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There are some basic ways that people can make the experience of camping more enjoyable for everyone.
These ideas, if taken seriously, will reduce the ability of the authorities to claim that campers need more regulation to keep things orderly.
1) Whatever you bring in to a campsite, take it away with you or leave it in a bin if one is available. DO NOT dump your rubbish around BBQ pits as we have seen some people do in north west WA. Don't bury rubbish either as it is likely to be dug up and scattered by animals.
2) People with generators should keep use to a minimum around other campers. Turn them off by 10pm at the very latest. (9pm is better) and don't start them before 8am. People go out camping to get away from everyday stress an noise. If you need a generator for medical reasons and have no choice but to run it at night then park away from others and if anyone does pull up near you, do the right thing and let them know.
Don't run generators out on long leads so that they are away from you but close to others.
3) Everyone enjoys a drink or two around the campfire, but avoid getting drunk and noisy. Others go into the bush to enjoy the peace and quiet, don't make too much noise. 11pm is late enough to sit up talking, let others get to sleep. Be nice, if you have a party, invite your neighbours and everyone can have a good time.
4) Keep your dogs and/or children under control. Don't allow them to disturb other campers. Keep your dogs on a lead at all times in campsites, don't tie them up and leave them to bark all day when you go out. Take note of when your children are disturbing others or playing in areas not designated as play areas and take action to avoid the disturbance. Do not allow them to play ball games around other people's campsites or vehicles. A ball being continually bounced is VERY annoying indeed to many people.
5) Take care with fires and build a proper fire pit. Make sure the fire is out before you go to sleep or leave the camp site. We have pulled up to deserted campsites and found fires still alight, in this country that is nothing but downright stupid. There is no excuse for leaving a fire lit when you leave a campsite and people could end up losing property or their lives. OBEY ALL FIRE BANS. It is VERY IMPORTANT to put your fire out with water and not by covering it with sand. Children can walk over the sand and be badly burned by the hot coals still glowing underneath.
6) Don't use soap within 50 metres of a stream, dam or river.
7) If you don't have a porta potty and have to relieve yourself in the bush, dig a pit at least 50 centimetres deep and 100 metres from the campsite or water source. DO NOT leave toilet paper and feces on the ground. We STRONGLY believe that camping without a Porta Potti in sites with no toilets should be prohibited.
8) Stay on existing tracks, don't drive over vegetation.
9) If travelling through pastoral land leave all gates as you found them. If it is open when you get there leave it that way. If it is closed then close it after you pass.
10) Keep off unsealed roads after rains. You and your four wheel drive might be able to get through but you will probably chew up the track to such an extent that the track will be impassable to 2 wheel drives for many days after the rain stops. If you are caught damaging tracks you will be required to pay for the damage to be repaired.
11) Don't take firearms on to private property or go shooting on private property without the owner's permission. Don't shoot snakes, leave them alone and they will leave you alone. Many are harmless or even just legless lizards. Snakes as with most other native species are protected by law in most states.
12) If you are travelling in remote areas take plenty of fuel, water and food. Have good communications equipment at LET SOMEONE KNOW where you are going and when you expect to get back. If your vehicle breaks down STAY WITH IT. So many people have died because they left their main source of shelter. Satellite phones are now less than $500 with Government subsidy.
13) If you camp near a waterhole leave plenty of room for stock in the area to get to the water. Your campsite can deter animals who need the water to survive.
14) Where possible use existing campsites and avoid clearing vegetation to make new ones. Similarly please use any existing fireplaces and don't make new ones if there are suitable fire pits in the area.
15) PLEASE use gas stoves and avoid burning things like hollow logs as they are homes for many species of native animals. Many areas now prohibit the collection of bush timber for fires.
16) Don't set up your campsite too close to others without asking permission first.
A special note for those people who insist on turning radios and TVs up too loud.
I don't know what it is about some people and radios. They seem to think that everyone around them wants to listen to their radio which is blaring out for everyone to hear. If you have to listen to a radio or TV then keep it down so that ONLY YOU CAN HEAR IT. Other people want to enjoy the peace and quiet and DO NOT want to listen to what you want to hear. If you are hard of hearing or for some reason or have to listen to things at high volume then GET A SET OF HEADPHONES!
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT RUBBISH
If a site has no bins then there is NO rubbish collection. It is no good packing up your rubbish in a garbage bag and leaving it for someone else to cart away. The only thing that will happen is that animals and birds will tear open the bag and the rubbish will be scattered over the whole campsite (as we saw at Whitakers Mill). PLEASE take your rubbish with you if there are no bins on a campsite.
Take away memories and photos, leave nothing but foot prints and tyre tracks.
On occasions we have had to ask people at 1 or 2 am to stop making noise and let others get to sleep and the usual response is, 'We are only having a good time' my response to that is 'Well thanks to you no one else is!'
By all means enjoy yourself when you go camping but please allow others to enjoy themselves as well without being disturbed or kept awake at night by unnecessary noise.
The following information comes from the NSWPWS web site and may also be of use:
How to fix a problem
There is a simple three-step process for resolving any conflict:
1. Assess the problem. If it's a one-off occurrence and won't last for long, let it run its course.
2. Speak to the offending person. More often than not they will do the right thing and an amicable solution will be reached.
3. If not, report the problem to park management.
The law dictates park managers have a duty to provide 'quiet enjoyment'.
They have the right to settle disputes according to the law, evict people and call police if the need arises.
Don't consider lodging a complaint as a selfish act. There are almost always other people affected who are either prepared to suffer or are unaware of their rights. Think of it as doing everyone else a favour and don't be afraid to call on the managers - it's their job to provide your comfort and satisfaction.
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