Category Archives: Camp Sites

The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace

The principles of leave no trace remind us to respect the rights of other users of the natural environment as well as to preserve for future generations. It is an awareness and an attitude instead of a set of rules and regulations. All of us should share and practice Leave No Trace to minimize the impact of your visits to the natural heritage areas such as the forest, mountains, rivers, seashore and all other outdoors. Simply put, when you visit the wilderness, leave everything just as you found it.

 

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

“Good Planning is living the experience in advance” Sir Edmund Hillary.

– Comply with the area regulation such as the limit on group size and schedule your trek to avoid times of high use.
– Obtained information and prepare for extreme weather and unexpected emergemcies.
– Build appropriate campfire, minimize trash and repackaging food to prevent waste.
– Avoid marking rocks and trees with paint, use GPS instead.
– Be prepared to turn back if you sense danger in your trek to avoid abandoning the leave no trace techniques.

 

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

– Hikers and campers should focus on using the established and existing trails and campsites. The objective is to minimize disturbances to soil and vegetation.
– Keep campsite small by pitching tents closer to each other.
– Trek in the middle of the trail even when muddy or wet.
– Avoid areas where impact are just starting to show.

 

3. Dispose of Waste Properly

– Always make is a habit to “Pack it in, pack it out” Before you leave, make sure to pack out all the rubbish, litter and stray food in proper disposal bins.
– Proper human waste disposal helps to prevent spread of disease. Dig catholes of about 6 to 8 inches, at least 200 feet away from river or campsite, and cover when finished.
– Use biodegradable soap to wash dishes or take shower.

 

4. Leave What You Find

– People visit backcountry to explore nature’s beauty and mystery, hence, make sure you leave rocks, shells, plants, fossils and other natural objexts as you find them and pass on for others to discover later.
– Never touch aboriginal rocks or historical artifacts
– Never build tables, chairs, structures or dig tent trenches.
– Hammer nails into trees or damage the bark of the trees in any which way are against the leave no trace principles.

 

5. Minimize Campfire Impact

– Many campers like campfires but they are no longer essential for food cooking or comfort. Use a light weight stove for cooking instead and use battery operated lantern for light. Campfires will cause lasting impact to the natural environment.
– Whenever possible or permitted, use an established campfire ring
– Leave no trace fire is small and use only deadwood or sticks that can be broken by hand.
– Burn all wood to ash and be sure to put out the fir completely when done.

 

6. Respect Wildlife

– Watch and observe wildlife from far away. Do not disturb or follow them.
– Never feed wild animals, help keep wildlife wild by storing the food, trash and leftover food securely so as to avoid damage to their health or change the natural behaviors.
– Avoid wildlife during mating, nesting and breeding seasons.

 

7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

– Hike and camp in smaller groups, abide the limit rules of the site.
– Be courteous to other users, always travel and camp quietly.
– Choose campsites away from other groups to respect their privacy.
– Respect other visitors, keep the noise down and leave pets and radios at home. Let nature’s sound prevail.

Choosing the Best Campsite

When you arrive at the campsite, what are the things to look for when choosing the best spot to set up your tents, cooking area and space for campfire? Choosing the right campsite will definitely make life a lot more easier and enjoyable when you are camping out.

 

1) Arrive early

Seasoned campers always arrive at their campsite early, to be ahead of others as well as to have many choices to pick the ideal campsite spot. In addition, setting up the tent is a lot easier during day time than trying to set one up in the dark using torchlight. Start the trip early to ensure you have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the nature.

 

2) Choose a flat spot

Of all the complaints campers made, sleeping on uneven ground is one of the worst thing to experience. To ensure you get a good night’s sleep when camping, always choose a level spot to lay your sleeping / air mattress. If you sleep with your feet above your head, you are likely to end up with a headache the next morning.

The second important reason for choosing a nice level spot is to prevent rainwater from flooding your tent should weather takes a turn for the worst. To avoid fooded tent, always stay away fro hill side / slope even though the spot may offer the best view.

 

3) Spot is comfortably big

The spot you choose should be big enough to fit all the chairs, kitchen table, camping stove..etc that you brought along and space to set up a campfire that is sufficiently far away from your tent to avoid catching fire.

 

4) Out of the wind

Keep in mind that wind can ruin a camping trip as it can blow garbage everywhere, blow hot ambers from the campfire around or in worst case scenario, damage the tent. When deciding on a camp spot, it is also important to go for one that is out of the wind as much as possible.

The obvious option is to be closer to the trees as it can block wind as well as providing cool shades during hot summer days. If trees are not available, the next best alternative is to pick a spot away from open areas or ridge tops. Position the tent door 90 degrees opposite the prevailing wind in order to prevent the wind from filling the tent and blow it down.

Tip: If possible, un-pitch the tent to prevent damage from wind.

 

5) Close to the water source

Another good criteria to remember is to choose a spot that is as close to the water source as possible to avoid having to carry water over long distances multiple times.

 

6) Sun’s Warmth

For campsites in the northern hemisphere, except for the wind factor mentioned above, it is always a good idea to position your tent to face south to allow maximum amount of sunlight to reach your campsite and warm you up in the morning. You also get to enjoy watching sunrise in the morning.

How to build a safe camp fire

To many seasoned campers, building a camp fire is fun and one of the best things about camping. A place for everyone to gather around and relax after a busy day of outdoor activities; to keep you warm, to toast your marshmallows or even cook your meals.

Follow the steps below to build a campfire safely:

1. Find an open and flat spot of at least 10 feet away from the tent and trees. Clear and keep people at least three feet away from all sides of the fire.

2. Collect dry leaves, fallen twigs, sticks, branches and logs. Avoid rotten wood as it is usually damp in the center.

3. Arrange the small sticks in a pyramid shape and place dry leaves and other kindling in the center. Remember to leave some space for the oxygen to flow in.

4. Once the sticks have taken light, gradually add larger sticks and then logs as the fire grows in strength.

5. If your fire is not growing, carefully put more small sticks and dry leave around the base of the fire to help it grow.
Always put out the fire before you go to bed or leave the area. The safest and simplest way to accomplish this is to pour water over the fire. If there is still smoke, throw in a few shovels of dirt should extinguished it completely.