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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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Tom Severin

Mild AMS?

It was the second day of a three-day excursion to the Sweetwater Mountains, just north of Bridgeport, California. We stopped for some sightseeing high on the peak of Mt. Patterson. At 11,674 feet, we marveled at the incredible views. East looking into Nevada are the Bodie Hills and Corey Peak and looking west provides an extensive view of the Sierra Range.

Unfortunately, not everyone enjoyed the stop. One guest complained of a headache and brief spell of dizziness when making a quick move to exit the vehicle. Talking with the others, I learned that everyone experienced shortness of breath while setting up camp the night before.

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Tom Severin

2m Hamming Off-Road

You recently got your ham ticket and are eager to experience ham radio while four wheeling.

Installing a mobile 2 meter/440 radio

You’re ready to make the leap to a mobile radio. Great! Even though this is your first rig, installing isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Of course, if you’re not comfortable buying the parts or doing the work, find a handy helper. Ask your Elmer or contact a local ham radio club.

This is not a step-by-step review. I just want to provide you on overview of the process and encourage you to do it yourself. Radio use and access is very personal. I want you to be happy and comfortable with your radio installation.

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Tom Severin

Convenience of a 4-Door Model in a 2-Door Vehicle

Every once in a while a new product comes along that is a real game-changer for the 4WD community. It may not be flashy, but the product fills a void. Such is the case with the hinged side windows in the new hardtop for my Jeep Wrangler. What’s just as amazing is the story behind this tremendous find.

I was working on the Jeep one afternoon when this couple walks by. I know them vaguely, haven spoken a few times over the years. Jerry Mancini and his wife live about a block from me.  Jerry owns Rally Tops, www.rallytops.com, located in nearby Gardena, Calif. They make hardtops for a variety of off-road vehicles, as well as tonneaus and bed covers for pickups.

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