Camping in the wild and reconnecting with nature can be a soul-filling experience that recharges your batteries and helps you learn something new about yourself and the world that surrounds us. However, the only thing that should be left behind you when you pack up is your footprints. If you want to be a happy camper and protect the environment, here are several rules you should live by:
Camp away from the water
Maybe you want to be a good scout and earn your badge, but camping near a water source is not a good idea. No one is saying you cannot go down to collect water or even take a swim, just keep in mind local wildlife is using it too. Therefore, stay away from the water early in the morning and evening so animals can feel free to approach it and drink or bathe.
Don’t leave your food out
Instead of playing Hansel and Gretel, don’t leave crumbs and scraps lying around. Keep in mind, a lot of human food is actually poisonous for animals, so after you are done with your meal, clear up all your food.
Bring environmental friendly products
When it comes to your camping gear, there are eco-friendly options to choose from. If you need help deciding which equipment you should bring with you, just check out the reviews on sites such as Gear We Are and find all the information you need in order to make a smart decision.
Having a party by the campfire can seem like a lot of fun, but if you really want to act nature-friendly, make sure you don’t spook the animals. Would you appreciate if a stranger came to your home in the middle of the night and started singing karaoke? Of course not, so make sure you respect your wild neighbors.
Don’t leave the fire unsupervised
Before you start a fire, create a fire ring so you can keep it under control. Don’t leave it without supervision at any time and make sure you have put it out completely before you leave. Also, make sure you don’t build a campfire in fire prone areas.
It’s camping, not a frat party
Going on a trip with a few friends is perfectly fine, just make sure your group stays small. Otherwise, you will easily disturb wildlife and cause some damage to the environment.
Pick up after yourself
In case there are no designated trash cans in your camping area, take back the trash with you and throw it in your garbage can when you get home. You are not the only person on this planet, so don’t ruin the experience for other campers and put wildlife in danger by leaving wrappers and empty boxes behind you.
Don’t feed the animals
You know how your dog looks at you when you are eating chocolate, but you won’t give it to him because it can make him sick? Same goes for wild animals. Keep your snacks to yourself, because feeding the animals could affect their health.
No dogs allowed
Taking your furry pal on a camping trip might seem like a fun idea, but keep in mind that your dog can seriously disturb the wildlife. In case you really need to bring your pet with you, make sure you keep your pet on a leash. No matter how friendly he or she is, letting him/her chase animals around and run like a maniac is not acceptable.
Leave no trace
After an amazing camping trip, it is easy to feel tempted to take a souvenir home or carve your name in a tree. However, only by adopting a leave-no-trace policy will you be able to minimize your impact on the environment. Although carving your and your loved one’s name sounds pretty romantic, it actually wounds the tree and makes it prone to diseases, some of which are lethal. Also, don’t bring wildflowers, sticks, rocks or fossils home. If you want a souvenir from your trip, take a photo. Taking one flower won’t damage the environment, but when thousands of hikers do the same, the landscape becomes obliterated.
If you want to protect the environment and have an amazing experience, just keep this in mind – leave everything the way you found it. Leaving any kind of mark will affect future visitors’ enjoyment of the place and damage the land, so follow these rules and take care of our planet. It definitely deserves it!