Lifestyle

Why It’s Important To Leave No Trace

As a Vanlifer, it's important to leave no trace and minimize your impact on the environment.

Life in a van takes you back to the origins. It makes you find freedom through the small things and live by the essentials.

There are many positive things about living in close contact with nature and animals. Often, you find yourself stopping in picnic areas, to have more space and the opportunity to cook outside. But this is not always quick and easy, because you never know how you will find the environment: dirty or clean.

Yes, because many times, unfortunately you will find yourself having to collect other people’s garbage, left everywhere with no respect, in natural environments to which we should all be attached for obvious reasons.

leave no trace
Leave no trace – Photo via Shutterstock Standard License

Leave no trace

In nature, there has always been a balance between the various living forces. We feed on what nature gives us. This offers us all what we really need: food for survival, light to see and air to breathe, so when you find yourself having to breathe so much dirt and pollution you do not understand the meaning.

It is completely foolish to harm our primary goods. This spectacular world was created to belong to each of us, and it would be nice to be able to live in it freely without having dirty paper handkerchiefs everywhere, glass bottles on the ground during a yoga session in the woods, or plastic that comes up to you while you swim in the sea or surf.

It is precisely for this reason that each of us should engage, in his own small way, in order to respect ourselves and others. It is not necessary to be a strict environmentalist to care for and keep clean the environment around us.

It would be enough, in fact, to have a little respect and education. This unfortunately, does not always happen, as sometimes, you find yourself having to be a spectator of scenes quite embarrassing, like a child who throws a rejection to the ground without being reproached by his parents.

This probably shows that even adults do not always set the right example. In the future there will be many more generations who will retrace our steps, so it is essential to teach even the smallest, the importance of not contaminating the environment.

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Leave a campsite better than you found it – even if that means picking up garbage from those before you

Today, unfortunately, pollution is very high and it belongs to each one of us, for one reason or another, and in any situation we all pollute. It is therefore important to not to make matters worse and to realize the tragic consequences that the world is already suffering.

As Vanlifers, living in a free campsite and therefore in contact with nature, perceives the problem in a more relevant way: he lives it and sees it with his own eyes. Generally, when a van camper arrives at a place to stay, they would have the pleasure to find the place devoid of residue of people who passed before them, committing themselves then to not create further garbage for those who will come later.

Using the bathroom in nature

Let’s face it, if you don’t have your own bathroom inside the van, you often find yourself having to use nature as a “public bathroom.” We all, inevitably, at least once in our lives, have used this service. But even then we must not lose our common sense.

If we find ourselves having to use the natural public bathroom, it is important to not disperse residues and try to leave no trace, then collect and throw away when possible, or, bury the whole at a proper depth.

However, the “Leave No Trace” principle is not only for people who camp in their van. It will affect all of us human beings, animals, and the world itself, for years to come.


 Let us all strive to keep our world clean! It is not only important for the environment, but excessive garbage will even cause campgrounds and dispersed camping areas to close:

Learn more about how to leave no trace:

See also: 5 Lessons We Learned From Our First Week On The Road