Green Tip #201: Clean Camp Site

I come from a family of campers. Since the age of one I have camped and it is an activity that I thoroughly enjoy and that we plan on introducing Lil’ SPF to early on. One of the things that makes camping such a nice experience is a clean and comfortable atmosphere. One thing that my dad always had us kids do after we had packed up camp was to survey the camp site with a fine toothed comb for any garbage left by us or previous campers and made us pick up garbage. This activity took time and I must admit that we grumbled about it from time to time but in the end was very satisfying. We knew that the next campers would find a pristine site to settle into. Cleaning up a camp site is of course good for the environment but I would argue that it might also be financially favourable. People notice when a camp site if left clean and park staff will remember this. I can imagine that there is a list of messy campers out there who do not always get the site they want or when they want and instead are forced to travel further for their yearly camping trip. What do you think?

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19 thoughts on “Green Tip #201: Clean Camp Site

  1. Thank you SOOO much for picking up your campsites! My SO and I camp a lot and it makes a huge difference when the site is left clean. Like you dad we also do a full sweep of camp before we leave and pick up anything we find, ours or not. It just seems right to leave the place a little nicer than you found it. Glad you’re a kindred spirit!

  2. Hey, I wrote about camping today too!

    Great idea to clean up the site.  I doubt it would make a difference in terms of future bookings, but I think it’s common courtesy to not leave a big mess.

  3. I always thought this was pure common sense, but to be honest I have never had a problem with this. The worst is maybe some bottle caps in the fire pit or something like that.

  4. We also love to camp and nothing bothers us more than when people before us litter and leave the site a mess. We try so hard to be green ourselves that we get really bothered when other people don’t care. Thanks for sending out this reminder. Like IiW said- you would think cleaning up after yourself would be common sense.

  5. It does seem like common sense, but I know that can sometimes be lacking. I couldn’t imagine leaving trash behind at a campsite. This just made me think of an episode of Mad Men when the family takes a picnic and when they get up to leave they just throw their trash on the ground. It just made me laugh, I really wonder of this was a common practice in the “olden” days.

  6. I absolutely HATE camping where someone else left a mess because they were too lazy to clean up. Totally with you on this one!

  7. I think having a clean campsite is one of those things that you dont miss until you’ve gotten it taken away. I wouldnt thing much if a campsite was clean, but would think poorly of the site, the area and the people that were there before me (or the site manager) if it was dirty.

  8. Camping is an awesome past time, and it’s very telling that people spend money and go out of their way to temporarily gain more simplicity than what they have in their lives. People would do well to simplify their daily lives to a degree to attain some of the same positives.

    Camping is also a frugal activity, and when done cleanly and responsibly, as described in the article, is easy on the environment.

    1. Great point about camping being almost a minimalist activity in and of itself. I’d never thought of camp as minimalist, but in a way it is. Even more minimalist is out tripping – a big activity here in Canada. Since you have to paddle then CARRY (via portage) everything you need to survive you really pare it down to essentials.

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