Watching where you step

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RescueRangers

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I have been part of several Jeep and Off Road clubs over the past few years and was told repeatedly about “Tread Lightly”. In each of these clubs they promote “Tread Lightly” and everyone talks about it or points out things other people have done when they were not following “Tread Lightly”. But in each of these clubs, some of these very people who praise “Tread Lightly”, go out on a Saturday and find an open field so they can play in the mud. Tread lightly means you don’t change what you are driving over or through. These people may be able to repeat the words but don’t understand what it means, or they are only repeating the words because it makes them seem cool. It doesn’t matter which because they are destroying an entire ecosystem in that field.

It’s not just off roaders. We recently started hiking and in the hiking world it’s called “Leave No Trace”. The concept is the same and there are tons of hikers that praise this concept but each year tons of trash gets left on the AT, PCT, and other trails.

How far do you go to “Tread Lightly” or Leave No Trace”?

When you promote Overlanding, do you promote responsible Overlanding and respecting our backyard so everyone can enjoy it the way it was, is?

What more can we do, as individuals or as a group, to help protect the natural places we all enjoy and change other people's attitude towards these places?
 
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Overland-Indiana

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I think one thing that is maybe overlooked by some is the idea of picking up after others too.I am guilty of seeing someone else's trash laying somewhere and not picking it up. I think even taking a few moments to stop on the trail to clean up a mess, even if it was someone else's mess would be a huge help.
 
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Robert OB 33/48

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Good point Jeffrey,

In Wales there is the GLASS assosiation. GreenLane ASS. They do lots of things, even going to court and goverment to keep lanes open, or get them reopend.
They do, and this is a fact, repair lanes, and such. Make fences to keep people away from certain area's. And are very keen about Tread Lightly.
As a representive (soon for mainland Europe, all the German and dutch speaking countries) I do things in Holland for keeping lanes and tracks open.
So, I have a Trasharoo and try to pick up as much litter on the way as possible. And it aint my litter, because I dont leave litter.
If I see people trowing things away, I just go there, pick their stuff up and put it in my bag. And when they make stupid remarks, well, it is not my thing to go and have an argument.
But I write down the licenseplate or make a picture. And put them if possible on a Wall of Shame.
The best thing I can do, is organising trips, guide the people and tell them how to act. And after some time they know how to do it.
Its not a easy task, or an one week goal.
Start small and take little steps, maybe that works.
Greetings from Robert
 
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TreXTerra

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I bought a Trasharoo and load up on other people's garbage when I am off road. If I come across a group without garbage bags I offer them some of my spares. I stick to marked and numbered trails, I don't carve bypasses or use unmarked bypasses. When on foot I stick to established trails, rock-hop, or walk in dry washes. Bio waste gets bagged and hauled out (trash compactor bags are extra thick and perfect for this if you are worried about leaks or breaks).
 
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toxicity_27

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Growing up we always picked up after other people and threw their trash away as well as ours. We would find a lot of bottle caps stuck in the ground, and we would pry them out to throw them away.

As my mom always said, "Take only pictures, and leave only footprints."
 

RescueRangers

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FourWheeler magazine was nice enough to post the perfect example for this discussion on their Facebook page. Some guy and his girlfriend were running the power line trails in search of their beloved mud. After getting stuck, and then recovered by a company they called, they were charged with trespassing. The worse part of the article was the magazine focused on the $48,000 bill the guy got saying never run trails without a buddy. I would guess the intent was to avoid the recovery bill and trespassing charge by recovering yourself so no one knows you are out there. They totally missed the point that these two shouldn't have been there in the first place, and if they were responsible off roaders would never have considered it.

Stay on marked trails, never make new trails, and never go on private property unless you first get permission.
 

Michael

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This is a great discussion. Staying on designated trails is really important. Usually, as in the case with the rock trails of Bald Mountain here in CA, if the trail is not obvious, it is the kind of trail that won't be destroyed if you veer off slightly.

We also travel as slow as possible, especially on dirt tracks. We try to avoid tearing it up.

We pick up others trash as well, and we do something called a "stupid check" when we leave a camp site. When the rig is packed, we all comb the area for missed pieces of debris.

@CorrieOB and I also bring a trash collector with us, hand him a bag, and send him off on a "collection run". We make a game of it, and he comes back and shows us his bounty.


Miguel.jpg
 

RescueRangers

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I spent several years in the Customs world so I should have thought of this one before I saw a couple posts online that "reminded" me. Firewood. I know most of us don't have room to take firewood with us but, please don't. Use deadfall in the local area. Transporting firewood from one region of the country to another can result in transporting creatures that may have an adverse effect on the area you camp in. We have a number of invasive species that are spreading across this country fast enough on their own.
 

Maxterra

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I always bring back more than I take out.
I also recently picked up a large magnet on about a 3' handle for picking up all the nails, staples and screws left around from the idiots burning pallets, etc.
I've picked up a couple of nails in tires over the years from that practice.
Do my best to clean up what I can, and on any overnite group run, stress no pallets or similar.
 

Lifestyle Overland

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I spent several years in the Customs world so I should have thought of this one before I saw a couple posts online that "reminded" me. Firewood. I know most of us don't have room to take firewood with us but, please don't. Use deadfall in the local area. Transporting firewood from one region of the country to another can result in transporting creatures that may have an adverse effect on the area you camp in. We have a number of invasive species that are spreading across this country fast enough on their own.
Very good point. My family's farm was devastated by the southeast pine beetle infestation. You wouldn't believe what it they can do to a landscape.

That being said, we use a propane campfire. They are lighter than firewood and legal when burn bans are in effect (in NM). Love a real campfire, but it's awful handy when wood is scarce. (Again, NM!)
 

RescueRangers

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That being said, we use a propane campfire. They are lighter than firewood and legal when burn bans are in effect (in NM). Love a real campfire, but it's awful handy when wood is scarce. (Again, NM!)
Since you brought it up (and thanks for doing so), what are the rules on propane camp stoves during burn bans in the various states across the country?