Low Impact Camping Tips
Courtesy of Ricardo Rambally - ricardusfilipus@hotmail.com

Low Impact Camping Tips:

1) Know the route and distance you will travel as well as the type of terrain.

2) Bring adequate food and equipment.

3) Replace most food into reusable containers so that unnecessary packaging such as cardboard, plastic, foil and glass stays at home.

4) Select proper footwear. Heavy "4WD boots" cause much more trail damage than lightweight boots.

5) Stay on the trails. Trails features are there to prevent erosion and other damage.

6) Do not take rest stops in areas that have sensitive soils, plants or animals.

7) Travel in small groups whenever possible. Not too small though.

8) Never blaze trees or leave other markers.

9) Use designated campsites whenever possible.

10) Always camp at least 50 metres from any water source and any trail. Do all washing of dishes, clothing and self well away from water sources.

11) Locate your campsite in a flat area with adequate runoff and do not trench around the tent whenever possible. Camping in existing campsites is a form of low impact camping as it keeps all the damage to one location.

12) Avoid landscaping or otherwise improving the campsite other than removing sharp twigs and rocks from under the tent. Don t camp on vegetation look for barren ground.

13) Try to leave your campsite in a better condition than you found it by cleaning up any garbage. Scatter stones or logs you may have dragged in for seating purposes and sweep area to return ground to untrammeled look.

14) Never cut trees or other vegetation or pound nails into trees. Gather firewood away from camp don t strip the immediate area of dead wood, and NEVER pull wood off of trees, even if it appears half-dead (thats also half-alive)

15) Always use a stove rather than a fire. Stoves are easier, cleaner and more reliable. In most areas it is necessary to boil, filter, or chemically treat all water for cooking and drinking .If you have no other choice than a campfire dig a 12" deep hole for your fire and don t ring with rocks which only become blackened, but ring fire area with rocks wrapped in tin foil that s what I do; keep fire small. Before leaving, cover pit or embers with soil after thoroughly dousing with water and stirring to put out any embers

16) Consider using a candle or lantern instead of a campfire as nightlight.

17) Last, do not place items in your fire which will not fully burn aluminum packaging (dehydrated meals containers, for instance), glass or metal, and some plastics. One hiker advises, "Be prepared. Know where you re going, expected weather, group size, facilities available for trash and waste disposal, availability of existing campsites, etc. Knowing these things ahead of time will allow you to prepare for No-Trace Camping.

Minimum-impact camping is your investment in keeping campsites pristine and attractive to the next camper to come along. This concept is especially important if you have chosen to create our own campsite rather than using an existing campsite. Some things are obvious pick up all your trash and burn or pack out, for example. Other steps may be less obvious. You may have to research further.

Before you buy food, work out your menu for each day. Do not take too much food. Pack your food in separate bags for each day, e.g. have a plastic bag for Monday and inside it put separate bags for your breakfast, walking snacks, lunch and dinner for that day. Put in some treats for later on a long hike if they are light. - Stan Morrison.

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