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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to 4x4 school! ;D

I signed up for and attended day one and two of Badlands Adventures 4x4 training. The instructor Tom Severin is a certified professional 4WD Trainer by the International 4-Wheel Drive Trainers Association, there are only about 15 of these guys on the planet as far as I can tell. He is also a Wilderness First Responder which means he has special first aid training. Also as far as I know he has a black belt in 4x4 awesomeness and Jedi mind powers that make you follow him through some crazy terrain. Honestly, and I have said this before, I am a total newb to the sport but I think after two days of training with Tom I feel much more confident in my driving and my vehicle.

Advice is worth what you pay for it and I would rather learn from someone who has years of experience than my own mistakes or random people on a run with their own time interests in mind and not my own.

Day 1 we spent half the day in class learning about gearing, tire pressure, suspension, recovery gear, terrain types, hi-lifts and lots of factoids and working examples. We spent the second half of the day using the Hungry Valley practice area getting a feel for climbs, descents, climbing rocks, trying to get stuck and unstuck and other fun 4x4 things. We had 2 FJ's, 1 stock, and 2 pickups in the class. Tom and his other instructor use Jeeps. After the practice area we went out to do a trail run, we hit a wash, some big ruts, a few climbs etc. Part way through the run we found out some guy had dumped his quad off a steep hill. The quad driver was OK but we decided to divert to help him recover his ride. I got to use my winch to and other recovery gear I brought to haul this thing up about 20 feet up a hill side. We finished the day with some steep hill climbs.

Day 2 we spent doing a few exercises at the practice area then running trails for about 6 hours. I got to hit a lot of things in the park. I lost track of how many trails we did but Tom always took the time to explain anything I did right or wrong.

I got to ding up my rear bumper slightly, I got some good pin stripes now and I smacked my rock rails a few times. The FJ did awesome though and I am loving it more and more.

Things I learned (personal not course wise, I want you all to see Tom for the good info)
1) Get tire deflaters
2) Look into CO2, I am too lazy to stand around waiting for my compressor
3) Lock everything down, I had most things tied down but anything that wasn't went flying a few times
4) Wear more sun screen, even in the cab it's not hard to get some sun
5) Hitting rocks sounds worse than it usually is (i expect this to change as I hit sharper rocks)
6) Getting wheels in the air makes for cool pictures but bad control

Anyway, if you have not gone I recommend Tom's class. I am going to look into signing up for some more to supplement all my other outings.

This is where I found it... http://www.4x4training.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re: Sept. 13th and 14th 2008 - Badlands Adventures 4x4 Training

Day One:

Hungry Valley Training Area


Stock FJ had a few hard times I didn't but he did awesome overall








Lucky quad hit a tree before going much further


Setting up for the pull


Out


Climbing
 

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Re: Sept. 13th and 14th 2008 - Badlands Adventures 4x4 Training

I'm starting to miss Hungry Valley. I love that Pronghorn rock face. I have no idea where those steep climbs are. I really need to keep exploring that area.

Thanks for sharing the info.....very wise of you to take a class. I need to as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Sept. 13th and 14th 2008 - Badlands Adventures 4x4 Training

The area is huge and there are days and days worth of trails. It also backs into other areas so you can go for a long time. It is well worth the drive and though we got close to a lot of motorcycles and quads they all seemed to play nice. The area is also still in a 911 zone so if you get hurt it's not as bad as being off in Death Valley boonies.
 

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Re: Sept. 13th and 14th 2008 - Badlands Adventures 4x4 Training

Excellent report and pictures. Thanks for sharing. I've seen Tom out there at Hungry Valley several times and spoke to him a couple. Very knowledgable dude, that's for sure.
 

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Re: Sept. 13th and 14th 2008 - Badlands Adventures 4x4 Training

Saw Tom and his co-hort in Hungry Valley yesterday afternoon shortly after 4pm. Looks like your class had already ended as he was adjacent to the ranger kiosk/exit. I was on my way out of the park after finishing Miller Jeep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Sept. 13th and 14th 2008 - Badlands Adventures 4x4 Training

GTKrockeTT said:
Saw Tom and his co-hort in Hungry Valley yesterday afternoon shortly after 4pm. Looks like your class had already ended as he was adjacent to the ranger kiosk/exit. I was on my way out of the park after finishing Miller Jeep.
You just missed me by a few minutes! I finished airing up (too slowly) and left right about then after thanking them for the great classes.
 

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Re: Sept. 13th and 14th 2008 - Badlands Adventures 4x4 Training

oh wait...you have the black FJ. i did see one on my way out, you were parked to the right of them. ;D
 

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Re: Sept. 13th and 14th 2008 - Badlands Adventures 4x4 Training

How much did your classes cost? I had never offroaded in my life when I bought my FJ and I learned from the people in this website and one called Adventure 4 x 4. They took all us noobs out and showed us a good time and taught us a ton. I know I can always learn more but i`m real confident I can get out of just about anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Sept. 13th and 14th 2008 - Badlands Adventures 4x4 Training

The classes cost $200 for each day. Considering the personalized attention, knowledge gained, and experience it was well worth it. We also got a few books and simple gadgets like tire pressure gauges etc. to take home.

I don't think there is anything wrong with learning from random people, your buddies, books, dvd's, the internet, etc but you won't get someone who will take the time to explain things to you well generally. Most people will assume you know what they do and expect you to keep up which is where you will get into trouble. Also, as I said above, Tom is certified to instruct and in doing wilderness medical attention. His focus is on safety and fun.
 

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Re: Sept. 13th and 14th 2008 - Badlands Adventures 4x4 Training

Great write up and pics!! I already subscribe to Tom's newsletter, but after heaing about your experience, I will definitely look into taking his class.
 
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