We as the off-road community carry an often misplaced reputation as being hooligans and thrill seekers with a disregard for outdoor etiquette. It is our responsibility to tread lightly and with respect. Here are some simple rules you can follow on your next adventure. Pack out whatever you pack in, this is commonplace in trail etiquette and means that you shouldn’t be throwing cans, plastics, or printed papers in your fire.
You should carry out all glass metal and know the local regulations on human waste as all areas differ in waste management. If traveling within the United States checking the with local the Bureau of Land Management or any National Forest ranger stations within your travel path and they will give you a pre-trip rundown of preparations you need to take before hitting the trail.
Respect for the trail is a crucial part to our community if you see any garbage that has been left at a campsite, please pack it out. If you feel the urge to disrupt a natural feature with graffiti, carvings, or postings, please refrain. Similarly, if you’re tempted to break your own trail, don’t. We can all leave it better than we found it and should work together to do so.
Pre-trip planning can be as simple as returning to a favorite spot or adventuring into somewhere new. For all of these trips, it is recommended that you share your plans and timeline with somebody back at home. Try to share a detailed map with waypoints, it will be one of the best things you can do in the case that emergency efforts should be enacted.
Every year outdoorsmen and women go missing because their route was only known to them. Do not let yourself fall prey to this simple mistake. It is also recommended that you do not travel alone. Off-road travel can quickly turn from a good time to dangerous and being prepared with a partner can help you overcome difficult situations to return home safely.
We debated not sharing this topic as we didn’t want to seem bias, being that we sell recovery equipment, but it is too important not to share. Your vehicle is not invincible. Do not assume that a lift, wheels and tires, and vehicle armor is enough to get you through it all. Carrying a healthy collection of recovery equipment appropriate for your vehicle size is a must. A set of recovery boards similar to Maxtrax can go a long way when you find yourself in a sticky situation.
A winch with appropriate accessories will be one of the most reliable tools in your kit as you need to recover your own vehicle or others — and in returning to our first tip, appropriate accessories to protect the natural surrounding of the trail. Carry a tree saver and line dampeners to help leave no trace.
A standard piece of kit neglected is first aid equipment. Countless injuries can occur while exploring the unknown. Be prepared with a well stocked and regularly maintained first-aid kit. Lastly, knowledge is the best piece to carry. If you have a fully stocked vehicle with all the recovery gear in the world, it is only the knowledge of appropriate use that will make it of any value to you.
When traveling outside of cell range and in remote areas, it is good advice to know the local Amateur Radio repeater frequencies used by enthusiasts and emergency personnel. This
information can generally be gained through a little research, calling ranger stations and the Bureau of Land Management can help as well as joining the local Amateur Radio Facebook groups. We have found that these groups generally host a large number of domestic travelers for your region of travel that can help prepare you should the worst happen and you need to get in contact with civilization.
Should there be no immediate solution, carrying a satellite phone or something similar to a Garmon in-reach will allow you to use satellite technology to reach those you need
Lastly, you should know your vehicle. A firm understanding of the health of your vehicle before departing can help avoid any unnecessary problems. Check your battery, tires, fluid levels, and suspension components. We recommend creating a checklist to walk through before you leave for any trip, something specific to your vehicle. Include electronics, safety equipment, spare tires and fuel on the list.
Run a simple systems test on 4×4 equipment,
All of the above Is in place so that you can travel care-free and enjoy the great outdoors. These tips will help you to travel with the peace of mind that not only is your vehicle well equipped, but you are equipped with the knowledge of how to appropriately handle recovery situations, first aid, and trail etiquette. We wish you the best on your next adventure! From all of us here at CBI Offroad, Happy trails!