Camping isn’t just about reconnecting with family and friends — it’s about connecting with our natural environment. Part of our responsibility as campers is to keep the impact on our environment to a minimum while we enjoy it. We all know that we should “leave no trace” while in the wilderness, but that can be hard to do when camping, especially with large groups or children on family vacations. Campers travel an average of 186.7 miles to go camping and spend an average of 14 days at a campsite, which can make cleaning up an extra chore that many don’t feel they have time for.
Cleaning a campsite can be difficult, but it is also an important part of the experience. Check out these tips for making and keeping your campsite clean and pristine during your family camping vacations:
- Less is more. When packing for your trip, be deliberate and mindful of what you are bringing. The more times you go camping, the better you should be able to plan for your next trip. Doing things like prepping for meals before you go, “undressing” snacks and toiletries products, and using versatile pieces of clothing instead of several different ones is a great way to reduce mess before you even get to the campsite.
- Bring biodegradable soaps for washing: Soaps and laundry detergent that is biodegradable can help lessen the impact on the environment.
- If you are tent camping, start a garbage bag as soon as you set up camp, but make sure to move it inside or into an animal or bear-proof locker before you go to bed every night. Consider using a pop-up hamper with a zipper, lined with a heavier duty trash bag.
- Bring a mat to put outside of your tent or cabin entrance, to prevent the inside from getting messy, muddy, and hard to pack up later.
The overwhelming majority of surveyed campers said they’re planning an average of 4.9 camping trips. Whether you go on one trip or five, make sure to try that your family camping vacations “leave no trace”.