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Trashing the landscape, and how to avoid it


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We just got back from four weeks in almost paradise.

Fifteen years ago, there was zero trash in our path. This time, I was picking up a lot. Iceland is overrun with tourists, and people who rent campervans who have never actually camped before .

The same crap I find in campsites in the US, sadly, I found in previously pristine Iceland . Bits of plastic, breadties, an occasional shoe. Plastic shopping bags. Cigarette butts.


How do we control this? This applies to us, too.


First of all, control your own. Don't throw just a bit in a dumpster. Put everything in a ( preferably) paper bag, and make some weight, so the dump truck doesn't spew your well intentioned trash into the wind.

Recycle everything you can, even if it means carrying those bottles and cans another 200 miles...


Pick up your own bits, and those of others. Be a good scout. And, don't put bits in your warming pocket. They'll fly out in a tiny bit of wind when you reach into that pocket. Ditto on using the side pocket of the vehicle door. In a good wind, will trash fly?

Here, I know I'm preaching to the choir. This is a group of careful people. I'm just so saddened every time I camp, and find trash in my campsite and campground.


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Sherry, good advice. As a Boy Scout we were told to leave the campsite in better shape than you found it. We continue that today. Sadly, others are not as considerate. Mike

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Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L


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We have signs on our pristine, white, sugar sand beaches that say leave only your footprints.  That could apply to camping as well.

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2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)

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I agree entirely. I just got back from a highly developed city run campground by a lake that was packed with people on the weekend. I saw a number of rentals and also some foreign language speaking folks (Chinese?). The folks that bothered me the most were those parents who let their site look like a junkyard with water toys, balls, shoes, and general kid debris strewn everywhere, all day long. Actual trash was not too bad since there were lots of trash cans, but I did have to pick up half a dozen small bits before we even parked. The staff did police the area pretty well, picking up small stuff as they appeared.


Campers from other countries can't learn good manners if the Americans around them don't demonstrate them.


During the day I drove high up in the mountains on a 4wd track. I stopped at a rough campsite for a while with a stunning view. There was a bunch of used brass on the ground from a 9mm pistol. It was a little too scratched up for reloading so I spent five minutes gathering it up to recycle.... that's pretty anal, but it does look bad on the ground.


There are many many more RVs on the highways this summer than in previous years. I suspect that a lot of the owners bought overstock units that are getting liquidated at fire sale prices. Once those stick and staple units start to self destruct, they will get parked and hopefully the number on the roads will go down a little. Off season camping looks more and more tempting now.


John Davies


Spokane WA

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