Quick Tips for Responsible Four Wheeling – Education

Tread Lightly! is a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to empower generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly through stewardship to further the goals of responsible and ethical recreation. The organization was started by the United States Forest Service in 1985, and became a nonprofit in 1990.

The organization leads awareness workshops and restores trails nationwide.  To be good stewards of our planet, we should all practice responsible off-roading. Tread Lightly! publishes recreation tips on their website Here’s an excerpt from their Four-Wheeling pamphlet:

  • Educate yourself prior to your trip by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies, planning for your trip, taking recreation skills classes and knowing how to operate your equipment safely.
  • Obtain a map, (motor vehicle use map where appropriate) of your destination and determine which areas are open to off-highway vehicles.
  • Make a realistic plan and stick to it. Always tell someone of your travel plans.
  • Contact the land manager for area restrictions, closures and permit requirements.
  • Check the weather forecast before you go. Prepare for the unexpected by packing necessary emergency items.
  • Buckle up! Seatbelts are mandatory. Know your limitations. Watch your time, your fuel and your energy.
  • Take an off-highway drivers course to learn more about negotiating terrain in a four-wheel drive vehicle.
  • Make sure your vehicle is mechanically up to task. Be prepared with tools, supplies, spares and a spill kit for trailside repairs.


Tread Lightly! is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible recreation through education and stewardship. Tread Lightly! offers training and restoration programs designed to educate outdoor enthusiasts on the importance of maintaining a healthy environment.


To find out more about Tread Lightly! and join the organization, visit their website HERE.


You can commit to responsible four-wheeling and learn more about how to protect off-road access by becoming a friend of Tread Lightly! free HERE.


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