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Editor’s Book Review

I know that this is lame and cliché’ to do an editors pick of anything, but I stumbled on a product that everyone can use, no matter what UTV or Side X Side you own.

A book came across my desk last week, and while usually I’m not that big of a reader, besides the monthly men’s magazines that appear on my desk, this book fascinated me and I thought that I should share it with you all. I was going to just tell my friends about it, then I realized that a whole two people were not going to make that big of a difference, so thank god for the internet!

The book that I received is an installation of a series of books published by Adler Publishing Company, and written by Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson. The series of books is the “swagman guides” and features books in it’s line-up such as: 4WD Adventures: Colorado, Back Country Adventures: Utah, Back Country Adventures: Arizona, and the one sitting on my desk; Back Country Adventures: Southern California. The Southern California edition that I received is 640 pages and contains everything that you will need to know when riding the vast and beautiful terrain, along with some stuff you don’t need to know, but fun to read all the same.

This book contains 153 trails found throughout So-Cal, and offers readers 647 photographs and maps to look through. What really stood out to me about this book was the amount of extra information the writers give readers. Instead of just showcasing the certain trails or giving an overview of the area, the writers give you GPS coordinates to landmarks, a color trail map with the highlighted route, total mileage of the trail, unpaved mileage, driving time, starting and finishing points, elevation range, best time to travel, difficulty rating (throughout the trail), a scenic rating, and the remoteness rating. Along with all of this info for the trail you can also read about special attractions, a description of the trail, history of the surrounding area and contact information for current road and trail conditions.

The book offers everything you will need to know for the particular trail you’re interested in, but what makes this book better than others is the introductory pages, before the trails even start. When you first open the book you’ll find a chapter titled: “Before You Go.” This chapter is a great resource for beginner trail riders, or even seasoned riders, as it gives readers information on 4WD driving tips and using the book to it’s full potential. This chapter touches on subjects like: Backcountry Driving Rules and Permits, sharing information on 4WD road rules, the Tread Lightly program, special preparations for remote travel, special notes on travel near the Mexican border, and how to obtain permits. This first section also provides readers with key information on assessing you’re vehicle’s off-road abilities. Detailing subjects on different types of 4WD systems, knowing your clearance and the importance of tires, along with offering Four-Wheel driving tips.

The next chapter in the book is one of my favorites and gives readers the knowledge behind the areas that they are, or will be, riding. This section is titled: “Along the Trail” and is honed in on everything you could ever want to know about the areas featured in the book. The first key-point in this chapter is about the towns, ghost towns, and interesting places. It gives an overview of the history and founding of many of the towns in Southern California, along with bits on how certain towns played crucial roles in the development of the State. This section also introduces readers to famous names and faces of the founding of the California landscape, along with the Indian tribes that first resided in the Southern California terrain. The next section in this chapter is on the many animals that live in the California habitat, from Badgers to Turkey Vultures, this book covers them all. Ever wonder what type of plants or vegitation resides in So-cal? Wonder no more, the following section offers an overview of all the plants you may come in contact with, along with information on how to spot them.

All of this information in one book, with colorful photos, detailed maps, GPS coordinates and much, much more. If you’re looking to do some trail riding in the southwest, be sure to pick up on of the Back Country Adventure installations. As an avid trail rider and Editor of an off-road magazine, I can recognize the value of these books for anyone looking to get out on the trails, or just educate him or herself on the surrounding area. I look forward to more installations in this series and be sure to check out upcoming issues of Side X Side Action Magazine as we use this book to help us navigate some of the most treacherous terrain in the Southwest.


Price: $34.95
Adler Printing
On the web:

Popularity: 31% [?]

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