Landon Gipe
| Landon Gipe, Safety & Education Chair | Feature Stories

Trail etiquette makes a difference

This year’s Central Districts High Sierra Poker Run was a huge success this was my third year in a row of attending. The Kingsburg club does a wonderful job of hosting it each year. There was a good turnout of rigs and people, but one thing I found bothered me and many others as we went on the different trails was the lack of trail etiquette.

The old school trail rules seem to be forgotten with the new wave of drivers. So, after talking to some people this will be a list of all the forgotten trail guidelines. Don’t worry — there are just a few. These will help on the trail and keep people wanting to wheel and not feel discouraged that wheelers have lost the art of decency.

Keep your distance

One thing I have been seeing and bothers me the most is the lack of patience when it comes to going over an obstacle; never wheel bumper-to-bumper. Too many things can happen when going over an obstacle no matter how easy you think it is. If the rig in front of you is going over an obstacle, give them space. I have watched people almost touching going over rocks and the person in front needed to back up but couldn’t because the person behind them was too close. The way I learned was when the rig in front of you is done with an obstacle then start it; this will give people space and let them stay calmer. This is also a safety thing should the unlikely and unwanted rollover happen. If you are too close together the rolling vehicle could hit your rig.

Be encouraging

As wheelers we need to remember what it was like when we started out. We had a rig with us doing the trail for the first time that was having some issues with the carb loading up. He was going slow, but still going. The people behind him kept telling him to move over and give up. Too many of us have forgotten what it was like when we started, with years behind some of us wheeling we need to remember what it was like to have a stock rig or close to stock. People will struggle and learn, we should help them not push them out, no one likes that type of treatment.

Keep an eye on the rear view

The next item that I heard many people complaining about is getting lost on a trail because the person in front of them took off and left the person behind them. The age-old rule is if you can’t see the person behind you in the mirror stop and find out why. On one of the last runs a group of people got lost out night wheeling and spent most of the night trying to figure out what part of the trail they needed to be on to find everyone. With radios and an easy way to talk between rigs this should never be an issue. Sometimes even the most built rig can get hung up and just need a few more seconds to get going again, this is just enough for them to get left behind, and that is never good. Remember, never leave a rig behind you.

These is just a small list, but these three things can make a world of difference in whether a person wants to wheel with your group. I spoke with one gentleman that was very upset with how people are acting, we could not figure out if it was the new generation of wheelers or just the new trend. He spoke of the times when people would stop and help, making sure that no one is left behind on the trail and how giving up bolts and spare parts, even a HiLift handle could make a lifelong wheeling friend and keep people wanting to wheel in groups. There are many more things we spoke of, but these stood out to me. I have always helped get people off trails whether I like them or don’t even know them; getting home is important and we are all in this together.


Download the June/July 2022 edition of the In Gear


Jul 15
Jul 17
Niagara Rim Poker Run
Stanislaus National Forest, CA
Jul 16
Jul 17
Lassen-Applegate Emigrant Trail Ride
TA, 6000 E Frontage Rd, Mill City, NV 89418, USA

Niagara Rim Poker Run

15 JulJul

Stanislaus National Forest, CA

Come out and go wheeling on the fabulous Niagara Rim Trail. Enjoy our great trail, delicious dinner, awesome raffle and maybe win some money with a good poker hand. We are located off HWY 108 approx. 15 miles past Strawberry/Pinecrest (Eagle Meadows turnoff). For more info. contact Mary Krupka at 209-605-7993, or look us up on Facebook ( or

Lassen-Applegate Emigrant Trail Ride

16 JulJul

TA, 6000 E Frontage Rd, Mill City, NV 89418, USA

In search of the Forty-Niners – This is a guided 4-wheel drive tour of the 1849 wagon route used by thousands of emigrants from Gerlach, Nevada to Surprise Valley, California. Superb desert and mountain scenery with many historical points of interest, led by experienced guides. All quality meals and basic camping facilities are provided. Limited to 25 vehicles.

This is a 4WD trip for high clearance 4WD vehicles only. The route used will follow the same trail heavily used during the Gold Rush (1849-1852) with exception of a few areas where the original trail still remains in relatively pristine condition and needs to be preserved. The condition of the road ranges from maintained county roads to un-maintained 4WD trails.

The Emigrants wrote in their diaries such a good description of this trip that we can identify all of the key points of interest in the history of the route. It is not a difficult trip but there are places where 4WD will be required or where trail committee instructions must be followed.

The price is $275* for adults and $150* for children age 7 to 14. Children under 7 are free.  Bring your own tent, chairs, sleeping bags, snacks, refreshments and plenty of drinking water. A travel guide with a map will be provided for each vehicle so that you may keep track of your progress and learn what the emigrants wrote down about their harrowing experiences.

More information available at

*Prices are subject to change.

Jami Walker (916) 806-6121

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