When camping, it’s easy to slip into the fantasy of having dominion over the land and getting to do whatever you want; it’s like something right out of those motivational travel quotes everyone seems to love.
That said, ignoring your impact on the local environment isn’t a good idea. Not only can poor camping behavior leave behind pollution and harm plant life, but it can scare wildlife out of the woods and into streets or human-inhabited areas.
These are the top ways to care for nature while camping and still allow yourself to have fun.
Camp Away From Any Water
Camp with at least six hundred feet between your site and any water. This is important for your health and the health of the waterway. If there is any sudden rain, or if there’s a surge in the water levels, camping too close to the water can make it dangerous and could leave you open to flooding or getting swept away in the current.
On the other hand, if you’re too close to the water, you accidentally leach pollutants into the water or litter directly into the waterway. Any waste that gets into the water can harm the delicate ecosystem of the area and can leave a lasting mark on the environment.
Don’t Leave Your Food Accessible.
Wildlife critters don’t know that Cheetos aren’t good for them or that they shouldn’t chew through the plastic to get to a good-smelling snack. Instead, their minds are simply deciding that something smells good, and that means they should eat it.
There are a few options to keep your food away and safe. One of the best choices is to tie up your food and suspend it from a high tree. Another option is to keep your food within your locked vehicle when you’re not currently cooking or eating. Finally, try to clean any cooking or eating surfaces as soon as possible so that the smell doesn’t lure wildlife in.
Avoid Being Loud or Rowdy
A major reason people enjoy traveling is to try and get away and cute loose to have fun. Unfortunately, many take this too far and act rowdy and loud while camping. Being loud like this can draw predators to your camping site or scare away animals that normally cohabitate with campers in this area.
This can chase deer and other animals out into roads and nearby neighborhoods and cause a lot of distress in local species. It’s possible to still have tons of tun without being the loudest campsite in the state! Just reign it into a respectful level.
Take Away Everything You Bring
If something comes with you: it needs to leave with you. Even if you won’t need the charcoal and think the next campers may be able to use it, leaving it behind is littering. If you want to leave behind items like this, seek out the local camp offices or park rangers, and ask if they have a collection for these that campers can use.
Often they keep a small supply of these donated goods. Simply leaving them at your campsite without consulting these professionals is dangerous, so it’s better to talk to them directly.