Reducing the Mess of Camping.

I thought this post on the Moose Dung Gazette about the Leave No Trace mentality during camping and outdoor activities was a good one. While it certainly is hard to reduce one's pollution 'footprint' when both planning for and camping in the backcountry, there are things I can do to reduce my impact on the environment. I especially like the idea of getting wool and canvas items from a second-hand shop, like the Salvation Army thrift store etc.. when getting equipment and clothing and bedding. Cheap, but good quality materials that last and keep you warm. If you wash an old wool sweater in very hot water, you end up getting a warm, tight felt that can be reused for a number of items, including mitts and kit bags etc...

I always leaving a site cleaner that I find it. I pack out plastic and try not to buy food with too much packaging. One thing about camping stores it seems is the amount of packaging on every item. Hence making good use of second hand stores. Better to bring rice and pasta, than pre-cooked instant meals and MRE type foods. I guess cans are okay, of course as long as you carefully pack it all out again.

Keeping your camp clean also ensures that wildlife does not become habituated to human presence. A fed bear is a dead bear. However, a fed chipmunk can be pretty cute. A fed raccoon can be pretty annoying after a while though - I've had a very confident raccoon get into my garbage and practically sidle up beside me while I have a meal by the fire - I suppose having the hound dog with me this year will prevent similar situations.

Mungo says be environmentally conscious this summer as best you can.

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