The Ultimate 4-Wheel Drive Bucket List
By Master Tread Trainer and 4×4 Coach Tom Severin
Have you seen the movie, “The Bucket List”? If not, you’ve probably heard about it. Briefly, it’s the story of two terminally ill men (played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman), who try to atone for their lives by making the best use of their final days. As they travel the country—ostensibly while terminally ill, though they appear quite healthy—they enjoy all sorts of experiences.
The term “bucket list” stems from that movie, though people don’t feel they need to be dying to create a wish list. Instead, a bucket list is a collection of goals to be accomplished before the person “kicks the bucket”.
January is a time of resolutions. Buy me a good margarita, and I’ll tell you what I think of resolutions. I do like the idea of a bucket list, though. I sort of have one. It’s not written down, but I will continue to chip away at the items as time goes on.
As I have mentioned in other articles, it’s good to have a list before hitting the trail. A bucket list is helpful too, because it helps you plan long term. The list that follows is quite extensive. You can’t possibly accomplish all of them in one year. Heck, even one decade may be a stretch. The key is to stretch your imagination; go beyond thinking of the typical weekend outing.
A bucket list may seem fanciful, but it can serve a very useful purpose. Without one, you are unlikely to fully experience life. And in the process, you deny yourself a more complete enjoyment of four wheeling.
This list is by no means all inclusive. For example, you won’t see “go four wheeling on the moon.” For some youngsters, that may be a possibility. Instead, I tried to make you really think. Of course, you’re welcome to use this list as is, or amend it. If so, try to end up with at least 30 goals. The more, the merrier. Good luck, and have fun!
1. Do the Rubicon trail.
2. Go to Moab. Ideally during Easter Safari, but at least get over there.
3. Grab the latest, greatest model of 4WD vehicle you’ve had your heart set on.
4. Finally create the 4WD vehicle of your dreams. You know: big tires, winch, axle upgrade; the whole enchilada. As you know, even the latest model needs to be reconfigured.
5. Become a member of the nonprofit organization, Tread Lightly!.
6. Participate in an overland expedition. The more challenging the better.
7. Attend a SEMA Show at least once. Use your powers of persuasion to get a ticket.
8. Visit the Off Road Hall of Fame www.ormhof.com in Reno, Nev. The Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame honors those individuals and organizations whose lifelong contributions to off-road motorsports have set a standard for others to follow.
9. Attend TDS (Terra Del Sol). Weekend event in southern California. See www.tds4x4.com
10. Make the Guinness Book of World Records. Attend the 75th Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival, http://www.bantamjeepfestival.com and participate in the largest parade of Jeep vehicles June 12-14. 2015
11. Find a woman who will go 4-wheeling with you, go camping, and can grease the inside fitting on a CV joint. Marry her! For you women: Find a man who owns a 4WD vehicle that is big enough for 2 car seats.
12. Purchase every tool you need to work on your vehicle.
13. Race, or at least drive, the Baja 1000 track.
14. Be able to start a fire with primitive methods.
15. Drive off road from the border with Mexico to the Canadian border.
16. Take an off-road trip in Alaska.
17. Take an off-road trip in Colorado.
18. Drive the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with your four wheeler.
19. Get a picture of you, your vehicle—or both—published in a national 4WD magazine.
20. Take a 4WD excursion through Iceland.
21. Drive the Australia Outback.
22. Drive through Chile and Argentina.
23. Drive an H1 Hummer. Better yet, buy one!
24. Create the time to accomplish your bucket list. Brush up on those time management skills.
25. Install bolt-on portal axles.
26. Install a hemi or LS7.
27. Earn a ham license and add a ham radio to your vehicle
28. Learn to weld. And not just steel but other metals, as well. Can you spell aluminum?
29. Teach your kids to drive a four wheeler. That’s important for their development and appreciation of this great land.
30. Have an obstacle on a trail named after you for something other than the wrong reason.
31. Finally get your vehicle’s cockpit in order with all the wiring in its place. All the accessories are organized, wires are loomed, and you’ve installed waterproof plugs.
32. Visit Ouray and Imogene Pass, as well as the areas around Telluride, Durango and Cortez.
33. Drive through the remote Big Bend, Texas area. Visit the Big Bend National Park and the Big Bend Ranch State Park.
34. Four wheel the Flathead Lake area in Montana.
35. Retrace the Lewis and Clark trail.
36. Earn your 4WD instructor certification (but after I retire!).
Whew! This should give you some great ideas. Note how I included the various aspects of our hobby: vehicle acquisition and development, training/education, and excursions. After completing a bucket list like this, you’ll have some mighty fond memories to recollect while relaxing in your rocking chair.
Tom Severin is a Master Tread Trainer and 4×4 Coach. He 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.
You couldn’t get anywhere on your bucket list without open trails! Learn more about the national nonprofit Tread Lightly! and how we are working to keep the great outdoors healthy, open and accessible for YOU. And while you’re at it, get some fantastic tips on driving off road responsibly.