Camping means borrowing some space from nature for a while. To camp in harmony with nature and avoid undesirable encounters, you need to follow some simple rules.
Here are some ways to preserve your environment and leave it the way you found it, as much as possible, for future campers.
Feeding animals or leaving food in your tent or lying around the campsite is a sure-fire way to attract undesirable visitors. So make sure you always pack your food away in bins or a cooler and keep them in a closed space or out of reach at nighttime. Even toothpaste in your tent can attract animals.
Always pick up your garbage before heading to bed, and put it in a garbage bag. If you can, take all your garbage and recycling as soon as possible to the bins for that purpose.
These few precautions will make for a much more peaceful stay for yourself and others.
Use biodegradable, phosphate-free soap, including dish soap. There is a wide selection available. But remember, just because it says “bio” or “green” doesn’t mean it’s biodegradable – you’re always best to read product labels carefully.
You can also make your own environmentally friendly products at home. For instance, plain white vinegar is excellent for removing grease and germs and as a disinfectant. Mix some in with your water when you wash dishes. It’s even good for treating itchy insect bites.
Don’t dump your dirty dishwater into the lake or stream. Pour it into a drain for that purpose, or dig a hole in the ground and dispose of it there.
Empty propane tanks are pollution. Fortunately, they can now be recycled. Some campgrounds offer places to leave them for recycling.
Always do your best to leave the campsite in the same condition you found it. Don’t pull branches off trees or collect dead wood for your campfire.
When you make a campfire for cooking or relaxation, do it in the space provided for that purpose. Once you’ve finished, make absolutely sure that the fire is out.
When you think about it, just a few simple gestures can help you camp in harmony with nature and give back what she so generously offers us.