Mastering the Art of Winching When Time is Short

In the September 2023 issue of Car and Driver, an article describes a three-day wilderness training experience offered by Cameron Advanced Mobility (CAM) near Arches National Park in Utah. The author, who is not named, admits to feeling concerned when asked about their blood type upon checking in at CAM. The author explains that they didn’t do a lot of bleeding and was relieved when the founder and lead instructor of CAM, Ken Cameron, assured them that it would be fine.

The article goes on to mention the camaraderie found at CAM, as several broad and bearded men at the hotel bar share stories about reattaching their fingers. The author explains that the CAM team includes fearless problem solvers who are well-equipped to handle emergencies, such as wrapping a detached thumb in an iced rag and driving themselves to the hospital. The author assumes that these individuals likely know their blood type due to their experience in emergency situations.

The article then delves into the background of Ken Cameron, revealing that his love for outdoor adventure began in his childhood in rural New Jersey. He joined the army at a young age and discovered his passion for motorsports after coming across a book about the Camel Trophy race. Ken competed in the race and became second in 1996. It was during his time in the Camel Trophy that he met Webb Arnold, who is now a fellow instructor at CAM.

The article explains that CAM has primarily focused on military training for the past 20 years, utilizing various vehicles and terrains. What sets CAM’s classes apart is the emphasis on self-sufficiency and on-trail fixes. While techniques for minimizing vehicle damage are taught, the students also learn how to troubleshoot and repair their vehicles on the spot. The article highlights that for many soldiers, it may be their first time turning a bolt or working on a vehicle.

The author shares their personal experience attending a CAM class, which was centered more around civilian expeditionary training. CAM now offers high-end adventure training experiences with varying levels of support and accommodations. The author mentions the challenging driving exercises they encountered, including steep hills, loose sand, and winch exercises across slick rock faces. Through the training, the author gained confidence in their abilities and references their blood type, humorously stating that it makes them “B positive.”

The article concludes by providing a brief bio of the author, Elana Scherr, a senior editor at Car and Driver. It mentions her initial reluctance to driving and her discovery of a passion for cars and writing about them. Elana has been involved in the automotive journalism industry, covering classics, car culture, technology, motorsports, and new car reviews.