Riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) can be a whole lot of fun, but it’s undoubtedly dangerous, especially if you go out when conditions are bad. You need to practice safety whenever you ride an ATV, and that safety begins long before you even step outside. Here are some tips for making sure that you maximize your fun, minimize your risk, and have a blast on Oregon’s premier trails.
If you’re going on a road trip, it’s always a good idea to check road conditions beforehand in case there’s a storm, a large traffic jam, or a highway closed for construction. It will save you time and keep you safe if you look this information up first. The same logic should be applied to ATV riding, and perhaps even more so. Different terrains have different conditions to look out for, and some are bad enough to get a trail closed down completely.
One of the attractions near Maupin is Rock Creek Trails. These are great fun, but under certain conditions, they can be dangerous. For example, after a rainstorm, it’s possible that the ground may become muddy. If the wind or lightning is extreme enough, trees might be knocked over on the path. You should also be wary of conditions like excessive snow, dust storms, poor lighting, and paths overrun with plants.
CARRY ESSENTIAL ITEMS
On Oregon public land, you’ll need to have a current ATV permit sticker. You’ll also need your VIN number. This is standard procedure and you can purchase these stickers at Maupin Hardware. Another must-have is a Riders Safety Card. These come in family and individual versions, and they’re absolutely free. If you have a young rider with you, someone between the ages of 6 and 15, they’ll also need an Oregon ATV Safety Youth Riders endorsement card. If you don’t have these cards, you’re not protected.
In addition to all of that identification, you’ll certainly want to bring a helmet on your head and protective clothing on your back. This means goggles to protect your eyes, boots on your feet, gloves on your hands, and long-sleeved shirts and pants. For communication if you get stranded, cellphones are a modern lifesaver – be sure to take one with you that’s fully charged. If your ATV is damaged or breaks down, you’ll want to have a toolkit to try to make some basic repairs.
Finally, for ultimate safety, bring a first aid kit to deal with injuries. Riding around the Deschutes River is unforgettable, but you need to be mindful of your surroundings so you stay safe out there.