We are excited to announce Tread Lightly! as Overland Expo Foundation’s latest grantee! 

Tread Lightly! is a non-profit organization that leads a national initiative to improve and protect recreational access to lands, promotes outdoor ethics, and provides opportunities for individuals to take part in stewardship projects led through Tread Lightly! and their partners.

Tread Lightly!’s goal is to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation with the need to maintain healthy ecosystems and thriving populations of fish and wildlife. The scope of their work includes both land and water, and is representative of nearly every form of outdoor recreation including, but not limited to safe and responsible use of motorized and mechanized vehicles, hunting, recreational shooting, fishing, and boating.  

No matter what style of recreation you take part in, Tread Lightly!’s T.R.E.A.D Principles apply to anyone who enjoys the outdoors: Travel Responsibly. Respect the Rights of Others. Educate Yourself. Avoid Sensitive Areas. Do Your Part. 

READ MORE: The Benefits of Beautifying Outdoor Spaces

At Overland Expo West this past May, in a conversation with Matt Caldwell, Executive Director at Tread Lightly! and a few other stewards, one theme that kept coming up was “how to make stewardship part of the overlanding lifestyle?” The answer is simple, we just have to start doing it, and if you can be vocal about it, all the better. We are not expecting change to happen overnight, but if everyone does their part, it keeps the outdoors clean and accessible to all. 

We all want access to the lands we enjoy. With the uptick in numbers of people traveling to the backcountry, one of the biggest challenges continues: waste and the lack of proper disposal. We are all in this together so instead of creating a divide, we need to help each other out when we can. As vehicle owners, we (generally) have access to greater distances and more storage to pack what we brought in, and then a little extra. 

In support of Tread Lightly!’s mission to protect off-road trail access and public lands through stewardship projects, the Overland Expo Foundation is funding four projects to help improve motorized trails and public lands adjacent to each event. 


The first project will take place in the Cinder Hills Off Highway Vehicle Area in the Coconino National Forest, near Flagstaff, Arizona. The project will consist of a trash cleanup on the forest and the creation of two new educational kiosks to promote responsible outdoor recreation and overlanding. Check out the flyer below for how to get involved and RSVP. ***Postponed until further notice!***


The second project will take place near China Hat in Deschutes National Forest near Sunriver, Oregon on July 11th, the Monday after Overland Expo PNW. The project is for a trail clean-up in partnership with Public Land Stewards. See flyer below for how to volunteer and RSVP.

To learn more about Tread Lightly!, or submit a project idea for future Overland Expo events, visit treadlightly.org.