Wheeling Wisely

The 4WDABC believes in Wheeling Wisely, you can have a lot of fun and still be respectful to the environment. Wheeling Wisely is not a set of rules, but only a set of guidelines or ideas that many wheelers would like to see adopted and put into practice. No one person or group can make you act responsibly, that is a decision that must be made on your own.

Our sport is not a right, it is a privilege. It is up to us as a group to stand united before other people and coalitions to prove to them that we, as responsible wheelers, do more than our fair share of keeping the planet clean and taking care of our privileges.

  • Leave areas cleaner than when you found them; this will ensure that others can enjoy the scenery as much as you have
  • If you are camping at a site, please leave the campsites in as good a condition or better than you found it. It takes countless hours of work to maintain sites and most unmanaged sites are kept clean by volunteer groups. Please do your part to keep these sites open and looking good
  • Ensure all campfires are completely extinguished; this is self-explanatory and with the constant threat of forest fire, is the most important thing to be done before leaving a site
  • Water crossings are to be done only at designated locations, and with appropriatespeed. Remember, as slow as possible and as fast as necessary
  • Leave the physical trail as you found it. Nobody minds a little road maintenance, but put the obstacle back to the way you found it so that others can still find the trail challenging. That means removing your rock stacking, and pulling all the sticks out of the mud hole
  • Do not senselessly destroy the environment. The trail is there for a reason; it is to be driven on. Try to stay on the trail at all times, especially in easily damaged areas like alpine meadow and wetlands. If the road does not go there, you should not go there
  • Use deadfall for firewood; there is a lot of it, and it burns better
  • Avoid sensitive ecological areas, alpine meadows, marshes, etc

This is probably the hardest subject to broach, as every wheeler has different opinions on what Trail Etiquette is and how a driver or anyone else on the trail should act while they are out. Simple common courtesy and manners will lead to a fun and memorable adventure. These guidelines can help to maintain a memorable and enjoyable trip.

  • Drive responsibly
  • All driving laws are to be followed
  • Always keep the vehicle behind you in your rear view mirror. This ensures that everybody keeps up to the group, if you get separated wait at the turns for the vehicle behind you
  • If you get stuck, hook up your own vehicle, you’ll know it’s done right; if you can’t then pick someone who is familiar with your vehicle
  • It is the driver’s choice as to who is his/her spotter, and they should be allowed to work together without interruption. If something needs to be pointed out, tell the spotter, not the driver
  • The “Three Try Rule” applies. Make three attempts at an obstacle, if you do not make it, get some help
  • Leave the trail in better shape than you found it, as best as you can
  • If you know there is no firewood at the campsite, bring it with you
  • Pack out what you packed in! There was room for it before, find room when you leave. Try to leave it looking better than you found it.
  • Respect the rights of all recreationists, and give way to people with animals as they spook easily
  • Smile

Packing the right equipment is easy; knowing the right equipment to bring along is not. Each trip is different, so
consider what you’ll need. With each trip your ability to determine what you will need becomes easier and more

Hope for the best, pack for the worst
Preparation is a key part of an enjoyable time in BC’s outdoors. Taking the time to consider the following before your trip may make the difference between a fantastic day on the trail or wishing you were still on the couch.

  • Don’t go by yourself. Bring a friend and make sure someone at home knows where you’ll be and when you’re due back.
  • Check your vehicle before you leave. Make sure that fluids are topped up, that you don’t have any leaks and your vehicle is in good operating condition.
  • Carry some tools and spare parts/fluids for your vehicle. It’s always good to have some spare belts, hoses and other essentials to help you get home.
  • Have a full size spare tire
  • Have proper recovery equipment and tow points on your vehicle. Many new vehicles don’t have these. It is a good idea to carry straps, a come-along or a winch.
  • Don’t rely on others to have what you need.
  • A First Aid Kit and a fire extinguisher are essential equipment and consider bringing extra water, food and clothing in case the unexpected occurs.
  • If you do find yourself in an unexpected situation, don’t panic. Everything can be solved with a little work and a clear head, take things one step at a time.

The Four Wheel Drive Association of British Columbia is a non-profit organization made up of a group of people that care about responsible off-road activities. With 9 off-road clubs as its members, representing from Vancouver Island to the North of British Columbia we strive to maintain not only access to trails but also protection of the fragile environment around them. We work closely with the Municipal Governments, BC Hydro, Ministry of Tourism and many other organizations and businesses to maintain camp sites, trails, access to areas, clean up of endangered ecosystems and making sure we not only have a province we can enjoy now but for many years to come.

The Association is not only limited to 4X4 vehicles, the cause we fight for affects anyone who enjoys the beautiful scenery around us, ATV and motor bike riders, Recreational Vehicle users and even hikers, mountain bike riders and fly fishermen benefit from what we accomplish. Over the years the Association and it’s tireless volunteers have adopted many camp sites including Sunrise Lake and Kenyon Lake, we’ve done annual clean up runs to Stave
and Harrison Lake camp sites, removing over 60 tons of garbage from Stave Lake in 2011 alone. Recently we have
secured a key access program to Eagle Ridge Mountain which has been a huge success and proof that dedication, working closely with all the parties involved and more importantly the voice of many people all striving for the same goal can make a difference.

Another example of that dedication and team work has been the Hale Creek Shelter build. With generous founding from Recreation Sites and Trails BC, along with the hard work of over 60 volunteers, a massive shelter was built on the shores of Hale Creek, Harrison Lake.

Off road vehicles and more importantly off-roading
is a growing pass time but thanks to the large
group of members that make the Association what
it is today we can enjoy a responsible approach of
introducing vehicles to nature. We stick to the trails,
clear dead fall to allow everyone access, pack out
what we pack in and always try to leave as small a
foot print on this great landscape as possible.
If this sounds like something that interests you
please check us out at www.4wdabc.ca and visit our
“join” page for more information.
For a small yearly fee you can become a member
and help an organization that is constantly fighting
to keep your trails open. You will also receive 2
issues a year of the Backroader Magazine and some
cool stickers. Contact us if you are interested in
sponsoring or advertising with us.
The Backroader is a magazine geared towards
exciting stories and photographs from adventures
all over BC, covering varied interests ranging from
off-road excursions to relaxing fly fishing weekends.