Summer camping is fun, but it can have harmful consequences on the environment. To do so responsibly, I am offering these recommendations. This way, you’ll leave the places where you camp better than when you arrived.
1. Don’t Travel Off the Beaten Path
When driving to your camping location, be sure to follow the established roads. In many places, there are nests or hideouts of wild animals very close to the road and if you deviate, you can destroy them. When you reach your camping destination, think about the location of your tent. Make sure it is a camping space or check the area since you don’t want to harm plants or animals that live in the place.
2. Going Bathroom While Camping
When you have to go to the bathroom, dig a hole of approximately 50 centimeters and use it as a toilet. When you’re done, put the toilet paper you used right there and cover it. If you’re on the beach, you should do it away from the shore. If you are going to use soap or detergent, avoid doing it in the river or in the sea; it is best to do it in a container full of water.
3. Use Environment-Friendly Equipment
For example, when you shop, bring your cloth bags, they are bigger than plastic bags, and much more useful and less harmful to our environment. If you are going to bring prepared food, do it in glass containers and get a reusable bottle so you can store your liquids. Use LED flashlights so you don’t have to charge batteries that contain mercury and other poisonous materials, and when you have to use repellent, avoid spray and replace it with creams.
4. Plan Ahead and Prepare Your Trip
Find out the regulations for the area you plan to visit. Prepare for weather contingencies and other potential emergencies. Plan your trip to avoid seasonal peaks. Travel in small groups. Pack food in a way that minimizes waste and avoids unnecessary packaging. Use maps and compass to avoid using paint marks on rocks or wood.
5. Camp in Proper Areas
These include marked trails, campsites, rock, gravel, dry pastures, or snow. Protect water fluctuation zones by camping at least 200 meters away from water currents. Camping sites are found, not made. Do not alter the site unless it is essential. Keep your camp space enclosed. Choose areas where there is no vegetation. Avoid places where man’s impact is almost unobserved.
6. Treat Waste Properly
When you choose a camping area, reserve a space for the waste you will generate. Separate a bag for organic waste from the fruits or vegetables you consume and dig a hole of approximately one meter deep to deposit them there when you leave. Take the inorganic rubbish with you to dispose of in dedicated areas.
Once you plan on leaving, inspect the campsite by collecting any food or trash waste around your area.
7. Leave the Way You Found it
When you leave, leave the site as you found it, or rather my Scoutmaster would say, “preserve the past: look but don’t touch the historical and cultural structures”. Leave rocks, plants and natural objects in place. Don’t take them as “souvenirs”. Do not introduce non-native species into the environment through seeds of non-native plants.
8. Minimize the impact of your campfire.
Only make fires in places allowed. Prevent the fire from getting bigger. Use only wood found on the ground that you can break with your hands. Do not cut wood. Burn everything until it turns to ashes. Once cool remove them from the fireplace and spread out the ashes.
9. Respect wildlife.
Don’t get too close or follow the animals. Never feed them. It damages their health, alters their natural habits and exposes them to predators and other dangers. Protect wildlife and your food by packing your meals properly. Keep a permanent watch on your pets or leave them at home. Avoid contact with animals during sensitive periods (heat, nesting, calving, teaching, etc.). If your trip includes bird watching or animal walks, do so with great caution. Respect the minimum space between them and don’t create disturbances around them.