I’ve heard it said quite a few times that if you are considering buying a gun for your own personal protection and you have a budget of lets say $500 then it is better to find a weapon for $300 and spend the rest on ammo so you have enough rounds to train with and get familiar with that particular weapon than it is to blow your whole wad on that shiny $500 gun and not know how to use it. The moral of the story here is it does not matter how cool or expensive your equipment is, if you don’t know how to use it.
I see this kind of thing all the time, in all different areas of life. When we talk about vehicles this could not be more true. I’ve spent a lot of time at a lot of racetracks. Mostly drag strips and auto crosses, I did a drift competition once too. Naturally I have friends that race too, there are these two guys that I know, basically the situation with these guys is this: The first guy makes a lot of money and can afford to buy the cool parts for the cool cars. Guy number two is a through and through gear head, he knows cars inside and out and he is a hell of a driver to boot. What will happen at the drag strip on most nights is guy #1 will bring his cool car with the cool parts and take it for a pass, Guy #2 will take the same car down the same lane of the same drag strip and usually embarrass guy #1 because he can beat him in is own car nearly every time. Why? Because it does not matter how cool or expensive your equipment is if you don’t know how to use it. The reason I bring all of this up is, in my very non scientific observation of the world and people around me, most people don’t know how to drive. With the exception of “Left lane fast, right lane slow.” I’ll spare you the full rant.
So you spent a years salary on the perfect bug out vehicle? Great. You spent another half a years pay on all the cool goodies to get it outfitted? Awesome, hopefully you bought them from me. You have enough survival supplies on board to run your own FEMA camp for a year? Sweet, thanks for thinking of someone other than yourself. Do you know how to use all that stuff? Or better yet do you even know what the cruise range on that vehicle is? No. Well what good is any of it then. In a time equals life situation the last thing you want to do is wreck or get your “Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle” mired on some obstacle that shouldn’t have even slowed you down. But how would you have known you’ve never really put any of it to the test. But Zach, how am I supposed to train with this stuff, there is only so much I can do in my driveway? I’ll tell you how, Just go out there and do it.
To start with do some research on fundamentals of defensive driving, I recommend THESE Articles from ITS Tactical: http://www.itstactical.com/topics/skillcom/driving/
After a little bit of initial research you should go out and put your driving skills to the test, and I don’t mean parallel parking. The safest way I know how to do that would be go out and join an Auto-X (spoken= Auto-Cross). For those of you not familiar, basically Auto-X is a timed race event with only one car on the track at a time. These races are usually held in a large paved area similar to a parking lot, sometimes they are even held in a closed parking lot. The course is set up and outlined with your standard orange road cones, so if you’re new and don’t really know how to drive you’re not going to smash up yours or someone else’ car. You might look a little goofy out there but who cares this is for you, not anyone else, And I guarantee your not the first one. Here is a video of me doing an Auto-X to give you an idea. (Yes, I am The Stig)
More info on Auto-X and how to get involved can be found here.
Once you’ve learned a little bit about driving and surviving in the urban jungle it’s time to go find a little bit rougher terrain, all the fundamentals you learned in the autocross will still apply but now we are trowing a little bit of unpredictable, uncontrollable environmental obstacles in your way. Go find an ORV park and “Get a little dirt on the tires” A pretty comprehensive list of ORV parks can be found here: http://www.offroaders.com/directory/clubs/Offroad-Parks.htm. Start out slow and be safe because you don’t want to be this guy.
Lastly once your ready to go out and try it on your own, there are millions of acres of state land that can be accessed by the general public, no really there is! That is one of the reasons we pay taxes. Usually all the information you need or specific permits and maps can be obtained from your state’s Department of Natural Resources. A good list of websites for each state can be found HERE: http://www.foremosthunting.com/Resources/OutdoorWebsiteDirectory/StateDNRWebsites/tabid/334/Default.aspx
When your out there on your own it’s always nice to bring a battle buddy with a separate vehicle, just in case you do get stuck, or your truck breaks down. As always: when you go, go prepared.
Thoughts, Ideas, Questions, Corrections (Yes, I am Human), or anything else you have on your mind that doesn’t fit in that comment box down below. Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also Don’t forget to check out all the awesomness we have for sale at WWW.BUGOUTTRUCK.COM