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Old 29th July 2019, 16:00   #1
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Default Are you treading lightly? Preventing trail damage & improving the image of the 4x4 community

Offroad

The term conjures up many visions depending on perspectives!

Offroaders will say it's to test man and machine against nature

Overlanders will say it's to explore the unknown

Everyone else will say you guys are destroyers of nature.

And honestly, they aren't too far off from their thinking.

This thread is aimed at asking off-roaders: What have you done to prevent trail damage?

The reason for this thread is simple. Your hobby won't last long if locals start stopping you from entering their lands.

I'm cross posting a few quotes from this thread:

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-e...ml#post4629152 (Offroading Protocols & Code of Conduct)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
This is a nice demonstration of soil erosion when there are no plants.
How is this is relevant to our hobby?
Someone bushwacks a trail or "creates a bypass." Someone will say "I didn't do any damage, I just went through once!" not that they'd know what "damage" is but let's humor them.
The person after them sees the tracks and follows. And the one after them does. Next thing you know, it's a new trail.
Throw in ten years of traffic & rain on every new "bypass" or bushwack, and an entire area can be ruined.
Please, stay on the trail. If you can't make the obstacle, turn around and find another way or stay home.

And

Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
Wow! I know nothing about off-roading and it doesn't interest me, but very impressive to read that you guys do think about these aspects too. Has corrected my impression that off-road guys are just about taking their monsters wherever, without a thought about the damage to the plant and animal life. (Have seen a few posts on this forum too where people are 'proud' that their jeeps and bikes made it off-road into some pristine forest trail or the other.)

Great to hear that there are 'good people'/environmentally careful off-roaders too!
My reply to above:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
To be honest. There are a few like us and more rotten apples. Just last weekend we went to a place for offroading which we have been going for years and had kept the location a secret. Once someone's friend accompanied us and they gave that location to another group.

Two weekends ago that group went and offroaded irresponsibly and last weekend when we went, the locals politely asked us to leave. Since they knew us, they were polite. They said any other group and they would have gotten rude and the outcome would not be great.

People need to realise that dirt trails are not only for vehicles. They are mostly used for village folks and trekkers. When off-roaders go, they go full speed, splash water on villagers, make bypasses and the MT tyres dig up the trails because they are trying to move off the trail and the need for traction makes the wheels chew the soft land. These trails then become difficult for bullock carts and bikes to pass (which is the main source of travel for locals). Not to mention that the donuts done by these vehicles removes a lot of top soil. Doing stuff in extreme is not good.

You want to do donuts then go to private's property with permission of the landlord to do the same.
We all love offroading and don't want it to suffer. We all should read the protocols thread quoted above. However, the main question is: what all will you do to improve the image of the community?

What we do:

1. Take along old clothes, book and stuff for villagers
2. Try to augment village income by ordering food from local homes
3. Never venture into farms and always ask before entering
4. Always give a lift to village folks
5. Clean up spot. Take back more trash than we came with.
6. Give respect to locals - right of way for bikes, people and livestock

Any more thoughts?
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Old 29th July 2019, 16:03   #2
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Default re: Are you treading lightly? Preventing trail damage & improving the image of the 4x4 community

A lot of people will say plant saplings.

A note of caution here though:

Don't randomly plant saplings. Every area has it's local flora and fauna. You DO NOT want to introduce a specie that is foreign to that region. It could negatively affect domestic crop by propagating wildly. Plus, you might inadvertently introduce bugs which may be on saplings.

Speak to locals and ask their needs.

Saplings also need care. One day in the rain and a plantation drive may not work. Local livestock may devour those saplings one hour after you leave with a satisfied conscious.

Do our homework before you do any work.
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Old 30th July 2019, 14:01   #3
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Default Re: Are you treading lightly? Preventing trail damage & improving the image of the 4x4 community

Remember, trekkers, animals and vehicles with lesser wheels than you always get priority and right of way on the trails. Pull over, stop and let them pass. Respect the right of locals and that will keep trails open.

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Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 30th July 2019 at 14:08. Reason: corrected typos
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Old 6th August 2019, 11:32   #4
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Default Re: Are you treading lightly? Preventing trail damage & improving the image of the 4x4 community

Very Thoughtful. Everyone must care about the environment.

Just to add some ideas, We did an offroad trail driving event for an Automobile brand marketing their 4x4 vehicles. While we were doing the recce we found a lot of trash left over by other weekend folks.

So, We added an activity to the offroad driving event. We asked participants to collect as much trash they could in their cars while driving on the trail. Upon reaching the finish point, we weighed the trash of each vehicle and the one with the maximum trash were given some prizes.

A total of 130 kgs of waste was collected and the activity was a great success.

Would love to hear more ideas from people here on how innovative we can become on such offroad trails. Others please pitch in.
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