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April TD News -- Education events

Bill Ratcliff

I’m sitting here in my Tahoe Donner home watching the snow come down.  We had at least 3 feet of snow last night and more is expected the rest of the day and tomorrow.  Not even my Jeep Rubicon with a 3 ½ inch lift and 35” tires can make it through this much snow.  I wish I could tell you about a fun trail we did this month, but it’s a challenge just to make it to the grocery store, much less going off road!!!

We did a survey of our members not long ago and determined that there is a good size group of our members who don’t have much if any off-road driving experience.  Many members and potential members have the “want to” but not the “how to” when it comes to 4 wheeling.  As a result, we are going to organize two educational events in the Spring to help folks get some experience and knowledge that will help.

The first event will be an opportunity to learn more about your vehicle.  Our friends at 4 Wheel Parts down in Sparks have agreed to host a session one Saturday to help us understand what we can and should do to make our vehicles capable to take on the back roads.  What is a lift?  What size tires do you need?  What about a winch and recovery equipment?  Maybe walk us through what to add to your vehicle to make it capable for basic fire roads, then harder terrain with climbs and bigger rocks, then what is recommended for say, the Rubicon Trail?  This will be great for the beginners in our group as well as the more experienced drivers who want to know what is new or get burning questions answered.

The second event we are planning is a basic driving class that will be taught by our experienced drivers in the Club.  Understanding the strategy behind picking the right line on a trail can make the difference between getting stuck, high sided or getting body damage vs. a smooth unscathed run.  Knowing when to air down, what air pressure to air down to and why you’re doing it is an important aspect of off-roading.  We will also go over some basic recovery information, tools you need and use of your winch.  We have some very experienced drivers in the Club and the time you spend with them will definitely increase your knowledge and confidence on the trail.

If you would like to join the fun and explore the less traveled back roads of this majestic region with us, please see our web site at or send us an email at and we will send you an application and TD Release form.  There are no dues or fees to join the Club, just the desire to explore the back country!!!

Our Club Vice President, Don Schellenberg with his very capable Jeep Rubicon Unlimited.