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A Reminder to Tread Lightly

What Does Tread Lightly Mean & How to Do it?

Tread Lightly logo trademarked by Tread Lightly

It’s a mantra heard throughout all circles of the off-roading community, often accompanied by phrases like “pack in what you pack out” and “wheel responsibly”. The picture is much bigger than those words can convey, though. It goes far beyond cleaning up after yourself and not tearing up the ground beneath your wheels. As spring approaches and we prepare for extended weekends on the trail, here is a reminder to tread lightly.

Treading lightly is about how you wheel, how you camp, hike, fish and live. It is a lifestyle and a mentality and it’s vital to keeping lands open to the public and preserving them for future use – not just for us, but for the other living things we share this planet with.

We go to great lengths to protect our Jeeps. We equip them with skid plates, sliders, Jeep seat covers, entry guards and floor liners. Treading lightly means putting the same amount of effort into protecting the land we Jeep on. He are a few tips to help you do just that on all your trips to come:

  • Stay on designated 4x4 trails, which means getting permission to cross private land and avoiding designated wilderness areas
  • Go over obstacles, not around them, to keep from widening the trail. Besides, it’s more fun that way!
  • Keep away from sensitive areas like meadows, lakeshores, wetlands, streams and seasonal nesting or breeding areas. The ecosystems here can be delicate, and chances are the animals were there before you – make sure they can be there after you.
  • Clean up after yourself, but also toss any trash you see along the trail into your garbage bag as well. It may not be your mess, but it becomes everyone’s problem if not cleaned up.
  • Know your Jeep: its lowest points, its limitations and its equipment, so you can leave a smaller environmental tire track.
  • Wash off your Jeep before and after a trip to prevent the spread of invasive species (it’s a plant eat plant world out there!).

The essence of treading lightly is respect. At its core, it is about being respectful of the environment, your fellow Jeepers and the community you are riding through (even if its primary residents have four legs and fur).

The tread lightly lifestyle doesn’t stop at the pavement, either. Keep it with you on your daily drives, in your homes and on the trail.

For more information, tips and the opportunity to get involved, visit http://treadlightly.org/.