5 Tips for Preparing a Site for Camping


Leave as Little Impact as Possible

The best campsites are found, not made. When camping, whether it's in a designated campground or deep in the backcountry wilderness, the most important thing is to leave the campsite in better condition than you found it. That means packing out anything you brought in, properly disposing of all human waste and generally minimizing your impact on the natural environment.

When preparing a campsite, the best way to limit your impact is to choose an established campsite instead of setting up a tent on untouched, natural land. Although tents seem light and innocuous, they can suffocate native vegetation. If an already-used campsite isn't available, the next best option is to set up camp on a durable surface, like gravel or sand. That probably doesn't sound as comfortable as setting up a tent in the middle of a grassy meadow, but the plants will thank you for it. It follows that digging trenches, or even building structures is a no-no when camping. People come to the outdoors to be closer to nature. When you go camping, you should be considerate of other people and respectful of the natural world by leaving it undisturbed [source: Leave No Trace].

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More Great Links


  • Leave No Trace. http://www.lnt.org/
  • National Park Service. "Bear Safety in the North Cascades." (Jan. 25, 2012) http://www.nps.gov/noca/naturescience/bear-safety.htm
  • National Park Service. "Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking." (Jan. 25, 2012) http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bearcanisters.htm
  • National Park Service. "Wilderness Food Storage." (Jan 25., 2012) http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-food-storage.htm
  • Only You Can Prevent Wildfires. http://www.smokeybear.com/
  • REI. "Reasons for Using Bear-Resistant Canisters." Jan., 2010. (Jan. 25, 2012) http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/bear+resistant+canisters.html


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