doing everything within your power to drive safely, courteously, and
carefully. It means taking care of yourself and the land you ride on.
all heard about trails
closing, environmentalists complaining, and four-wheelers taking a
large part of the blame. One of the main reasons that our trails are
closing is that 4x4 drivers aren't using trails properly. There is a
right way and a wrong way to travel off-highway in a four-wheel drive
vehicle. For the future of our sport, please choose the right way:
For The Land
- Stay on the designated trail
times - no matter what. Don't go trailblazing your own path through the
wilds. Going off the designated trail is a surefire way to get more of
our trails closed. Wouldn't you like for your children and
grandchildren to be able to four wheel some of the same places that
you've been able to? To be able to legally travel off-highway, we have
to stay on the trails we still have. If we really want to continue our
sport we have to stick to the designated trails.
- When you are traveling the
try to avoid slipping a tire. It requires a certain skill to be able to
drive a trail without slipping a tire, but treading carefully ensures
that you aren't tearing up the land by throwing rocks, mud, dirt and
water. When the trail and its surroundings receive less wear and tear,
the land loves us for it. So do the environmentalists. Plus, an added
benefit to trying to avoid tire slippage is that it makes riding an
easy trail all the more challenging!
- Another way to protect the
to stay out of water. While we often have no choice but to cross
through water, if you must, simply cross it at a very slow pace. To
provide the least disturbance to the environment, avoid creating a wake
or spinning your tires on the stream bed.
- Pack out what you packed in.
important to always take your garbage with you on the way out. Better
yet, take out more then you brought in. Whenever you see it, pick up
trash off the trail and do your best to leave the area in better shape
then you found it. Most designated trails have a place for your garbage
at the trailhead.
- Never go out alone. Even a
trip could be costly. It's best to play it safe and never venture off
the highway alone. Taking along another vehicle is the smart thing to
do, because chances are both vehicles won't quit while out. If
something should happen to one vehicle, the second vehicle could tow
out the first, or go for help if necessary.
- Don't overload your vehicle.
should be distributed evenly inside your vehicle if at all possible.
Loads behind the rear axle will cause the rear of your vehicle to sag,
limiting your actual departure angle and overhead clearance. If you
have a roof rack, be extremely aware of weights and how they are
distributed. Excessive loads will change your center-of-gravity, making
the vehicle less stable and more susceptible to roll over.
- Don't drink and drive. Save
drinking for the campsite. If you chose to drink while four-wheeling,
you're putting yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the
trail in jeopardy. Besides, while four-wheeling, you need to have a
- Be aware of changing weather
conditions. Even before you head out, check the latest weather channel
for approaching storms.
- Be courteous to the other
are using the woods or deserts with you. Hikers, horseback riders, dirt
bikers, four-wheelers... we're all out for the same purpose -- to enjoy
the great outdoors!