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The Campsite Rule


#Campsite Rule #Environmental Conservation #Leave No Trace #Nature #Wildlife Viewing


Alidia Vane

Spending time in nature is a great way to not only enjoy the beauty of the natural world, but also to improve your well-being. Forest bathing or otherwise immersing oneself in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels and increase gratitude. However, as you enjoy the natural world, it’s important to preserve that world for future generations to enjoy.

You may be familiar with Leave No Trace, which is a set of ethics for nature conservation. Leaving no trace includes packing out your waste, leaving what you find/”taking only photographs,” and minimizing campfire impacts. Visit the “Definition” link below for more information on the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. Another way to think about this is the “Campsite Rule,” which encourages leaving a place as good or better than you found it. By following these principles, you ensure that the natural environments you enjoy are preserved for future generations.

A related concept is practicing responsible encounters with wildlife. Encountering wildlife in their natural habitat is a privilege that comes with great responsibility. When you come across a wild animal, it’s critical to maintain a respectful distance. An easy way to determine the appropriate distance for any wild animal is to use the rule of thumb: first, hold up your thumb at arm’s length. If you can still see part of the animal around the sides of your thumb, then you are too close. If your thumb covers the entire animal, then you should be far enough away. In addition to maintaining an appropriate distance, avoid feeding wildlife, as it disrupts their natural behaviors and can lead to dependency on humans. Visit the “Action” link below for more information from the National Park Service on how to watch wildlife safely.

In addition to these on-the-ground efforts, you can also protect nature by supporting local communities and their conservation efforts. When planning your trips, look for opportunities to volunteer with local environmental organizations, support locally-owned eco-friendly accommodations and other businesses, and/or learn directly from locals. By directing your funds into local companies and organizations that share your values, you’ll be amplifying your impact and strengthening the grassroots initiatives that safeguard our natural treasures.

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  • Definition