In the wilderness there are no rules. Except there are, if you don’t want to be the most unpopular guy (or girl) in the forest. Whether you’re camping with friends or strangers, avoid the most serious campsite faux pas by following these golden rules of campsite etiquette.


#1 Dig Deep

We are, of course, referring to your personal ‘excrement pit’. No matter how desperate you are, there is no excuse for digging too shallow a grave. We’re all adults and know how much ‘material’ we produce in one sitting.

The Centre for Outdoor Ethics (yep, it’s a thing) recommends digging ‘catholes’ at least six inches deep, a minimum of 70 adult steps from water, trails and campsites.

Side note: don’t be the guy who suggests playing ‘who can lay the longest cable’ and takes photographic evidence.

Check out our comprehensive guide: How To Poo In The Bush

aidan howes, how to poo in the bush, illustration, list, leave no trace, pack it out

Just two bros doing it right. – Illustration by @aidanmh

#2 Know Your Biodegradables

Toilet paper isn’t forest-friendly if it’s infused with perfume, ink or dye. Baby wipes are not biodegradable unless you buy the biodegradable kind.

Try using Who Gives a Crap toilet paper, which is not only forest friendly but also comes in portable – and colourful – single packets.

Oh, and that plastic bottle you just threw on the fire is carcinogenic. Even the most eco-conscious camper can make mistakes so think twice before you incinerate anything or ‘return’ it to Mother Nature. If in doubt, take it home with you.

Check out our Leave No Trace piece: Leave No Trace: 10 Tips To Tread Softly in Our Wild Places

#3 Never Cramp A Camp

There are certain ‘secret’ camping spots where you can really only fit two or three tents into the destination.

If you arrive at one of your ‘special places’ and a group of campers have beaten you to it (how dare they!) then don’t stubbornly pitch right on top of them. Obey the first-come code of ethics, move on and maybe don’t hit snooze so enthusiastically on your next camping adventure!

Need a new place to camp quickly? Join our Facebook group and ask the crew, or check out our list of microadventures in your area.

Or you could just be like this guy and camp on top of everyone? Photo features @tentsile || Captured by @jakeandersonphotography for @myclarencevalley

#4 Don’t Log Load and Leave

If you get flame frenzy at 1.00am and decide to throw half a tree on your group’s campfire, then it is your responsibility to babysit the blaze until it safely turns to embers.

Do not fire it up and then go to bed (or pass out), leaving it to other people to monitor. Above all, never urinate on a campfire – that steam is acrid!

Check out our piece on bushfires: How To Explore Safely In Bushfire Season

campbell walker, struthless, how to explore safely this bushfire season, how to, safety,

Illustration by Campbell Walker || @struthless69

 


Check out these other pieces on how not to be a dickhead on your adventures!

How To Be Green In The Backcountry

Safety First, Selfie Second // Staying Safe On Coastal Rock Platforms

How to Stay Safe in the Bush (and Keep your Mum Happy): The Ultimate Hiking Safety Guide

5 P’s For Multi-Day Bushwalks