Tips For Keeping Your Campsite Clean
When you’re able to keep your campsite clean, all parties benefit. Besides helping you to camp more comfortably, you’re also making the lives of fellow campers easier and keeping the local environment preserved for future generations of outdoor lovers. But, much like housework, cleaning at the campsite is often seen as a tedious chore – especially since you’re supposed to be “getting away” – which inevitably leads to messes everywhere. But by setting up and following a few simple, easy-to-do guidelines, your camping party will be able to keep it clean without too much trouble.
1. When you get to camp, set up trash and recycling bags first. As your camping party unpacks, things will inevitably be thrown away immediately. Whether it be snack wrappers eaten on the car ride to the campsite or empty water bottles drank on the walk there, make sure to set up trash bags first thing so that all the junk has a place to go. Doing so will help prevent you from falling behind on cleaning tasks early, and prevent some of the cleanup stress later.
2. Bring tarps and rugs. In addition to keeping the outdoor environment clean, you’ll want to keep your tent environment tidy as well. The best way to do so is to prevent it from getting very dirty in the first place. Many experienced campers like to lay down an old tarp which they can set up their tent on. Then, when the tent’s up, they’ll lay another, newer tarp as a buffer between dirty feet and the tent’s floor. The other trick – which you’ve seen on countless doorsteps before – is to place a woven rug outside your tent flap. Any visitors will instinctively wipe their feet before entering, keeping dirt and mud off the spots where you’ll be sleeping.
3. Set up a “dishwashing station” daily. For those who like to camp as a family, one of the biggest campsite cleaning struggles is dish maintenance. If you don’t want to go the paper-plate route or need real dishes to hold up to certain meals you’ve planned, consider bringing along three tubs and some dish soap. Every morning, set them up, fill them with water (a single one with water and dish soap), and allow those in your camping party to clean dishes as they go.
4. When you clean up for the last time, follow campers’ etiquette. Generally speaking, outdoor enthusiasts try to go out of their way to leave a campsite like they found it. This means scattering rocks you used to make campfire rings, covering any latrines that have been dug out, and picking up pet droppings that may have been missed. Though it’s a little extra work, you’ll be able to leave the campsite with a clear conscience and a definite sense of accomplishment, having conquered the outdoors’ often inherent dirtiness.