4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Bampton Drive Round Day, 5th Mar 07
A meet at the local farm saw the vehicles all checked over for suitable tyres, recovery points and recovery kit, made sure everyone had some lunch and with the landowner leading the convoy we were off. First stop was a small wooded section where the first appreciation of general skills and confidence of the group members was made. This determining which routes were to be taken later in the day and also gave the drivers an insight into what to expect. A little teaching and development here also helped for some of the trickier sections later.

Joining the predominantly Land Rover based group was Chris in his Suzuki. His first time out except for a day at Seven Sisters and some gentle greenlaning. The first wooded section proved a key point in his confidence development and enabled him to believe in his vehicles capabilities whilst also gleaning some useful information on driving techniques from the other drivers.

From here we headed out to pick up the first water section which the petrol's sensibly decided to drive around - there is the option to drive around all of the sections.
We were soon out heading down an old river bed, the original river having been diverted some time ago, this proved an interesting drive with some technically difficult sections including a few drops, the banks having reasonably steep sides with some nice angles as the vehicles progressed down through. Good ground clearance was essential for this section. Despite this Chris in the light weight Suzuki breezed through the section (with a little hope from Tim and a tow rope for some bits).
Some of the interlocking tracks between the sections also had a few hidden extras to drive. After some lunch we headed off for a heavily rutted section through the woods before coming upto some good climbs followed by some clenching descents through pine forests.
Some of the drivers decided to miss a few of these sections due to the slightly unstable ground conditions brought on by recent rain. The winches also played a bit of a role here as well with limited traction in places on some ascents. With more water sections and some surprisingly good sections straight off minor tarmac roads driver and co drivers were kept on their toes thinking about route choice and vehicle ability.
From here it was back to some excellent gully and river driving and as you can see the drivers loved it.

Some video clips of the day out...

Dan on one of the Bampton river drives

A nice short drop in the first wooden section from Tim

A short river drop