Camping is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and there are loads of great ways to do this in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
Scotland's first National Park boasts a unique landscape and is home to wonderful nature and wildlife. If you’re planning a camping trip to the National Park or elsewhere, it’s important to consider the impact your visit could have. Everyone has a role to play in protecting the environment, and the little things we do can make a big difference.
Here are a few simple tips on how to enjoy sustainable camping:
Stand against throwaway culture
For camping trips and other outdoor pursuits, invest in tents and other gear that can be used over and over again, rather than leaving valuable materials in our natural environment. Leaving tents and other items behind is flytipping and you could be fined.
Ditch the disposables
If you’re bringing food and drinks always use reusable containers and bottles so you're reducing the amount of waste, particularly single-use plastic, and so that you don't need to discard of any waste when out in the wilderness.
Bag and bin it
If you do need to get rid of items while you’re out and there are no bins nearby, please keep hold of your waste. Leaving rubbish behind spoils the area for other visitors can cause harm to wildlife and costs money to clean up. Even where there are bins, at busy times these can fill up fast so if the bin is full don’t leave things beside or on top of it. This is littering and encourages other people to do the same thing. Don’t let litter breed litter. The best thing to do is to carry a bag or container to take all your litter home with you. If you can bring it with you, you can take it away.
If you want to cook or toast marshmallows bring a camping stove. If you do have a fire or barbecue make sure you place it on a surface like sand or stones that won’t leave a scar. Fires can easily get out of control so always have water at hand to put it out quickly if you need to. Clean up afterwards and leave no trace. Remember also to bring your own firewood as collecting deadwood can be harmful to the environment and wildlife.
What to do when you need the loo
If you're not staying in a campsite, for example, you're wild camping or camping in one of our loch shore permit areas, there won't always be toilet facilities nearby so it's important to know what to do when nature calls. Follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and 'go' at least 30 metres from water, buildings and livestock, dig a hole and bury your waste in it. Make sure you bag and bin toilet paper and sanitary items. If you can't go 30 metres away you should take a bag or container to take your waste away and put it in a bin later so it's important to think ahead about where you will be and what to take with you. Our ‘last chance loo stops’ webpage offers a handy guide to public toilets in the National Park so you can 'go' before you go.
Nik Turner, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Litter Prevention Manager, added: ‘The National Park is one of Scotland’s most iconic destinations and we’re pleased to welcome anyone who wishes to come and explore this beautiful area. However, it is vitally important that we all play our part in ensuring that the wildlife and natural beauty of this area is protected. The key thing to remember when visiting the National Park is to leave no trace and take any waste home with you. To minimise your impact, try and bring reusable items such as water bottles, food boxes and good quality camping or hiking gear that doesn’t need to be thrown away after one or two uses.’