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News and Information from Badlands Off-Road Adventures

Tom Severin

Items That Don’t Belong on a 4WD Trip

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll recall that I often stress the virtues of proper packing for your 4WD trip. Having the right gear and supplies can make or break a four-wheeling experience. At the same time, taking the wrong stuff can be bad for you, your vehicle and the environment. What kinds of items am I talking about? The following list will get you started. The categories showcase the issue.

Environmental Responsibility:

  • Glass beer bottles: From the evidence I’ve seen, beer drinking can lead to irresponsible behavior. Empty bottles are tossed on the ground or into the fire pit. Broken glass litters the campground, which is a real hazard. If you want to drink beer, bring aluminum cans (and make sure you recycle).
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Tom Severin

Go Exploring

I speak a lot about being fully prepared for the 4WD experience. Knowing where you’re going, what you’ll need along the way, and when you’ll be back. That’s all well and good. But sometimes a little adventure is called for. You yearn to try something new. To go out exploring (overlanding, as four-wheelers call it).

You still need to prepare properly, but the trip has a more spontaneous nature to it. The thought pops into your head while driving on the road. You spot an interesting trail off in the distance. Or cross over one while on a highway. Sometimes you’ll hear of an intriguing drive from a buddy. (Or read of one here on my website.)

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Tom Severin

The Forgotten Items!

One constant in four-wheeling is the need to pack properly. Because we’re off on our own – away from the conveniences of city life – we have to be self-sufficient. Not only do we prepare for the expected (camping, cookouts, and such), we must try to prepare for the unexpected.  All that in addition to a full complement of automotive and camping gear.

Over the years I’ve realized the need for many other incidentals. Some seem obvious; others not so. But all serve a very good purpose. Considering adding many (or all) of the following to your preparation checklists.

1. Emergency cash. Even deep into the Digital Age, there are times when cash is the only currency. Many people these days don’t even  carry enough cash for a cup of coffee. You might need it to cover a tow or an after-hour’s repair at the mechanic’s house.

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Tom Severin

Pros and Cons of Four-Wheeling Alone

Bob said he had to get back. We were two days into a 3 day trip through the Mojave Desert. He assured me that he knew the way back. At one-point Bob arrived at a river crossing. He had crossed it several times in the past. Normally it was only 8 to 12 inches deep. It wasn’t that day. The water was about 24 inches deep and running strong. Bob tried to cross but got stuck and flooded his engine. After retrieving most of his gear, Bob set up camp along one bank. Thankfully, another vehicle came along about two hours later. They towed his vehicle to the highway where Bob called AAA.

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Tom Severin

Top 10 Fears of a 4WD Trail Leader

Have you ever wondered about being a Trail Leader? Ever imagined yourself guiding a group of four-wheelers down historic trails and through scenic landscapes?

What has stopped you?

Most likely a lack of confidence. Understandable. Leading a group of four-wheelers is quite a bit different from being just another participant.

Even the best-planned excursion experiences a hiccup or two. Heaven knows I’ve seen a bunch in my time. By making and overcoming mistakes you learn and grow.

We constantly stress the need for preparation before a 4WD trip. Even so, something is bound to come up.

Here are my Top 10 fears a Trail Leader could face, and what to do about them. (Don’t worry, though: You’re not likely to see more than a few during any one trip.)

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