If you’re camping, it’s imperative to keep the campsite clean while you’re there and leave it clean when you leave. You may have heard the tagline “leave no trace” in the camping community. This refers to leaving no trace that humans/campers were there. It is essentially the same as clean camping. We want to impact the camping space as little as possible with our presence.
While it’s great to get away from it all and get in touch with nature, it’s so important that we do not disturb nature while we’re enjoying it. If humans come in and destroy the land, leave trash, and hard the wildlife, there won’t be any beautiful nature to appreciate anymore.
This is where we get the term “clean camping.” The idea is to leave the campsite as clean as possible, and there are specific rules or guidelines on Camping Necessities to follow to achieve clean camping. There’s more to it than just putting your trash in the garbage can, although that is always a good place to start.
Let’s take a look at some ways to achieve clean camping:
Reduce litter at the source
You should do your best to reduce waste by bringing as little with you as possible. Before you leave town, you can strip down any excess packaging or trash and leave it there. It’s also helpful to plan out your meals and avoid leftovers that you won’t eat while camping.
Bring cleaning tools and supplies
Again, you should bring cleaning tools and supplies with you in the spirit of planning. Be sure you get bags for trash, a washbasin for dishes, and any other supplies you need to keep clean.
Use a ground cloth to catch crumbs and debris
You can also use a ground cloth in your camp area, especially where you prepare and eat food, to help capture any crumbs or other debris that may fall so that it doesn’t impact the environment.
Make cleaning a daily habit
Be sure to clean up before dark every day you are at camp. If you put it off, you may not get to it, and it’s harder to clean properly after dark.
Keep your clutter organized
You will need to bring things with you, but the less clutter you have, the less chance of leaving something behind. What you do bring, you should keep contained and organized to help you keep track of it.
Clean your tent and backpack before you go
Be sure that you clean your tent and backpack well before you take a new camping trip.
Never dig trenches
Do not dig trenches or destroy the vegetation at your campsite. Use well-established campsites and stick within the camp area, not expanding out into the foliage.
Respect the trees and plant life
Never cut, chop, or dig into trees, break tree branches, pick plants or flowers or otherwise destroy or damage plant life in the campground.
Bring camping furniture
Designated camping furniture is not just a ploy to get more money from you. Camping chairs and other camp furniture are a great way to help you minimize your impact on the campsite. You won’t be tempted to move rocks or logs to sit on when you have your own chair, for example.
Take everything out with you
If you bring it in, you take it out. This includes trash, peels, pet waste, and everything. Nothing should be left on the ground, even organic matter, and you should leave nothing behind at the camp.
Bring a clothesline
For wet clothes and towels, you can bring a free-standing clothesline. This means you don’t do any damage to trees or other vegetation while hanging your items out to dry.
Bring proper food storage
It’s essential to bring adequate storage for your food and use bear boxes, if necessary, at your camping location. You don’t want your camp to get raided and lose your food to wildlife, and you also don’t want to impact the local wildlife’s health with your food.
Be fire smart
Build your fires only in designated campfire areas and use only dead and downed wood that is no bigger than your forearm. Alternatively, you can sometimes purchase local firewood. Never burn trash, human waste, or other items. Always be sure your fire is out entirely and cold before leaving.
Stop for a minute and think about your favorite campgrounds. Think about all the things you love about this campsite. Now imagine it filled with trash and broken bottles, pieces of paper and debris all over, trees with scars from human damage, and much more.
It’s not a pretty sight, and for anyone who truly loves nature, it’s a sad feeling as well. It’s our job to help protect wildlife and our campsites. This is how we show respect because we get to come out here and enjoy camping.
Following these tips for clean camping will help prevent this problem. We can’t always control what other people do, but we can do our best to control our own impact on the camp. We have a responsibility to take care of our campsites.