Free Camping Issues

I would like to bring to everyone's attention the state of our free camping sites. A fellow member of CMCA has given me permission to give you her report over the last six months and 14,000 k.

Free Camping Issues
We need to lift our game

Having been on the road now since early March I have travelled over 14,000 kms in Vic, NSW and Qld and am yet to return home. I have mainly free camped and I have observed much. I have come to the conclusion that we are our own worst enemy and need to lift our game if we want our camping options to remain open. I will most likely be hung, drawn and quartered for saying what is to follow but it needs to be said and it needs to be read and heard or we suffer the consequences.

It is through ignorance that some things happen but it is also through our own lack of respect for our fellow traveller and the environment.

Some of the issues I have seen are:

1. People coming out in the morning and just emptying their overnight bucket outside the van/whizzbang, caravan or motorhome and yes camper trailers and tents as well.

2. Councils having good intentions of doing the right thing by installing dump points at rest areas (and there is a tank and tap there) but the tank is empty (afterall it is dry season up north so no rain to replenish the tank anyway). The dump points are obviously a mess.

3. People using non maintained old toilet blocks long since switched off in what used to be rest areas but now not maintained – how could they even think about it when you see the mess.

4. Dump points (CMCA/Kea sponsored one) that was putrid because someone had dismantled the tap etc (a search of the web said it had been like that since at least March this year and I was there end of July). I contacted CMCA to see if they could get it rectified. I had photos to prove both the mess and the ownership/sponsorship which NHQ requested.

5. Rest areas where it is obvious there is a shortage of water (just look around at the dry creek and dry grass) and the tanks are empty yet people continue to use the toilets even though they will not flush (and yes some were motorhomes that would have had their own on board facilities – why would you not use your own in these circumstances?)

6. With point 5, the council came out later in the day and tried to clean the facilities but of course no water so a tanker came out and partly filled one tank – you then had people standing under the tap outside just letting the water run over their feet for no reason and not for a short while either. They were there when the tanker came in so should have known better. You then also had everyone filling up containers etc – the next town was only 10kms away – that water in the tanker was not for that purpose.

7. You then have the sad situation of one of the more popular camp spots to be shut shortly because the sewerage system cannot cope due to the sheer overload on the facilities. One night there were up to 80 vehicles there of all shapes and kinds. Why is it that you will walk a long way to the facilities but yet you have your own on board. You cannot stay any longer than 3 nights anyway so you should have ample capacity (or near ample and about 8kms away is a dump point).

8. There are donation boxes at many of these places but I reckon that not much is collected and when it is donated I watched and photographed someone then promptly try to help themself to it.

9. You also see people get out an axe and chop down small trees etc for firewood when there is a sign that says “no fires” and yes these were motorhomers on their way back from the Sale Rally. I have since heard that this site is also on the closure list – can’t always blame the Caravan Park Lobbyists.

10. Why is it that campers take pets into National Parks and their camp sites when there are lots of signs around that say no animals allowed.

11. Why is it that some campers do not clean up after their pets?

12. Grey water disposal is an issue I don’t know the answer to, but it seems that few caravans and smaller vans have much holding capacity for grey water and it goes straight onto the ground. Having said that Motorhomes are not immune either as they let their grey water go on the bitumen at rest areas and there is not necessarily a drainage system in place for this.

13. Over flowing garbage bins yet people still try to squeeze stuff in or leave it on the ground for the wild life to have a go at rather than taking it with you.

14. Staying in No Camping signed spots overnight.

I could probably go on and on with what I have observed but we are our own worst enemy at times and we will blame the Caravan Park Lobby for camp spot closures but in actual fact it is us that is the cause in some instances (not all).

In my opinion there needs to be an education program amongst all RV’ers as to what is the correct camping procedures in a modern society (not how our mums and dads used to do it). Also what does self contained mean and if an area is for self contained vehicles only then you don’t go in unless you are. It is no good anymore that the non complying vehicles say, but we should be able to do what we want. You are either self contained or you are not.

It is no good saying, but that little bit of grey water or that little bit of urine or toilet paper will not hurt. No it will not BUT in ever increasing numbers it will and that is what we have – more and more people free camping. To some people self contained means that that they bring everything with them (food, water, beds, chairs etc) but not that it means you take it all with you as well.

We need Education. Care for your campsites or lose them.
Lorraine Smith CMCA N55008
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Reply By: Member - David Will (VIC) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 20:19

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 20:19
Hi Peter H1,

Well said!!!

We see this all the time, as said we are our worse enemy when it comes to things like this.

If we can cart it all in, we can cart it all out again and keep the places that we visit clean.

David Will

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Reply By: gordon_adel - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 20:55

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 20:55
hear hear...too true.

I wonder if there is data on what generation is the worst at this, ie gen x, y, baby boomers or any others.

If we could get that data then maybe there could be some type of targeted promotions to educate them. With that said, a lot of this (to me) is just plain common sense.
AnswerID: 493672

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 21:32

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 21:32
Well said Peter.

I was just talking about this to some friends recently. There is absolutely NO excuse for these places looking the way they do! I can't see that you can educate the morons that leave these places in such a disgraceful mess, to me it's just common sense.

Hence the reason I find my own spot in the bush for cuppa or overnight stops & make sure it's left exactly the way I found it.
Cheers
Stu
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Reply By: Member - Josh- Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 21:45

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 21:45
Unfortunately the people that do this kinda thing don't give a rats what people like you and I think so it won't change. They are the same kinda of people that will go around a locked gate or leave rubbish on the ground beside a bin. We talked to a number of people dumping rubbish ect and they just don't care. We had a bag on the back of our car for rubbish and it usually had more of other peoples rubbish in it than ours.

Josh
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Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 22:01

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 22:01
it will change if you and i keep at it, dont give up eh and hassle the cruds out of anyone you see doing the wrong thing, they will get sick of it sooner or later........ better still report them on this site and tell ALL to keep a look out, it will quickly sort out the bad ones .....
Cheers
Joe
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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 21:47

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 21:47
Hi Lorraine,

I agree with most of what you have said and I am new to the game. Please don't be offended when i say I don't get the grey water issue at all. At home I use it to water the garden and it does marvelously well yet I was in a very dry country town recently where the only free camp was not accessible because I do not have a grey water tank. I had a look at the site and a little grey water would have done wonders and I was left feeling that there were other interests at play.

So whilst I totally agree that we need to look after those camping sites and some behaviour from users is unacceptable it seems to me that there are people that will create new rules to make sure that people cannot comply and have us end up with these situations where they can then say we have to close them.

This issue has raised its head on this forum in many different ways over many years and there have been many instances also mentioned here where people have reported details to authorities who have had no interest in weeding out that 1% of traveller who just don't care.

I'm not sure of the answer because I feel it totally wrong that misbehaviour of few should result in only the single solution of excluding everyone. I also think it wrong that people should accept exclusion as the sole answer to this problem. Maybe a harder push on authorities to do more to get rid of the miscreants might be better focus.

Now I have also made similar observations as you and I can't believe what some people do, however there is a lot more that can be done by authorities to prevent these things. For example last week we were on the road between the Barkly Road House and the Three Ways I think there were four free camps in between but only the first one had a toilet, the other three did not. As we have our own we thought we would park with no facilities available thinking it woulld be quiter.

There were something like 10 to 20 vehicles there and some would not have had facilities. It had me thinking if they were aware if this was the case, it was disclosed in camps 6, but I felt more could have been done to alert travellers. At the same time i watched as a traveler washed her hands in drinking water left for the birds there. I could go on about lack of dump points and what seems like a concerted effort to push people to parks - but i won't.

Off my soap box

Kind regards

Theo
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Reply By: Jedo_03 - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 21:56

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 21:56
Couldn't agree more with the writer...
We've seen the same - and worse..!!!
Few nights ago, caught a youngish (35 yr old) bloke with his trousers down about 10 metres away from the back of our van: defaecating on the ground..!!! I challenged him about it - and was told in very agressive terms to F### the F### O##..!!!
We are coming across LOTS of this age group range of 'travellers' who basically don't give a damn about "rules", "norms" and common civility in all aspects of travelling... No-one else matters except THEM... And if you DARE say anything...???
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 14:50

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 14:50
should've photographed him in action along with his rego plate and emailed it to the coppers

:)
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:27

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:27
yeah - but you would have had to disinfect the camera afterwards :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 21:07

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 21:07
What would the police charge him with??? Illegal dumping?? :-))
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 08:20

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 08:20
probably a bum rap, anyway

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Reply By: mountainman - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 22:28

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 22:28
dont forget they even steal the toilet paper too at the public toilets.
disgracefull.
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Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 22:34

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 22:34
the toilet paper and soap gets stolen here ................. not by locals but by tourists, and they are in flash expensive 4wds and off road 90k plus vans ....
THAT is sad ....
.
.
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Follow Up By: kevmac....(WA) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 19:23

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 19:23
I work for the local council here in Albany WA , but the cleaning and rubbish removal at the "free camps" is done by private contractor, and regularly and very well. Unfortunately when they spotted me camping out at COSY CORNER (35kms) out of town, they gave me extra toilet rolls to replenish on their behalf, because as he said within a day of filling the holders it would almost all be gone. and as I said Albany is only 35kms away and denmark not much difference in the other direction

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Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 22:31

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 22:31
well written and SPOT ON .......
I know most wont agree with me but we in Australia are very well off, the travelling people out there at the moment are mostly very well "heeled" and really DONT need to "free camp" but choose to do so as it is part of the "experiance" they are chasing and they simply DONT respect it, we have found the biggest complainers and mess makers are driving rigs in excess of $200k and complain about having to pay site fees that cost less than the wine they drink every night so the feel the need to camp free because they are set up to do so (but dont have a clue why hahah) .............
You also know the BEST way to stop the rubbish problem is remove the bins, ever noticed that the rubbish is piled up AROUND the bins, human nature, remove the bins and humans dont stop to empty there rubbish, you see when we see the bin and we slip into the "shifting responsibility" mode that is human nature, even when full and overflowing we KNOW or ASSUME that somebody else emptys that bin so we "place" the rubbish beside it shifting the responsibility to someone else and off we tootle blaming the shire council for being lazy and not doing there job, i have seen bins overflowing only 10k out of townsites with zilluions of bins, yet bin was sighted and rubbish dumped ..... without a doubt every intention of stopping in the next town but ..... thats the bleedin shires job mate, they are so slack eh mate ....
And just imagine if the council placed a sign saying that grey water could be freely realeased, it would be a stinking filthy black slick for miles and people would drop sewerage as well because it smelt like it now so why not ?????
Yep free camping will be shut down soon at this rate and probally for health reasons of all things, some whinger will complain that they caught something bad from a free toilet and that will nail it ...
Wanna know a good idea that we do around here, dig a deep hole at the start of every dry and put a small chainmesh fence around it, about the shape and size of soccer goals, every week it get BURNT, never overflows, alway clean and healthy ............. but soon some greeny will stop that as arnt we supposed to "cover" waste and not burn it .... we are fast backwards arnt we eh ....
Cheers
Joe
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 22:39

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 22:39
I agree Joe. I think the whole experiment of free camping has failed because too many people have not respected the privilege and have generally desecrated the area. For the tiny cost of caravan parks, I think people should stay in them whenever practicable.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Reply By: Member - Ian G (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 23:28

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 23:28
Well done! You have put in writing what we have all observed in our travels. However, having been on the road for 13 years now and bush camping for approx 85% or more of that time, we have also noticed that it is only a small percentage of people that in fact do the wrong thing - thank goodness. You can understand local councils canning free sites though, when they become messy with regards to garbage, inadequate toilet facilities etc. This year in our travels from the Gulf to the bottom of Tassie, we noticed more dump sites than ever before - congratulations to all of the councils & shires that provide this great service to us. I had a thought that perhaps they could also add recycling bins & garbage hoppers at dump sites - this too would cut down on overloaded roadside bins. With caravan park fees & fuel costs skyrocketing, there are more and more people on the road looking for overnight free camps along the way to cut down on the expense of holiday travel.

The majority of travellers obey the honesty box system - but for those that don't, it is very sad.

Birckbats to Qld National Parks. This year was an absolute debacle with lots of old favourite parks now having to be pre-booked - normally in areas with no phone service, expensive fees and these silly little fenced camp sites that only a small Britz van could fit in to. When are they going to learn that pre-booking doesn't work for many simply because of the distances up north and the fact that you have no idea what day you would be there at a certain site because of the road conditions etc. Very disapointing. When phoning for one NP site we were told that it was booked out - there were 13 spare spots. In another we set up, made a call on a satellite phone to be told that there were only 5 sites left and the one we were on was taken! There ended up being at least 15 sites free - including the one we were told was taken!

Tassie worked well on the first-in first-served basis for all Conservation Parks, NP's etc and the fees were still reasonable. Heaps of free camping available all over the state as well, despite the comments earlier in the season about free camping being very limited.

One of our worst free camp experiences was a van that let all their shower grey water flow in to the car par, then ran the generator all night. No manners at all.

We all love to travel and bush camp - so everyone needs to be mindful of keeping everything tidy and clean so that we can all continue to do so.

Happy Travels
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Follow Up By: Member - John L (WA) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 07:53

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 07:53
Could we get Keep Australia Clean org to give out a rubbish bag with 'camping manners' brochure that goes in EVERY new van sold. Unfortunately in this day & age manners have to be taught.
Could also give out at camping shows, camping shops & remote service stations.
Anyone on Exploroz have a personal contact in the Keep Aus Clean org?
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Reply By: Member - Peter M (QLD) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 08:08

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 08:08
A great letter/report. Sadly to true.
But education will only work if it starts at home at age 1. The academics and the do gooders have taken away the right for us to be responsible for our own actions.
I have seen the mess that backpackers, campers, caravanners etc.. leave behind and am ashamed of what we have allowed to happen to us.
I have been in car parks at shopping centres and seen young mothers change their baby's nappy and place the dirty one under their car and drive off.
The answer stop making it easier for us to pass our own responsibilities on to others. We all have rights but they come after responsibilities.
Regards to all
Stay safe & stay well
Peter M
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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 08:28

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 08:28
Agree with all of the comments, but it is not just aussie travellers. We have seen overseas travellers doing the wrong thing time and time again. Example, we were free camped near Fog Dam, Kakadu, when a van with 4 young girls from Europe arrived, friendly nice girls, they drove off early in the morning and left tissue paper everywhere! And there were bins there! Could not believe it.
I think we blokes also need to be mindful that not everyone wants to see us relieving ourselves. There is usually somewhere to go so you are out of public view. If there is a toilet, please use it! It is not a good sight sitting at the back of your camper having breakfast and seeing blokes facing you having a pee outside the toilet...
Also agree, the people who do the wrong thing will do it no matter what. They are usually that type of person. Just don’t give a dam about others.
But the more we talk about it the better. It might just change a few.. Maybe....
Kevin
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Reply By: david s27 - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 09:31

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 09:31
We all know what the problem is ......... what we need is a solution e.g some sort of sticker/sign on the back of our van telling these #$%^&,s that WE don't leave any RUBBISH behind.... A suggestion would be a competition or something ????
Cheers
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Reply By: Kiwibound eventually - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 09:50

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 09:50
We have been travelling around this great country for the last fourteen months and have stayed at a mixture of caravan parks and free camping sites. We have noticed that in many of the caravan parks in the northern areas of Australia there are no waste water outlets and we are required to release our waste water from the shower and sink on to the grass site. We would never, and have never, emptied our toilet cassette direct on to the ground but have used appropriate dump sites.

My question is what is the difference between releasing the waste water on to the grass in caravan parks and releasing the waste on to the grass (not bitumen driveways) in a free camp spot? Please help us to understand.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 11:11

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 11:11
Hi Kiwibound

The greenest caravan parks we have stayed in are generally the ones where you water the lawns from your grey water.

A big difference would be the fact there is green grass being maintained in the caravan park. Most free camps are bare dirt which can become sticky mud when left wet at a very well used camp.

It is not hard to carry a bucket of water a little away from the site. We have never stayed anywhere we needed to take our waste water away with us although we carry a collapsible 20 litre water cannister should this be required. We do see people running what i consider large amounts of water straight onto the ground in areas where it will leave it muddy for the next person when they could easily have used a bucket to take it to a thirsty tree or a patch of grass. If we are camping out in the bush on our own rather than in a camp or rest areas where others may go, i sometimes don't use the bucket as it makes no difference where the water goes in the dry bush.

We can also modify our water use patterns, not only according to our own water supply, but according to disposal needs.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 09:54

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 09:54
One issue not mentioned as yet on this thread. Why don't we dob them in?

Lots of evidence and photos would make it easy. But . . .

Picture about 8 cars from our local 4WD club, with us included, exploring some challenging tracks in a local NP. We stop for a cuppa at a popular camping spot. Three cars arrive after us and soon start doing wheelies and circles, tearing the camping area apart. They were very close at one stage and it was simple to get good descriptions and photos of the cars including number plates.

When we drove out I asked on the radio if anyone got any photos or details for us to put in a report. Not a response which told me not to bother. Great I thought if that is the clubs approach. And I feel it could also be the approach of some posters above in this thread.

But there is more . . .

On the Monday I called the local NPWS office and attempted to give them a report. I had to actually push the point for them to accept the report. I gave the cars descriptions and out of curiosity I held back on the rego plates. Just at the end I asked why she did not ask for registrations numbers. I was hit by a blank silence but I passed them over anyway. Why bother I asked myself if that is the NPWS staff attitude!

Well I will bother and hope that more of us do also. No need to let the offenders know who dobbed them in but DO IT. The old adage of "not bodding you mate in" is dead an buried. Do it. Maybe that will at least get the offenders to think twice and maybe not do it again.

Winging and complaining to ourselves is just like a bunch of oldies spreading rumours over the back fence. Maybe bunches of reports giving NPWS some evidence MAY help. Winging wont.
AnswerID: 493701

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 11:24

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 11:24
I'm with your here PJR. The tradition of not dobbing in has been surpassed by the behaviour.

Quote: "Well I will bother and hope that more of us do also. No need to let the offenders know who dobbed them in but DO IT. The old adage of "not bodding you mate in" is dead an buried. Do it. Maybe that will at least get the offenders to think twice and maybe not do it again."

On the forums, we are 'preaching to the converted'. The vast majority of travellers (day and campers) are not reading forums. Education is the key. How to reach them? By passing it to the relevant authorities. Personal approach does not seem to work.

There are litter dob in schemes in some states and using these would address some of the points Lorraine has highlighted.

Motherhen

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:00

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:00
I think we should also add the crva.com.au site to the list of addressees for the complaint. Send any reports to BOTH.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:30

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:30
I don't agree Phil

CRVA: "Our Vision
To be the National Peak Body representing the Caravanning & Holiday Parks Industry in Australia (caravan holiday parks, caravans, motorhomes, camper trailers, tent trailers, camping, cabins, plus other RV’s, and industry suppliers), and provide for growth, development and professionalism of Industry participants."

It would be feeding fuel to the industry that is hell bent of closing down any 'perceived' opportunities to force more customers into their businesses.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 16:08

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 16:08
Fair enough. I do not see how it would lessen the impact of two reports, all-be-it for the same offence, going both the CRVA and the NPWS.

Maybe I missed your point somewhere. My simple male mind!!!!

Phil
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 16:20

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 16:20
Hi Phil

While the Caravan Parks industry is hell bent on getting any camping outside of their businesses closed down, they could use such evidence to support their cause and have even more good camping opportunities closed.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:04

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:04
Aaahhhh

Whilst this may be true it does make sense to give ones reports to the NPWS. I am sure that they do not have avested interest in closing their parks.

It is the same with many so called representative bides. Having been at "executive" level meetings of a nation body I can attest to the rumour that you do hear the bias every now and then.

Catchya

Gee its boring being back home. “I WANNA GO BACK”.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:13

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:13
Hi Phil

Yes, whether they want it or not or whether they have the resources to investigate the complaints, we all need to take action with reporting such deeds to the relevant authorities, be they National Parks, Shire Councils, or Police (in the case of theft or destruction). It is up to them to police the regulations, but they can't see the perpetrators so it is up to those who can. With multiple reports they are more likely to take action.

Mh
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Reply By: ExplorOz - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 11:53

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 11:53
I'm afraid Motherhen has hit the nail on the head when she says "On the forums, we are 'preaching to the converted'. The vast majority ...are not reading forums."

I tend to agree that we've probably got to "dob 'em in" but who has the vested interest? Perhaps we should be forwarding the complaints and evidence to the Caravan, RV & Accommodation Industry of Australia (CRVA)?

Here's their email address: crva@crva.com.au
Try sending your "evidence" of bad behavior to them.

Michelle
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:41

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:41
Hi Michelle

Giving such reports into the hands of the already strong caravan parks group will only give them even more fuel in their campaign to eliminate any opportunities for us to stay outside of their establishments. We need other methods of public education and as Phil has reported above the authority for the Parks where he submitted the report did not want to know. Shires are often under resourced and will not enforce their own by-laws. However it must be done by the authority with clout, not by individuals where it can just result in aggression and the perpetrator learns nothing.

Members can do a search for "Dob in a litterer" and see what you can do in the areas you travel.

In WA we can register as a litter reported here Keep Australia Beautiful WA

Keep Australia Beautiful (nation wide) have an on line reporting form hereDob in a Litterer on line form

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 19:44

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 19:44
Are you serious Michelle? Don't you think we have any letterers on the forum? It would not surprise me if some of the biggest whingers are also among the biggest letterers. Remember that we know nothing for certain about most of the people who contribute here.

This is an age old problem. It has been with humanity for all time and will continue for all time. There is a very simple truth. People do not value things that they did not pay for. Free camps will always be messy and the messiness will increase with use. And many will continue to use them. Some people have very low standards.
Kevin
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Reply By: ExplorOz - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 13:33

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 13:33
Many of you will have already read our Travel Etiquette article, but I've just updated it to reinforce some of the issues this post has raised. I included the link to the Dob in a Litterer page on the Keep Australia Beautiful website, thanks Motherhen.

Feel free to pass the link around - share it on facebook etc. Travel Etiquette Article

thanks,
Michelle
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Follow Up By: Member - Julie P (VIC) - Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 08:26

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 08:26
Hi Michelle - I took the liberty of posting part of your "travel etiquette article" on another forum I frequent - started a great discussion there, still ongoing - don't know what the answer is - but education is one of them.

And teach your young ones to clean up after themselves when you take them camping - I have been known to ask someone "do you live in a pigsty" when I have seen them "miss" the bin with rubbish, in the street as well as out in the country.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:00

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:00
Unfortunately as others have observed, I think we are preaching to the converted. Dobbing them in if caught in the act may be the only way to get these pigs (with apology's to the animal) to change their ways but I have my doubts about that. Installing a social conscience in people bereft of any consideration that they may be impacting on anther's enjoyment by their actions is going to be an up hill battle. Half of them probably don't even realize what they're doing and the rest don't care. I think confrontations could possibly be fraught with dangers.
No I am not advocating that we do nothing but sometimes what ever authority that is responsible for the area involved seem to have an inertial problem when it involves actually getting off their backsides and following up a complaint or are bound by time/personnel constraints.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:34

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:34
"I think confrontations could possibly be fraught with dangers. "

Your right on that Pop - a number of times a member of our travelling group (4wd club) has pointed out (politely) to litterers etc. suggesting it would be nice if they used the bins or took it with them to be greeted with an expletive laden reply and basically told to "procreate somewhere else".

It's amazing how some nongs can be overtly agressive over being asked to do the right thing.
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Reply By: margery l - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 20:02

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 20:02
When we travel I carry a pick up - grabber stick, the kind they use for road side cleaning. I flaunt the fact that I'm picking up someone else's rubbish in the hope that I may encourage others to do the same or for those who are grubs to maybe think twice about the mess they make. It only takes a few minutes and may only be a pebble in the puddle but at least it's a start. You can buy them from Bunnings.
Cheers
Margie
AnswerID: 493744

Reply By: Member - silkwood - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 20:18

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 20:18
A number of years ago, in Tasmania (particularly in the South West Wilderness Area) there were "Environment Officers". These were volunteers who went out on the bushwalkers' transport buses and walked around the remote campsites discussing minimal impact camping, encouraging people to take care of the bush. They were quite non-intrusive and non-judgemental, simply encouraging and discussing. Reality is the overwhelming majority of walkers in the South West were already following these practices.

Maybe something similar could work in this environment? It would take some training and licensing but it could be useful. Everyone knows those who go out of their way to have a chat! ;-)

Cheers,

Mark
AnswerID: 493748

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 13:12

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 13:12
A good idea Mark. While distances on the mainland are much greater than in Tasmania, i suspect most of the badly littered camps are in fact close to towns. When we travel in more distant and remote areas the travellers are the most responsible. This aspect was confirmed with a chat we had with a "friends of the park" volunteer in the Gammon Ranges. He said he preferred the more remote campgrounds for this reason.

Mh
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