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Updated: 2 hours 36 min ago

Create Your 4-Wheel Drive Résumé

Sun, 01/03/2016 - 00:00
Create Your 4-Wheel Drive Résumé
Early realization that it is time to update that 4WD résumé!

Photo - by Art Marquis
(Click picture for a larger image.) The new year is a time for new resolutions (lose weight, exercise more, tidy up the garage, and so forth). Those are good, but there’s one item that also deserves a new look: your résumé. Specifically, to what extent do you mention your four wheeling experience?

Even if you have no plans to change jobs, now is a good time to revisit your résumé. You’re under no pressure, so you can give it careful consideration. Plus, as we say in four wheeling, it’s always better to be prepared. With economic conditions as they are, you may be looking for work sooner than expected.

If nothing else, updating your résumé gets you thinking more about the value of your 4WD skills. Even if you don’t present your résumé to your boss, you can mention your skills and experience. Doing so could help you advance in your firm.

Numerous positions make use of 4WD experience. Outdoors work is a natural. Occupations include geologists, environmentalists, land survey guys and forest rangers. First responders are another group. They go off-road on occasion, but also drive in treacherous terrain caused by storms and other disasters.

Are you nearing retirement? Perhaps you enjoyed a career in the military and now would like some kind of job that involves four wheeling. That could be in construction; the oil and gas industries; consulting for those types of industries; and training and teaching.

I presume your résumé already has relevant scientific or management information. Listing your 4WD experience can put you ahead of others with similar backgrounds. Include some or all of the following categories in a sequence that emphasizes your strengths:

4WD education: Schools, clinics/classes, certificates earned, driver license endorsements (for example class A)

Relevant work history: Of course the who, what, when but identify how you made a contribution in terms of results and value to your employer/client

Technical skills: Proficiency with winching, recovery/towing, map reading, vehicle repair/build (be specific: “Removed a 249 t-case from a Jeep Grand Cherokee and replaced it with a 242 t-case”), trails you’ve driven (include trail ratings).

Racing: Identify participation and successes racing. The skills and knowledge needed to be successful may be of value to prospective clients and employers.

Management skills: As a trail leader (where and when), trips you organized and the planning that was involved, as an instructor, classes developed & lead

Related qualifications/certifications: Ham radio operator, first aid / first responder certification, articles published

Professional Affiliations: Association/club membership(s), awards earned

Miscellaneous: Relevant vehicles you’ve owned, driven, or are more than causally acquainted

This section could get lengthy, and may push your résumé to two pages. That’s OK, as long as the information is relevant. Remember to focus on the position you’re applying for (or have now). Four wheeling experience is just icing on the cake.

Preparation is important for all activities. At a minimum, updating your résumé will force you to consider more thoroughly what you’ve accomplished as a four wheeler and the value that experience has for you. You might also identify additional training you can use. Dust off your résumé, and dive in.

[BTW – if 4-wheeling is just a passion for you, creating your 4WD resume is fun and might just tie into your bucket list.]
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Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures Did you miss the previous article? Here are all the 2015 articles. Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)
Red Pass, Death Valley - looking NW in the Grapevine Mountains.
Our DV trip is scheduled for April 8, 2016.
(Click picture for a larger image.) Summary of upcoming events.

Easter Safari Moab, UT March 21, 2016
Metal Masher Trail
(Click picture for a larger image.)
Sign up for Easter Safari March 21 – March 25, 2016 It seems a long ways away, but all the trail rides are assigned on a first come first served basis. The date to sign up for trail is January 19, 2016 this year.

Hotels, RV parks and camp grounds need to be reserved this month. They are all close to being sold out.

So if you think you might want to go to the Easter Safari this year with Badlands Off-Road Adventures, you need to call us right away and get on the list.

Once we have your registration, we can also tell you which trails to sign up for.


A few pictures: http://4x4training.com/images/Moab/Moabpicture.html


Check out http://4x4training.com/Adventures/EasterSafari/EJSMain.html

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







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 2016, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

What Kind Of 4WD Vehicle Do I Need?

Wed, 12/09/2015 - 00:00
What Kind Of 4WD Vehicle Do I Need?
This is an option too!

(Click picture for a larger image.) I often get asked, particularly by those new to 4WD, which vehicle to buy. Meaning, of course, which brand and model. I don’t like to recommend particular brands and models. As you’ll see, there are too many personal variables that affect the buying process. But I can help you with the decision making process by structuring and identify the questions you need to answer.

An important question to ask yourself is, “What will I use it for?” For most 4WD owners, off-road use represents just a small percentage of their driving. Most is done on paved roads. Imbedded in this question is an issue that I will call the Four Wheeler’s Conundrum: Because you’re new, you don’t know what you don’t know. That is, you don’t know at this stage what your long-term needs will be and what direction four wheeling will take you.

It takes time off-road to determine what types of driving you’ll ultimately want to do. It may take a year or two for you to decide that. See also: "Help! I’m Stuck in an Endless Circle of Indecision” .

Your best estimation at the time of purchase is the best place to start.

Bottom line: assume that your vehicle will evolve over time. You may even trade up after getting some experience under your belt. This is a very fluid hobby.

Other Questions Start by answering these additional questions. It will help you make that decision:
  • How much you want or can afford to spend?
  • Do you want new or used? I generally recommend used. First, a used vehicle is cheaper. It might come with some modifications already- Score! And a scratch now and then on the trail is not a big deal. The money you saved can be used to make changes.
  • How frequently will you drive it off road vs on paved roads? Will it be a daily driver? That will affect your decision on fuel economy, tire tread pattern, and other modifications.
  • How many passenger do you need to take? How much cargo space you need, for camping, overlanding, etc.? Clearly, if you take the family you need a larger vehicle. But you also need to look at the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This is the maximum weight capability including passengers and cargo. Subtract the curb weight of the vehicle from GVWR and you have the weight you can add for passengers, cargo, and armor (skid plates, etc.).
  • Do you want to sleep inside the vehicle?
  • How much you want to invest in build-up. This can be difficult to determine, but give it a good guess. For a used vehicle, figure you will invest the same amount as the purchase price in modifications. For a brand new vehicle, plan about 1/3 of the purchase price. Remember that this can be over time, making it easier on your budget.
  • Do you expect to make modifications? Some vehicles adapt better to modifications than others. Older vehicles may also have more aftermarket suppliers to choose from. No matter what type of four wheeling you plan, rock sliders are a worthwhile improvement right away to protect the investment in your vehicle. So before you buy the vehicle, check for rock sliders suppliers. Custom work is expensive.
  • Do you expect to trailer the vehicle or drive it to and from the trail? Motor homes (RVs) have towing weight restrictions. Make sure you don’t buy too heavy of a vehicle.
  • Conversely, will the 4WD vehicle need to tow a trailer? Perhaps you want to tow an adventure trailer or off-road tear drop trailer. A small utility trailer might solve the space issue for a large family outing.
  • If you plan to join a 4-wheel drive club, find out what most of the club members drive. Your vehicle should be at least in the middle of the “pack” on capability.
  • What security needs do you have? A pickup will have a high GVWR which is attractive. But you may need to make accommodations to protect items in the open bed from theft, snow, rain, etc.
  • And you want the best approach, departure, and break over angles you can get. With all the other constrains to balance and compromise, this is one that can be improved after you buy it. It just requires money!
Modifications OK, so you’ve settled on a particular vehicle. Now it’s time to modify. That process can be maddening, too. If it’s a new vehicle, the after-market guys may not be producing parts yet. Or, they don’t make ‘em for your vehicle. Keep in mind that those manufacturers focus on parts that will sell. If your vehicle (or model) isn’t popular with four wheelers, you may find it difficult to get gear at a store near you. In that case, check out the forums for your vehicle. Others may have found a vendor.

An example might be a pickup trucks. It can be tough to find rock rails for many standard pickups. That’s why it’s critical to buy the right kind of vehicle up front. (You can still buy a pickup—they are useful—you may just not have as many choices.)

Bear in mind that a change in one part of your vehicle may involve modifications elsewhere. For example, installing larger tires may require changing the ring and pinion in the differential. In addition to the cost of the parts, you’re looking at additional labor (from you or someone else). But that’s normal for 4WD vehicles. Incidentally, if in your deepest heart you want big tires (35” or 37”), don’t compromise now. You will always want them! It is cheaper in the long run.

Every step entails some compromise. The biggest compromise is a financial one. As my daddy used to say, “If you can buy your way out, you don’t’ have a problem.” But very few of us are blessed with deep pockets. Not only do you compromise, but you adapt as time goes on. Your vehicle evolves as your needs and resources allow.

My Personal List Here are some features that I look for in a 4WD vehicle:
  1. Something I can afford without taking out a loan. This kind of rules out a new show room model!
  2. 4 doors. I like the convenience of access with 4 doors. I will likely take the back seats out.
  3. Solid axles front and rear. It is getting more and more difficult to find a new vehicle with a solid front axle. An IFS axle works fine but is weaker than a solid axle in the factory version and a bit more expensive for the lift kit than solid axles.
  4. These first 3 features really cut down the possible vehicles. But add in the next one and it really shrinks.
  5. Body on a solid frame - Holds up better long-term than a unibody. I’ve had more maintenance issues with unibody frames.
  6. Fuel-injected engine - Won’t stall on a steep hill like a carbureted engine does. So I am not going to be looking for a classic!
  7. Coil springs on all four corners for better articulation. However, the linkage on coil springs is more complex and is more prone to wear and tear.
  8. Automatic transmission. This is mostly a personal preference. I feel it is easier to learn off-road in an automatic. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. You can get compression breaking with an automatic, but it will never be as effective as a manual. On the other hand, the auto will hold you part way up a hill without stalling.
As you can see, a lot of factors go into a buying decision. Start with a vehicle you like and one that includes most of the features you seek. Modify a bit to get you off road, then adapt later on as needed. The key is to get behind the wheel and enjoy the trails.


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Happy Holidays!

(Click picture for a larger image.)

As the year ends our thoughts turn to the joy of the Christmas
season and anticipation of a new year. From our house to yours,
we extend a warm Happy Holidays. We wish you safe travels this
holiday season, and hope that the new year brings you many good blessings.
May the friendships we have developed continue for years to come.











Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures Did you miss the previous article? Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)
Red Pass, Death Valley - looking NW in the Grapevine Mountains
(Click picture for a larger image.) Summary of upcoming events.

Christmas

If you need a stocking stuffer for a 4-wheeler, order a Winching DVD and Winching Bandana. (links are in a section at the end here.)

A trailhead deflator set and the UTP Tire plug kit fit very nicely in a stocking too!

If you are looking for a BIG gift for someone that they may not buy for themselves order a Pull Pal. The RW11000 with a case is the size most of us need.

Easter Safari Moab, UT March 21, 2016
Metal Masher Trail
(Click picture for a larger image.)
Sign up for Easter Safari March 21 – March 25, 2016 It seems a long ways away, but all the trail rides are assigned on a first come first served basis. The date to sign up for trail is January 19, 2016 this year.

Hotels, RV parks and camp grounds need to be reserved this month. They are all close to being sold out.

So if you think you might want to go to the Easter Safari this year with Badlands Off-Road Adventures, you need to call us right away and get on the list.

Once we have your registration, we can also tell you which trails to sign up for.


A few pictures: http://4x4training.com/images/Moab/Moabpicture.html


Check out http://4x4training.com/Adventures/EasterSafari/EJSMain.html

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







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 2015, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Things to Know About Your Vehicle

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 00:00
Things to Know About Your Vehicle
Bend down and identify the 3 lowest points in the front.

(Click picture for a larger image.)
Four wheeling naturally involves an orderly process. Driving through difficult terrain far from home is demanding on drivers and their vehicles. Just like driving on roads, you need a lot of hours behind the wheel to become adept off road. Many of my articles are dedicated to reviewing various aspects of four wheeling. This column reviews several more important fundamentals that can be helpful if you are just starting four wheeling.

1. Shift into and out of 4L (4 low) properly. It’s easy to forget this step while maneuvering through rough terrain. It’s quite simple, but you can mess up your transfer box pretty good if you don’t follow this suggestion.

Bring your vehicle to a stop (or near stop), and shift the transmission into neutral. Then you can safely and easily shift into 4L. Shift the transmission back into drive, and continue on. Repeat when you need to shift out of 4L. Most of the newer vehicles with electronic selection of 4 low will let you turn the knob but it will not be in 4 low unless you start with the transmission in neutral. If you overlook the flashing light on the dash and press on thinking you are in 4L, you will likely get stuck. Those vehicles with levers will grind or be extremely difficult if not impossible to engage into 4L. Unless you have a classic "collectors" vintage 4-wheel drive vehicle with the older all-gear transfer case, I would take it back to the dealer if you cannot shift into 4 low from a dead stop. If you get stuck while driving in 4 high (like sand dunes), many times you can drive out by shifting to 4 low. Then you have enough power to turn the wheels. You are stuck, so moving the vehicle as a requirement to shift into 4 low is not an option! Electronic shifting transfer cases may need a bit of movement to engage. Hopefully on your vehicle that requires just that slight bump you get to shift from neutral to drive.

One side note: You can shift from 2 wheel drive (2H) to 4 High and back again "on the fly." This means you can shift while driving at any speed. I have done it at 70 MPH with no ill effect. Check your owner’s manual for their suggestion on the top speed - most likely 50 MPH. Vehicles are getting more and more complicated and there may be a reason to limit the top speed for shifting on the fly.

2. Know your vehicle’s lowest points of clearance. As you approach obstacles, paint a mental picture of your vehicle’s low points. Use that knowledge to navigate around (or over) the obstacles without getting hung up. We recommend picking the 3 lowest spots on the front axle and the 3 lowest on the rear axle. You can do more but it becomes difficult to process it all in real time. Whether you have solid axles front and rear or independent front suspension makes a difference.

On a solid axle, the lowest point is the bottom of the differential. That’s usually only 9 inches off the ground. The front differential also gives you a low point, but it’s not in line with the rear differential. Note which side it is on. The other low points (front and back) are the shock mounts or control arms that hold the axle into position.

In an independent front suspension vehicle, the back is the same as with a solid axle. However, up-front the lowest points are just inside each wheel. The center of the vehicle is pretty flat and doesn’t present any low points. But don't line up the center in front with a 12" rock. The rear diff with not clear it.


Plan your line but also plan your contingency skills 3. Where your front wheels are. Most drivers have a pretty good idea of where the left tire is, but are usually off a foot or two regarding the right. It is critical while off-road that you can place your tires exactly on the obstacle as you planned even when the obstacle disappears into your blind spot.

Have someone place their hand on the front face of the right front tire and lift it straight up until you can see where that point is on the hood. It can be helpful, too, if they locate the center line of the tire and show you the point on the hood that is the intersection of the centerline and front face of the tire. Remember the spots.

If you are really having difficulty remembering the spot, we can put "training wheels" on (so to speak). Get a small telescoping magnet from the auto store and put the magnet on the spot with the handle straight up. Then practice, practice, practice until you can place the front tires exactly where you want - almost every time.

4. Know your blind spots. Speaking of blind spots, the most important one is out front. On average, the front blind spot extends about 17 feet from the face of your left front tire. (Add 12 to 18 inches more distance for the right tire.) You can reduce this distance as much as 3 to 5 feet by doing what I call "active" looking. That means leaning forward as much as possible and stretching your neck out.

Three factors influence the size of the blind spot: how tall you are, how your seat is positioned, and the design of your vehicle. You cannot do much about the vehicle design or your height, but you can change the seat. Lift it up and bring the seat back forward. If your seat does not have adjustments for height, have the seat mounts modified to permanently raise it a few inches.

Remember that as you approach a rock, it will eventually enter your blind spot. Now you see (no pun intended) why it’s useful to know where your tires are, as well as your low points.

5. Throttle control while in 4 low. The first time in low range, a driver’s instinct is to push the accelerator like you normally do. Low range has a lot of torque and power so this causes the vehicle to leap forward. The driver backs off on the gas. Due to the low gearing, the vehicle slows down immediately - too slow now. The driver hits the gas again, with the result being a jerky motion.

For 4 wheel drive, you need a nice, smooth throttle. Remind yourself that when in 4L, apply lighter pressure to the accelerator. Over time you’ll educate your right leg. For more on the effect of a smooth throttle (or lack of), see the article on "Cobblestone" .

6. Fuel usage. Because your mileage drops while off road, especially in 4L, it’s good to calculate your off-road fuel mileage. You’ll find that mileage drops anywhere from 2 to 5 mpg while off-road. Of course, that affects your range based on the fuel in your vehicle’s tank. But remember you also bring along a spare fuel can. (You do, don’t you?!)

Assume you bring a 5 gal gas can. At 10 mpg, that gas will get you 50 miles. At 15 mpg, you’ll go for 75 miles, and so forth.

Compute Off-Road Mileage: Fuel up as close to the trail head as possible. Gas up again afterward, and calculate your fuel mileage. Your off-road driving involved a combination of 4L and 4H, but at least you’ll have a reasonable average to work with later. Sounds to me like a legitimate reason for a day of 4-wheeling. "Dear, I am going 4-wheeling. Tom says I have to compute my off-road mileage. I don't want to risk your and the kids' safety by running out of gas."

7. Rehearse your contingency steps. Many obstacles require you to get out of the vehicle and recon (look at / walk) the terrain. That is how you avoid falling off a cliff you can't see from behind the wheel. It gives you more time to plan the line you want to take and asses the risks. Add to that planning what steps you will take if results on the ground do not go as planned. If you plant it in your mind in advance the specific skills you will use on this obstacle, you can react quickly. My favorite contingency is - stop, back out (if you can) and recon again.

Another example: You are looking down a steep, off camber, rutted slope. It appears to have good traction, but you're concerned that your wheels might slide. If so, you'd turn sideways and roll over. If you still feel the risk is not high enough to turn around, your contingency plan might be: If the wheels start to slide, I am going to let up on the foot brake pressure. If the wheels are still sliding, I'll power up enough to gain control and take any lumps from hitting the bottom too fast.

At first glance, these tips may appear daunting. You probably wonder how you’ll remember it all, especially the vehicle’s low points. Over time these will become second nature. As you drive a trail, your brain will work through the various processes and steps, and you will automatically perform these steps. The result will be a more enjoyable off-road experience.


##########################

Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures Did you miss the previous article? Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)
Mojave Lower Desert, CA
(Click picture for a larger image.) Summary of upcoming events.

You should be thinking about signing up for the Easter Safari in Moab, UT. The event is in late March. But we need to sign up for the trails in January and you should book your hotel rooms now if there are any left.

The 2016 schedule of events (as we know it today) has been populated on the web site. Since we are planning these events anywhere from 5 months to 17 months in advance, there are times when we have to make some adjustments.

New for 2016 is a Women-Only Getting Started Clinic in February.
We are bringing back The Wilderness First Aid Clinic (WFA). This is a 2 days class that will be held at Hungry Valley SVRA.

And there is still time to sign up for the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad Adventure just after Thanksgiving.

########################## 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 of primitive camping under the stars.
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)













Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holiday. The time off gives me a chance to reflect on family, friends, guests, and clients. Among the many things I am thankful for is a successful year for Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Thank you for being a loyal client and faithful member of the off-road nation. May you have many more happy wheeling days ahead. All the best this Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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 2015, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Beware Flash Floods

Fri, 10/23/2015 - 00:00
Beware Flash Floods
Just a trickle now but a wall of water is coming!

Four wheelers who drive throughout the desert southwest are quite accustomed to tough conditions. Not just terrain, either: The heat can be brutal. Encountering a flash flood is probably the last thing on your mind. But it can happen, and the results can be tragic.

A deadly flood in Zion National Park, Utah, last month is a sobering reminder of that hazard. The flood, which tore through Keyhole Canyon, claimed the lives of seven. Granted, those individuals were on foot, but flash floods affect vehicles, too, even 4,000 – 5,000 lb. four wheelers.

Forecasters are saying that the El Niño phenomenon will be particularly strong this winter. That heightens the chance for moisture throughout the West, including the desert areas.

You’re probably thinking: “A flash flood in a desert? C’mon, Tom!” Yes, they are possible, in the right areas. But also in mountainous terrain, which should be apparent.

Four wheelers, accustomed to driving in tough conditions, figure they can just plow through that water. Not a chance. Don’t even think about it. Water only two feet deep can float your vehicle. Your wheels may still be touching, but you won’t have good traction.

Be careful while hiking, too. Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet. If you can’t wade through, don’t try driving through. Remember this maxim:


(Image courtesy of US Forest Service)
Turn Around. Don’t Drown. Of course, flash floods aren’t confined to remote areas. Urban communities across the country suffer floods frequently. One big difference off road is that the threat isn’t always very apparent.

You could be camping, driving or hiking on a bright sunny day. Unbeknownst to you, a storm is raging in the mountains several miles away. Eventually a trickle shows up on that nearby wash. You think nothing of it. Minutes later, the water is cascading down, getting deeper by the moment. You may have only minutes to find an escape route.

This is why I always recommend moving out when water appears in a wash or a nearby stream. That stream could gain new life and momentum. Soon, a flood is roaring down on you.

As with any trip, preparation helps you avoid disaster. Check the weather forecast before and, if possible, during your trip. If the park has a website and Facebook page, monitor those, too. Zion National Park posts weather advisories on its Facebook page when appropriate.

Pack a weather radio and, if you’re a ham radio operator, your radio gear. Cell phones are OK, but coverage is spotty in the wild. Consider buying a satellite phone. You can learn more about communications options in Communications equipment is critical for off-road driving.

It’s also good to know the various warnings that the weather service issues, including flood advisory and flash flood warning. Read more about those here .

If near a wash, stream or river, always take a moment to plan an escape route. Don’t wait for disaster to strike. You won’t be able to think clearly, and you may end up downstream. If a trickle of water appears, move to higher ground. That might mean simply climbing up on a rock or hiking away. Leave your vehicle and your gear. Those can be replaced.

Rapidly changing weather is nothing new to seasoned 4WD enthusiasts. Flash flooding in normally dry areas may be hard to imagine, but it does happen. Don’t try to fight it. Odds are the water will win, which means you’ll lose.
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Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures Did you miss the previous article? Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)
Mojave Lower Desert, CA
(Click picture for a larger image.) Summary of upcoming events.
The 2016 schedule of events (as we know it today) has been populated on the web site. Since we are planning these events anywhere from 5 months to 17 months in advance, there are times when we have to make some adjustments.

New for 2016 is a Women-Only Getting Started Clinic in February.
We are bringing back The Wilderness First Aid Clinic (WFA). This is a 2 days class that will be held at Hungry Valley SVRA.

We cancelled the October trip to Death Valley due to flash floods throughout the park.

"Death Valley has received over one year's worth of rain over the past 14 days. All roads within the park except CA 190 and NV 374 are closed. Over 1,000 miles of road are closed. Millions of dollars in flood damage will take months to repair."
- Death Valley Face book.

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

In early November, We will be attending SEMA again in Vegas. ########################## 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 of primitive camping under the stars.
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.

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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 2015, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.