We all have a responsibilty of doing the right things when we are out in the bush. Do you want to put the 4X4 community’s best foot forward next time, here are some simple tips to keeping your 4X4 etiquette in the green.
1. Don’t rip up the tracks
For a Four-wheel driver, the tracks we drive are more responsibility than right, and if we abuse them, we’ll probably lose them. To ensure that tracks we drive today, along with more stay open for our pleasure, we need to ensure that we do the right thing by them.
My favourite saying when it comes to this is to ‘drive as slow as possible, and as fast as neccesary’. There are plenty of situations where momentum becomes a 4×4’s good friend, if not the best. But, it’s resource to use as minimally as possible. Overt heavy use of the loud pedal will see those tracks damaged much more than they need to be. So next time you’re only approach to overcoming an obstacle is to plant the right foot, please think twice.
Rubbish is the scourge of the bush, don’t litter. And as much as it pains me to say, there is always going to be a small handful of incoherent nincompoops that will leave rubbish out there. So when you see it out there, pick it up and dispose of it properly.
3. Stop for a chat
Say G’day to those you come across on the tracks out there; it’s the polite thing to do, and you might even learn a thing or two. It’s not just tourists out there; there is valuable local knowledge to be had in a quick yarn.
4. Slow down sometimes.
When you’re driving past someone on those lonesome dirt roads, whether they are stopped or driving, button off the accelerator for a little bit. It allows your dust to drop, and those pesky rocks from taking on their mortal enemy, glass.
5. Help out where you can
There aren’t many four-wheel drivers out there who haven’t needed a helping hand from time to time. Whether it be a bogging, breakdown, or just some directions, you’ll come across someone in need from time to time. Pay it forward, we say. because chances are, one day you will be the one needing help.
6. Leave gates as you found them
This is a simple, but hugely important one. Many great tracks run through people’s private property, and we are only allowed in there by the good grace of their consent. Don’t let lievstock run amok, leave the gates exactly as you found them.
7. Obey the rules
The Dalai Lama once said “Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” He’s a wise man, but that sort of thinking doesn’t cut it on the tracks. Don’t get me wrong here, inaccessible tracks get my goat like you wouldn’t beleive, especially if there isn’t an obvious reason why they are closed. But going all vigilante isn’t the solution here; ff there are track closures, seasonal or otherwise, obey the rules. If you do have a problem, do the grown-up thing and pick up the phone and speak to your local representative in government, or whoever else is part of the decision-making.