4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Bampton Drive Round Day – 10th Mar 19
Words, Pictures and Video by James Trembath

A smaller group for today’s outing at Bampton meant we could make the most of the opportunity and tackle some of the less frequently used parts of the route. Less frequently used as it can take a while to get the vehicles through.

The day did not go quite to plan. In fact it didn’t even start that well in Warm Up woods when Russell decided to ‘not follow the leader’ and promptly parked on top of some rather large wind blown Oak. Thankfully Mike was on hand to take pity and kindly winched him back out – Russell did wonder why people had driven a slightly different route he admitted later!

After a hour or so in around Top Wood and some of the interlocking tracks we headed down to a previously undriven part of the site for a quick ‘look see’ for potential routes in the future. A very narrow section of wood with a good interesting track going up through it. It currently goes to a dead end, which gave for a good drive back out but to make it into something ‘special’ a plan has been made which will be executed later in the year to add in more to our already quite extensive and challenging route around the estate.

Following our new wooded section we then headed across to Slippery Side Slope Woods. To make it all the more challenging we had Russell with no winch so there was going to be a bit of team work to get the vehicles through, plus we took the decision to undertake the route backwards! This in itself shouldn’t have made it that hard but we had a couple of ongoing issues!

The winching up into the section and getting Russell up took a little bit of time. Pauls winch wasn’t on 100% after the first few pulls with some changeover solenoids getting hot on his charging system. Russell despite driving particularly well did get hung up on the spring hangers a few more places than expected requiring some unplanned winch work. Meanwhile, Scott, who must have left his driving pants at home, had a bit of shocker and seemed to winch most of the way around the whole wood.

Then as we neared the end Mikes battery totally gave up which meant some turning around for Scott, lots more winching to get Mikes automatic out of the predicament it was in, to then jump start it.

At this point we had the major issue of the day when Paul misjudged the depth of a puddle and filled his boot with a lovely cold wet mud/water mix. That was almost go home time for us all!

Thankfully it was only a mere 150m to the end of the woods from there and after a sit down and talking to from his codriver Paul managed to get himself back in the car and extract both himself and Russell out of the section!

With time pretty much vanishing with the winching and few technical issues we then headed on to Frist Drop before finishing an hour or so later than usual with a last meandering technical track down through one of the gullies to the end. Unfortunately Mike had to cut and run with battery woes and charging issues, luckily for him the AA were on hand when he only made it a few miles down the road! A fresh battery and follow home was in order!

Some lessons learnt, Scott needs to find his driving skill set and Paul needs some longer wellies! Roll on the next DRD!

A video of the day

Some pictures from the day