Maryland Outdoor Club

Events > Etiquette Guidelines > Primitive Camping Considerations

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  • Overnight camping is permitted only in the designated primitive camping area. Camp within camping area boundaries.
  • As much as possible, please avoid disturbing the ground cover and topsoil. Locate your camp to take advantage of natural drainage and topography. Do not rearrange landscape; do not construct your campsite. Never cut branches, saplings, or trees. Bed sites or tents should be pitched on naturally flat ground. Do not dig or level an area for a bed site. Please remove all traces of your camp when you leave.
  • Be careful not to park over dry areas as fires can be started by vehicles with hot tailpipes.
  • If you build a campfire, make sure that you do it properly and safely. See How to Build a Campfire on Adventure Travel.
  • There is seldom water suitable for drinking along trails or in primitive areas. However, drinking water is available in most developed facilities in the park for filling containers before you take off on the trail. You should carry water for all your drinking, cooking and washing needs. Do not wash dishes or bathe in the creeks or ponds.
  • Sanitation
    • Solid waste: Without exception, pack all litter and garbage out of the area for disposal in trash receptacles. Burying garbage is not permitted.
    • Human waste: Some primitive/backpacking areas have composting toilets. In all areas where one is not available, follow standard field disposal practice for the disposal of human waste. Do not deposit waste within 100 feet of any open water. Attempt to pick a spot that is basically flat. Bury waste in a biologically active topsoil zone, not deeper than 6" or less than 3" below the surface. If possible, try to replace the ground cover over your pit. Completely cover your waste. The next person will appreciate your consideration.

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