Land Use is morethan keeping our trails open; it’s also about taking care of our trails when we’re there. This is not one person’s job; you can’t abdicate your responsibility because someone else is monitoring or educating others. This job is on you and everyone else in your party.
Last issue we talked about Sanitation. Now we’re going to cover Spills.
Spills are responsible for a considerable amount of damage on the trails, and I’m not talking about spilling your Red Bull either. I’m talking about the gross oil, lubricants, grease, and fluid that fills every nook and cranny of our engines, differentials, and what-not. All those fluids that make our dream machines go are a potential hazard to the trail.
Leaks happen – but if you know of one, it is your responsibility to fix it. Stop every leak, check your vehicle often to ensure there are no leaks. If you’ve got a leak you can’t seem to fix, it’s time to leave that vehicle home; it has no place on the trail.
If a leak develops on the trail, try to fix it first. If that’s a no-go, figure out a way to diaper it until you can get off the trail.
Everyone should be carrying a spill clean-up kit on the trail. No one anticipates having a problem, but if you do, you want to correct it before any damage is done. A spill kit should include absorbent pads – commonly called pig pads and plastic bags that seal or tie. If you are on the rocks, you could also use kitty litter to absorb the spill, but you have to sweep it up after. Make sure you have a shovel on hand in case your spill is absorbed in the dirt. When you’ve cleaned up the soil, put it and the pig pads in the plastic bag and seal it – pack it out to a hazardous waste disposal bin.
That’s how we keep our trails open tomorrow – by keeping them clean today.