How to minimize your impact on the trail

With more trails popping up and more riders ready to enjoy them, the traffic on UTV trails is ever increasing. But all that great riding can come at a cost. Without doing your part to minimize your impact on the trails, there may not be many left to enjoy in the future. Trails and public lands are easily damaged by carelessness and ignorance, whether intentional or not. UTV trails are meant to be used and enjoyed responsibly and they can be by remembering a few simple tips before you head out. Here are some things you can do to minimize your impact on the trail.

Use designated trails

When you’re out riding your UTV, be sure to stay on designated trails and the areas marked for UTV or ATV use. Properly using the designated trials will preserve them, keep them stable and maintains the integrity of the trails for years to come. Here are a few more specific tips you can follow. When you’re out on a trail, be sure to stay in the middle to avoid widening it. This means driving over obstacles instead of around them as well. Besides, going over small rocks and logs is more fun than going around it, right?  The same can be said for crossing streams; do so slowly at the designated areas, and at a 90-degree angle. You should also avoid cutting switchbacks. Avoid roosting around the apex of turns when you’re climbing. Avoid brake-sliding during descent. Avoid spinning your wheels. Ultimately, you want to do all you can to avoid altering the trails in anyway.

Clean up

One of the easiest things you can do to minimize your impact on the trail is to clean up after yourself. Whatever you pack in should be packed back out. One useful tip is to pack a garbage bag with you so that you have an easy spot to put your trash while you’re out riding. If you’re feeling extra altruistic, you could even pick up track left by others! When you’re done with your totally awesome ride, you should also clean up your UTV. This means spraying it down to remove any vegetation that may have come along for the ride. Not only will this benefit the life and well-being of your machine, but it will help to keep unwanted or unnatural vegetation from spreading to your next destination. If nature calls while you’re out on the trail, be sure you know the proper disposal for human waste. Waste should be buried at least 6 inches deep and the hole should them be camouflaged. Otherwise, you can pack out waste.

The Golden Rule

Above all, remember The Golden Rule and treat others the way you’d like to be treated. This includes the trail! Be respectful and mindful of your surroundings. Use common sense and clean up after yourself. Following these simple tips will help you minimize your impact on trails, while at the same time maximizing your enjoyment of the trails too. Remember, if you’re in the market for any UTV accessories be sure to check out the selection at UTV Windshield & Accessories before you (responsibly) hit the trails. Happy riding!      

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