Part of the entire experience of enjoying the outdoors is the art of not leaving a trace. This means that whether you’re out camping or backpacking, you always practice the general, unspoken rule to leave a campsite or clearing the way it was when you first got there. Whatever efforts you make to clean up and get the area ready for anyone else who passes by in the future would definitely be appreciated, one way or the other.
Here are some guidelines you may want to keep in mind, just so that leaving no trace would eventually become second nature to you whenever you go camping or backpacking:
Make the Necessary Preparations
Plan ahead. Do your homework by getting familiar with the area you are intending to visit. If this is a park or a reserve, check online or through local communication means to know what rules to observe, just so that you wouldn’t be caught unaware when you actually get there. Ideally, you’d want to go to a particular area during off-peak times, just so that you can enjoy the camping area or the trail more, without having to deal with anyone else who is enjoying the outdoors with you. Carry all the necessary items during your traveling outdoor, know about the cooking, for this you have to know what is the best lightweight backpacking stove?
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Prioritize Ideal Camping Surfaces
Surfaces which are generally considered ideal for camping are those which have already been used by more campers and trekkers before you. While it could be tempting to go ahead and forge new paths and establish new trails, you may only be just damaging the area and inconveniencing yourself by having to take extra steps to make a new area more inhabitable.
Pack In, Pack Out
Whatever you bring into a campsite has to be brought out, as much as possible. Dispose of any non-organic and recyclable trash at prescribed locations which are usually away from the reserve or the park. Any human and biodegradable waste must be buried at least a foot underground, more than 200 feet away from any lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water.
Look, But Don’t Take
Resist the temptation to get any forms of remembrance such as rocks, flowers, or plants. You never know what else you’re taking with you besides these mementos – bugs, bacteria, and all sorts of nasty things can hitch a ride and make their way to your home if you went ahead to took something from the campsite.
The main point here is that you want to leave the site as intact and pure as it was when you first got there, not just so that you would enjoy the same scenes should you decide to go back, but also for other people who decide to camp or travel through the area. The golden rule applies here as much as it would anywhere else: treat a campsite or clearing and leave it the way you would want to see it when you return.
Being considerate of the environment and other visitors will definitely go a long way, and you wouldn’t have any lingering doubts in your mind after the entire outdoor experience.