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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's your "no trace" RV ethic?

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?

Here 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 disinigrate, 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.

16 comments:

  1. Leave no trace also means bring no trace. Forest pests and diseases hitchhike under RVs and inside vehicle wheel wells, as well as on hiking boots and other gear. You may be bringing unwanted guests from the last region of the country you visited. Crawl under your rig and look for snagged branches, dried mud chunks, and other sources of transport.

    Visual pollution is still pollution. You may take home with you all the flags, banners, signs, lawn toys, and other colorful kitsch, but it is still a brightly colored and unnatural distraction while you are in camp. You are there to enjoy the outdoors, not hide the outdoors behind the neon bright plastic trappings of suburbia. Yeah, I know many will take umbrage at this last comment, but that is how I feel. I have seen too many campsites that look like an explosion in a Chinese toy factory.

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    1. I tottally agree. my last family RV camping trip was a nightmare. we were next to a NASCAR loving couple that had a huge TV on the side of their 40ft plus tráiler. They had invited friends to watch THE race. So for hours We were subjected to lots of beer drinking, race watching, loud cheering/yelling in what is normally a quite wooded retreat. The drinking loud chatting went on into the Night. I cant tell you how many times the female host was loud and obnoxious. Her inuendos were crude. Not suitable for family camping.

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  2. The biggest complaint is also in campgrounds people driving too fast. We are currently in a campground with dirt roads and 5 miles per hour must mean 25 to some who do not care about dust on there neighbors. Also the noisey diesal motors at 5 in the morning...quiet woods...ya right!

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    1. So true. We stay at a place where the police drive by and that is very nice of them BUT as with so many campers I know 10-15 is slow but it is not 5 mph

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  3. My biggest complaint is the "rolling thunder" motorcyclist who thinks that all the world loves to hear his unmuffled motorcycle roar each time he decides to play "Easy Rider" while his huge pot belly and long gray pony tail hang all over. If your bike isn't legally muffled how about leaving it home until there's a rally in your own home town.

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  4. Leave it better looking than you found it....a pretty simple concept, but sadly, very quite a few people don't care about others!

    Good points!

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  5. I practice the concept of leaving my campsite in better shape than I found it. Just think how nice it would be if everyone did the same.

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    1. When I boondock I dismantle all the old fire rings others left. Sometimes the site looks like a bombing range with all the black craters scattered around, sometime only a few feet apart. I will leave ONE if it is in a good spot. (I once found several .30 cal rifle ammo buried in one under the ashes -- deliberately placed at an angle to discharge towards a nearby log where people would be sitting! I also have found buried partially filled propane cartridges in the ashes.)

      I have not had a campfire in years, and I do not miss them.

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  6. I agree with all the comments! Just got back from Yellowstone, People in these BIG rigs have to run the thing for 45 min!!!BOO! Tramping through your campsite, and driving too fast. Well most likely catch heat for this one BUT not everyone loves your dog. We do not have pets because it is not fair to the pets, as much as we travel. So PLEASE keep them quite, pickup after them and don't think we like being sniffed by them!!

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    1. We are at Yellowstone.One thing about us big rigs.If we just have pulled in, we have to let the turbo cool or risk losing it. Shouldn't take more than 3-4 minutes.Also, when starting up, we need to air up. That can take up to 30-40 minutes, depending on the rig.What we do is air up the evening before so the next morning it doesn't take so long.I agree with the walking thru your site.Have almost gotten into a fight with a guy who told me "To bad, if you don't like me walking thru your site". Some rvers are getting worse it seems.

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    2. If it takes 30-40 minutes to air up your big rig, you should get it fixed. I drive an 8 axle highway tractor trailer unit and it only takes a max of 5 minutes to air it up.

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  7. Some guy next to our unit must had upper repiratory problems, coughing, sneezing, spitting, deep throat noises that went on all night, wheezing, more loud coughing. I guess he thought as long that he was in his rig, it was all right.

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    1. Yes, it WAS all right for him to be sick in his own RV! And if he WAS sick, you were undoubtedly in better condition to relocate than he was.

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  8. As I walk around any campground, I carry a plastic bag and pick up every piece of litter I see along the campground road and in empty sites. Yep, leave the entire campground better than you found it.

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  9. If you have to have a huge campfire please put it next to YOUR camper not mine! And use seasoned wood that awful smelling green wood is terrible! When we have a fire we make it small, place it
    by our camper and used seasoned wood. Please do the same.

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  10. All of the above is why I boondock and avoid campgrounds if at all possible.

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