Heading out into the great outdoors to spend the night sleeping under the stars with your best mates is a right of passage for many Australians. With countless national parks, beaches, islands and bush to explore, the opportunities to pull on your hiking boots and hit the trails to find a campsite to enjoy for the night are endless. However, as campers, we have a responsibility to maintain the areas that we visit and ensure that we have as little impact on the environment as possible.
Regardless of where in the country you are camping, there are some best practices that you should follow to reduce your footprint. When you are camping in the great outdoors, it’s important to remember that you are the visitor. Treat the areas that you visit with respect, keep interaction with wildlife to a minimum and tread carefully. As the old saying goes, “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.”
Let’s take a look at a few key things that you can do on your next camping trip to reduce your environmental impact.
Dispose Of Your Waste Correctly
When you are camping, you generate waste, just as you would at home. And, just as you would at home, you should clean up after yourself. Pick up any rubbish or food scraps from your campsite before you leave. If you have grey or black water to dispose of, be sure that you find a suitable dump point. When you get home, be sure to recycle as much of your waste as possible to further reduce your environmental impact.
Seeing the local wildlife in their natural habitat when you are camping is exciting. However, it’s important to remember that you are their guest and to give them plenty of space. Always keep a safe distance, never feed animals and don’t approach them for any reason. Your actions can have a lasting impact on an animal’s natural behaviours so be sure to leave them to their own devices.
Minimize The Impact Of Campfires
If at all possible, the best option for the well-being of the environment is to do without a fire. However, depending on where you are camping this might not be possible, as you may have to light a fire for heat, to cook and to illuminate your campsite. For those campers who need to light a fire, make sure that you follow all local rules and regulations. Keep your fire contained to avoid it spreading and avoid building large fires that could get out of control easily. When the fire burns out, make sure that you allow the ashes to cool and spread them out to reduce their impact on the area.
Camp In Smaller Groups
Although camping in a large group can be great fun, the consequences for the local environment are much more significant. Naturally, having more people in an area will mean more wear and tear on the area, more waste being generated and it will create more foot traffic. Reducing your group size will help you to reduce your impact on the local habitat, causing less damage to the local environment.
Reduce Your Environmental Impact On Your Next Camping Adventure
Exploring the great outdoors with your friends and family is a fantastic way to strengthen your bond and create lasting memories. With the right approach to your next trip, you can ensure that your next camping adventure is fun for all involved while having as little impact on the environment as possible. Before you embark on your next outdoor adventure, be sure to consider your environmental impact and do everything you can to minimize it. As campers, we have a responsibility to protect the staggering natural beauty of Australia so it can be enjoyed by many generations to come.