Everyone can do their bit to help preserve the natural environment that we love
We should, at the very least, ensure that our camping adventures in the bush do as little harm as possible. ‘Leave nothing behind but your footprints’ as the legend states. Low impact camping is surely the way to go, and the following are not rules as such, so much as basic common sense:
- avoid disturbing wildlife or delicate flora – keep your pets under control, particularly in areas where birds might be nesting
- be extremely careful with campfires – keep up to date with fire bans, and make sure all campfires are completely extinguished before you leave
- use existing firepits, or bring your own portable fire pit – these will minimise damage to plant life on the ground and eliminate scorch marks
- manage your waste ‘grey water’ carefully (this is water from washing-up or showers);
- ensure all rubbish is carried out, recycled, or disposed of in proper facilities;
- avoid disturbing or polluting natural water sources (don’t use soap or detergents around creeks – they can have devastating effects on fish and fauna);
- 4WDers should stick to existing tracks where possible, and keep speeds down
- minimise any damage to those tracks by careful ‘technical’ driving (avoid wheel spinning – which will only dig you deeper into a bog, in any case) especially in wet weather
- make sure you’re not transporting invasive species – plants or animals – with you when you travel
Beyond that, one of the ways we can make a positive impact in the bush is to go one step further and remove rubbish that other people have left behind. Sad to say, but some campers can be pretty thoughtless and leave mess behind. This trash can have unintended consequences – cooked bones from BBQs have been ingested by Goannas with fatal results. Wildlife and domestic livestock can also be badly affected by bottles and broken glass.
Bring some extra rubbish bags with you as you travel – they’re always useful if you do come across litter. Don’t just leave it for someone else to deal with. If we all take a pro-active attitude then the bush will be a cleaner, healthier place.