Greenlaning Tips

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Read our top tips before you head out : credit: © Alisdair Cusick
Green Lane Association’s Media Officer Lauren Eaton reveals her ultimate greenlaning kit list

Greenlaning, the activity of driving unsurfaced public roads, is a way of leaving the rat race behind and exploring some of the most remote areas of the UK in your Land Rover.

Drivers have legal rights to explore around 20,000 byways, which are open to all traffic and unclassified county roads in England and Wales.

Surfaced or not, these ancient routes retain the same rights and are covered by the same laws as any tarmacked road in the country. However, just as the terrain found on them differs hugely from that found on our major roads so too does it differ from one lane to the next.

So, what do we need to do to be prepared to drive on these ever changing and very different lanes? How do we know where to drive legally? Heading out on a laning trip should be fun and an adventure, but it does require a bit of preparation, and once your wheels leave the tarmac there are no resources available to you except your own skills and what you carry in your Land Rover! Before you head out and explore the lanes, take a look at our top 15 greenlane kit:

 

1. Green Lane Association membership and Trailwise2

Sticking to the legal route has never been easier with Trailwise2. Access is available to all Green Lane Association members for less than the cost of half a tank of fuel! At £44 per year your fee also helps to protect and preserve our hobby for the future. To join visit glass-uk.org.

2. Recovery kit

While responsible greenlaning carries a relatively low risk of getting stuck, it can and does happen. Especially when conditions change or if you encounter extreme weather. Make sure you learn how to recover vehicles safely and always buy quality gear. For ropes, shackles, and even a bag to keep them all in visit facebook.com/UkFrozenRopes/. GLASS members get 15 per cent off at Frozen Ropes.

3. First Aid

Thankfully laning is a relatively low risk hobby, but you’ll often be miles from the nearest source of help if anything does go wrong. Carrying a good basic first aid kit is vital. The St John’s Ambulance sells motoring first aid kits from £9.50 to £25.50, they also sell refills. Make sure you carry some pain relief and something to rehydrate with during extreme heat. Sweet, milky tea on a hot day also does the trick. See sja.org.uk.

4. Food and water

It’s easy to remember to fuel the Landy, but don’t forget to fuel yourself! Depending on where you are going, you may not have easy access to shops, so pack a lunch, some snacks, and plenty of liquids. Always carry a little extra in case of unforeseen delays. Such is the nature of off-roading.

5. Navigation device

So you’ve found some legal lanes to drive, now you need to navigate the route. Thankfully there are many mapping apps that allow you to plot a route and create a GPX file that can be dragged and dropped onto Trailwise2 to check legalities. A modern phone or tablet could do the trick but if you are looking for something a little more advanced try the Garmin Overlander GPS or the Globe Explorer.

6. Means to deal with a flat tyre

A spare wheel, jack, tools, a locking wheel nut key, and knowing where your jacking points are can prevent a simple puncture from becoming a big problem when miles from a location recovery services can access. Also if travelling in a convoy make sure at least one person has a portable air compressor and a tyre repair kit if doing very remote lanes.

7. Tools

Being able to fix a minor mechanical problem, or remove an overhanging branch can keep you moving instead of having to turn back. The Halfords Advanced 121-Piece Mobile Car Maintenance Tool Kit (yours for £240) and a bow saw will cover most common eventualities. See halfords.com.

8. Camp cookers

A compact camp cooker for boiling water for al fresco brews or heating up food can be handy and a welcome comfort on cold days. My favourite is the Alpkit Brukit at only £44.99. See alpkit.com.

9. Sunscreen/insect repellent/current medication

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You’re going to be outside for a considerable time, often in very rural locations. Sunburn and insects are no fun. Nor is being stuck without essential medication should you have a delay or problem while out and about. So pack what you might need to deal with these potentially uncomfortable situations.

10. Comms device

Convoy driving is fun, and even more so when you can chat to everyone in the group. Mobile signal may be in short supply in many areas the greenlanes traverse but Thunderpole and 4x4CB kindly provide Green Lane Association members with discounts across their range of CB radio products.

11. Change of footwear/clothes/ waterproofs

There is nothing worse than being stuck in wet clothing all day! A good set of waterproofs and
a spare change of clothing and boots is a welcome relief if the weather isn’t on your side! A sleeping bag if you are going to be driving through heavy snow is also not a bad idea.

12. A Camera

Take nothing but memories. We all like to record our adventures to share with others, but cameras can come in handy when it comes to reporting problems upon your return like obstructions and maintenance issues.

13. Trowel and toilet paper

Don’t get caught short! We all need to go, but when out miles from the nearest facilities, we have to prepare for the inevitable and dispose of it responsibly.

14. Rubbish bags

The first rule of any outdoor activity is ‘leave no trace’. We have ample space to take our rubbish home with us in our Land Rovers. Available products range from a simple bin bag in the boot to a purpose made spare wheel mounted external trash bag.

15. Paper maps

Paper maps still come in handy, especially when you can’t connect to the internet, are having tech problems, or are explaining routes to others. GLASS provides leaflets that explain all there is to know about laning and the legalities of laning.

 

The Green Lane Association (GLASS)

The Green Lane Association is a national organisation run for laners by laners. It is the largest and longest-running national user group dedicated to preserving and maintaining the UK’s network of ancient unsurfaced public roads and vehicular rights of way for all users.

They have over 25 years of experience representing our members, assisting local authorities, public bodies and landowners. This includes having representatives in every county of England and Wales who are able to assist our members whether they are laning for the first time, the hundredth time, or stumble on a problem while out exploring.

Greenlaners are a minority user group with a minority of public rights of way at their disposal to use, coming together as nationally recognised and respected organisation gives us all a voice and helps to protect our hobby for the future. To join now see glass-uk.org/.

 

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