Trip Planning & Safety

Key points to ensure your safety while recreating in the SVRAs and on California public lands

  • Tell a responsible person where you are going (in detail) and when you will return. Ask that person to notify local law enforcement if you do not return on time.
  • At a minimum, you should consider taking and using the following safety equipment: protective clothing, helmet, goggles, gloves, seatbelts, (4WDs and dune buggys), first-aid kit, map, matches, and a signal mirror. If you own a cellular phone, take it with you.
  • Make sure you have enough fuel (2-cycle oil if required) and drinking water for the round trip. Drinking water can be more important than fuel in the desert
  • When in the desert, consider staying with your vehicle if it is disabled rather than setting off on your own for help.
  • Avoid driving or stopping in tall grass or brush or where natural fuels come in contact with hot vehicle parts. Stop only in cleared areas.

Practice Safe Road Habits

  • Drive with courtesy. Be prepared to yield the right of way anytime there is doubt and you can safely do so.
  • Stay to the right side of the road or trails.
  • Approach curves and hill crests with caution. Assume there are vehicles ahead and slow accordingly.
  • Don't go down a trail you haven't been up first. If you don't like what you find, you may not be able to go back up.
  • Go with a friend. Two heads and two vehicles are better than one.
  • Allow extra room and stopping distance when approaching other vehicles, especially youngsters, who may be less experienced.