Trail Etiquette - 15 THINGS EVERY 4X4 AND OHV ENTHUSIAST SHOULD KNOW

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Jaybey

SXS Nation Expert
Jan 10, 2016
713
382
Tucson, AZ
Side X Side(s)

2015 Polaris Ranger XP EPS 900

1. Stay on the existing trail.

2. Don't be a slob. HAUL IT IN - HAUL IT OUT!

3. Don't be destructive.

4. Save the booze for camp.

5. Burn it right or don't burn it at all.

6. Pull over for faster moving traffic. Remember traffic priority, hikers, equestrian then motorized traffic.

7. Relax and enjoy the ride.

8. Vehicles traveling uphill have the right of way.

9. Always keep an eye on the vehicle behind you.

10. Use hand signals.

11. Turn off your bright lights.

12. Leave Gates as you find them. If a gate is open, leave it open, if you open a gate, CLOSE THE GATE. Also, if a gate has a sign to keep gate closed, CLOSE THE GATE.

13. Try to be self-sufficient.

14. Keep the dust down.

15. Have common courtesy for other adventures.


Full content of the above listing can be found at: Arizona Backcountry Explorers - Arizona Backcountry Explorers: Let's talk about trail etiquette
 
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Seastacker

Moderator
Feb 1, 2016
2,887
1,849
SE Michigan
Side X Side(s)

2019 Polaris General 4

I was not aware of the up hill right of way. Makes sense, I had just not heard it before.
 

DieselFume

Moderator
Feb 24, 2016
2,128
1,590
Montana
Side X Side(s)

2013 XP 800 Ranger, Three 2017 Polaris 570 Full Sizes. All subjected to hard ranch work, long hours and rough conditions. 5 years or bust!

12. Leave Gates as you find them.


This one is pretty important-

Coming from a guy who has livestock on federal (BLM) land, just because a trail goes through a pasture doesn't mean that the pasture (grass) isn't leased out to another individual and it's very important that the gates are left as you found them!
 

Seastacker

Moderator
Feb 1, 2016
2,887
1,849
SE Michigan
Side X Side(s)

2019 Polaris General 4

I’m going to pin this list. There are a lot of new riders out there and these are all good rules to abide by.
 
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wgarcar1

SXS Nation Team Leader
Jun 16, 2016
458
185
vero beach, Florida
Side X Side(s)

2018 polaris ranger 900 XP

You forgot :
DON'T TEXT AND RIDE.
DON'T HAVE A YELL/FIGHT.
HANDS IN AT ALL TIMES.
DON'T WALK AWAY FROM THE MACHINE WHEN IN SHIFT WITH THE ENGINE ON.
CORRECT SAFETY BELTS FOR KIDS.
IF THE ROTTWEILER WANTS TO DRIVE YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT ANYWAY, LET IT DRIVE.

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wgarcar1

SXS Nation Team Leader
Jun 16, 2016
458
185
vero beach, Florida
Side X Side(s)

2018 polaris ranger 900 XP

1. Stay on the existing trail.

2. Don't be a slob.

3. Don't be destructive.

4. Save the booze for camp.

5. Burn it right or don't burn it at all.

6. Pull over for faster moving traffic.

7. Relax and enjoy the ride.

8. Vehicles traveling uphill have the right of way.

9. Always keep an eye on the vehicle behind you.

10. Use hand signals.

11. Turn off your bright lights.

12. Leave Gates as you find them.

13. Try to be self-sufficient.

14. Keep the dust down.

15. Have common courtesy for other adventures.


Full content of the above listing can be found at: Arizona Backcountry Explorers - Arizona Backcountry Explorers: Let's talk about trail etiquette
I have a problem with #10, since I ride slower than others people will start flipping me the bird.
That's a hand signal lol

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Last edited:

Jaybey

SXS Nation Expert
Jan 10, 2016
713
382
Tucson, AZ
Side X Side(s)

2015 Polaris Ranger XP EPS 900

This should probably be added to the Trail Etiquette post? NEVER RIDE ALONE!

I am guilty over and over again. I don’t have any riding friends in the local area so I am forever going out alone. It has bit me in the ass a number of times, sometimes in day light and sometimes at night.

One night I broke a tie rod a few years back and had to limp back. I had to stop every 50 to 100 yards to straighten the wheel out, one rattle snake was not happy with me being close to him. Then get a ride to my truck. Additionally, I needed help loading up. I’ve blown belts about 6 times when alone, thank God I had spares.

Then three weeks ago on a solo ride I blew the primary drive on my clutch. Nothing but dust and crumbs inside. Yes the belt was toast too.

On Saturday, the day before Father’s Day I had a hard stop and literally tore the passenger side rear wheel off the hub. The axel was lying on the side of the tire. It broke the brake housing and was a pain in the butt. I fought to get the lugs off the wheel while it was on the ground trying to hold it from rolling. Then I couldn’t get the axel out far enough to put the castle nut back on.

It appears the castle nut never had a cotter pin in it, no evidence at all.


So what do I do? I am 25 miles from home. I am all alone next to the rail road tracks and only a mile from the nearest house. I called a friend. Thank God that Ken and Jordan came to my rescue. The worst part is I was running out of water and it was 100° by the time they drove 80 miles to rescue me.

By the time they got to me I had the wheel back on (sort of) and I was ready to limp (5 – 10 mph to their trailer 5 miles away.

My Ranger is at the local stealer for assessment. I figure wheel bearings, brake pad, caliper, disk and maybe an axel.

The really bad news is I will probably ride alone again.
 

Jaybey

SXS Nation Expert
Jan 10, 2016
713
382
Tucson, AZ
Side X Side(s)

2015 Polaris Ranger XP EPS 900

Here is something I forget fairly often. Carry a large trash bag. Why? It's not because it could be an inpromptu body bag! l use the trash bag to pick up some trail trash along the way as well as my own trash. If you HAUL IN IT - HAUL IT OUT!
 

General Dan

SXS Nation Rookie
Nov 29, 2019
3
3
Michigan
Side X Side(s)

2019 General deluxe 2015 Ranger 900 crew

Here is one to think about. If you smoke put your butts in an ash tray. Don’t start a forest fire.
 
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airshot

SXS Nation Expert
Dec 20, 2016
730
341
Perrysburg, Ohio
Side X Side(s)

Kymco 450i UXV

Lots of great ideas here, since I moved to a SxS, I find I have more room to haul out trash from the trails. Just enpty it out when I get back to camp, shocking how much crap people throw on the trail !!
 

sootman67

SXS Nation Rookie
Feb 8, 2020
22
15
32
Grand Rapids, OH
Side X Side(s)

2016 Maverick XRS Turbo

Here's another. Make sure your headlights are on! Yes even in the daylight. When you have sunglasses on and go from bright sun into a shady area its hard to see until you adjust to it.

I've had this surprise a few times and a couple close calls, had they had lights on I would have seen them much sooner. Same goes for coming around turns, sometimes you see a headlight through the vegetation way before you'd notice another machine.
 
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Seastacker

Moderator
Feb 1, 2016
2,887
1,849
SE Michigan
Side X Side(s)

2019 Polaris General 4

Headlights are a big one. Especially in the dust. I added amber flashing chase lights too. People who ride behind me seem to really like them.
 
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mkp777

SXS Nation Regular
Nov 29, 2018
94
9
57
Washington
I plan to start taking long trips with my wife in my General. I don't push envelopes, like going extreme off-road and jumping things and doing 50 on trail I don't know and haven't been down. Mostly I just go the speed limit. It is more exploration than anything else. Fun with land navigation while just cruising.
But still, the place I want to go is a long way out and I'm not sure there is cell reception there.
So if I were to bring spare parts, what is recommended? If I were to build a tool kit to support the extra parts, what tools should I bring? I want to make up a shadow boxed kit of tools.
I plan to bring a 2 gallon can of gas.
Also, fix-a-flat? Or a spare? I'm just not sure I can fit a spare and would probably have to buy a mount.
This is a day trip planned but it will be a long day trip.
There is some wildlife up in that area that should not be underestimated. Nothing like Alaska but still.....
I definitely will bring a first aid kit, flashlights and food/water.
Just wondering about the likely parts that could break and tools needed on a long day cruise in possible high heat.
Its dry and dusty along that way.
Thanks,
M