Trail Etiquette

  • Have all Required Equipment and be properly equipped for the Difficulty Level of the Run as well as any Special Equipment indicated in the Run Announcement..
  • Arrive at the Meeting Place with fuel for a whole day of 4 Wheeling and in time to prepare your vehicle for the trail.
  • Drive a Reliable Vehicle.  If a vehicle has a known reliability problem do not participate on a Run.
  • Be Considerate of others.  Everyone may not love your dog, or your cigarette/cigar smoke or your snoring or your music etc..
  • Radio communications should be relevant and brief.
  • Learn the name of the driver directly ahead and behind you as well as the Leader’s name in case you need to call for help..
  • It is each Driver’s responsibility to keep up with the vehicle ahead.  If you are having difficulty keeping or need to stop let the Leader know by radio.
  • If you Stop for more than a few seconds, for any reason, let the leader know by Radio.
  • When coming to intersecting trails or confusing turns, make sure the vehicle behind you sees which way to turn before you proceed.
  • At  an intersection if you are not sure which way to turn, STOP.  Don’t guess and don’t proceed.   Radio the person directly ahead by name for directions.
  • If you decide to leave a Run, or take a different Trail from the Leader, let the Leader and those following you know that you are deviating from the Leader’s route.
  • If a vehicle becomes stuck or breaks down, let the other vehicles and the leader know to stop.  Keep other vehicles informed of the progress of repairs.
  • The driver of a disabled vehicle needs to help with repairs.  Even if not mechanically competent he/she should not expect others to do all the work.  (Do something, even it it is only to fetch tools.)
  • When a vehicle is disabled, everyone should provide assistance as needed.
  • The driver of a disabled vehicle that is repaired on the trail needs to return or replace any borrowed tools, parts or supplies.
  • In the event of a rollover or other dangerous situation with potential for a fire, all drivers should rush to the scene with their fire extinguishers.  Stop the engine and extract the occupants immediately.
  • At an obstacle, the vehicle behind should leave room for the vehicle ahead to negotiate the obstacle. If the obstacle is “Challenging” the vehicle ahead should wait just past the obstacle until the vehicle behind clears.  As soon as the vehicle behind clears the obstacle the first vehicle should pull far ahead enough or clear the trail for the whole group to negotiate the obstacle..
  • When approaching oncoming traffic  on a narrow road the leader should warn the following vehicles via radio.
  • When meeting oncoming traffic on a narrow trail, the leader should let the oncoming traffic know how many are in the group.  The last vehicle should let them know he is last.
  • When vehicles are passing from the rear the last vehicle should warn the vehicles ahead via radio.
  • In steep terrain, if there isn’t room for approaching traffic to pass, the vehicles headed down hill should give up hill traffic the Right of Way.  California Vehicle Code 21661  (Note: Even though vehicles traveling uphill have the Right of Way, common sense should be used.   Sometimes it is safer for the smaller group to pull over to allow a larger group to pass.)
  • On very narrow trails, when oncoming traffic approaches, use common sense.  Whichever group can more easily pull over should do so regardless of the Vehicle Code mentioned below.
  • On narrow trails, it is best to leave generous space between vehicles in case you need to pull over to allow oncoming traffic to pass.  It is easier to find a single turnout than a turnout for several vehicles.
  • On narrow trails, where vehicles headed in one direction must pull off the trail, the leader of the group that is proceeding should inform the other group how many vehicles are following.  The last vehicle in the group that is proceeding should let the pulled over vehicles know that he is last.
  • When approaching an obstacle going uphill, the driver ahead should move far enough ahead to allow the vehicle behind to clear the obstacle but remain close in case the following vehicle needs to be pulled.
  • When an uphill bound driver requests a spotter, it is usually best if the spotter come from a vehicle behind if there is an experienced spotter aboard.
  • When going downhill it is usually best if an experienced spotter comes from the vehicle ahead.
  • When stopped on a trail for a break, all vehicles should allow room for other vehicles to pass..
  • Remove all trash and pick up trash left by others.
  • Tread Lightly.  Avoid damage to the environment.
  • Remain on established trails.
  • We prefer you drink your alcohol after the day’s run while in camp.  We require participants to follow California State Law which forbids drinking while inside a motor vehicle at any time, even on private property.  We do not allow drinking while on the trail except we do allow adult participants to consume one single beer at lunch while outside their vehicle.  See: Click
  • Use appropriate language on the radio, during rest stops and in camp.  This is a “Family Oriented” group.
  • To avoid confusion, only one person should give directions when spotting someone over an obstacle.  Others should only offer advice if they see a danger that the spotter doesn’t see.
  • When convoying on the highway, turn headlights on day and night and  leave room between vehicles to allow other cars to pass..
  • Once the person behind you has cleared an obstacle, move your vehicle far enough ahead or off the trail so all other vehicles can clear the obstacle.
  • When attempting an obstacle, accept a tow after 3 unsuccessful tries. Do not risk injury or vehicle damage.  Don’t tear up the trail for others by spinning your wheels.
  • If a damaged vehicle leaves the Group, offer to provide an escort to a safe area.  Never leave a disabled vehicle’s occupants on the trail without another vehicle.
  • Tow straps and winch controllers should be available and easily accessible not “buried” in the back of your vehicle.
  • When passing other vehicles, hikers, equestrians or camps, slow down for safety as well as to lessen your dust cloud.
  • Be considerate.  In camp,  do not run generators or play music after 9 PM or before 6AM.
  • Be considerate.  Some prefer hearing Nature.  In camp, ask if anyone objects before playing music and please keep the volume low.
  • Not everyone loves your dog, please keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it.
  • When convoying on the highway, all vehicles should have their headlights on.
  • When convoying on the highway, leave room between vehicles so overtaking vehicles can safely pass.

Author: Roger Mullins

Owner/Founder/Moderator of JustRuns 4 Wheel Drive Club. justruns.com