TDS DESERT SAFARI
IT'S THERE AND THEN IT'S GONE
Have you ever been to the largest-and-longest running off-road event in Southern California? If you have then you are itching to go back. If not then you are not going to believe it unless you experience it.
It's the annual Desert Safari put on by Tierra Del Sol, an epic off-road club in San Diego. Thousands of off-roaders gather in the desert near an accidental sea to form a temporary community for three days of off road chicanery...then disperse like they were never there.
SCORCH will be setting up a camp at the event from which we will lead excursions. Come hangout for a day or camp all weekend.
IT GOES DOWN ON
This is the 57th year that Tierra Del Sol is putting together this amazing experience. We were surprised to learn that most of our members not only have never been to one, but many had never even heard of it.
So we decided to help make it easy to attend what could certainly be called an overwhelming event. We're adding a little structure to the chaos by inviting you into a community within a community. A hangout and a haven on the edge of the insanity.
RSVPs will be handled on our Meetup.com page.
CAN YOU HANDLE THIS?
Yes. This is a great event for everyone from beginners to hard-core off-roaders. Camp SCORCH is your launching pad to everything the TDS Desert Safari and the desert beyond has to offer.
We'll be leading short and long excursions on a relaxed schedule throughout the weekend. Skip some or all of them to tackle the terrain at your own skill and pace. Take long breaks to stroll the vendor village or spectate in the "training center" area.
The main excursions out of the camp will be lead by a mostly stock Nissan X-Terra Off Road Edition upgraded with better (but not bigger) tires, 2" body lift for tire articulation, rock rails, some armor, and a skilled driver. Stock Wranglers can handle this for sure. The wide open terrain provides many options for easier workarounds or enhanced challenges to suit all levels and rigs.
The event takes place within the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area. We will post the exact coordinates of our basecamp here, in our Meetup group, and on our social media profiles by just after sunrise on Friday, March 1. You can get a head start by mapping yourself to "Truckhaven 4X4 Training Area" on Google or Waze.
Feel free to bring your camper, trailer, UTV, ATV, SXS and dirt bike along also. If the area is not under fire restrictions (it often is) bring lots of wood for a central bonfire in our camp.
The nearest bathrooms are a long walk to the porta-potties in the TDS vendor village or a short drive to the gas station / convenience store by the highway.
At sunrise on Friday we scout out an unclaimed location large enough to hold all RSVP'd attendees. We'll then post the exact coordinates on the Meetup.com Event Page.
Make sure you have an app that handles map coordinates because Google or Waze will get you close but you will need some precision to find us once you arrive. We'll have about 40 traffic cones marking off our site. Pull in and find a spot if we are out riding when you arrive.
Friday rides will be a collection of short excursions throughout the day and beyond sunset.
Saturday rides will be longer affairs, with the first starting around 10am and the second one kicking off after lunch, followed by a nighttime edition of Follow the Leader.
Camp SCORCH officially ends on Sunday at 11am but those not interested in packing up and rolling home early are encouraged to make some time for self-guided exploration before hitting the road.
Throughout the weekend we will make jaunts into the heart of TDS Desert Safari - the 4X4 training area and the vendor village. The village has food options, event merchandise, porta-potties, exhibit booths from off-road companies, and bouncy houses for the kids.
The 4X4 Training Area contains man-made obstacles and courses that range from fun to insane. The result is a circus of spectators and rad rigs going through their paces. Take a try or just watch the fun.
STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW
This event is not affiliated with TDS Desert Safari...we are just one of many groups showing up.
An invite to Camp SCORCH is free but an RSVP is required.
Camping in Ocotillo Wells SVRA is free.
Consider buying an official ticket to TDS Desert Safari if you want to support their great work or participate in their official ride on Saturday.
Campfires are sometimes banned during dry periods, which often coincides with this event.
The official TDS vendor village includes food vendors, porta-potties, event merchandise, and booths from off-roading companies.
TDS Desert Safari tends to be an around the clock affair with no quiet hours.
There is an ARCO gas station with an AM/PM (and a bathroom), a dollar store, and a Jack in the Box just a few minutes away.
STUFF YOU SHOULD BRING
Camp SCORCH at TDS Desert Safari is a primitive camping and off-roading experience. We'll be journeying out to the middle of nowhere on our excursions. Get your vehicle inspected and pack it accordingly.
Lots of water - It doesn't have to be hot to be dry. It's still the desert.
Food - You can survive on the vendor village eateries during prime hours and make off-hours runs to Jack in the Box if that is your thing, but you are going to get hungry on the trails too. (Note: Campfires may be prohibited)
Clothing - Layers for shifting temperatures and good shoes for loose dirt.
Radio - We recommend this BaoFeng radio so you can hear the other riders and the lead rig/basecamp which will be broadcasting a 50w signal you will pick up anywhere at the event. You can elect to go with CB but the range tends to be very limited.
Air Pump - We recommend this off road air compressor to quickly air SUV and truck tires up and down for better trail performance. Do not show up with a cigarette lighter-powered pump for passenger cars.
Tow Gear - Bring a tow cable like this one or winch and have tow points to connect them to so we can pull you out of a ditch if needed.
Spare Tire - Duh!
Garbage bags - The nearest dumpsters will be driving distance so be prepared to pack out your trash.
Cash - Some vendors in the Official TDS Safari Vendor Village do not accept credit cards.
Bonfire wood - If the area is not under fire prohibition, let's get a central bonfire setup in the middle of our camp.
Tools - Any tools you can bring along that might help get your rig or another driver's rig patched up in the wild would be greatly appreciated.
Camping Gear - You'll need somewhere to put your head and keep warm if you are staying overnight.
Portable Camping Toilets - If a short drive to the AM/PM or a long walk to the vendor village is going to be too far then have a plan C. A good three part solution for under $100 is this camp toilet or this one with these bags and this privacy solution.
THE FINE PRINT
The organizers of this meetup are not responsible for any damage done to your person or vehicle at this event, getting to this event, or after this event. We are a group of adults meeting up for an activity that takes a high degree of personal responsibility. All participants must do so at their own risk.
If you act like an asshat, douche, idiot, jerk, or in any way behave or operate your vehicle in a manner that is a risk or annoyance to others or does not respect the park, you will be asked to leave the camp and be possibly ejected from SCORCH.