Big Little Guides

How to leave no trace when camping

New Zealand is renowned for its unique landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and captivating natural beauty. From the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, to the North Island’s white sand beaches, this is a playground for adventurers and nature enthusiasts. By following the principles of Leave No Trace camping when you rent a van for a road trip – you can help ensure this beauty endures for generations.

May 6, 2024

What is Leave No Trace Camping?

Leave No Trace (sometimes called LNT) is a set of guidelines developed to promote responsible outdoor recreation. At Big Little Campers, we encourage you to immerse yourself in nature while minimising environmental impact.

All Big Little Campers rental campervans (for hire in Auckland and Christchurch) have self-contained status, equipping you to be self-sustaining with three days’ worth of water, toilet capacity, and battery life. This not only connects you better to remote spots, it reduces your impact on those environments.

Practising Leave No Trace camping is crucial when renting campervans. Here are key principles we aim to pass on to each guest:

  1. Plan and prepare: Research, get necessary permits, and be prepared for the conditions.
  2. Dispose of waste properly: Aim to recycle as much as possible, including biodegradable waste, and use available bathroom facilities. All Big Little Campers come with toilets.
  3. Leave what you find: Avoid picking plants or disturbing wildlife, and leave natural and cultural features untouched.
  4. Minimise campfire impact: Use a camp stove for cooking, as open fires can scar the landscape.
  5. Respect wildlife: Observe animals and birds from a distance and don't feed them.

The importance of Leave No Trace in New Zealand

Many New Zealand ecosystems are fragile and unique. Our unique flora and fauna are highly vulnerable to human activity. Iconic species like the Kiwi and Takahe are endangered, facing constant risk of habitat destruction. Looking after waterways is also essential when parking your rental campervan near lakes, rivers, and the coastline.

The network of Great Walks, including the Milford Track and Abel Tasman Coast Track, sees thousands of hikers annually. Taking extra care is vital to preserve the integrity of these wilderness areas.

Leave No Trace camping tips in New Zealand

  • Choose your spot carefully: Stick to designated campsites or recommended freedom camp spots.
  • Leave only footprints: Take all rubbish, food scraps, and waste back with you.
  • Use a camp stove: Avoid open fires, especially in sensitive ecosystems or during summer months. It’s best to book campervan hire in NZ with a fully equipped kitchenette.
  • Check your step: Stick to man made pathways and boardwalks where possible, to protect fragile vegetation. (Many New Zealand native birds nest on or near the ground too).
  • Practise LNT in all activities: Whether tramping, surfing, or picnicking, consistently apply Leave No Trace principles.

By practising Leave No Trace camping in New Zealand and booking self-contained campervan hire in Auckland or Christchurch with Big Little Campers, you’re helping preserve the natural beauty of this breathtaking country for future generations. Let's collectively ensure that New Zealand's wilderness stays pristine. For when you come back next time.

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