Written by BRITANY ROBINSON
The secluded image of van camping has inspired waves of people to embrace “van life.” Some are moving into vans full-time, others are renting them for a road trip.
Every responsible camper should know and understand how to “leave no trace.” But when it comes to responsible van camping, there are some additional details to help you roam respectfully.
Educate yourself on the places where you’re camping
If you’re trying to escape the crowds, you might find yourself camping where there are no posted rules, no park rangers, and no one to explain the local ecosystem.
Visit the nearest ranger station, visitor center or public park where rangers can answer questions about wildlife, the local ecosystem, any necessary permits and the best places to park.
Read up on the nature of the place you’re visiting. You should know what type of wildlife might be present and the vulnerabilities of the area.
Bring a paper map — you can pick them up at the local ranger station or nearby shops.
Hard-copy maps will give you an overview of where you are and where you’re headed, even when there isn’t cell service or your GPS runs out of power.
That way, you can stick to your route, camp on durable surfaces, and minimize your impact on the place you’re traveling through.
When camping, try to park where someone has camped before, rather than create a new site.