AP­PROACH AN­GLE

4WDrive - - Contents -

CANADA. We are all so lucky to be able to call this great coun­try home. Its vast empty wilder­ness

is the envy of the global off-road­ing pop­u­la­tion, with so few rules and reg­u­la­tions for such a great ex­panse of con­stantly chang­ing ter­rain. I know this be­cause I have talked to Amer­i­can, Ger­man, English, Ice­landic, Aussie and Kiwi wheel­ers who all wish to one day come and ex­pe­ri­ence the free­dom and grandeur of what this coun­try has to of­fer a per­son equipped with a 4WD. Be­ing born and raised here, it is some­thing we all take for granted.

Ev­ery year, my wife and I gather up what few be­long­ings we own that don’t cur­rently re­side in­side a stor­age con­tainer, and make an an­nual pil­grim­age to the bot­tom of the world. Five to six months of the year we live on the South Is­land of New Zealand, a coun­try that is equally as spec­tac­u­lar as our own. These long-term de­par­tures open up our minds to the riches we have in Canada, and our free­dom to ex­plore.

Ev­ery­one has felt it. You take your rig out for a week­end ex­cur­sion, maybe even just a cou­ple hours, but you get up to a great look­out and think to your­self how beau­ti­ful the re­gion is around you. As some­one who has spent a great amount of time out­side the coun­try, not only do you re­al­ize how beau­ti­ful Canada re­ally is, but your mind also opens to the re­al­iza­tions of just how free we re­ally are and just how spe­cial it is.

We have the lux­ury on any given day off, to de­cide to jump into a 4WD that would likely be con­fis­cated by po­lice in some coun­tries, pick a favourite road or trail over pub­lic land, and drive as far as we care to go. Should there be the need to camp, sim­ply find a suit­able clear­ing. For many coun­tries I’ve vis­ited, the act of four­wheel­ing out into the wilder­ness can be an in­cred­i­bly costly and bu­reau­crat­i­cally frus­trat­ing pain in the ass that keeps most peo­ple who would love to do what we do, away. In many cases, ten dif­fer­ent hobby groups are fight­ing for the right to use a tiny bit of for­est over an hours drive from town.

Yes, we have it good. But don’t for a sec­ond think it will be that way for as long as there is a Maple Leaf on our flag. Van­cou­ver Is­land and south-west­ern BC al­ready have a painful amount of gates erected at the heads of so many great trails. Cam­pers – usu­ally not even four-wheel­ers – turn­ing camp­grounds into garbage dumps and shoot­ing ranges, turn pub­lic opin­ion against any­one who drives a 4WD.

So, go out and en­joy the free­doms we have, but do not abuse them, be­cause it re­ally doesn’t take much to ruin a good thing. You’ve heard it all be­fore, leave na­ture the way you found it, pack out all your garbage and put out all your fires, be cour­te­ous to other trail users… in short… be good Cana­di­ans. Do this, and we will be able to en­joy the life­style we love for a long time to come.

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