Would you rather have Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton deciding the fate of your favorite off-roading trail on public lands?
I think most people would agree that neither person is a good choice to be trusted to make the right decision to keep public lands open and accessible. Now I know that the decision on access to public lands will probably never make it all the way to Hillary or Trump, but nonetheless, our leadership options most definitely speak to the political climate that we are faced with in the United States.
Sure we have amazing groups with amazing people doing amazing work to influence politicians to make decisions that are in support of the off-roading community. Organizations like Tread Lightly and BlueRibbon Coalition do a fantastic job of keeping our interests in front of decision makers and we greatly appreciate their work, but we can’t forget that there are well funded organizations (mostly environmentalists) on the opposite side of the issue lobbying to close access for vehicles to public lands. And with decision makers and a political climate like we talked about above, the fate of public lands and many of our favorite trails are a huge uncertainty.
Offroad safety should be important to everyone and not an afterthought. Having a safe experience means stresses and problems will be down and fun will be up! There are a ton of tips out there, some to be learned the easy way, some the hard way. Get with experienced wheelers in your area to learn from them! Ask questions and don't be afraid to make mistakes. We all started out new..
10 Vehicle Recovery Safety and Tips
Never Wheel ALONE!
Always have at least one partner vehicle-minimum.
Have a recovery and medical plan before it happens!
Ensure someone outside of your group knows where you are going and about what time you will be back.
Have a communication method and a backup. Cell phones will not always have service.
Use Where2Wheel's Recovery Needed! feature.
Always have a medical kit in your vehicle.
Use only snatch designed straps for snatching vehicles out of sticky situations.
No metal/hook ends, only loops.
Use only hardened recovery points, usually attached directly to the frame (If you have one *cough XJ *cough ????)
Pay attention to vehicle weight and how deep the vehicle is + how aired down the vehicle is.
Never hook up to steering or driving components, you will need to get out of the spot and then off the trail. Axles have ripped completely off of the vehicle!