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Set Your Tent Up Right

Camp with a view

Set Your Tent Up Right

What a view!

Camping is one of our favorite pastimes. It’s tough to beat a few days or a week in a natural setting away from all the hassles of everyday life. Many people understand that.

A 2011 study released by The Outdoor Foundation reported that almost 40 million Americans participated in some form of camping in 2010. That equates to more than 14 percent of Americans over age six. Are you part of the 14 percent? I hope so.

While some people are turned off by the rustic nature of camping and others view setting up camp as too much work. It is not, and doesn’t need to be. Once you’ve established a pattern for camping (which includes packing your vehicle), preparing for and setting up camp is actually quite enjoyable. It’s a pastime the entire family can enjoy.

In an earlier column, I offer a number of suggestions on how and what to pack.

Here I’d like to focus on setting up camp and maintaining your campsite. There are a number of factors to consider. But first I’d like to remind you of a basic tenet of camping:

The best campsites are found, not built.

By this we mean you should look for a site that’s already been used for camping. Minimize your impact on the land. Don’t tramp down pristine land if you don’t have to.

How to set up camp

The steps involved in setting up camp can be broken down into two broad categories, Safety and Logistics.


Avoid setting up camp next to hazards like dead (or dying) trees, power lines, critter holes, loose rock and those areas prone to flash flooding.

If the entire area is a flood plane, pick a spot that has good drainage. You don’t want water pooling around your tent.

Speaking of water, camping ethics recommend that you not set up camp within 200 yards of streams or ponds. This is so you don’t disturb wild game that uses those sources of water.

Also, avoid setting up next to plants and bushes that could cause a problem. Some of these include poison ivy (and related plants) and cacti. While more of a nuisance, these plants can still ruin a day or weekend.


Assuming the area is free of obvious hazards, here are some additional suggestions to consider.

Inspect the ground for pebbles, sticks and other sharp objects. You may need to rake or otherwise clear a patch of ground for your tent. If you’re camping on an incline, position your tent so your head will be uphill. That is generally the most comfortable position.

Rarely do you find flat, smooth ground outside established parks and campgrounds. You get to your camping area and find one section that’s bumpy or grooved. Another spot is smooth but at an angle. Which do you choose?

Most people select the bumpy ground because they prefer being on the level. They know their air mattress or other padding will provide a comfortable sleep. Assuming drainage isn’t a factor, this type of decision is more based upon personal preference. Give it some thought when you face this scenario for the first time.

If you’re camping near the bottom of a large hill, walk around to get a feel for the run-off pattern(s). Even light rains can generate small streams for a brief time.

Setting up camp next to a large boulder may seem like a good idea – it creates a natural wind break – but inspect the area above the boulder. Do you see loose rocks? Those could come tumbling down on your head during a storm. Wind whipping around the boulder sometimes causes howling or whistling noises. If you’re a light sleeper, you may consider placing your tent somewhere else.

Trees and shrubs provide some protection from the elements, including a beating sun. Inspect for dead limbs, beehives and critter nests or dens.

Position your tent with the prevailing winds in mind. For rectangular tents, position the narrow side to the wind. If yours is tapered, the tapered side should face the wind. You’re trying to minimize the wind load and therefore overall effect of any winds. Some people prefer to have the door face a non-windy direction.

As for the front door, I like to have it facing the east. I get to view a nice sunrise to start the day, and it seems to warm the tent faster.

After you’ve experienced it, I’m sure you’ll agree that camping out is really quite enjoyable. A few days away with Mother Nature does wonders for the soul and body. When and where are you going to set up camp?

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Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

Get Staked for Camping! Camp Cooking Use a checklist for Every Outing Break Camp Fast and Easy Cook Anywhere, Anytime With A Campbox Campbox Tips Wine Adds a Nice Touch to Your Outdoor Adventure Tom’s Tips for Tranquil Tenting Tickle The Taste Buds With A Dutch Oven Camping in The Mojave Desert

Did you miss the previous articles?

12 Must Have Books for the 4 Wheeler 6 7 Reasons Why Your Spouse Should Learn to Drive Off Road. Maintain Your Edge


September & October Schedule

Getting Started off-Road Driving Clinics the first one in the San Diego area is September 22.
Customer Appreciation Event is September 30.
Death Valley NP Expedition is October 12-15.
OAUSA Borrego Fest & Amateur Radio Testing is October 19 - 21
Getting Started Driving Off-Road Clinic : LA Area is October 6.

Free Customer Appreciation Event & trail Ride
September 30

Don't forget to join us in Hungry Valley SVRA on Sunday September 30th for the FREE customer appreciation event. We have teamed up with 5 of the local 4 Wheel Parts Stores (they are bringing raffle prizes and food). More details are posted on the web site. www.4x4training.com/Adventures/CustAppr.html

You are all invited! Everyone must register so we have enough food on hand - This is big! www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Cust


Getting Started Off-road Driving Clinic - San Diego September 22, 2012

Redondo Beach, CA – Badlands Off-Road Adventures today is launching an additional training location for their “Getting Started Driving Off-Road Clinics”.

Tom Severin, President of Badlands Off-Road Adventures, announced that Badlands Off-Road Adventures will begin conducting monthly clinics in the San Diego Area starting in September 2012.

The Getting Started Driving Off-Road clinic is specifically designed to meet the needs of novice off-highway drivers or someone with a bit of experience who is looking for a more complete understanding. The class covers basic information about 4WD vehicles. The class concentrates on safety and environmental concerns off-road. The bulk of the class is devoted to driving technique and picking lines to get you through a variety of terrain. Students receive a textbook and handouts of the material covered. Some of the topics covered in the class: Off Road Vehicles, How 4WD Works, Driving Technique, Safety, Pre Run Check, Survival & Peace of Mind Kits, Options & Accessories, Getting Unstuck / Winching, Post Trip maintenance, Trail Etiquette & Tread Lightly. This class does not address vehicle build-up options and issues.

The clinic is held in Borrego Springs, CA about 90 miles east of San Diego. Tom said “Our goal is to make it easier for students in San Diego and surrounding counties to attend a clinic on safe off-road driving.”

This is a one-day session. The session includes classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction. More Details...

You can register directly here


Getting Started Off-road Driving Clinic - LA October 06, 2012

The clinic is held in Hungry Valley State Vehicle Recreation Area near Gorman CA. This clinic is specifically designed to meet the needs of novice off-highway drivers or someone with a bit of experience who is looking for a more complete understanding. This is a one-day session. The session includes classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction. More Details...

You can register directly here


Advanced Beginner Clinic October 07

The clinic is held in the El Paso Mountains near Mojave CA. The goal is to help you get a "better feel" for tire placement and to visualize the obstacles as they move into your blind zone. You will gain more behind the wheel experience combined with picking lines. The difficulty level is one step higher than the basic class and you can expect some pin striping. More Details...

You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Basic2


Death Valley October 12-15

This is a 4 day trip on the back roads in Death Valley. We will drive the Panamint Mountains, drive past Badwater Basin (lowest spot in North America), visit Chloride Ghost town, Titus Canyon, check out Ubehebe Crater, Teakettle junction, The Race Track & Lippencott Mine Road, camp at the Warm Springs and leave via Steal Pass up to the high meadows, then take Dedeckera Canyon down to the Eureka Sand Dunes. All four days will see some light to moderate 4-wheeling. Much of the trip is quite remote with random or no cell service.
Check out the details and sign up on the website: http://www.4x4training.com/Adventures/Deathvalley.html

You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Deathvalley


The TDS Sweepstakes Vehicle will be at the Customer Appreciation Event



Volunteer at the Bickel Camp

Friends of last Chance Canyon are looking for additional volunteers to help by camping at the Bickel Camp.

Bickel Camp is a museum in the desert preserved in context with the help of volunteers and the BLM. Located in Last Chance Canyon below famed Burro Schmidt's Tunnel, Bickel Camp is mostly intact because of the help from volunteers. Friends of last Chance Canyon (http://www.tflcc.org) is a non-profit formed to help preserve Bickel Camp and other cabins and artifacts within last Chance Canyon.

Want to spend a week or a weekend in the desert? They are always looking for volunteers to help by camping on site (with or without docent responsibilities). It's fun! And you'll be helping to preserve our California Mining History. There is a motor home on site, a porta-potty and support from volunteers with water and other supplies. Contact Charlie Hattendorf through the website above so you can be scheduled in!

For more information about the Bickel Camp check out Bill Gann's web site. http://www.zyworld.com/billgann/BickelCamphome.htm


The Badlands Off-road Adventures Store

Click here if you cannot see the full store


I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
Make it Fun. Keep it Safe.
If you find this information valuable, please pass it on to a friend. You can forward them the email. If you received a forwarded copy of this newsletter and would like to subscribe for yourself, go to: www.4x4training.com/contacts.html and follow the instructions to join our mail list.
Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information: Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2012, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Original author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Legislation Introduced in U.S. Senate to Prevent Sale of E15 Gasoline

Legislation (S. 344) has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to prohibit the introduction of gasoline containing over 10% ethanol into the marketplace. Over a year ago, the EPA raised the amount of ethanol permitted in gasoline from 10% (E10) to 15% (E15) and the fuel may soon appear at a gas station near you.

We Urge You to Contact Your U.S. Senators to Request Their Support for S. 344

  • Ethanol increases water formation that can then create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics and rubber.  Older cars and certain high performance specialty parts are not constructed with corrosion-resistant materials or able to tolerate the higher temperatures at which E15 may burn.
  • The EPA made it “illegal” to put E15 in pre-2001 vehicles.  However, the EPA is willing to risk destruction of the vehicle/parts by relying solely on a gas pump label cautioning motorists not to misfuel their older vehicles.  The EPA estimates that there are over 70 million such vehicles in harm’s way, along with millions more boats, lawnmowers and other gas-powered engine products.
  • Auto enthusiasts have complained for years about damage caused by E10, which is now in over 90% of gas sold in the U.S.  Ethanol has time to damage the engine, fuel line, fuel tank and exhaust systems when classic cars are infrequently driven and increases the risk of corrosion by 50 percent.

S. 344 would prevent the sale of E15 and therefore protect automotive enthusiasts from the negative effects of increased ethanol content in gasoline.   
DON’T DELAY!  Contact your Senators immediately by phone or e-mail to request their support of S. 344.  To identify your U.S. Senators, click here: http://semasan.com/lookup.asp?g=semaga

Please e-mail a copy of your e-mail to Dan Sadowski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Also, please forward this Alert to your fellow car enthusiasts.

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BRC's Del Albright Selected To Join 2013 "Team BFGoodrich"

MOKELUMNE HILL, CA (February 19) -- Del Albright, BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) Ambassador, was honored with membership in the elite, 20-member "Team BFGoodrich," sponsored by BFGoodrich® (BFG). We at BRC are very exited by Del's selection, and we look forward to seeing what this means for recreational access.

Asked about BFG and Team Goodrich, Del Albright told us, "BFG is a long time member and supporter of BRC, as well as the founder of the Outstanding Trails Program, which provides grants to recreational trails such as the famous Rubicon Trail. As a member of Team BFG, I will help promote and enrourage that program, working hard to keep OHV trails funded and open."

BFG's Outstanding Trails program was established in 2006 to raise awareness for responsible use and preservation of off-road trails while providing support in the trails’ conservation efforts.  Through 2011, the Outstanding Trails program has recognized 27 off-road trails and 27 clubs across 16 states and two trails in Canada.  The program has provided more than $100,000 in grants in support of the various trails conservation efforts. Visit BFG's website for more details.

Below is the original announcement from BFGoodrich®:


GREENVILLE, S.C. (February 19, 2013) - Recently, BFGoodrich® Tires announced its 20-member lineup for its 2013 Team BFGoodrich roster.

Created in 2008, Team BFGoodrich comprises an elite group of motorsports superstars, key industry partners, market influencers and enthusiasts who all share the BFGoodrich Tires passion for driving and for everything on four wheels.

This diverse group of auto enthusiasts represents various aspects of the automotive industry, including on- and off-road racing, rock crawling, custom car building and engineering. Working together, Team BFGoodrich members will bring their experience and enthusiasm to the brand while BFGoodrich Tires continues to advance its product line to help further improve their driving performance.

"BFGoodrich Tires has once again brought together the top individuals in a variety of racing and custom automotive disciplines to be part of our 2013 Team BFGoodrich," said Duane Thomas, brand communications manager at BFGoodrich Tires. "We are excited to bring in some new members and continue our relationship with many others. We anticipate a great year working with these team members and bringing success to our collective brands."

The members of 2013 Team BFGoodrich:

Andrew Caddell - TORC
Andrew Comrie-Picard - Rally America
Andy McMillin - SCORE
Brad Lovell - TORC
Brian Finch - Founder - American Street Car Series/Owner Hot Rod Transformations
Bryce Menzies - SCORE, TORC
Bud Brutsman - BCII Productions
Carl Nadeau -  Drifting
Dan McKeever - Miller Performance Driving
Daniel McMillin - SCORE
David Higgins - Rally America, X Games
Del Albright - Blue Ribbon Coalition
John Williams  - Miller Motorsports Park
Kyle Tucker - Detroit Speed
Lonny Childress - Gateway Classic Mustangs
Rob MacCachren - SCORE, TORC, LOORRS
Rich Minga - Wide Open Excursions
Rod Hall - Rod Hall Racing
Roger Lovell - TORC
Terry Earwood - Skip Barber Racing School
Team BFGoodrich members and BFGoodrich Tires support each other through a variety of initiatives, including media outreach, advertising and event presence. For an updated list of the motorsport events and activities in which Team BFGoodrich members will be participating, visit the BFGoodrich Tires website at www.bfgoodrichtires.com or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bfgoodrichtires.


BRC press release and more on BRC here: http://www.sharetrails.org/story/2013/02/19/brcs-del-albright-selected-join-2013-team-bfgoodrich

About BFGoodrich
Using motorsports as a proving ground for more than 40 years, BFGoodrich(r) Tires is involved in every type of racing, including sports car, drag, desert, dirt, rally and extreme rock crawling. BFGoodrich Tires combines technological expertise with vast motorsports experience, delivering a high-performance tire for every type of vehicle. Visit BFGoodrich Tires at www.BFGoodrichTires.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/BFGoodrichTires or on Twitter at @BFGoodrichTires.

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ARRA Washington Newsletter - Feb 2013

In This Issue...

  • Secretary Salazar Prepares to Leave Washington
  • House Resources Committee
  • National Monument Areas
  • Johnson Valley Petition to the White House
  • Sequestration
Continue reading
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Planning rule meetings for Sequoia NF in February

The Sequoia National Forest is one of three national forests in the Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service to begin the process of revising its 1988 Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan), implementing the new 2012 National Forest System Planning Rule. The Planning Rule directs that Forest Plans will be science-based and developed collaboratively with stakeholders who are interested in the management of national forests.

Continue reading
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