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Pack it in Pack it out - How to Be More Eco-Friendly When Camping

Apr 27, 2017

When it comes to camping there are many different mantras about the unwritten rules of enjoying the wide open spaces. Several of them include respecting the environment around you. “Leave no trace behind.” Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints.” “Pack it in pack it out.” “Leave the place better than you found it.”

All cute sayings aside, it is actually important to be eco-friendly and conscientious of the wilderness around you especially as camping continues to grow in popularity. The Leave no Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has compiled a list of Seven Leave No Trace Principles to help you prepare for your next outdoor camping adventure.

Plan Ahead and PreparePack it in Pack it out - How to Be More Eco-Friendly When Camping

Do some research and get familiar with the area you plan to visit. Make note of the rules for hiking and camping in the area and plan around them. Consider traveling in smaller groups and during non peak times when the location is at high occupancy.

Make Use of Durable Surfaces

A durable surface is one that is already forged out for recreational use, such as a pre-made campsite or an established hiking trail. Try to avoid creating new campsites or paths which can disrupt the purity of the area.

Dispose of Waste

This one is pretty standard and easy. Anything that was brought in by your camping party should be taken out or placed in the campsite dumpster. Make sure RV waste is dumped in a place specifically designated for RV waste. Basically don’t leave anything that wasn't there before.

Leave What You Find

Don’t take a large amount of natural elements such as rocks, plants, etc. from your campsite. The reason is to avoid transporting non-native species to or from the site.

Minimize Campfire Impact

Always use designated fire pits and watch the fire as it is burning. Do not leave the fire unattended, make sure that there is nothing but ashes when you leave the campsite for the next camper. Don’t leave hot embers when you walk away from the fire pit.

Be a Good House Guest

Even though you are outdoors you are still in someone’s home. There are many animals at the campground that call the wilderness you are vacationing in home. Be aware of the animals around you out of respect and also your own safety.

Respect Other Campers

Refrain from walking through other campsites, keep noise down especially during quiet hours, keep pets on a leash when away from your RV, and yield to others when out hiking on the trail. Considering others makes your trip more enjoyable for all including the people in your camping party and yourself.

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