As with any exercise, planning and preparation are key. Essential clean-up items include a plastic container with a tight lid (Tupperware products work nicely), kitty litter, paper towels or rags, and a shovel. You probably already have paper or plastic cups in your vehicle. If not, grab some. High-tech absorbents and wipes are available for large oil spill situations and to wipe down rocks surfaces. You may want to pick up some to help with those problems.
If you choose to build a spill kit, I highly recommend you include kitty litter. It is one of the most absorbent materials around. NewPig offers a variety of useful materials as well as complete spill kits.
Before dealing with any spill or leak, make sure that the vehicle is secure and that all passengers are safe.
First, catch any dripping liquid in a plastic container. Use a cup to scoop up pools of liquid. If need be, dam up the area to keep the spill from spreading. Use special absorbent rolls like the Pig Blue Socks, or build a mini earthen dike around the spill.
Next, spread kitty litter or other absorbent material to soak up the spill. Paper towels, rags, diapers, even a t-shirt or sweat shirt will do in an emergency.
You should also pack absorbents and wipes designed for oil spills. Two others that are particularly effective are PeatSorb and Oil-Dri. You may find these products locally, but look for a retailer who breaks down the bulk quantities and offers these materials in smaller units. You'll save money by buying larger quantities and breaking them down for yourself and friends into individual spill kits. (I can add other vendors to this list on my Web site. Send me the details about companies you are familiar with or discover locally who provide spill kits.)
PeatSorb is ideal because it is very effective on grease and oil spots (even on rock), and it is naturally decomposing.
Everything is hauled out. Proper clean up means that the spilled liquid and contaminated soils are removed for proper disposal. All material and soil should be collected in plastic bags; double-bag, if possible. Place the bags on the rubber floor mats in case there's a leak. Gear oil, in particular, leaves a nasty smell in your carpet that is very difficult to remove. Remember to wipe down rocks with the proper absorbent pads available from PeatSorb and Oil-Dri.
Make sure the lid is secure on your container(s). You don't want the fluids and kitty litter spilling all over the inside of your vehicle.
When you get home, dispose of the mess in the proper manner. Call your local authorities if you have any questions about how to handle this material. You may be able to use PeatSorb-treated soil. The manufacturer claims that the soil is safe to use for planting in three weeks.
Toxic spills are a potential with off-road driving. Quick action on your part, using ordinary household products, will ensure you leave the area as you found it.
Sign up for Easter Safari April 5 – 9, 2009
It seems a long ways away, but all the trail rides are assigned by lottery. The submission date for the lottery is somewhere about the end of January to mid February. So if you think you might want to go to the Easter Safari this year, you need to register soon http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#EJS.
Easter Safari is one of, if not the largest organized event in the United States for 4-Wheel Drive vehicles. The event runs for 9 days ending on Easter Sunday. There are no restrictions as to the manufacturer of vehicles but the vehicle needs to have high ground clearance and a 2 speed transfer case. Most days they have 8 or more trails running and on “Big” Saturday” about 28 groups will depart Moab in a huge parade of 1000 vehicle or more. Some of the trails are just above 2WD. On the other extreme, there are tails that need lockers, big tires and winches. On Thursday and Friday there is a large vendor show. There is a raffle drawing Friday night after the Boy Scout dinner.
The trails and scenery in Moab, UT is spectacular. You owe it to yourself to get “your-ticket-punched” in Moab. Once you go, you will be back many times.
Our plan is to do 4 days of trails rides. That will be more then enough for the first time! So we will use the weekend before Easter to travel to Moab. Everyone is on their own but we will help with travel routes and information. Then we will run a trail each day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The Monday trail has been selected to help you get accustomed to the terrain and Slickrock. On Tuesday we will increase the rating one notch and again Wednesday. Thursday we will take a day off from the trails and attend the vendor show. Friday's Trail rating will be the same as Wednesday. Friday evening you can attend the big raffle and perhaps you will walk away with a set of new tires or a winch. We will travel home on Easter Saturday and Easter (if you need more then one day).
The price is for 1 or 2 persons per vehicle. You get 4 days on trails specially selected to increase your confidence as the challenge increase. The price includes 6 nights in a hotel (double occupancy per vehicle) with a continental breakfast, refrigerator, swimming pool, and internet access. You get a place to leave your trailer should you tow a vehicle to Moab. It includes access to a vendor show with over 120 booths and national manufactures, a ticket for the big raffle, a hat, a Moab Trail book, and a cloth map of the local trails.
The price includes registration for one of our scheduled rock training class in southern California prior to Easter Safari. We will also assist you with a 121 point inspection of your vehicle a few months before departure to identify potential problems that need to be corrected and discuss upgrades.
We will accompany you on the trails in Moab and assist with logistics during the week to insure you find your registration materials, arrive in the right spot on time for your trail ride, and help with any difficulties on the trails. You will receive detailed plans to help you with travel logistics and to prepare for the upcoming adventure.
We will arrange rental of a brand new Jeep if you need one in Moab.
A few pictures: http://4x4training.com/images/Moab/Moabpicture.html
Check out http://4x4training.com/Adventures/EasterSafari/EJSMain.html
I’ll see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc
4-Wheel Drive School
Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to use their vehicles safely and confidently over difficult terrain in adverse conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.
Copyright 2008, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.