Leave No Trace Camping Etiquette

Sharing is caring!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tom’s of Maine. All opinions are 100% mine.

We started camping when my oldest son was a baby. He’s going to be 28 years old this year, which means we’ve visited a lot of campgrounds. Unfortunately, not all of those campgrounds have been a pleasant experience. 28 years ago, the internet wasn’t available to read online reviews or see the pictures of camping areas. I am not super fussy, but I do like a clean campground and a clean restroom. There’s nothing more frustrating then arriving at a campsite to find trash and destruction from the previous campers.

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I’d remind fellow campers about the importance of Leave No Trace Camping Etiquette. It doesn’t matter if you are new to camping or a seasoned camper, the rules apply to all. Taking care of the earth shouldn’t only happen on Earth Day, it should be happening every day of the year.

Leave No Trace Camping Etiquette

Leave No Trace Camping Etiquette

Always Be Prepared – It’s just like being a Boy or Girl Scout, plan ahead!

  • Be sure to know the rules of the grounds where you plan to pitch camp.
  • Pack for all kinds of weather.
  • You need a map. (Most campgrounds do not have wifi or cell service)
  • Bring a well stocked first aid kit.

Do Not Damage or Destroy Natural Surroundings – Nature should be enjoyed by all.

  • Use established trails and campsites.
  • Camp at least 200 feet away from lakes and streams.
  • Don’t disturb wetlands or animal habitats.
  • Do not damage trees or grass.

Dispose of Waste Properly – Know one wants to clean up after you!

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Before departing inspect your campsite for any signs of trash, food or waste.  Pack up all of your  trash, leftover food, and debris.
  • Separate your recyclable materials.
  • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. Choose products that are free of artificial dyes, fragrances, flavors and preservatives, and are never tested on animals.  We like Tom’s of Maine® products from the Target Made to Matter collection. Tom’s of Maine® has been caring for communities, and the planet as a whole, for over 45 years.
  • When washing dishes, brushing teeth or washing yourself or kids, use an area at least 200 feet away from streams or lakes. Use bio-degradable washing  supplies in small amounts.
  • Scatter used and strained dishwater. (great to put out the campfire)


Do Not Disturb

  • Look don’t touch! Cultural and historical structures aren’t playgrounds. .
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
  • Do not bring wood from outside sources. (Wood beetles are a huge problem)
  • Do not build permanent structures or dig large trenches.

Be Cautious and Careful with Campfires. 

  • If campfires are permitted, use established fire rings or mound fires.
  • Keep all flames and fires small. Only use kindling sticks from the ground, do not damage trees.
  • Burn any wood and coals to ash.
  • Extinguish all campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes. (great time to incorporate that dishwater)

Leave No Trace Camping Etiquette

 Respect Wildlife – Remember they were in the woods before you were.

  • Again, look and don’t touch.
  • Do not fed the animals. Feeding animals can be dangerous to you and them. .
  • Safely store your food items. (I like to put mine in the car overnight)
  • Make sure trash is inaccessible to wildlife.
  • Respect the habitats and mating rituals for animals.

 Respect Fellow Campers

  • Respect other campers.
  • Keep noise levels low.
  • Do not use obtrusive lighting.
  • Yield to others on trails and waterways.

Practicing the Leave No Trace Camping Etiquette, not only shows your care of the environment, but it also shows respect for the property of others. If you camp, have fun, take home what you brought and leave no trace that you were ever there!


What eco-friendly activities do you have planned for Earth Day?

Don’t forget to check out the new Tom’s of Maine® products from the Made to Matter collection available only at Target. Plus, there’s a cartwheel offer that can help you save money on the products at the same time.

Introduce your tween and teens to Wicked Cool! Deodorant: Tom’s of Maine introduces its first natural deodorant made just for boys and girls, providing 24-hour odor protection and free of aluminum, parabens, and artificial fragrances.


For the men in your life, North Woods Men’s Antiperspirant: Tom’s Of Maine has its  first natural antiperspirant made for men that provides all day odor and wetness protection without petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, or irritation.


Tom’s of Maine Luminous White Toothpaste its most advanced natural whitening toothpaste that is safe for enamel, and is gluten and paraben free.



Michele is a married mom of 3 adult children. She is currently enjoying spending time with her husband in the empty nest. Michele can be found working on a healthy lifestyle, camping or having some frugal fun. Not necessarily in that order!

Latest posts by Michele Brosius (see all)

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    April 21, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Can’t wait to go camping!

  • Reply
    dana vento
    April 21, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I like Glamping.. A little less ‘outdoorsie’ for me, but I love the fact that nothing is left behind to ruin our lovely nature:) great article.

    • Reply
      Michele Brosius
      May 23, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Thanks! My camper is close to glamping. No tents for this gal.

  • Reply
    Allie D.
    May 26, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I have never been camping, but should my husband follow through with wanting to take me, these are great tips. I definitely don’t want to destroy our natural surroundings. We also love Tom’s. We use a lot of their products, especially their toothpaste.

  • Reply
    Ann Bacciaglia
    May 26, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Great tips! I went camping last weekend for the first time in years. I made sure we did many of the things you mentioned.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Some great tips for camping! We all use Tom’s Antiperspirant here at our house. It used to be hard to find, but thankfully I can find it at Target now and it’s all we use.

  • Reply
    Ellen Christian
    May 27, 2016 at 10:33 am

    It’s so important to consider your environment for any type of outdoor activity. I always make sure that the kids understand this.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    We don’t camp much, but we do really appreciate nature. I didn’t know there were so many things to know about camping etiquette. I will definitely keep all this in mind for when we go this summer. Thanks for the tips

Leave a Reply