In our last post, we were camped with friends at North Carlson Lake near Ryder, North Dakota. We were camped in a free county-operated campground nestled between three lakes. Campground amenities include BBQ grills, a boat ramp, fire rings, beach access, picnic tables, restrooms (suitable for tornado shelter) and trash cans/dumpsters.
Noticed I bolded the last amenity, trash cans/dumpsters, as recent users of the park/campground seem to have not been aware of their existence or they are super lazy. Sadly, I believe it is the latter of the two, as the campground and fire rings were littered with garbage and food waste while very visible dumpsters sit empty just a short walk from any of the campsites.
While I have written about taking your garbage with you previously and I am probably preaching to the choir, I feel compelled to do so again as if I can just influence a few campers, it may make a difference.
Why should you leave your campsite or an entire park better than you found it? Here are several reasons:
- Leaving a campsite (especially a free one) littered means the agency overseeing the campground has to clean up after you, which costs money. If cleanup costs from unappreciative campers continue month after month, exceeding revenue or the assigned budget, the overseeing agency has no choice but to raise prices or close the campground. Read this article for an example.
- Litter such as broken glass, bottle caps, pop tops and aluminum cans shredded by lawn mowers can be a hazard to little ones (adults too) headed barefoot to enjoy the beach.
- Food scraps such as chicken bones and rancid food can be dangerous to the pets of other campers that arrive after you. Not only that, but food waste can attract yellowjackets and other insects that others may have allergies to.
If you enjoy free campgrounds for overnight stays along your route (like I do), please show your appreciation by taking care of them and picking up the trash of less thoughtful campers before you.
If we each learn to do our part, we can keep campgrounds along with other recreational lands open, and hopefully save a pet or little one from injury in the process.
Leaving a campsite better than you found it, just another adventure in RVing!
If you would like to stay at the campground you will find it just under 10 miles east of Ryder, North Dakota at the intersection of 114th St SW and 303rd Ave SW (aka Road 22). Rather than navigate by street names I suggest you let your onboard navigation direct you to N47° 55.275 W101° 28.240
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.