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Updated: 7 hours 30 min ago

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.

# # # #



______________________________________ 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. 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

Combination Of Self-Sufficiency, Generosity Ensure Successful 4 x 4 Experience

Sun, 06/15/2014 - 00:00

Combination Of Self-Sufficiency, Generosity Ensure Successful 4 x 4 Experience
Photo by Chris Laskowski
(Click picture for a larger image.) Maybe you never caught a touchdown pass. Maybe you never rescued a damsel in distress but if you 4-wheel you can be a hero to someone. If that someone came ill prepared for the excursion you can stepped forward to help out with extra gear.

Four wheelers know that preparation is key. Each driver must account for his or her own needs. But the real gentlemen in our hobby go above and beyond: The try to anticipate what may occur and pack extra supplies accordingly.

All trips entail a certain amount of group dynamics. Personalities play a part, of course. But preparation--or the lack thereof--can be a factor, too. If the trip is short, you probably won’t have any issues. On a longer trip, something as simple as a shortage of basic gear can cause friction and conflicts. You and the others can minimize or eliminate these by packing extra gear.

Off-road tools and gear to pack When deciding what additional items to pack, think of basic needs. Space permitting, I suggest you bring extra gas, blankets (or a sleeping bag) and radios. Don’t worry about trying to pack for everyone. Even one extra blanket can come in handy.

If space is limited, focus on smaller items. Some of the more valuable ones include batteries, rope, band aids, aspirin, ibuprofen, tire plugs, tin foil, toilet paper, garbage bags, Ziploc bags, and tent stakes.

While gas is always in demand, you may not have extra room. If your vehicle holds only two containers and those are spoken for (one each for gas and water, for example), don’t sweat it. Concentrate on smaller items.

Having this extra gear has as much a physical effect as a psychological one. Drivers are more focused and less worried about their gas situation when the tank gets low. Therefore, I always recommend bringing an extra 5 gallons of gas, even if you don’t need it. The additional gas provides peace of mind, and adds a dimension to your excursion: You could take an unplanned side trip along the way.

Similarly, a cold, restless night can really spoil the trip for a participant. That person’s demeanor can affect the entire group. Your extra blanket or sleeping bag can make a big difference.

Bear in mind that four wheeling naturally requires a certain amount of self-sufficiency. You should put a lot of thought and preparation into each trip.

Should you divvy up the gear among your drivers? That may sound logical, but it can cause some serious problems.

First is that the group may have only one of a particular item (say, a stove). If that breaks or the owner gets separated from the group, the other drivers will be forced to compensate.

Another drawback is that everyone in the group then starts relying on the others for gear. As I mentioned above, four wheelers are naturally self-sufficient. If you’re going to participate, you must be able to handle your own basic needs. What would you do, for example, if you got separated or stranded?

Another possibility is that you have to bifurcate your group. Drivers with certain skills or interests go in one direction, while the rest remain on the established route. (In extreme cases—say, due to severe weather or other dangerous situations—you may need to split up your group.) If gear is divided up among the vehicles, each group is going to be short of a number of items.

Bring the gear even if you’re not skilled Some guys wonder whether they should bring a piece of equipment that they can’t use (or use very well) themselves. I always recommend that they do. Even if that person isn’t very adept with the tool, another driver may be. Having that piece of equipment on hand could mean the difference between a successful trip and one that ends early.

Due to the punishing nature of four wheeling, various parts can break on a vehicle during the trip. Someone with welding skills is a real asset to the group. You may not be skilled at welding, but you can still pack the necessary supplies.

Believe it or not, it is possible to weld with two 12v batteries and some jumper cables. (Eye and face protection are crucial, too.) Another useful tool is an axle nut socket. Got one laying around? Throw it in your vehicle before the next trip. If anyone breaks an axle along the way, you’ll be considered a hero.

While you cannot be responsible for anyone else’s careless attitude and you can’t possibly foresee every issue that may arise, you can mitigate many problems with a little more planning. Carrying some extra gear you can give or lend to a teammate can improve the 4 x 4 experience for everyone.

# # # #



______________________________________ End google Ad _____ -->
Mojave Desert
(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)

Garfield Flats, NV
(Click picture for a larger image.)

Here is a summary of upcoming events.
  1. July 12 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  2. July 13 Basic to Advanced Winching Clinic
  3. July 19 Starting Rock Crawling - Lucerne Valley:
  4. July 26 Wine Safari Adventure

  5. August 02 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  6. August 03 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Mojave:
  7. August 04 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic - Mojave
  8. August 11 Rubicon Trail Adventure

##########################
Wine Safari July 26 We have a big event coming up in July - The Wine Safari! We let our Wine Master have the last two summers off but it is time for her to go back to work. The Wine Safari is just next month so put it on your calendar and sign up now.





Don't miss the Wine Safari. Click here for all details.
Our Wine Master will have a whole new bunch of bottles and some old favorites to taste. Make it a get-away weekend. Camp with us or stay in a local motel.




Register now.
http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#wine.

########################## Rubicon Trail Adventure August 11- 14, 2014
Since we are talking about big events and planning, you should consider, signing up for one of the Rock Crawling clinics. They are good practice and will help you shake down your rig for the Rubicon trip. There is one in June and one in July.

I would like to know if you are planning or thinking about going on the Rubicon.

Here are more details on the Rubicon trip



And here are the two rock classes.
  1. June 14 Starting Rock Crawling - Lucerne Valley:

  2. July 19 Starting Rock Crawling - Lucerne Valley:


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.
#####
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Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information: Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2014, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Categories: Badlands Off Road Adventures

This Week's Net topic


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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
  • In the Southern California area via the Keller Peak Repeater (KE6TZG) at 146.385, (+), 146.2
  • In the San Diego, CA area via the W6ZN Repeater at 449.300, 100.0, (-)
  • 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, (-)
  • In the Santa Rosa, CA area via the W6SON Repeater at 441.375, 123.0, (+)
  • In Las Vegas, NV via the N7ARR Repeater at 447.000 123(-)
  • In Pahrump, NV via the N7ARR Repeater at 449.750, 123, (-)
  • In the Denver CO area via the W0WYX Repeater at 146.340, 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.

 

View a list of upcoming Net Topics.