A Word on Dirty Camping

  • by Ramin Golzari
A Word on Dirty Camping

Dirty camping is a big and growing problem but it’s not a new one. Areas such as Glen Etive and the Trossachs in the Highlands (amongst many others across the UK) have long had issues with people visiting to enjoy the scenery but who then chop down live trees, toilet irresponsibly and generally act badly before going home, leaving their rubbish, and frequently most of their equipment, behind them. The impact on the environment, both short and longer term is huge.

At Highlander we condemn the practice known as ‘Dirty Camping’ with it’s wasteful and environmentally damaging impact. We are outdoor people ourselves and want to visit and share the fantastic great outdoors without seeing it blighted.

The strange mentality of spoiling the very environment you visited for it’s beauty is very difficult for most of us to comprehend. As outdoor people ourselves we want to visit these magical places, enjoy them, then leave no trace of ever having been there.


You’ve probably picked a spot to camp as it’s a stunning location, so you need to keep it that way. It’s as simple as ABC!

A. Keep our environment clean and safe by taking all rubbish home and leave your campsite as if you had never been there.

B. Don’t leave your camping kit behind as it’s littering and also a waste of money. If your kit is wet as you break camp, put it all in a large bag and take them home to dry them out ready too be used again.

C. Use a stove instead of a camp fire. If you do have a small fire, pick a spot on a hard ground like rocks or sand that won’t leave scorch marks and make sure it is properly extinguished and remove all traces of an open fire before you leave.





The Summer of 2020 and the effect of international travel restrictions due to Covid-19 led to a sharp increase in dirty camping and the planned easing on restrictions in Spring 2021 is likely to do the same.

Many people want to experience camping for the first time as an alternative to their normal type of holiday. Some are undoubtedly irresponsible and wilfully behave badly, others are undereducated or only have experience of the single use ‘festival’ mentality. Most people will, when given the opportunity behave responsibly and dispose of their waste sensibly.


There is also the issue of infrastructure where bins, campsites, toilets etc are unavailable or overwhelmed by visitor numbers thus increasing the likelihood of mess. Many of the pictures used by the media last summer and labelled inappropriately as ‘Wild Camping’ were actually of this overwhelmed infrastructure with bags of rubbish piled around overflowing bins etc where people had tried to tidy up but had no easy means of disposal.

These infrastructure issues are being addressed in many areas in anticipation of another rise in visitor numbers. This is positive but many of these solutions such as additional toilet facilities will take some time to put in place.

A great website for advice and tips is:mountaineering.scot



As a manufacturer we design and make equipment which offers great performance, durability and value for money. We want our customers to get long and happy use out of our equipment and certainly don’t want to see it abandoned after one weekend or festival.

We are happy to offer advice on the use and care of your equipment and on camping in general. If you have any questions please get in touch.


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