This concept has been around for a long time but has gained more popularity over recent years as people reflect more on their impact on the earth. I am talking about no trace camping. No trace camping is a practice that should be exercised by every RVer, especially when camping in the wilderness.
Let’s explore how to practice no trace camping so you can know what it takes to keep our natural resources clean and thriving.
Leave No Trace Behind When RVing
The concept of no trace RVing and camping is simple in theory but can actually be a bit difficult in practice. You may have heard this mantra of no trace camping as a kid, especially if you were in the Girl or Boy Scouts:
“Leave only footprints, take only pictures, kill only time.”
This is a good definition of no trace camping or RVing, leaving the land exactly as it was like you were never there. So how do you practice this?
Before You Get There
No trace RVing or camping begins before you even arrive. If you are headed to a remote region or wilderness area, you need to know if your RV will make a bigger impact than you attended. An RV that’s not appropriate for a wilderness area could leave tire gouges, break overhead branches, and brush or scare off native wildlife. If this happens than you’ve accidentally ruined the concept of no trace camping before you’ve even arrived. You can talk to park rangers, wardens, or property owners to find out if the land can handle your ride before you even get there.
Tip: Make sure to have your RV serviced before you plan on any no trace RVing. This will help ensure that you don’t leak any fluids and that you can also get out of your spot without having to fight with your RV or the environment.
While You’re There
Now that you’ve arrived without causing any damage you’re ready to practice no trace camping at the campsite itself. There are not set guidelines or rules to no trace camping, it’s more of staying vigilant at every moment. Before every major decision you make, you should ask yourself a simple question: “Will this be here when I’m not?”
If the answer is no, then you are on your way to a successful no trace RVing experience.
When You’re Leaving
This is one of critical parts of no trace RVing. When you leave your site no one should be able to tell you were ever there like the name implies you don’t want to leave a trace. In the case of no trace RVing you don’t just want to do a thorough cleanup, you want to do a perfect cleanup.
This includes disposing of any and all debris around your site, making sure your campfire is completely out before hitting the road and carefully removing you and your RV from the site. An easy way to sweep your site is to line yourself and others at one end of the site than slowly walk in a straight line to the other side of the site keeping your eyes down to scan for any litter or debris. It may also help to return to the site on foot after you’ve gotten the RV off the grounds.
No trace camping actually takes a bit of practice to get down perfectly. Do your best every time and try to pick up pointers along the way. No trace RVing and camping helps to keep our land clean and beautiful for future generations to enjoy just as you do.