If you are someone who enjoys the adventure of an RV camping trip, then it is likely you also love and appreciate the outdoors and respect nature, and as such you are probably always looking for ways that you can help reduce your impact on the environment and wildlife when camping at some of California’s beautiful RV camping destinations.

Related: 5 No-no’s when camping with your dog

Believe it to not, there are so many simple and creative ways that a family can help save and preserve the natural beauty of these sites when RV camping in California without sacrificing what makes RV camping such a fun and memorable family experience. However, now more than ever with California experiencing a historic drought, it is essential for California RV campers to practice responsible behaviors when on our RV camping trips this season, not the least of which are to practice water conservation and fire safety!

So in an effort to do your part in being a responsible RV camper this summer in California, take a look at this list of responsible camping tips for some ideas and inspiration!

  1. Observe the boundaries set by the campsites, don’t forge your own path through wild areas to make a site yourself: Since there are such a vast number of unique RV campsites sprawled across our beautiful state, there is no need for you to bushwhack your way through undisturbed wildlife in order to get a secluded or private spot. While one of the main points of camping is definitely to submerge oneself in nature, responsible campers abide by the restrictions and limitations set by the campsites and state officials, including those pertaining to where camping is permitted and not permitted.
  2. What you take in, you take out: One of the principals of responsible RV camping is simply that you should leave no trace (as best you possibly can), and that you should not leave anything behind or take anything with you when you go. This includes not breaking or destroying trees and other plants around the site for any purposes.
  3. Respect the privacy and campsites of your RV neighbors: Part of being a responsible RV camper includes being thoughtful to the people around you as well, primarily by practicing common sense by not being too loud after hours, maintaining a clean and hazard free campsite, as well as watching over all children and any pets at all times.
  4. Pack with safety in mind: A responsible camper is a prepared camper so be sure to come with all the appropriate first aid and emergency gear, including but not limited to the following supplies: first aid kit, flash lights, head lamps and lanterns with extra batteries, two-way radios, basic tool kit, bottled water and water containers, bug spray, extra fuel for lanterns, citronella candles, compass, whistle, and toilet paper.
  5. Practice fire safety: No matter where you are having your fire, you must always be vigilant when using fire in the open land in California, which means that you always abide by the local fire restrictions and that you have enough water nearby, or an extinguisher, if the fire gets out of hand. Likewise, you must build a fire, use only the existing fire rings, use a fire pan, or build a mound fire. Once you are done, you need to let the fire burn the wood down to a fine ash before pouring water on it, or dirt if you don’t have any water, before leaving the scene.
  6. Help minimize your impact by keeping local water sources clean: Do not use any detergents, soaps, or toothpastes within 200 feet of a water source, or drain any of your RV camping waste into anything other than the proper receptacle.
  7. Maintain a respectful distance from wildlife: It is wonderful to appreciate the beauty of wild animals from afar but it becomes problematic when we tread upon their territory or try and engage with them physically by freighting them or getting too close. It’s also important to remember to respect all signs and designated protected areas.
  8. Conserve water as much as possible: Whether you are washing the dishes, using the shower, filling up a personal water bottle, or boiling water for meal prep, there are always ways that you can help save water when RV camping! By scrapping food off the plates entirely before washing them, filling up the sink when shaving, or even using CamelBack water-backpacks, you can dramatically decrease the amount of water you use day to day throughout your RV camping trip.