Being in the industry, it's easy to see that in the last few years there's been a massive resurgence of outdoor enthusiasts, many of which have embraced overlanding. It's amazing to have the opportunity to share our passion with more people, and it's thrilling to see the excitement fresh blood bring to the table. At the same time however, without the proper education, we're fearful of breeding a generation of oblivious novices that will tear down our precious wilderness instead of helping us preserve it. It's safe to say that most of us who have been around the dirt for awhile very much care about the road less traveled and we generally do our part by watching our step, but what about the annoying jerks tearing up a trail after the rain? We're not proposing direct confrontation, but if we aren't spreading the word when someone new enters the field, then we are only doing half the work and potentially letting that behavior find its way to the newbies.
That's why we make it our personal mission to not only support and practice Tread Lightly, a nonprofit organization offering a variety of tools to help arm recreationists with essential outdoor ethics, but we also actively share the notion with our community. We've put together a few quick points to help you communicate key practices with others!
- Blaze Your Own Trail : It's an empowering phrase, but one that doesn't belong in the wilderness. Trails exist to reduce user conflict, destruction of plant and animal life, and soil erosion. Stick to the trail--you can still make it your own adventure.
- The Golden Rule : Treat others with respect. Plain and simple. See a fly fisherman? Maybe don't rev your engine and scare all the fish away...
- If You Bring It, Don't Leave It : Everything you take in with you should come back out with you. Don't leave waste.
- Better Than Before : Don't turn a blind eye to things you didn't do. Little things like picking up trash you've found from someone else goes a long way.
So have fun out there, but if you bring friends with you--give them the formula for success, too, and encourage them to share it with others.
Learn more about Tread Lightly through their website.