A key priority of Bronco Nation’s mission is to make sure that our members are properly equipped to enjoy the wild and to do so safely and responsibly. While we have learned a lot during our years of experience, we always like to keep learning and asking other experienced adventurers what advice they would give for getting the best out of journey into the wild. During our recent trip to Colorado, we spoke with community members from Lonestar Early Bronco Club to hear what tips, guidelines, and etiquette they would share with other off-road adventurers.
1. Never Go Alone
Many off-roading trails are in remote places, and cell phone reception may be unlikely. It is always best you travel in a group so if something goes wrong, like an injury or breakdown, there is someone nearby to assist. In the case of a breakdown, travelling in a group increases the odds that someone else may have a tool, part, or just an extra set of hands to help. It is always advisable to bring a radio to communicate with other members in the group or use in emergency situations. Plus, adventure is almost always better when shared with others.
2. Stay Off the Tundra and Respect Nature
When traveling at high altitudes like the Rocky Mountains, the surrounding terrain, known as alpine tundra, is a very delicate eco-system. Conditions can be extreme at that altitude and plant life damaged may take years to grow back or may not grow back at all. Staying on the designated trails for the entirety of your drive ensures that the tundra is not damaged. No matter what terrain or altitude you travel at, make sure you understand the environmental rules and best practices to keep the trails beautiful for other travelers, future generations, and your next adventure on that trail.
3. Pack Wisely
As the old saying goes, luck favors the prepared. Preparing for the unexpected means being ready for anything, so have a tool kit handy and any necessary spare parts. Make sure to also have a pump to manage the proper tire pressure for the terrain and altitude you are travelling at. Packing a flashlight or headlamp is also a good idea in case you have to work in the dark, overcast conditions, or underneath your vehicle. Having these resources available not only equips you but also prepares you to help others in your group that might run into issues.
4. Leave No One Behind
Make sure everyone in your group is looking out for each other. This goes back to some of the other guidelines already mentioned. Making sure you have properly packed and are travelling with a knowledgeable group helps to ensure no one is ever stuck without a solution. It is important to make sure you stay in communication throughout the journey, which is another reason a radio is important. It allows you to know if someone several vehicles behind you could use your help, or allows vehicles leading the group to notify other drivers of obstacles up ahead. A good rule of thumb is to always keep the vehicle behind you in your rear-view mirror to make sure no one is falling behind.
5. Know the Rules of the Road
The off-roading community is a passionate and committed community, and rules, often referred to as “trail etiquette,” have been put in place to ensure safety for all drivers and the trails they share. Make sure you understand proper trail etiquette, such as who has the right of way, how to let others pass, and maintaining proper speeds, before you head out on a trail.
Off-roading is a fun and thrilling way to experience outdoors but always keep in mind that it is the wild, and best practices are essential to protecting drivers, vehicles, and the environment. The longevity that many experienced off-roaders enjoy is because they have observed these rules for years and have kept themselves and their vehicles safe and ready for the next adventure. Bronco Nation is committed to maintaining that standard and equipping all of our members for the same experience.
What are some of your tips for other off-roaders? Do you have questions you would like to ask experienced drivers? Use the forum to share and connect with others who love the outdoors!