Whether you park your RV or pitch a tent, camping is a great way to commune with nature. Even so, all too many campers and outdoor enthusiasts end up damaging the very natural resources they have come to appreciate. If you do not want to repeat their mistakes, you need to build environmental responsibility and care for natural resources into your camping adventures.
Planning an environmentally responsible camping trip is not difficult, nor is it expensive. Here are some simple ways to care for the environment and preserve the natural resources you’ve come to appreciate.
Ditch the Disposables
If you go through the trash cans at the average campground, you will see lots of plastic forks and disposable plates, and all that refuse adds up. If you want to do your part, ditch the disposables and bring your own silverware and plates.
You do not have to bring the fine china – just pack in a few reusable plates and enough silverware for the family. Make sure your camping cookware is reusable as well, so you will not have to leave anything behind when you leave.
Check the Rules
Every campground has its own set of rules, and they are generally posted on or near the administrative office. Before you park your RV or pitch your tent, be sure to read and abide by those rules.
From where to park to how to dispose of your garbage, these rules are there for a reason. Abiding by them will make your life, and the lives of your fellow campers, much easier.
Cook the Natural Way
Cooking stoves fueled with propane may be convenient, but they are not the most environmentally responsible options. Instead of packing in the propane, cook the natural way – with firewood.
Wood is easy to gather, easy to use and environmentally friendly. Once your cooking fire is going, you can make your meals, roast marshmallows or just bask in the warm glow.
Stay With Your Fire
Cooking over a wood fire is a smart thing to do, but be sure your fire is out before you leave it. Never leave a campfire unattended, and make sure the heat has dissipated before turning in for the night.
Check the fire, stir the embers and check it again. You can never be too careful when it comes to wildfires, so check and double-check your campfire before you leave the area.
Control Your Pets
Camping with your pet can be a lot of fun, but it is important to be a responsible pet parent. Always keep your pet on a leash, and never allow it to wander unsupervised. Feel free to visit your camping neighbors, but always ask if you can bring your pet along.
Uncontrolled pets can do significant damage to the local wildlife, so know where your animals are when you walk or hike. You can let your pet off-leash if the rules allow, but make sure the animal is under control and will come when called.
Whether you are a first-time camper or an old pro, you want to leave your campsite, and the surrounding environment, as good, or better, than you left it. From picking out what you pack in and dousing your fire the right way to keeping your pet under control and respecting the rules, the steps you take when camping can have a major impact on the natural resources you love so much.
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