Camping Guide – Campsite Etiquette 101
Choose a site that is at least 200 ft. from any water or trails, unless the only alternative is an established existing site. Be smart, pick an appropriate camp site. There are also safety advantages when camping away from well traveled areas. Bears know that campsites have food to offer. If you camp in area that is clean and you keep it clean, other campers will not know you have been there and either will the animals. Think ahead and think stealth.
Pack it in, Pack it out, Pick it up if you see it !! If I see garbage I it up. It takes so little effort and make things looks so much better. Be a good scout and make the effort, if we all tried a little the results would be great. Do not bury any food as animals will only dig it up. We must teach the animals that there is nothing of interest at these campsites. We owe it to them so that they are a danger to us and visa versa. A bear that learns to hang out a campground is basically a dead bear. Eventually the bear or other animal will have to be destroyed once it associates people with food. Every year you will here about a poor bear that had to be destroyed because it was hanging out at a campground. That is our fault not the bears fault.
Soaps & foods can change water chemistry and damage the life dependent upon it. Wash far away from the water and camp site using proper camp soaps or a natural abrasive. I have seen food bits underwater on lake shores and it is not pretty. Especially in cold water the food will not decompose and could stay in tact for some time. Try using dirt or sand as a cleaning agent. Sand is pretty good at cleaning pots. I use snow to clean pots while winter camping.
Obey local fire rules. If there is already a fire ring at your campsite use it and do not create another one. Actually an fires should be made as undetectable as possible. Create a fire will it will not scorch grass and other plants. Use only as much as you need and make it so that all the wood you use gets does burn up. If you have half burnt logs left over you did not make a very good or efficient fire. When the fire goes out, disperse the ashes so nature can quickly conceal your tracks. Never leave a fire unattended. Take extra care to make sure the fire is completely out. After the fire burns out douse water on the fire ring and make sure all ashes and coals are completely snuffed. I dry conditions the soil can keep a smoldering ashes going for hours after you assume all the fire is gone. Make sure you fire is truly out.
When nature calls
Dig a hole 4-8 inches deep, 200 feet from any water, camp, or trail. Cover with soil and pine needle dung or other decomposing matter. Take a little walk to find a suitable place, keeping in mind the best place for decomposition and be aware of where others may look to camp after you have left. A little effort on everyone’s part will make the wilder-ness areas a much more enjoyable experience for all enthusiasts. When winter camping try using snow instead of toilet paper. Pack a snow ball that is oval shaped. This way you do not leave behind a paper mess after the snow melts. Snow actually works quite well and sounds weird but is a very good substitute. If your really are environmental pack even your toilet paper out. Paper does not break down that fast as is very unsightly.
Travel in such a manner as to not be noticed. Keep your group small and unobtrusive. Keep pets and children under control at all times. Destroying Nature for the sake of fun or ignorance should never be tolerated. Most of us seek the quite and simplistic qualities that nature has to offer. Treat the land and wildlife with the respect that it deserves.
Glen is an Ex-personal trainer with a passion for health and Fitness. He has trained a variety of clients with goals ranging from weight loss and improved overall fitness to improved speed, strength, and sport performance.
In his spare time, Glen enjoys traveling, reading, golf, softball, poker, and rooting for the Atlanta Braves and Jacksonville Jaguars.