of one large box. And smaller containers of food that do not need refrigeration until opened (salad dressing, salsa, mayonnaise, etc.). Refrigeration is at a premium off-road.
  3. Know whether a fire restriction is in place. That will dictate whether you can cook with wood or charcoal. Check with the Trail Guide if you don’t know.

    Will fire regulations prevent DO cooking?

  4. Avoid buying anything in glass containers. Glass is not permitted in some areas. Plus, there’s the danger of breakage. We don’t want glass shards all over a campsite.
  5. Ask the Trail Guide about special dietary needs including any need for decaf coffee. Buy accordingly.
  6. Prep as much food as possible before the trip within the limits of your refrigeration capability.
  7. Familiarize yourself with the trail beforehand if possible. Ideally, arrive at the next campsite before the group. Discuss this with the Trail Guide, as that person may have some additional insight into the trail, including a possible shortcut.

Hygiene

  1. Be clean and presentable. Wear clean clothes, and a hat and apron every day. Tie hair back to keep it out of the food. No smoking while preparing or cooking. We don’t want ashes in our food.
  2. Use clean towels and dish cloths.
  3. Separate the kitchen from the serving area and other functions. Guests should be discouraged from the kitchen area.
  4. Set up an area for everyone to wash hands.
  5. Wipe down all tables and prep areas to eliminate dust and dirt from the trail.
  6. No double-dipping to taste test food. Food that falls on the ground or into the fire does not get served.
  7. All food is refrigerated after it is opened or otherwise prepared.

Organizations

Keep the kitchen neat and organized – not this.

  1.  Organize food in coolers and storage boxes by meals or meal categories (breakfast, lunch, dinner). If you just throw everything in boxes, it’ll be difficult to find the ingredients. Understand that they will be some overlap or duplication of ingredients.
  2. Keep the kitchen neat and organized. Serve all food in one spot at the camp site.

    Rolling own lunch

  3. Work with the Trail Guide regarding lunches. One option is to have the guests prepare sandwiches right after breakfast. To do that, you’ll need to set up a serving table with all the ingredients laid out logically.
  4. Unload only the firewood to be used for the day; otherwise, guests will figure they can burn it all, and they will.
  5. Sequence food in the service line in logical order. For example, put plates at the start, place salad dressing after the salad, etc. Arrange for a line on both sides of the table to speed up service.
  6. Have a large dishpan of hot soapy water to wash dishes and a second dishpan to rinse the dishes. Plan for lots of water for cooking, coffee, and clean up.
  7. Clean up the work area after every meal. Expect to deal with a lot of trash and its transportation and disposal.

Cooking

  1. Have appetizers / happy hour ready to go before supper.
  2. Put out the designated food so that guests can help themselves at any time. Food for future meals should be stowed and out of sight.
  3. Ice down one- or two-days’ worth of drinks.
  4. If visiting a high-altitude location, understand how that will affect cooking times.

    Know your pot and keep the coffee coming.

  5. Put the coffee on early. And keep it coming. It is a sin to run out of coffee. Keep an extra pot of hot water for tea or hot chocolate. Since you are likely using larger coffee pots, do a test brew at home to get the right combo of grounds to water. Time how long it takes to brew it, too.
  6. Be sure you have creamer, sugar, stir stick, and that fufu stuff people like to add.
  7. Put out appetizers while guests are setting up camp. Let them know when they can expect the main course to be served.

Table set for four.

 Cook for friends to build skills

Camp cooking can be very rewarding. It allows a person to enhance his culinary skills and spread his wings a bit, too. Accolades tend to flow after a tasty and satisfying meal. But being camp cook carries a tremendous amount of responsibility.

It starts before the trip has begun and doesn’t end until after the final meal. The camp cook handles every facet of the meals – all in an outdoors environment. Details are important and going over them several times is essential – you won’t be able to pop over to Safeway.

If camp cooking sounds appealing, start by cooking for a small group of friends. Build on what you learn from that experience. Over time you will develop the skills and confidence to treat others while on the trails.

Are you a Trail Guide and in need of a cook? Use these guidelines to qualify your candidates.

#    #    #


Trail Guide Articles


Some Upcoming Events (click on the link for details)

 

The 2021 schedule of clinics and adventures trips has been posted on the web site.

All dates are posted to our web site. You can register for any 2021 event now.

Need to get out? Signed up for the San Rafael Swell Trip.

March 2021
March 06, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 07, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 06-07, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 12, 2021 Death Valley Adventure
March 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
March 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
March 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
March 23, 2021 San Rafael Club Run
March 29, 2021 Easter Safari

April 2021
April 10, 2021 Day 3 Getting Started Putting It All Together – SD Area
April 10, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 11, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 10-11, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 18, 2021 Day 3 Getting Started Putting It All Together – LA Area
April 24, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
April 25, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
April 24-25, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area

May 2021
May 01, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
May 02, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
May 01-02, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
May 08, 2021 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic
May 15, 2021 Winching Clinic
May 29, 2021 Memorial Day Club Run

See the entire 2021 Schedule

https://www.4x4training.com/w/2021-schedule/


Pull Pal

$379.95 – $774.95

  • Pull Pal® is designed for winch-equipped Jeeps®, buggies, campers, 2-wheel drive, 4WD SUVs, Trucks, and Hummers®. Ideal for construction surveyors, search and rescue, utility, police, and rural maintenance vehicles.
  • Pull Pal is ruggedly constructed with a forged chrome-moly plow assembly, welded construction overall, and assembled with Grade 8 bolts for strength and quality.
  • Pull Pal gets your rig out…fast. Simply insert the plow point into the soil. As the winch cable tightens, the point embeds itself deeply and firmly into the ground and frees your rig with the assistance of the wheels in motion.
  • Pull Pal folds compactly to the size of an ordinary bumper jack for easy storage. It can be mounted inside or outside or stored in Pull Pal’s custom carrying case.

Pull Pal


I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
www.4x4training.com
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/w/contact-us.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, 4×4 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 2021, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

4WD Trail Guide

“I’d like to be a Trail Guide.”

 You’ve been four-wheeling for some time now. Probably drove a few challenging trails and endured a weekend in ugly weather. Perhaps you participated in one of my excursions (or someone else’s) and thought, “I’d like to be a Trail Guide.”

That’s great. While the position entails a fair amount of responsibility, it’s a good way to more fully experience four-wheeling. And to give back to the hobby by teaching others.

Trail Guides (also called Trail Leaders) are skilled individuals who are willing to share their passion, knowledge, skills and respect for the outdoors with others. Some outfitter guides use horses and pack mules. We use 4WD vehicles.

To become a Trail Guide requires both skill and personality: the right mix of tangible and intangible characteristics to lead a group of four-wheelers on a trip that could be challenging and memorable.

It starts by being a student while on the trails. Observe how other Trail Guides lead their excursions. Scrutinize their actions, and decide how you might handle the same situations. Take notes throughout the day as you encounter the different situations.

Ask pointed questions along the way. Learn the various nuances needed to master each trail. Help fellow drivers through their challenges.

No dust up front.

Benefits of being a Trail Guide

The Trail Guide is a very rewarding position. Here is what you can expect.

  • Satisfaction from teaching a respect for the environment and the outdoors, and living an outdoor-centric ethic.
  • Satisfaction of providing perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime experience to someone who might not otherwise get the chance.
  • Providing lessons in history and geology.
  • Setting the agenda and timetable, and generally doing it your way.
  • Receiving accolades and fame for a successful run. This can be fleeting but might get you nominated for the next Trail Guide job!
  • Being in front, out of the dust.

Challenges of being a Trail Guide

 The Trail Guide is also a challenging position. Make note of these.

  • In a word, responsibility. You are responsible for ensuring a safe and – to the extent possible – enjoyable trip. A pretty heavy load, if you think about it.
  • With responsibility comes pressure to make sure all goes well. That means you don’t get lost, the vehicles come out reasonably intact, and there are no major conflicts. Stress varies with the group size, your relationship to the group (friends, club, large organization), trail difficulty, and your familiarity with the trail. Even with a small group of friends on a well-known trail, you will experience some stress. The stress is much greater on a distant trail you had no opportunity to scout in advance.
  • You are constantly on alert. You cannot relax and merely follow the vehicle in front. Know where you are at all times and how to reach designated locations like the trailhead or campsite.
  • You must exude confidence at all times. Even when concerned, try not to show it.
  • Lots of homework before the trip. It’s your responsibility to map out and scout the trail when possible. You need to determine the last place to gas up, and when and where the group will meet. You also need to decide on campsites, hotels, and a host of other details.
  • Grumbling and dissatisfaction after a poor run. Dissatisfaction can come from myriad causes. Poor management of time and not sticking to schedules without easily understood reasons will get you poor marks. So will being a “road monger.” That’s someone who pushes too hard to meet a timetable and cajoles people to get going or staying up with the pack.

Boundary Peak – tallest in Nevada

Specific skills a good Trail Guide needs

A Trail Guide should have certain skills. These include:

4WD Skills: To become a Trail Guide, you must first be an experienced driver. Experience builds your confidence – and it shows. The ability to read the terrain and pick successful lines is at the top of the list. As the lead vehicle, you do not have the benefit of watching vehicles ahead of you negotiate the obstacle. Except for very difficult situations, you’re likely to attempt the obstacle without a spotter.

A good Trail Guide is also a good teacher. He coaches drivers through tough spots. On some days, you’ll have to spot an entire group through difficult terrain. Observe how different vehicles behave. Of primary concern are wheel base, transmission type (manual, automatic) and suspension (coil springs, leaf springs, articulation).

Your vehicle must be built to a level beyond that required for the trail. Know its capabilities and limitations.

Scouting and Planning Skills: A successful ride is the result of planning and preparation along with the skills you bring. Scout the trail(s), and plan the trip thoroughly. Yes, you must do your homework.

An adventure with unexpected difficulties can still be viewed as highly successful. After all, difficulties create teamwork, camaraderie, and stories to be told.

Plan for contingencies but go with the flow. Despite your best effort, you cannot control the weather. An unseasonal cold spell or a rainstorm can make a huge difference in comfort and road conditions.

Assume there will be breakdowns. Some vehicles aren’t maintained well. But even properly maintained vehicles can suffer a breakdown. Brush up on mechanical skills, and pack tools and spare parts.

Be prepared. Have a backup campsite. Know the location of the parts store in the nearest town. Carry a spare sleeping bag for the unprepared guest. These and other contingencies can mean the difference between continuing with a trip and aborting it.

Leadership skills: The Trail Guide is the leader and the manager for the entire trip. This person sets the tone and style for the duration. You need management skills to design, plan, delegate, motivate and make decisions. You need leadership skills to communicate, establish a vision, establish trust, and generate confidence.

The leadership tools and techniques you employ will be influenced by the makeup of the group and type of trip you are leading.

Here are three situations that will influence your leadership style:

  • Leading a 4WD club may require you to specify some extra rules and be more insistent. One rule could be, “No one is allowed to pass the trail leader.” Many clubs return to the same trails year after year; members know them well. You may find it difficult to maintain control of this group. On the positive side, you can count on their knowledge and experience when help is needed.
  • An Adventure / Expedition of eight to 10 days or more can require significantly more emphasis on certain skills. The planning requirements are higher and scouting in advance may be prohibitive. Fewer details of the trip are known and contingency planning will be more generic. Your leadership can really be tested by adverse weather, poor campsite choices, poor fuel management, and vehicle maintenance issues.
  • Professional guiding – meaning you are paid – places new demands on you. Expectations will be higher. Driver experience and vehicle equipment will vary. This group is more likely to defer to your leadership, allowing for quicker decision making. However, some guests may need personal attention. You’ll have to budget your time accordingly.

Communication Skills: This takes many forms. The more people on the trip, the more time you will spend communicating with them. Communication is your primary tool for management and leadership. Communication includes written information (emails, texts, documents), verbal (tailgate meetings, campfire exchanges) and two-way radio transmissions.

Customer Skills: You are providing a service. Everyone who participates on your guided trip is a customer – yes, a customer. It makes no difference whether they pay for the service or not. Adopt a customer-focused mindset.

Bottom line: Be customer-focused. Let the customers’ safety, comfort, and success guide your decisions and behavior. You make better decisions when you view the group as customers (or guests).

Additional Skills: Knowing basic first aid is helpful. Four-wheeling is generally a safe hobby. But minor bumps, scratches, stings and burns can occur. Remember to always pack a first-aid kit.

Basic mechanical skills are also crucial. Your vehicle or someone else’s could suffer a breakdown. Your guests will look to you for leadership on resolving that issue.

Becoming a Trail Guide is a noble goal. While not for everyone, four-wheelers who obtain that status find it very rewarding. For me, being a Trail Guide is the apex of four-wheeling. If you’re inclined, commit the necessary time and effort. That’ll be a worthwhile new year’s resolution.

#    #   #


Related Articles

Did you miss the previous articles?


Some Upcoming Events (click on the link for details)

Smith Creek Reservoir

The 2021 schedule of clinics and adventures trips has been posted on the web site.

All dates are posted to our web site. You can register for any 2021 event now including Death Valley, Easter Safari, the Rubicon and others.

We cancelled most of the January classes. The pandemic is blowing up in Southern California and it felt appropriate to pause for a month. The sand class is not cancelled as yet since it is scheduled at the very end of January however, the issue of a permit to us is not assured. We are in almost daily contact with the Park.

Despite the cancellations,  we introduced a new event called Getting Started – Day 3: Putting it all together.  The purpose is to gives novice off-road drivers the opportunity to “put it all together” from their Day 1 and Day 2 clinics to gain more confidence and trail experience behind the wheel of their 4WD vehicles.  The day will begin with a brief refresher of the important safety rules, spotting commands, and best practices when caravanning.  We will then be off into the mountains guided by an experienced off-road instructor and trail leader.  We will be driving most of the day and there will be less discussion than during the Day 2 class. Since the entire day, everyone is isolated in their vehicle, we are offering the first two clinics in January.

Quick link to sign up for the new clinics:
Lucerne Valley:https://www.4x4training.com/w/product/getting-started-off-road-driving-day-3-putting-it-all-together-01-23-21-sd-area/

Mojave: https://www.4x4training.com/w/product/getting-started-off-road-driving-day-3-01-16-21-la-area/

See the entire 2021 Schedule
https://www.4x4training.com/w/2021-schedule/

February 2021
February 07, 2021 Super Bowl Club Run
February 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
February 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
February 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
February 27, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
February 28, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
February 27-28, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
February 27, 2021 Starting Rock Crawling

March 2021
March 06, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 07, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 06-07, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 12, 2021 Death Valley Adventure
March 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
March 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
March 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
March 23, 2021 San Rafael Club Run
March 29, 2021 Easter Safari

April 2021
April 10, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 11, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 10-11, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 24, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 25, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 24-25, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 24, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
April 25, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
April 24-25, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area


Wavian NATO Military Steel Jerry Can – 20L/5.3 Gallon $79.99

This is a TJ bumper made by www.Nates4x4.com that holds 2 cans flat behind the spare tire.

Order several cans now at:

https://www.4x4training.com/w/product/20l5-3-gallon-wavian-nato-military-steel-jerry-can/

Best to order these cans now. The warehouse has sold out every can they have 3 times this year due to natural disaster. People bought any color and any size just to have one right away. Half of the new supply shipped as soon as it came in due to a long waiting list. You don’t want to be caught without a gas can or forced to buy an inferior can that leaks. So get on the list, even if you need to wait.

Check out this fire test of the cans  https://youtu.be/xG6x_BoGqNY

These are the real deal and are now legal again. These cans do not leak! They are the ones I recommend. However, the penalty we have to pay to get these cans again is that every can must come with a CARB approved spout. That adds about $30 dollars to the can. Still worth it. I have cans built during WWII that still hold gasoline and do not leak. (I am not that old. I bought them surplus.)


73 KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!

Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
www.4x4training.com
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/w/contact-us.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, 4×4 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 2021, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Deck The Jeeps

Happy Holidays

Hard to believe that it’s the Christmas season already. Where did the year go? (Considering what a year it’s been, everyone is glad to get this one behind us.) But despite the pandemic, we at Badlands intend to stay in the spirit. In fact, I hope everyone in the four-wheeling world is able to find some cheer in the times.

To help with that, I wrote this little ditty. OK, I cribbed from a hit holiday tune. But I hope you appreciate the effort.

With apologies to poet Thomas Oliphant and others who have contributed to “Deck The Halls” over the years, here is my offering.

(Cue the music.)

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Deck the Jeeps with parts galore
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Tires, lights and winches more
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Don we now a new front bumper
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Troll the ancient trails and railways
Fa la la la la, la la la la

 

Mount a roof rack and swing-out bumper
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Add the lockers for better traction
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Lift kits keep us ‘bove the boulders
Fa la la la la, la la la la

While we do the Rubicon Trail
Fa la la la la, la la la la

 

Compressors keep our tires happy
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Hear the new rock sliders grinding
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Heed the advice from the Trail Leader
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Despite the snow and rain a-coming
Fa la la la la, la la la la

 

Stake the tent and douse the fire
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Bag the litter and plug the tire
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Pack the Jeep and load the gear bags
Fa la la la la, la la la la

To the sunset we go a-cruisin’
Fa la la la la, la la la laaaaaaaa!

There you have it. An ode to four-wheeling that surely will be a hit around every 4WD campfire. (Well, mine, anyway.) But who knows? This could take off and become a cult classic. And you, a fellow four-wheeler, can proudly claim to be a part of the fun and excitement expressed in those hallowed words.

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas from Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

#    #    #    #


Did you miss the previous articles?

This is a list of all 2020 article for better or worse.


Some Upcoming Events (click on the link for details)

Camping in the Sweetwater Mountains

The 2021 schedule of clinics and adventures trips has been posted on the web site.

All dates are posted to our web site. You can register for any 2021 event now except, Death Valley, Easter Safari, Rubicon trip and a few others. We are taking reservations (try the online reservation or email) now for those events and will notify you after Jan 2, 2021 when the official registration opens up.

See the entire 2021 Schedule

https://www.4x4training.com/w/2021-schedule/

January 2021
January 09, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
January 10, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA area
January 09-10, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
January 23, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
January 24, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
January 23-24, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
January 30, 2021 Sand Dune Off-Road Driving – Oceano Dunes

February 2021
February 07, 2021 Super Bowl Club Run
February 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
February 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
February 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
February 27, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
February 28, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
February 27-28, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
February 27, 2021 Starting Rock Crawling

March 2021
March 06, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 07, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 06-07, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 12, 2021 Death Valley Adventure
March 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
March 20, 2021 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
March 21, 2021 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
March 20-21, 2021 Two Day Package Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
March 23, 2021 San Rafael Club Run
March 29, 2021 Easter Safari

 


San Rafael River

San Rafael Swell Off Road Guide Book & Companion Map $38.50

We have a few books and maps left. If we mail them by December 14th they might make it before Christmas.

If you want to order one: https://www.4x4training.com/w/product/san-rafael-swell-off-road-guide-book/

At almost 300 pages, “San Rafael Swell Off Road: A Trail Guide to 42 Destinations for Automobiles, 4WD Trucks & ATVs” is a guide to the in the San Rafael Swell area of Emery County. The desert area is ringed by small towns like Price, Green River and Castle Dale.

“Every chapter includes helpful advice for novice or experienced explorers of the area, such as, “Easy dirt road for high clearance automobile, although four-wheel drive is recommended to several sandy sections along the road. “according to Ed Helmick the author.

the San Rafael Swell area of south-central Utah. This is an area that provides approximately 2,000 square miles of fantastic scenery, fascinating history, and fun off-road adventures. The only paved roads in the San Rafael Swell are Interstate 70, which bisects the Swell in an east-west direction for 67 miles, and a spur of I-70 called the Moore Cutoff. The major difference between off-roading in the Moab area and the Swell area is fewer people, and the area is more remote in regard to the distances to small towns with services. Utah towns that ring the Swell are: Price, Green River, Hanksville, Cainsville, Emery, Castle Dale, Huntington, and Cleveland.
The companion map, the National Geographic San Rafael Swell (#712) comes as a package deal with your book order.

 


73 KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
www.4x4training.com
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/w/contact-us.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, 4×4 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 2020, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.