Jamie Strand

Top 5 Items for a Successful Camping Trip

It seems like just about every activity requires some sort of essentials list – hiking, running, mountain biking. Camping is no different. While you might not use every single item on this list, you’ll appreciate their value when you really need them. The following are the top five items that need to be on your camping packing list:

1.  Navigation – The top item on any camping essentials list is the proper navigation, and your best bet is to bring a variety. First and foremost, a topographic map will be helpful for those campsites that are off the beaten path, such as that one waterfall next to that fallen tree by the weirdly shaped rock.

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John Stewart

Perfect 4-Wheel Drive Weekend


Enjoying the view and a glass of wine after a day on the trail. 

What makes the perfect 4WD trip? Close your eyes and think about that for a moment. Picture the ideal off-road adventure. What does it look like? 

I got to thinking about this the other day. I had just returned from a couple days off road. I was sitting in my favorite chair, with my feet up and my left hand occupied with some of nature’s golden nectar. While relaxing (meaning, the tequila was kicking in), I had the chance to reflect. It dawned on me that, yeah, this is a pretty neat hobby. Four wheeling allows us to escape the grind of urban life for a few hours and become immersed in Mother Nature. Just can’t beat it. 

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Tom Severin

A Good Trail Master Masters Meal Planning

We were in a real jam. Two days into a 10-day trip in Monument Valley, mechanical problems forced two vehicles to head home. We hated to lose our the four-wheeling friends, but more importantly, we ran into a minor food crisis: How do we account for the meals those individuals were scheduled to prepare?

Each of us brought food for our designated meals, but we were counting on those individuals to contribute on their assigned days. Suddenly we were scrambling to account for their departure.

This incident, while not typical of a 4WD experience, does happen. A good Trail Master understands and accepts this, and factors it into trip planning. Of all the myriad decisions you make, one is how to handle meals.

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John Stewart

Bears Follow their Noses, so You Should Follow these Tips

May 3, 2016 - With an estimated 35,000 bears, California has a healthy and growing black bear population. In spring hibernating bears emerge from their winter slumber and begin an almost perpetual search for food. It is not uncommon for a black bear to consume up to 20,000 calories a day. Unfortunately, this search can sometimes lead bears into populated areas and conflicts with humans.

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Tom Severin

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.
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