4WD Environmental Issues

Posted on: 17/09/2013

Bush Bashing & Track Care

Stick to 4WD tracks. Literally going off-road and bush bashing is destructive to the vegetation and habitats of the area you’re invading, as well as opening up the entire 4WD touring community to criticism. Take that extra step to heal any damage caused by four-wheel drivers by joining your local track care association and taking part in organised maintenance of tracks and surrounding areas.

Rubbish

Take all your rubbish with you when you leave. This may seem like an unspoken rule that should go without saying, however finding a campsite and seeing a multitude of small bits of rubbish scattered around is an all too common experience. Ensure that you’re taking out every skerrick possible, leaving nothing to accumulate over time from other visitors to create an unclean environment.

Coming under the umbrella of rubbish is toileting, which is an underestimated contributor to unbalancing ecosystems surrounding campsites. Ensure you choose a spot at least 50m away from camp, dig a deep hole and bury all waste while making sure no toilet paper is free to float around.

When four-wheel driving and camping, always take your rubbish with you to help sustain the environment.

Fires

Bushfires are a major environmental concern in Australia, and whether by nature or by human creation can be hugely destructive. A spark is all that is needed to start a bushfire, so observing fire ban warnings and avoiding fires in hot or windy conditions will ensure no accidents happen.

On total fire ban days:

- No campfires or open flame barbecues are permitted, including kettle/Webber style barbecues and solid fuel camp ovens

- No liquid or gas fires are permitted

- Built-in electric or gas barbecues can be used if a water supply is within 10m, the barbecue is clear of flammable material for 3m around it and an adult is present

National Park Etiquette

The reality of national parks is that temporary closures occur when tracks are being repaired due to overuse or weather damage. Access is also limited to regions of environmental sensitivity, so it is important to take note of the following:

- Obey all signage

- No campfires unless otherwise stated

- Camp only in designated campsites

- Leave your cat or dog at home

- Stick to designated trails only

- Leave wildlife and plants undisturbed

- Pay all relevant fees

The 4WD touring community is growing, with more explorers joining the ranks every day. This means that it is the individual responsibility of every four-wheel driver to not only take care of their own business, but to go above and beyond in contributing to the community to hopefully maintain and preserve the natural balance of the regions we travel so long and far to experience.

Always observe fire ban warnings when thinking of creating a campfire in the outdoors.