Saturday, April 22, 2006

Off Road Experience

Traveling off-road is a popular pastime, but what are the best techniques and tips?

With 46 years of off-road traveling, I can offer more insight than most. I started off-roading with a jeep-type machine in 1959 – courtesy of the Royal Artillery. I worked as a surveyor in the North African deserts for almost five years, and traveled on every kind of surface there from sand dunes to salt marshes. I surveyed in Canada for another 30+ years and conducted my work from tracked vehicles in the Arctic Islands; pickup trucks in the Northern forests, muskeg, mountains, and Prairies; ran ATVs both summer and winter; hitched rides both on and behind Cats; and when the going got really tough, hopped out of helicopters to walk and scramble to where I had to go.

I've handled glare ice, sea ice, muskeg, sand dunes, desert and mountain trails, clearcuts. waterlogged fields at breakup, and forded rivers. If you want to know the best method of travel for a particular purpose, or need some tips on the best way to employ any particular mode – ask me first. It's all free – I have an ulterior motive in running this blog. I want to drive traffic to my novel writing website. I'll post a note when it's up.

In addition, I have used many kinds of navigational methods, from map and sun compass to GPS, so can answer questions about those. For example, would it be useful for you to know a quick method to use the sun as a compass? I traveled miles in the Arctic with only that to go by. GPS? I started using GPS to pinpoint locations in the Northern bush in 1991.

What about the exotic machines? Why are the big-wheeled and extremely raised trucks useless in the real world? What's the safest method to take a Cat dozer across a quaking tamarack muskeg? What's the most important tip to remember when utilizing a helicopter? I'll give you that answer to be going on with. "Don't piss-off the pilot". Your safety and your activity depends upon the person at the controls – as someone who has broken off willow branches under a running machine so it can be shut down, been instrumental in sending a cabin door into the rotor blades, and climbed out of a hovering machine onto a rock at the edge of a 2000ft precipice, I can attest that the nearest I ever came to an accident was when I took a relief pilot for granted.


Blogger Far Dareis Mai said...

Wow... and I thought I've had an eventful life!

Of course, I'm now teaching out on the Navajo Indian Reservation (The Navajo Nation)and now drive a Jeep and clamber around canyons and high desert so maybe I can catch up with you LOL.

Your novel idea sounds good too.

Love & Peace

Far Dareis Mai

10:31 AM  

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