Over the years, our staff has been asked a lot of questions about overlanding. But there’s one query that almost every enthusiast seems to have in common. No, it’s not “What size tires can I fit with this lift?” but rather “What will improve my vehicle’s capability the most for the least amount of money?” The answer is simple, but generally not what people want to hear: training.
While big tires, lift kits, and lockers certainly improve your vehicle’s performance and looks, a skilled driver can often take a stock truck further with fewer problems than a beginner can with a slew of modifications. More importantly, if things do go wrong, the knowledgable driver will know how to handle the situation. The only problem is that driving, recovery, and survival training isn’t cheap. Not everyone can afford the price or even the time off they require, and that’s exactly where Bob Wohlers’ Off-Road & Overland Adventure Books come in.
Now before we go any further, I know that there are a lot of fantastic overland training publications on the market. Options like The Overlander’s Handbook, Four-Wheeler’s Bible, and Travel The Planet Overland offer invaluable advice on topics ranging from border crossings and field repair to cooking like a local and convincing your partner to travel, so you’re probably wondering what separates Wohlers’ books from the rest. Well, it all comes down to the detail.
While other authors were only able to skim the surface of many subjects in a single book, Bob Wohlers broke the material out into a series of titles on recovery, survival, safety, and more. This allowed him to dive deep into the topic at hand, demonstrating his points with photos, illustrations, and detailed explanations. Wohlers doesn’t merely mention that you should carry a suitable jack, but also covers the types of jacks available, when to use them, and how to operate each safely and effectively. From there, he presents readers with quizzes to evaluate their retention of the material, followed by real-world practice scenarios that enable them to apply it. It’s a system that ensures people do more than just memorize the lessons; but instead, understand them enough to put them to use when they need the information most.
Not that we’d expect anything less from the author. For those who don’t know him, Bob Wohlers runs the Off-Road Safety Academy, teaching enthusiasts and professionals of all skill levels how to drive, modify, and recover their vehicles. He has traveled overland across the USA, Egypt, Israel, Mexico, and Belize, is a Master Tread Trainer with Tread Lightly, and a certified BLM and National Park Permitted Outfitter and Guide. It’s safe to say that when it comes to overlanding Bob knows his stuff, and when you read his books it shows.
In Live Long to Wander, Wohlers covers the basic necessities, strategies, and knowledge you’ll need to survive if something should go wrong in the backcountry. He details what to carry in first-aid and survival kits, how to handle emergencies, and ways to improve your chances of making it home safely before you even leave on your trip in the first place. His second book, Raising Your 4WD Vehicle Off Road & In-Field Tire Repair, covers everything you have ever wanted to know about jacks, tires, patches, and plugs. Readers will learn how to use a Hi-Lift as a winch, reseat a bead on a tire, and raise a vehicle safely in a number of difficult terrains. Finally, his most recent and extensive undertaking, The Total Approach of Getting Unstuck Off Road, delves into field repair, traction recovery, kinetic energy recovery, towing recovery, and of course, powered and hand winch recovery. If you’re looking to learn how to get yourself out of a sticky situation, look no further.
Of course, these books aren’t perfect. I’ll be the first to admit that the practice scenarios feel a bit dramatic at times and that the author presents certain subjects a little too seriously—but don’t let that put you off. Bob’s experience in the industry is extensive, and there is great information to be found on every page. So if you’re looking to grow your skills, improve safety, and learn to take your vehicle further than ever before, give this series a look.
To learn more about these books or buy your own copies, check them out on Amazon here.
To learn more about Bob’s training courses or attend one, visit DiscoverOffRoading.com