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Clean up your act… and your campsite

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Concerned camper Frank de Villiers shares a few thought about dirty campsites.

Happy new year to the wonderful staff and all the readers of Caravan & Outdoor Life. I hope everyone had a great festive season and holiday.

This is not directed at the resorts. I want to share some simple guidelines on how to ensure that you leave a camp in a condition that is enjoyable for those around you, and those who come to camp after you.

Everyone hates pulling into a great campsite, getting out and finding rubbish all over the place. The disregard shown by dirty campers towards others is inexcusable.

Keeping the resort clean is easy! So, whether you are new to caravanning and camping, or have been “sinning” for years, here are my tips on what you should do when you leave a campsite.

1. Rubbish

If you have rubbish, dispose of it in the resort’s bin. Do not just throw your garbage (or garbage bags) around the site and expect someone else to clean up.

If the resort does not have bins (as in some of the more remote bush camps), then whatever you bring in, you take home with you. Don’t bury your rubbish either – animals will smell it, and dig it up, leaving rubbish strewn around the place.

And smokers: Cigarette butts are litter too. They may be small, but they need to go in your bin as well.

2. Campfires

What is a caravan or camping weekend without a braai? A campfire is enjoyable while you are camping, but it’s also important not to leave the resort unless it’s fully extinguished.

And, adding on to the first point, leaving your rubbish in a campfire is unacceptable. Your campfire site should have nothing in it but ash when you leave.

3. Food

Just as much a no-no as leaving bottles and tins in the campfire, is leaving leftover food in the braai or on the ground.This is not just to keep the site clean for your fellow humans, but also because you don’t want to feed the wildlife.

4. Human waste

Disgusting! We have found dirty nappies on a site, and even poo in bushes right next to our stand.

If there are toilets, use them, and leave them clean. And if there are no toilets, then go far away from the camp, dig a deep hole and cover it with sand afterwards.

If you are using a portable chemical toilet, don’t empty it into a toilet or it in the bushes. If the campsite does not have a chemical-toilet disposal, you’ll have to wait until you find a proper disposal facility.

However, I am sure that the readers of Caravan & Outdoor Life are not the ones guilty of the above issues.

So, if you are someone who treats the resort like you do your home, thank you. Keep doing the right thing, and spread the lifestyle.

Keep on caravanning!
By Frank de Villiers

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