IF you are new to getting out in the great outdoors and pitching a tent or a swag, camping etiquette is something you need to be familiar with before you boil that billy and put your feet up by the campfire.
There is nothing worse arriving at your camping destination only to find rubbish left behind and the land disturbed to a point that it looks like a dumping ground. This is not only disappointing for us but its detrimental for the environment and the local wildlife.
When camping, having the attitude of ‘leave no trace’ is something every camper should take part in when they pack up to go home.
Leaving your campfire fully extinguished is the first and foremost rule when leaving the bush. To do this you must extinguish with water, do not bury it and hope for the best. The general rule is that if its cool to touch its safe to leave.
Another general rule is what you bring into your campsite, you need to take home with you. It might not be fun having bags of rubbish in the back of your car to take to the nearest bin, but that is what goes hand in hand with camping. Don’t try to bury rubbish. Animals will smell it, dig it up and leave rubbish strewn around the place. Cigarette butts are also classed as litter so butt them in the bin to take home. Disposing of glass is a must as well, the amount of glass in fire pits is a nuisance to anyone that comes to use the campsite next. Glass doesn’t burn so take it with you.
Leaving food scraps in the campfire or on the ground can attract animals. You don’t want to feed the wildlife because of the behaviors that can be caused by them getting comfortable with human contact and ultimately, could endanger their safety. They could accidentally ingest plastic ties, bags, or other inedible objects.
On the topic of waste, human waste is something that also needs attention. This is something you don’t want to stumble upon at a campsite. If there are toilets, use them and leave them clean if not the general practice is you need to go well away from a campsite and water source. You need to dig a deep hole and cover it completely after you have finished. If you are using a portable chemical toilet, the contents will turn to a slurry-like state thanks to the chemicals. If you can’t pour into a toilet or a dump point, then you may have to bury it a long way from a campsite, but you need to still dig a deep hole and cover and disguise the hole afterwards. Don’t do this where some other poor camper is likely to go for a stroll and stumble across it.
If you are new to the camping world, adopting these practices as soon as you start will be a better outcome for everyone.