HOW TO Prop­erly Aban­don a Ve­hi­cle

4WDrive - - Off-Road Essentials -

As Trail Leader, you should plan for is­sues and prob­lems. Some plans are generic since you can­not pre­dict the ex­act sit­u­a­tion. You ap­ply your skills, tools, and tech­niques to the prob­lem. A first aid kit is a good ex­am­ple. For some is­sues you can spec­u­late what might hap­pen and de­velop a spe­cific con­tin­gency plan. One that falls into that cat­e­gory is the need to leave your ve­hi­cle be­hind.

One of the tough­est de­ci­sions a four-wheeler has to make is whether to aban­don a ve­hi­cle. For­tu­nately, aban­don­ment is a rare oc­cur­rence in the 4WD world. Even so, you should know what steps to take in case you as Trail Leader are faced with the is­sue.

If you must leave your ve­hi­cle af­ter ex­haust­ing all other al­ter­na­tives— in­clud­ing tow­ing it—con­sider these is­sues:

1) Firearms, elec­tron­ics and other valu­ables should be re­moved. While theft on the trails is rare, it can hap­pen.

2) De­cide what to do with a trailer, if one ex­ists. Can an­other ve­hi­cle tow that, or does it stay be­hind as well?

3) Mark your po­si­tion us­ing GPS, and write this down. Do not try to rely on mem­ory. Land­marks and ter­rain ap­pear dif­fer­ent from var­i­ous po­si­tions and an­gles.

4) How long be­fore your re­turn? Leave a note if ap­pro­pri­ate.

5) Can it be moved so it is not block­ing the trail?

We are not talk­ing about an emer­gency aban­don­ment of the ve­hi­cle be­cause your life is in dan­ger (ve­hi­cle on fire). This is a planned aban­don­ment when you have other trans­porta­tion: your ve­hi­cle is dis­abled and you have de­cided to press on for the ben­e­fit of your guests.

6) Most of us have many small items (and backup items) tucked here and there through­out the ve­hi­cle wher­ever they will fit. Some­times items are spread out over sev­eral bags and con­tain­ers. These are bags that are al­ways with you. But what hap­pens when you leave the ve­hi­cle be­hind? You have to leave some gear be­hind too. There is likely not enough room in the sup­port ve­hi­cle(s) pro­vid­ing you with trans­porta­tion.

In the rush to clear out the dis­abled ve­hi­cle, it’s easy to for­get the every­day stuff: bat­ter­ies (es­pe­cially if in the glove com­part­ment or other hid­den spot), sun­glasses, hat, boots, and such.

The prob­a­bil­ity is that you will for­get to take all the es­sen­tials. A sim­ple ex­am­ple is re­place­ment AA bat­ter­ies. You re­mem­ber to take your GPS, cam­era, and ra­dios but for­get to pull the 12v charger out of the socket. You have three or four places with backup AA bat­ter­ies (the cen­ter con­sole, in a spares case in the back, in the ra­dio bag, etc.). None of these bat­ter­ies made the tran­si­tion. You de­cided to take only one bag and that one does not have bat­ter­ies in it and didn’t think to look in the cen­ter con­sole. BTW you for­got your sun­glasses, too.

The Go Bag you carry (you have one, right?) makes a very nice con­tainer and start­ing point to gather all the ad­di­tional items you need.

7) As­sess the sup­plies and tools the other ve­hi­cles have. You might feel it is not nec­es­sary to bring your re­cov­ery gear but might feel un­com­fort­able re­ly­ing on a first aid kit you are not fa­mil­iar with.

Prepa­ra­tion for this con­tin­gency is as sim­ple as pre­par­ing a check list.

With the mul­ti­tude of po­ten­tial prob­lems for which you can write a con­tin­gency plan, why did I choose to share Aban­don Your Ve­hi­cle?

It re­volves around hav­ing a group mind set and a group fo­cus. The loss of a ve­hi­cle (hope­fully tem­po­rary) should not be a show stop­per for the out­ing and the trail ex­pe­ri­ence. As long as other trans­port is avail­able, you can con­tinue.

The ve­hi­cle can be dealt with af­ter the trip, af­ter ev­ery­one is in camp for the night, or by your tail-end gun­ner. The key is the check­list. Use it to en­sure you take the nec­es­sary items for your com­fort, health and hy­dra­tion, along with the tools needed to safely man­age the trip. 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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.