Good Campsite Habits
Anyone who’s ever been camping knows that a clean, tidy and ‘leave no trace’ location enhances your overall outdoor experience. Arriving to find your campsite strewn with rubbish and waste is not just frustrating, it shows a lack of respect to other campers and the natural environment that has played host to your camping trip.
One of the biggest attractions of the outdoor and camping lifestyle is to experience Mother Nature in her intended state. There are a number of good habits you can adopt – if you aren’t already practicing them – to ensure that your campsite stays in the kind of pristine condition that respects fellow campers and nature simultaneously.
Anaconda has partnered with Clean Up Australia to offer the following tips for good campsite habits so your camping experience is both memorable and responsible.
Campfires and ‘climate control’
Observe all of the fire restrictions that are in place at your campsite, regardless of your own personal judgement. Never burn plates, cups, utensils or empty packaging as the fumes are toxic to both the environment and the animals who call your camping area home.
There are a lot of small, lightweight options that make gas cooking appliances a viable alternative to chopping wood onsite or collecting fallen branches for kindling. If you have the room in your vehicle, there’s also the option of bringing wood fuel from home.
Always make sure your campfire is cool to the touch before leaving the site. Be aware that the earth under and surrounding a fire can retain heat after the fire has been extinguished, which could pose a safety risk to others. When your wood coals have burned to ash, soak them in water (rather than dirt) to ensure any embers are extinguished, then scatter the cold ash over a large area well away from the campsite.
Taking care of business
It’s time to speak frankly – it’s inevitable that ‘nature will call’ in its own way while you’re camping. After all, you’re only human.
Being aware of the toilet rules that apply to your campsite or your hiking trail is a must. Some sites and trails require you to take your ‘solid waste’ with you, while other sites will provide some handy facilities. Regardless, whatever situation you find yourself in, there are good habits you can adopt to show your respect for the environment.
Using recycled toilet paper is a great habit to develop. Many campsites provide long-drop composting toilets but, if that sort of ‘luxury’ isn’t available for you, a lot of campers pack a spade, shovel or trowel to assist in the inevitable nature break.
When you do have to go, don’t urinate in streams. It’s also good form to bury any solid waste at least 100 metres from a water source. As for the depth? Dig a hole and bury your waste (including bio-degradable toilet paper) deep enough that other campers and the local wildlife don’t – literally – stumble onto (or into!) it.
Enjoying a camping trip is one of life’s great privileges. Respecting the environment and preserving the natural surrounds for others to enjoy after you is something we should all take very seriously.
If you find that your campsite has previously been inhabited by campers whose habits are not as good as yours, make the effort to pick up the waste yourself. You could even make a game of it for the kids (keeping safety considerations in mind, of course) – who can collect the most pieces of rubbish?