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Leave No Trace

leave no trace

Campervan holidays are one the UK & Ireland’s great past times. But, with 1000’s of people travelling every year, our love for the outdoors can take its toll. That’s why, we’ve adopted the “Leave No Trace” principles aimed to create sustainability in our natural environment. 

What is Leave No Trace?

“Leave No Trace” is a framework of principles and best practices aimed at minimising our impact on the environment and recommended to be used by everyone.

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics consider the framework to be flexible and cover a range of principles.

The “Leave No Trace” Seven Principles

You may have already seen it before, areas of natural beauty covered with rubbish or our favourite trails run down to mud. While most of us don’t intend to do any damage to our surroundings, you may not have the knowledge to preserve it. The “Leave No Trace” principles outline the best things we can do to protect and preserve our environment. Thus, preserving a bedrock of British & Irish culture- camping & campervanning.

1. Plan ahead and prepare

plan ahead

It goes without saying, proper planning is an essential to the campervan and motorhome experience. Here’s our list of top things to plan for:

  • Weather conditions- Keep an eye on the weather, and try not to travel in extreme weather conditions. 
  • Timing– Schedule ahead to avoid times of high use.
  • Keep to groups of 6 or under– consider splitting into 2 groups if necessary.
  • Bring the right equipment– appropriate footwear will help stop terrain damage. Other things to consider is maps, torches and water flasks.

Don’t forget to ensure your campervan is fully stocked with everything you need before you go. Find out what’s included in your campervan, read tips on what to pack & browse optional extras you can hire for the road before your go.

2. Travel and camp on durable surface

Whenever possible it is best to stay on the trails that seem to be getting the most use. When exploring your surroundings and setting up for overnight camp, seek out resilient types of terrain.

Ideal durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow. We recommend using campsites as much as possible during your trip and to camp well away from cliffs & lakes.

3. Dispose of waste properly

Waste disposal

Anything you leave behind is likely to affect other people, water and wildlife. We have all seen pictures of nature covered in rubbish or animals trapped in plastic waste. Consider how and where you are disposing all waste. Consider how you dispose of the following:

  • Waste water / Black water / Human & pet waste– Proper disposal of waste is necessary to avoid pollution. Campsites should have a designated area to empty waste or use public facilities where possible. Consider adding a portable toilet to your campervan hire if it doesn’t have a toilet on board.
  • Rubbish, litter & leftover food- Take everything home, or dispose in a appropriate bin, including any biodegradable litter & leftovers.

Read more about waste disposal with your campervan>

4. Leave what you find

That plant may look nice in your back garden, but leave it there for everyone to enjoy. Allow others a sense of discovery by leaving rocks, artifacts, plants and any other objects where you find them. Follow these rules:

  • Don’t build structures, make site alterations or dig holes
  • Avoid damaging plant life and don’t hang items from trees
  • Leave natural objects for others to experience

5. Minimize campfire impact

Campfires are a camping tradition, but they can cause lasting impressions and devastating impacts on the natural environment. Follow these rules where possible:

  • Avoid having campfires unless you are confident that you can have one safely
  • Use campsite facilities, fire rings or mound fires if possible
  • Keep campfires small
  • Extinguish campfires out completely and don’t leave them unattended
  • Don’t burn plastics or anything that emits toxic fumes
  • Remove all traces of campfires before you leave

Useful reading: http://paulkirtley.co.uk/2011/how-to-leave-no-trace-of-your-campfire/

6. Respect wildlife


Avoid walking up to any wildlife, including farm animals like cows, sheep etc. This is their home too, so stand back and observe them from a distance. Try not to feed animals and store any rations or rubbish securely away from their reaches. Keep control of your pet or leave them at home.

7. Be considerate of other visitors

The goal of Leave No Trace, is to create sustainable tourism in these areas without affecting nature. Following the principles are the best way to do this and allows every person to enjoy the same experience as you.

Don’t forget to also be considerate of others, try to be courteous, avoid loud noises, camp away from trails and above all, respect everyone’s experience.

Bunk Campers Commitment

At Bunk Campers, we are committed to helping create sustainable tourism with our campervan and motorhome hire. We work with several partners and affiliations to bring you the latest advice and keep you right on the road.

Following this page advice will help create a sustainable environment for all campers, campervanners and tourers alike. If you have any questions or would like a quote for the road email our customer service team and we’ll be happy to assist.

Read about Waste Disposal>

Return to Responsible Tourism>

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