How’s your “leave no trace” knowledge?

How’s your “leave no trace” knowledge?

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

A columnist in an Idaho newspaper has a few gripes about bad campground behavior. Trash in fire rings, dog poop on trails, and the other usual suspects. Sometimes bad behavior is just that–a person with a nasty attitude. Other times it’s just a matter of education. How’s your campground courtesy knowledge?

leave no traceHere are some tips that can make fellow campers (and park personnel) a lot happier:

Don’t trash: It may be “biodegradable” but it can take a long time for the bio to degrade. Even paper plates can take four months to disintegrate, but a plastic drinking bottle? Try 500 years.

How about burning the trash? Not only does the stuff stink, it doesn’t always burn up. Imagine being the next guy in your site, confronted with a lot of garbage to clean up.

If there aren’t any trash cans, then use the “Pack it in, Pack it out” philosophy.

Got a tenter in your group? Encourage them to put their tent up on a designated tent pad. Putting them on native vegetation can stunt, even kill the stuff.

Walking around the campground? Please don’t walk through somebody else’s site. Cutting across a site is nothing but disconcerting–it invades a personal space.

Heading out from your site? Stick to the established trails. “Pioneers” cutting a new path, like tents in the wrong place, kill vegetation.

You’ve got an RV–use the bathroom there, or make the hike to the campground toilet. Whizzing in the woods (or worse) ain’t great in the eyes (and nose) of your next door neighbor.

The same holds true for Rover. Take a poop collecting bag and follow up on your dog. Put the bag in the trash or tote it home with you.

The ethics of “leave no trace” make for a nicer time for everyone.

Photo: U.S. Boy Scouts

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