Boondock campsite clean up, an RV Boondockers responsibility

Finding an abused site that has never seen a Boondock campsite clean up is one of the most disheartning things I know. I get pretty cranky, for a bit, when we pull into a beautiful mountain meadow campsite, only to find it has been used by others in the past.

Or should I say, misused. Broken glass, ashes and scorched rocks, litter scattered around etc.

Used by the sort of folks that just make a fella want to thump some noggins!

I won't just up and leave for another Boondock campsite somewhere else. I go ahead, set my camp and I'll spend a bit of time over our stay there doing a good Boondock campsite clean up of the mess. I consider it to be proper etiquette for RV Boondocking and necessary to protect our Boondocking rights.

And truth is, I feel pretty good, knowing the Boondocks have benefited from me passing through.

My hope is others will notice, mend their ways and participate in doing a few boondock campsite clean ups. I am also hopeful that those already doing it right will help to spread the "leave it cleaner and better than you found it philosophy."

My goal is to leave a Boondock campsite in a condition such that no one can tell I was there by anything more than the tracks I leave when I pull out. I create and leave no fire rings, carved on trees, muddy ruts etc. My trash leaves with me, to be properly placed in a dumpster (which I have permission to use)

Basically, my Boondock campsite clean up philosophy is to pursue the back country ethic of most responsible backpackers, to leave no trace. Pack it in, pack it out.

Another little thing and easy to do. When you step out of your rig at an attraction or even Wally world, and are walking across the lot, please don't walk past that bit of litter on the ground. Pick it up and drop it in the trash can as you enter. Others WILL see and maybe a few will follow your lead.

Not a boondock campsite clean up but it fits into the philosophy.

I know we can't change the whole world, been a lot of folks trying that for a good long time, but we can have an impact on our little part of it.

Demonstration is the best form of education. And if you are at all like me, a bit of GOOD Karma can't possibly hurt!

If we want to preserve our rightful ability to go RV Boondocking, and Urban Boondocking as well, we need to put out a little effort.

Will you help?

Boondock campsite cleanup checklist.

  • Walk the campsite in expanding circles with a trashbag picking up litter. ( one of the "gripping/extension" arms can save your back!
  • Pull any noxious weeds. (Non native invasive species) Check with the Forest Service on what varieties they are trying to eliminate.
  • Repair any erosion damage from camping/RV use. But first, cause no new damage driving over soft ground, etc!
  • Lightly cover eroded/exposed areas with pine needles/forrest duff from deeper in the woods, to help reduce erosion and promote regrowth of native species.Carrying a few light tools, rakes etc. will help make collecting these materials a lot easier.
  • Sometimes native seed is available from the Forest Service for regenerating or reforesting an overused area. Volunteer to work on your campsite area!
  • If seed is not available from the Forest Service, it can often be collected from the surrounding grass and bushes. Don't strip an area of seed. A little here a little there is just fine. Scatter the seed just before you scatter the bit of needles/duff you have collected to repair the damaged area.
  • If Boondocking in dispersed camping areas, do not place fire rings of rocks and disperse any you do find. Leave the area better than you found it. It will reflect well on all RVers.
  • An often overlooked thing when out in the woods is cleaning up after the pooches. This is definitely a "leave no trace" situation and surely a Boondock campsite clean up idea?

    Clean as they "go"! We each carry several "poo bags" in our pockets for quick and simple clean up. They are available at Pet Smart and most other pet stores. It's quick, easy, and one more thing for folks to not complain about!

    Just drop the bagged "offending material" in the closest trash can and everybody is happy!

    We recently even found, and have, a small container that carries a roll of bags and can be clipped either to the leash or a belt loop so they are always handy. Also available at the pet stores



For an easy to download, and print, PDF file of this checklist, follow this link.

If you do not have Adobe reader, go to the RV Checklist page where you'll find instructions and a link for downloading the newest copy.

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