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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Don't leave a record of your boondocking behind you

We've all seen it – the "remnants" from someone who camped in the "outback" before we arrived. Trash in fire rings, dog poop on trails, and the other usual suspects. One of the main reasons that RVers like to boondock is to get away from the ugly side of human civilization, and there it is, somebody rubs our nose in it.  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.


  1. Another often raised practice is camp at least 200 feet from water. Many people mistakenly believe this means 200 feet from the current water edge. This is not what is meant.
    Desert washes can have watercourses dozens, even hundreds of yards wide, while the stream in mid to late summer may be a mere trickle you can step across. The 200 feet rule applies to the high water mark. The cleanest and most conscientious RVer will inadvertently leave some trash or debris despite best intentions. That tiny scrap of paper, spilled drink, or wayward food particle will be in the water at the next flood event long after you are gone. Soil compaction will alter the stream dynamics and stream ecology.

    A lot of RVers will not like this. The 200 feet from high water mark can put you quite a hike from the current water's edge, and the water is one of the reasons you chose that site. Nonetheless, true LNT says stay out of the scour zone.

  2. Thanks...It only takes a few to ruin it for the masses.