American Adventures

AWIU #012 – Brett Cifaldi

Every week, we ask an Adventurist Who Inspires Us (AWIU) the same three questions. How much do we have in common?

Brett Cifaldi
Cover: Instructor and Guide
Location: Corona, CA, USA

Truck, OHV, Hike


What makes an adventure truly remarkable or meaningful, and why do you seek that? In other words, why must you go?

For me it’s never been about the destination but the experience, however I didn’t always understand that. I spent 8 years in the Air Force and I’d been all over the world, from Alaska to McMurdo Station in Antarctica. I always enjoyed the travel so when I got out I tried to duplicate that to the best of my ability. There were a lot of solo adventures, sadly they always lacked something. It took me a long time to figure out what exactly it was that was lacking. I finally figured out that it was people to share the experience with. Now it’s always about the company I keep and who I share those memories and experiences with.


When are you most confident while on your adventures and what makes that possible?

My thirst for knowledge, always researching how things are done and then applying those tools, adapting them to work for me as well as being able to teach others so it works for them. I am a firm believer everyone should know how to do every role on a trip. Whether it be trip planning, spotter over rough terrain or something as simple as showing someone how to pack up their gear properly for safe storage, these task are all important and should be treated as such.

I am the point man for this year’s big winter trip, I was either volunteered or voluntold (still unsure) but to me it tells me that the group is confident in my ability to do that task and I feel it’s for the reasons I stated above but I’m also just as comfortable that when I am not point I can casually take a step back and assist in any way needed.


Be honest, now, where do you feel least confident?

I feel my biggest weakness has to do with the mechanics of and possible repair of the truck if something catastrophic should happen. I have always felt this way and it’s a constant underlying concern. I don’t have enough personal experience diagnosing and repairing what’s wrong with vehicles to feel that beyond a shadow of a doubt that if something broke I could necessarily get it up and moving again. That’s not as critical on a day trip but its severe on some of these longer interior type trips we do.

KNOWN LOCATIONS (most recent 3 adventures)

  • 07/16: Pioneer Town, CA to Big Bear, CA via Heartbreak Ridge, Pontiac Sluice through Burns Canyon to Jacoby Canyon and pop out at Holcomb dropping us down into Big Bear itself, leading a pack of 8 other trucks who had never done that set of trails. That’s always an adventure.
  • 05/16: Overland Expo West: My first Overland Expo! Met some new friends and generally just had fun.
  • 12/15: American Adventurist Death Valley Expedition – DVX15, the first half of that trip report is featured in Adventurist Life and the second half should be dropping soon.
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