Land Use: Education 101 You Don’t Know what You Don’t Know

Originally Published in Issue 28 of 4Low Magazine

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Lesson #1 – Pallet burning: unless you are in your own backyard, don’t do it!

Have you ever taken a look at how pallets are built?  Nails, nails and more nails are added to keep them together.  While in most environments, pallets are plentiful and appear to be great firewood, they aren’t suitable for public lands or campgrounds because of those nails.

Until you’ve used a magnet to pick up a bucket full of those nails, you just may not know.  That’s why we educate.

How can you know what you don’t know?

That’s why we call it education, we learn, then we know.  So #1 thing we know right now is pallets do not make good firewood.

Lesson #2 – if given a choice, save diesel pump islands for those with diesel vehicles

I’ve always driven gas powered cars, so until I was riding in a diesel pickup truck that needed fuel, it didn’t occur to me that I, in my gas powered car, should make a choice as to what pump to pull in to.  It didn’t affect me, so I never gave it a thought.  I wasn’t dumb or trying to make it difficult for others, I just didn’t know what a big deal it was.

Now, if other pumps are open, I’ll avoid the diesel pumps and save them for those who need only those.  That doesn’t mean I won’t use that island if that’s all that is available, but now I know.

Lesson #3 – Don’t pull in front of a truck with a trailer or a semi-truck

Following our path of education, many don’t realize how their freeway driving affects traffic.  But if you’ve ever pulled a trailer you do!  Once you’ve driven a semi, or pulled a trailer, you are far more likely to give both more room.  It’s not until you’ve been cut-off yourself that you recognize how much momentum is lost and how much more room you need to brake.  Pull back in when you’ve given the appropriate room, after several car lengths.  Remember that when traffic is slowing down fast, you don’t want to dart in front of something heavy.

It’s our experiences that educate us, but since everyone can’t have the same experience, let’s educate them gently and explain the whys and wherefores instead of just assuming those making the mistake are idiots.  Remember, they don’t know what they don’t know.