I Love Green

How to Keep a Campsite Clean

More from Outdoor Living Newsletter May Outdoor Living Newsletter

One of the best ways to appreciate nature is to go on a RV or camping trip. The first-hand interaction with nature during these trips is something that you cannot experience on the streets or in the city. Suddenly, you become aware of the chirping of the birds, the rustling of the leaves and the waving of the trees. Being able to enjoy nature is a privilege and when we venture out, we need to ensure we minimize the environmental harm. It is every camper's responsibility to reduce their impact on nature in order to preserve its beauty for other generations of campers to appreciate. Here are a few things you can do to minimize your impact on the environment when camping:

1.  Plan Your Logistics.

Your responsibility to nature starts as early as when you plan your camping trip. Make a checklist of the things that you will need for your trip such as shelter (tent if you're not bringing your RV), cooking utensils, food and first aid kit. Bring Ziploc bags, garbage bags, paper towels and rugs; you will need these to keep your campsite clean and in order. Don't bring more than you will need as this will only amount to excess weight or might just end up in trash.

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2.  Designate Areas In Your Campsite.

Most campgrounds have designated areas for cooking, eating and hygiene purposes. Respect these rules. If you're venturing into the woods or in unregulated camping grounds, it's important to designate areas for specific purposes. This is important so that hygiene waste doesn't stay in or get near your cooking or eating area. It also helps you segregate your waste better.

3.  Always Keep Things In Order.

A neat and organized campsite is not only a joy to look at; it also helps you have an efficient system in carrying out your tasks. The simple things like putting soiled clothes in a garbage bag, not bringing your shoes into the RV or tent and throwing away food litter help keep your campsite clean. Keep your campsite free of food scraps and odors and do not bring food into tents to avoid inviting wildlife and insects into your campsite. If you're in Bear country, pack food in a bear-proof locker or canister overnight.

4.  Observe Proper Waste Disposal.

Don't throw your trash just about anywhere and more importantly, never leave your trash in the campsite when you pack up. Campgrounds have designated bins for recyclables and non-recyclables; if your campsite doesn't have trash cans, improvise by putting up garbage bags. Assign garbage bags for leftovers, food scraps, hygiene waste, water and soda bottles, etc. Bring your trash with you when you leave. Trash that is left in the woods not only makes the place ugly; it can also end up polluting the soil, the water and the animals.

5.  Put Out the Campfire When No Longer Needed.

Campfire serves many purposes in your camping trip - cooking, warmth and light. As vital as these are, it is equally important to put out your campfire when it's no longer needed. This doesn't only avoid your campsite from razing into ashes, but also minimizes the gases and fumes that you release into the environment. When putting out the fire, make sure that not only the fire is out, but also the ashes and the embers. Douse the fire with water and touch the ashes to make sure they have lost their heat. Throw the ashes into metal containers instead of plastic or wooden containers as these materials can catch fire.

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