Conservation Camping

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Published on: Feb. 2, 2005

Last revision: Nov. 17, 2010

Kansas City Urban Ranger Corps Setting Up Camp

you that most shoes and boots are assembled with hot glue which, when heated, turns back into glue. Keep your shoes away from the fire!

Camping Basics

Basic rules to make your camping trips fun and unforgettable

  • Plan for your trip.
  • Prepare for unexpected changes in weather.
  • Minimize your impact on the land. The best campers are the ones who leave no signs of their passage.
  • Respect and enjoy wildlife and plants. Control pets at all times.
  • Report anyone abusing our public lands.
  • Dispose of all waste properly. Pack out everything that you packed in.
  • When hiking or backpacking, carry a good map and compass. Always be aware of your location.
  • Be responsible and alert. In the outdoors help can be difficult to reach.
  • Never trespass. Always respect private property.

Camp at least 100 feet from streams. Missouri streams, especially those in the Ozarks, can rise very quickly from rainstorms far upstream. The Jack’s Fork has risen more than 10 feet in one hour! Look closely for signs of previous high water marks, such as clumps of dead leaves stuck in willow branches, and try to camp above these markers. You may be surprised at how high flood waters can reach.

If you do camp on a gravel bar, place a stick at the water’s edge that will be visible from your tent so that you can monitor changes in the river level. The river is one of the best places to camp, but it can be deadly if you are not prepared.

Always take care in selecting your campsite. Erect your tent on level ground to keep moisture out of your tent and to keep your nylon sleeping bag from sliding off of your sleeping pad. Don’t set up your tent under dead tree limbs. These may break off and fall, causing injury or even death.

Some campers may choose to pursue a more rugged type of camping in the backcountry. This requires carrying everything that you need in a pack on your back. Backpacking is the next best thing to living outdoors.

Basic backpacking necessities include good boots, backpack, tent or tarp, sleeping bag and pad, and a pack stove. Any of this gear can have critical effects on the quality of your trip, so each piece of gear should be of the highest quality.

Every good camper has a different way to enjoy camping. The important thing is to get outside and have fun! For information about specific conservation areas, try the On-line Atlas at <>. You can also call the nearest Conservation Department office. Regulations governing camping on Conservation Department lands sometimes change, so if you are traveling to an area that you haven’t visited recently, contact the area manager or the on-line Conservation Atlas for the latest information.

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