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Updated: 16 hours 51 min ago

Top 10 Fears of New 4WD Owners

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 00:00

Top 10 Fears of New 4WD Owners
Results of Stuck forever.
(Click picture for a larger image.)

Driving off road presents a host of challenges for any driver. Four wheeling can be especially intimidating for new drivers. Those initial concerns are understandable. It takes off-road experience to build skillset and confidence.

If you’ve considered going off road but are reluctant to do so, relax. The following information should convince you take up the hobby. While you are reading this remember: in town, you can be in a pile-up as the result of other driver’s errors and actions. Off-road in almost every instance the driver made the decision and judgment that lead to his predicament.

After years of talking with new 4-wheel drive owners, here is my perception of the Top 10 Fears of newer drivers, and what to do about them.

1. Damage to a new vehicle: This is mostly cosmetic damage, and includes minor pin-striping and scrapes to bumpers. On occasion an air dam gets torn off or a license plate is bent out of shape. The skid plate will protect the undercarriage if you bottom out. I recommend you add rock sliders on the sides of the vehicle as one of your first upgrades in armor even if you only plan to do forest service roads. The first little dents “hurt” you more than the vehicle. On the bright side, you can now justify an aftermarket bumper.

It is a toss as to which of these next two is the bigger concern. I picked rolling over as the number 2 concern.

2. Rolling over: Normally another rare issue. What makes good YouTube fodder is the extreme stuff with above average risk. When it does occur, the driver is often in an extreme situation or driving recklessly. Take your time going through rough terrain and around obstacles. And avoid high risk situations. Perhaps not a comfort to you, if you do make a mistake and “roll over” - most times, the vehicle will only tip over onto a side (what we call a flop). These tend to occur while driving slowly, so damage to the vehicle is limited.

3. Stuck forever: Rarely happens. Sure you are going to get stuck sometimes. Your buddies will help you out of a jam. Most stuck situations are what we call shallowly stuck - lightly hung up on a rock or mud just up to the side walls. A quick pull a few feet by another vehicle and you are out. If you go by yourself, a winch will get you out of most situations. Of course you will avoid situations that are right on the edge of being doable. But remember to always go out with at least one other vehicle.

4. Breakdowns: They occur, but the more common issues are resolved with proper training and tools. Remember, too, that you’re likely to be with other drivers. Read some of our other articles to prepare for and deal with breakdowns. Tires are the number one problem in my opinion. Focus on learning the skills to fix tires (they are not hard) and acquire the necessary tools. Bottom line: a breakdown need not end your four wheeling trip.

5. Not knowing where to go and not knowing other drivers: The Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) produces maps that show open trails in western states. Since 2011, they provide “Off-Highway Vehicle Route Supplement” maps by Field Office sub regions. All open trails (with trail numbers) are identified. These maps do not have contour lines or other details and should be used with other maps like the BLM Surface Management Status maps.

All national forests are required to publish a “Motor Vehicle Use Map” (MVUM). The maps are little more than line drawings of the trails with trail numbers. They show the major paved road to help orient you. In California, the California Trail Users Coalition publishes maps with the MVUM over laid on more fully featured maps for $3.00. Obtain several maps so you know where to find legal trails.

Another good resource are trail guides. You can find a list of publishers on my web site www.4x4training.com/trails.html

Look for events that are open to the public. Stop by and introduce yourself. In the process, you’re likely to meet other drivers willing to hit the trails with you.

Lost a bead
(Click picture for a larger image.) 6. Breaking a bead: Also called losing a bead, this is common. This concern is warranted but easily mitigated. Four wheelers air down nearly every time they go off road. If you turn too sharp, too fast in soft stuff or against a rock, the deflated tire is likely to lose its bead. The issue sounds worse than it is, though. As you’ll learn in this article, Tire Problems Shouldn’t Deflate Your Day, the problem is easily corrected with an air compressor and jack.

7. Embarrassing yourself in front of others: Understand that everyone has to start sometime. Heck, I can recall some of my boneheaded newbie mistakes. The hope is that your fellow drivers are patient and understanding.

To build your confidence, take some introductory classes. Everyone in the class is in the same position as you, and you’ll learn together. (I offer a number of beginners’ classes.) Bear in mind that making mistakes is a part of your training. Don’t get worked up if, for example, you pick the wrong line. You’ll quickly recover, and you’ll be a smarter four wheeler as a result.

8. Lack of skill & knowledge: with all the YouTube videos available of extreme situations there is a sense that they’d be in over their heads. There is no need to jump into high risk and difficult trails. One trail book I have for Southern California list over 150 trails (representing about 1500 miles). Only 19 of them are rate above a difficulty Level of 4 (out of 10). Most of the trails take you to scenic overlooks, old ghost towns, old mines, and great camp sites. However, you need good clearance and 4-wheel drive to get there. An off-road training clinic will quickly eliminate much of the concern. There are so many trails, and such a wide variety of terrain, that you’ll easily find a path that is enjoyable and surmountable.

9. Going off camber: Official term for driving when tipped at an angle. As a newbie, being tilted over can be an unnerving experience. Even veteran drivers are uncomfortable driving off camber. Off camber isn’t a real issue until you get up around a 30-degree pitch. You’re not likely to tip over, though, unless you’re traveling fast. Go slow and control the bounce.

In my Getting Started Off-Road Driving & Safety Clinic I put students through a 30-degree pitch. They learn what it feels like and how to respond. They are less likely to freeze up while off road.

A couple tools can help you determine your angle. One is an angle finder carpenter's use, available in any hardware store. Another one, you can find at 4WD stores can be glued to the dash, it shows pitch and yaw.

10. Lack of immediate emergency services: Some 4WD areas as so remote, you’re outside the 2-hour window that normally defines urgent care response. Worse, you may be outside of cell range, as well. Some steps include:

  1. Get basic first aid training. Learn how to stabilize an injured person. Take a basic survival course, too. You may need to camp out one or more nights while waiting for help.
  2. Pack alternate forms of communication. These can include ham radio (requires a license), a satellite phone and a personal locator beacon or SPOT device.
  3. Always ride with at least one other vehicle. I can’t stress that enough. Especially while still inexperienced, don’t consider going alone to anything but the easiest trails.
I hope you have a better understanding of how to address four wheeling issues. The trails await you. Get the training you need, pack your vehicle, and then get out and enjoy the ride.

# # # #



______________________________________ End google Ad _____ -->
Palisade Glacier - Palisade Group of Mountains in Sierra Nevada Range
(Click picture for a larger image.) Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures Did you miss the previous article? Some Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)

Waiting for breakfast - Rasor OHV
(Click picture for a larger image.)

Summary of upcoming events.
  1. Oct. 24 Death Valley Adventure

  2. Nov. 01 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  3. Nov. 15 Getting Started Off-Road - San Diego area:
  4. Nov. 29 T&T Rail road Adventure

  5. Dec. 06 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  6. Dec. 07 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Mojave:
  7. Dec. 13 Getting Started Off-Road - San Diego area:
  8. Dec. 14 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Borrego Spgs:

  9. Jan. 10 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  10. Jan. 11 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Mojave:
  11. Jan. 24 Getting Started Off-Road - San Diego area:
  12. Jan. 25 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Borrego Spgs:
  13. Jan. 31 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic - Hawthorne:
########################## Death Valley October 24 - 27

This is a 4 day trip on the back roads in Death Valley. We will drive the Panamint Mountains, drive past Badwater Basin (lowest spot in North America), visit Chloride Ghost town, Titus Canyon, check out Ubehebe Crater, Teakettle junction, The Race Track & Lippencott Mine Road, camp at the Warm Springs and leave via Steal Pass up to the high meadows, then take Dedeckera Canyon down to the Eureka Sand Dunes. All four days will see some light to moderate 4-wheeling. Much of the trip is quite remote with random or no cell service. We don't plan to stop at tourist sights you can get to in a passenger car.
Check out the details and sign up on the website: http://www.4x4training.com/Adventures/Deathvalley.html
August 2013 Off-Road Adventures Magazine: Death Valley Excursion by Denis Snow

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


########################## T&T Rail Road Adventure in November

Our goal is to cross through Johnson Valley, enjoying what it has to offer, and making our way North along the old Tonopah & Tidewater (T&T) Rail Road bed to the Rasor OHV, Afton Canyon and the western edge of the Mojave Preserve. On the way we will skirt the Rodman Mountain Wilderness and cross I-40. This adventure is 2 days of scenic, historical, light wheeling and a night ( 2 if you prefer) of primitive camping under the stars. We can plan a Dutch Oven pot luck for our evening meal(or not).
Check out the details and sign up on the website: http://www.4x4training.com/Adventures/TTRailroad.html


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


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

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

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

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





Winch Recovery Bandana Order Button
Colors Orange Red Blue Natural Green Natural


Order a Basic to Advanced Winching & Recovery DVD too!


(Click picture for more details)



I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
http://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/contacts.html and follow the instructions to join our mail list.
Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information: Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2014, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Categories: Badlands Off Road Adventures

Avoid "Trail Prices" - Take Spare Parts

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 00:00

Avoid "Trail Prices" - Take Spare Parts
Need to figure out what is wrong!
(Click picture for a larger image.)

In last month’s article, Proper Storage Maximizes Space, Minimizes Down Time, we reviewed various storage methods and explained why it’s important to be neat and compact. This article goes into more detail about what you should carry.

Normally we think of in terms of basic supplies. Here we’re focusing on spare parts. Bear in mind that the farther you are from civilization, the more troublesome a breakdown can be.

Remember this important axiom of four wheeling from last month’s article:

The more difficult and more remote the trip, the more stuff you need to take.

For a day trip to the local mountains, you may only need to throw in a cooler and a warm jacket. Your buddy can run into town and bring back tools and parts. For a longer camping trip or a difficult trip like the Rubicon, you need a lot of gear and in particular spare parts.

You may wonder, what are "trail prices"? The term refers to the extra price you pay to compensate for a critical part you didn't bring along. One example is the part you had to buy from a buddy. You might pay 3 times what it cost at the auto parts store. Another example is the time needed to acquire or fabricate a part.In essence, any cost that allows you to drive off the trail under your own power.



Here are the top three areas to focus on :

  • Tires
  • Drive train
  • Electronics
Tires top the list because of all the abuse and stress they take. Of course, your vehicle comes with a spare tire. Is it in good shape and inflated to proper level? Do you have a tire repair kit? Many tire problems experienced off road can be repaired on the spot, so it’s good to review tire repair procedures. See: Tire problems shouldn’t deflate your day Stuck 3 day on Rubicon. Had to go to town for parts.
(Click picture for a larger image.)

The drive train also takes a lot of abuse. Tie rods and drag links are particularly susceptible. They hang down in front of the vehicle and are susceptible to being hit and bent, even broken. Consider buying heavy duty replacement parts. They are pricey and available only from a dealer, but you’re stuck without functioning parts. Axles, u-joints and drive shafts are at risk as well. A set of U-joints are small, easy to pack and good insurance. See Expedient Field Repair - U Joints
A complete set of front axles (inner & outer for both left and right) is a good investment if you are doing extreme and remote trails like the Rubicon.

The electronic system in today's vehicle has components and sensors for which there is no work around. The worry here is that a critical part will go out leaving you stranded. Without a spare sensor the vehicle's brain will not function. On the list of critical parts with no work around are your coil/ coil pack, fuel pump, MAP sensor, crank sensor and the starter (on automatic transmissions). Spark plugs and spark plug wires (on older vehicles) bear watching, too. Replace the set of wires if any are cracked. When you replace the wires, save the longer ones and pack them with your spare gear. If you ever need a spark plug wire while off road, you’ll have a spare.

Regular inspection, while important, won’t catch all the parts that are ready to go. Sensors are perfect examples. There’s no way to tell in advance when a sensor will fail. If your vehicle has a lot of miles on it, I encourage you to replace the sensors mentioned above, and keep the old one to bring as a spare.

Upgrade vs. Stock One big decision 4WD owners need to make after buying a vehicle is whether (and to what extent) to upgrade their vehicle. Should they swap in a heavy duty tie rod with beefier tie rod ends, for example, or leave the vehicle in stock condition? Understand that upgrading adds cost and, in the case of heavy duty tie rods, new tie rod ends might be available for purchase only from the manufacturer. Damage one on the Rubicon and you will be waiting on the Greyhound bus to deliver a part (and that is just into the closest town, not out on the trail).

There are good reasons to go either way. My suggestion is that if you decide to upgrade, keep the stock parts in your vehicle. You may discover while on the trail it is easier to convert back to stock parts than to repair.

Final route: fabricate, fix Even with a comprehensive set of spare parts, you may find that you need to fabricate or fix a certain part. Consequently, I suggest you buy and pack some additional general purpose gear. Useful spares include fuses, hoses, sealants, hose clamps, baling wire, electric wire, chain, duct tape, zip ties, ratchet straps, and the ability to weld. Install a Premier Welder under the hood. Now you’ve got a welder at your disposal, but it doesn’t take up valuable space inside your vehicle. Broken track bar
Many four wheelers have fixed a bent tie rod using the handle from a Hi-lift to reinforce the tie rod. A few track bars were fixed (just to get home) by welding two big wrenches across the broken section. A cracked axle tube was held together with chain wrapped around the lower control arms and then using the winch to take the slack out of the chain. A broken rear control arm bracket was held together with a number of ratchet straps until pavement was reached.

A mechanic’s tool set is always valuable. You don’t need a full, 200-piece set, however. Select the top tools, and store in soft-sided containers (pouches or military packs). Those will tuck nicely into nearly any spare space or crevice. Final thoughts Taking a friend on the trail with a similar vehicle doubles your spare parts. While it will not help get you off the trail, AAA's 200-mile tow plan will get your vehicle home where it is easier to work on it. And in the worst case turn the hubs to free-wheeling and drop the rear drive shaft. Yep, turn your vehicle into a trailer.

Packing spare parts may seem like a daunting task. There’s no way to know in advance which, if any parts, will crap out on you. And, you have a limited amount of space to work with.

Driving off road for decades has given me some invaluable insight; following the suggestions above will help ensure any breakdown you experience has a minimal effect on your trip.

# # # #



______________________________________ End google Ad _____ -->
Palisade Glacier - Palisade Group of Mountains in Sierra Nevada Range
(Click picture for a larger image.) Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures Did you miss the previous article? Some Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)

Salton Sea, CA
(Click picture for a larger image.)

Here is a summary of upcoming events.
  1. Sept. 27 Sand & Dunes - Pismo:

  2. Oct. 04 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  3. Oct. 05 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Mojave:
  4. Oct. 06 Winching & Recovery - Mojave:

  5. Oct. 10 Getting Started Off-Road - San Diego area:
  6. Oct. 11 OAUSA Borrego Fest & Amateur Radio Testing
  7. Oct. 12 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Borrego Spgs:

  8. Oct. 24 Death Valley Adventure

  9. Nov. 01 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  10. Nov. 15 Getting Started Off-Road - San Diego area:
  11. Nov. 29 T&T Rail road Adventure

##########################
Sand Clinic September 27, 2014 If you have been waiting for the next Sand Driving Clinic, signup now. There is only one space left. This day-long clinic will expose you to a variety of driving conditions and levels of difficulty. Driving on sand is challenging and different than dirt, so we’ll progress slowly as you learn the proper techniques. As your confidence grows, you will master increasingly more challenging dunes. Along the way you will be exposed to the beauty of SVRA and the thrill of the windswept dunes. This is a rare opportunity to cruise the only beach in California open to vehicles.
More details...



Register for the Sand Clinic using this link.

http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#SandPismo

########################## Death Valley October 24 - 27

This is a 4 day trip on the back roads in Death Valley. We will drive the Panamint Mountains, drive past Badwater Basin (lowest spot in North America), visit Chloride Ghost town, Titus Canyon, check out Ubehebe Crater, Teakettle junction, The Race Track & Lippencott Mine Road, camp at the Warm Springs and leave via Steal Pass up to the high meadows, then take Dedeckera Canyon down to the Eureka Sand Dunes. All four days will see some light to moderate 4-wheeling. Much of the trip is quite remote with random or no cell service. We don't plan to stop at tourist sights you can get to in a passenger car.
Check out the details and sign up on the website: http://www.4x4training.com/Adventures/Deathvalley.html
August 2013 Off-Road Adventures Magazine: Death Valley Excursion by Denis Snow

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


########################## Winch Clinic

This one day clinic starts with the basics. If you are considering installing a powered winch on your vehicle, or have one already but need training to learn how to get the best from it and do it safely, you need to take this class. The one day course covers: safety related issues, basic operation of the winch, simple and complex riggings, stuck assessment, winch capability, and minimizing environmental impact. This is a hands on class. By the end of the day you will be safely rigging some complex recoveries. More Details...


You can register directly for the Mojave Clinic at: http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Winch


########################## T&T Rail Road Adventure in November

Our goal is to cross through Johnson Valley, enjoying what it has to offer, and making our way North along the old Tonopah & Tidewater (T&T) Rail Road bed to the Rasor OHV, Afton Canyon and the western edge of the Mojave Preserve. On the way we will skirt the Rodman Mountain Wilderness and cross I-40. This adventure is 2 days of scenic, historical, light wheeling and a night ( 2 if you prefer) of primitive camping under the stars. We can plan a Dutch Oven pot luck for our evening meal(or not).
Check out the details and sign up on the website: http://www.4x4training.com/Adventures/TTRailroad.html


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


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

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

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

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





Winch Recovery Bandana Order Button
Colors Orange Red Blue Natural Green Natural


Order a Basic to Advanced Winching & Recovery DVD too!


(Click picture for more details)



I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
http://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/contacts.html and follow the instructions to join our mail list.
Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information: Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2014, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Categories: Badlands Off Road Adventures

Proper Storage Maximizes Space, Minimizes Down Time

Sat, 08/09/2014 - 00:00

Proper Storage Maximizes Space, Minimizes Down Time
Outstanding Camp Site!
(Click picture for a larger image.) Got a new vehicle - or new to you? After you put the lift on, bigger tires and rock sliders, you still have a major task ahead of you. How do you get all that stuff you want to take in the vehicle? Sure you can just make a big pile. The trick is how to organize it so it can be retrieved quickly (read that – move as little other stuff out of the way to put your hands on the item you want). And how can you store it safely and securely. Hit a big rock or flop your vehicle on the side, you want most (actually all!) of you gear to stay put.

We have a RULE: The more difficult and more remote the trip the more stuff you need to take. For a day trip to the local mountains, you may only need to throw in a cooler and a warm jacket. Your buddy can run into town and bring back tools and parts. For a longer camping trip or a difficult trip like the Rubicon, you need a lot of gear.

Gear Speaking of gear, we can have an impressive array of items to fit in if we plan to be self-sufficient, prepared for the abuse and risk to our vehicle; and be comfortable doing it. I suspect this is not even close to a complete list:

  1. Mechanic tools
  2. Winch kit
  3. Other Recovery items
  4. Spare parts and fluids,
  5. Camping gear
  6. Food and food preparation
  7. Cooler or refrigerator
  8. First Aid kit
  9. Fire Extinguisher
  10. Fire wood
  11. Comfort Camping stuff – shower, tent heater, and table
  12. Clothes
  13. Extra fuel & Water
  14. Radios, GPS, maps
  15. Sports equipment
Despite the fact that we are at the top of the food chain on available space (vs: motorcycles, mountain bikes, quads, backpackers), we can fill up the interior space very quickly. The problem quickly multiplies if you plan to bring someone else along. Seems they want to bring their own bag or two of stuff.

You can start with a concept well known to backpackers: Pack tools and gear that are small and compact. Understand, also, that you may have to give up some comfort. For example, can you get by without a mattress? Do you really need an onboard fridge or freezer? Actually yes! Do we really want to give up anything? Well not yet. Not until, we have blown through several iterations of “storage solutions” and proven we can’t have it all.

Outside Storage Another RULE: Anything that you can conveniently bolt on the outside of the vehicle, under the hood, or on the bumper is worth considering, because it saves space inside.

Under the hood, you ask? Sure! That’s a nice spot for an air compressor. This will not only save space inside your vehicle, it will also save setup time when you need the compressor. Certain tools, parts and fluids can be stored under the hood, as well. Be mindful of the warm temperature in there. Tape, hoses, and some fluids break down in extreme heat.

Just like lifts, tires, wheels, and armor there are a staggering number of options on the market from simple boxes to fully customized build in drawer systems.

If you have the money, now the time is ripe to finally decide on your rear bumper system. The right one can carry many items you want to get out of the interior space.

If you are not sure what you want, start with two simple items – a roof rack and a shelf.


A roof rack is a pleasure to have. Roof Rack A roof rack can get bulky, odd shaped, dirty items out of your interior space. Fire grate, BBQ, spare tire, pull pal, hi-lift, gas cans, and water cans all come to mind.

One drawback is that it can be difficult to lift and retrieve heavy objects. Bring a ladder. Get help if needed. I prefer to NOT put my Hi-lift jack on the roof rack. I will try anything to get my buddy to use his Hi-lift before attempting to bring mine off the roof rack.


This shelf is on 2x10's. Notice the orange tie downs. Shelf Next build a shelf to divide the usable space in half. Want a simple, quick and temporary solution? Place two 2x10 (or 2x8, 2x12) boards the full length of the space (tail gate to the back of the seats) and cover it with a sheet of plywood. Find a way to attach the 2x10 to the floor and glue carpet on the plywood.

Be sure and tell yourself that this is only a temporary solution. RULE: Temporary solutions tend to stick around for 5 years or more.

An unbelievable number of small bags containing heavy items can be stored under the height provided by a 2x10. This is the ideal place for tools, recovery gear, winch kit, spare parts, spare fluids, and 16 oz. propane bottles. Organize so you can retrieve your stuff easily and quickly. For example, pack the most commonly used items within reach. Lesser used items can be buried. This arrangement helps you to set up and break camp quickly and efficiently - see our article Break Camp Quickly and Efficiently .

Tie down your camping gear and other boxes on top of the shelf and you are good to go.

With a bit of thought, your shelf might even work to sleep inside the truck. Provided you don’t mind leaving a pile of gear outside at night for the bears.

Longer term, there are many manufacturers that offer products for purchase that are an improvement over this basic concept. The shelf will fit better, be lighter, and have trap doors or other unique ways to make use of space. They might even have built in drawers and sections that fold up and out of the way.

Mandatory Quick Access Make it a RULE to always have very and I mean very quick access to these five items.
  1. Shovel & Toilet paper
  2. First aid Kit
  3. Recovery Strap & D ring
  4. Go Bag
  5. Hammer (to setup your tent in the rain)

These bags store well underneath the shelf. They are small enough to dedicate each to a specific task. Bags The older design of military tool bags are a convenient and inexpensive way to store small heavy items – tools, D rings, chain, etc. If you can find one made out of nylon, grab several. Most I see today are cotton and only last a few years. They can be purchased in black, olive, brown, sand, and camo so you can use bag color to identify the one containing the gear you want. But use a sharpie to label them.

You can buy Velcro name tapes from Adventure Tool Company in Colorado. They have 20 plus labels available for about $4.00 each. I like the one labeled “MISC CRAP”. http://adventuretoolcompany.com/product/name-tapes

For a bit more investment you can buy almost any size and style of bag with the “MOLLIE” attachment system. Again these come mostly in Military colors.


Pelican Boxes come in all sizes. These are being used to store the camp kitchen. Boxes Boxes are a mainstay for packing. Use cardboard ones for a temporary solution. I favor cardboard, if the contents are only going to make the outbound trip with me. Once the contents are used up or distributed; I break the box down and gain space.

Buy Pelican boxes if you need moisture and dust protection. They can be placed on the roof or inside your vehicle. Or get the Rubbermaid Action Packer storage boxes for something more durable then cardboard. They come with handles that clamp the lid down and in sizes to match any need.

Build your own wooden boxes that meet your needs. You can buy custom boxes that provide security in addition to a sliding drawer -like the Tuffy security drawer boxes. Be careful if you go to the Tuffy site - they have a lot of cool items.

There are quite a few solutions for a “grub” or “chuck box" on the market also.

Effective Use As a RULE, I find it takes 3 trips to find the best way to pack my gear with any new storage solution. Each time I break camp and repack, I discover a better way to fit it all in. In fact, I get efficient enough to add more gear next time. My friend Montego made a suggestion many years ago. He said: on that day everything fits perfectly take a picture. Take a picture from the tail gate as packed. Unpack the first layer and take another picture. Unpack the next layer & take a picture. Now you have a record to recreate the perfect pack every time.

Your 4WD vehicle is more than just a vehicle. It is in fact one big storage bin. Like traditional storage containers, it has limitations. But it also has one distinct advantage: it can hold items on the outside. With proper planning, you can maximize the amount of gear you take, yet still manage all those supplies in a fast and efficient manner.

# # # #



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Palisade Glacier - Palisade Group of Mountains in Sierra Nevada Range
(Click picture for a larger image.) Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures Did you miss the previous article? Some Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)

Salton Sea, CA
(Click picture for a larger image.)

Here is a summary of upcoming events.
  1. August 11 Rubicon Trail Adventure

  2. Sept. 06 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  3. Sept. 07 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Mojave:
  4. Sept. 27 Sand & Dunes - Pismo:

  5. Oct. 04 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  6. Oct. 05 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Mojave:
  7. Oct. 06 Winching & Recovery - Mojave:
  8. Oct. 10 Getting Started Off-Road - San Diego area:
  9. Oct. 12 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Borrego Spgs:
  10. Oct. 13 Winching & Recovery - Borrego Spgs:
  11. Oct. 24 Death Valley Adventure

##########################
Sand Clinic September 27, 2014 If you have been waiting for the next Sand Driving Clinic, put it on your calendar for next month September 27th and sign up now. This day-long clinic will expose you to a variety of driving conditions and levels of difficulty. Driving on sand is challenging and different than dirt, so we’ll progress slowly as you learn the proper techniques. As your confidence grows, you will master increasingly more challenging dunes. Along the way you will be exposed to the beauty of SVRA and the thrill of the windswept dunes. This is a rare opportunity to cruise the only beach in California open to vehicles.
More details...



Register for the Sand Clinic using this link.

http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#SandPismo

########################## Death Valley October 24 - 27

This is a 4 day trip on the back roads in Death Valley. We will drive the Panamint Mountains, drive past Badwater Basin (lowest spot in North America), visit Chloride Ghost town, Titus Canyon, check out Ubehebe Crater, Teakettle junction, The Race Track & Lippencott Mine Road, camp at the Warm Springs and leave via Steal Pass up to the high meadows, then take Dedeckera Canyon down to the Eureka Sand Dunes. All four days will see some light to moderate 4-wheeling. Much of the trip is quite remote with random or no cell service. We don't plan to stop at tourist sights you can get to in a passenger car.
Check out the details and sign up on the website: http://www.4x4training.com/Adventures/Deathvalley.html
August 2013 Off-Road Adventures Magazine: Death Valley Excursion by Denis Snow

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


########################## Winch Clinic

In October, you have 2 chances to attend a Winch recovery Clinic - October 6th near Mojave CA and October 13th near Borrego Springs, CA. This one day clinic starts with the basics. If you are considering installing a powered winch on your vehicle, or have one already but need training to learn how to get the best from it and do it safely, you need to take this class. The one day course covers: safety related issues, basic operation of the winch, simple and complex riggings, stuck assessment, winch capability, and minimizing environmental impact. This is a hands on class. By the end of the day you will be safely rigging some complex recoveries. More Details...


You can register directly for the Mojave Clinic at: http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Winch

Or
for the Borrego Springs Clinic at:
http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#WinchBorrego


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

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

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

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





Winch Recovery Bandana Order Button
Colors Orange Red Blue Natural Green Natural


Order a Basic to Advanced Winching & Recovery DVD too!


(Click picture for more details)



I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
http://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/contacts.html and follow the instructions to join our mail list.
Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information: Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2014, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Categories: Badlands Off Road Adventures

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OAUSA 2014 Calendar & Ham Radio Test Dates


OAUSA will host 4 events this year.  At each event we conduct Amateur Radio testing for all levels.  When highlighted, you can click on the title below for specific information concerning both the event and the testing.

OAUSA Ham Radio Net


Our weekly Amateur Radio Net is held every Thursday evening at 7:30.  You may access the Net as follows:

  • Anywhere in the US via the Western Reflector at IRLP node 9251
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  • In the Portlad OR area via the W7RAT repeater at 440.400, 123.0 (-)
  • In the Orange County, CA area via the BARN System Repeater at 447.540, 100.0, (-)
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  • In the Denver CO area via the N0PQV Repeater at 145.340, 103.5, (-)
  • In Phoenix, AZ area via KC7GHT Repeater ar 447.575, 151.4, (-)
  • Via Echolink - connect to *World* (Ref: IRLP 9251)

All Amateurs are welcome.  If you would like your local repeater linked to the Nets, just drop us a line by using the contact us button at the top of this page.

 

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