Minimal Impact Camping

Minimal impact camping

Much of the River Murray is suffering from various forms of degradation as a result of human and natural activity. It is important that as a visitor to the area, we observe the natural environment and try to leave it as it was before we came.
Many of the plant and animal species in the area are native Australian species and in some cases are protected. By staying on walking tracks, exiting and entering the river in designated areas and generally being careful of plants and animals, it is easy to avoid any unnecessary disturbance.

We suggest that if there is a purpose built toilet, such as long drops, use them. When they arenÕt available, move at least 100 metres away from water courses and campsites and dig a hole at least 15cm deep. All sanitary items should be carried out, not buried.

Cooking is best done on a fuel stove rather than a camp fire. Check fire bans and restrictions with local fire services prior to departure. Camp fires should be small and use only dead wood as fuel. Where possible, use existing fireplaces.

Wash utensils at least 50 metres away from watercourses. Use only biodegradable soap or detergent and remember to carry out all food scraps.

Use designated campsites wherever possible. Camp on flat hard ground away from plants. DonÕt camp under large trees, especially Red Gums, as they can drop limbs without warning, and camp away from animal watering holes. Remember to remove all food scraps and rubbish when you go, and try to leave the site as it was before you were there.

To cross private land, make sure you ask the owner before entering the property. Avoid livestock and ploughed or sown fields, leave gates as they are found, and cross fences at the gate, or if it is locked, climb over at the hinges and post.

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Material for this section was obtained from Expedition Skills guide published by the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Australia.