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How often have you found unburned garbage in a campsite’s campfire pit?

What a bummer—you get to your campsite and admire the views, then look into the campfire pit just to see someone’s empty Coke can. Ugh. Why don’t people clean up after themselves??

How often has this happened to you? Where you find unburned garbage in a campsite’s campfire pit? Do you see it often? Once in a while? Have you been extremely fortunate and never seen such a thing?

Feel free to tell us about your experiences in the comments below after you vote.

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38 Comments
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Bob
5 days ago

People use their firepit as a trash can. We find cans, garbage, plastic cups/bags, cigarettes & other things. It’s disgusting!

Roy Davis
6 days ago

I find it commonly in State Park/Forest Campgrounds, National Forest campgrounds, Boondocking sites and occasionally COE campsites. When I said something to the camp host in one COE campground, they replied that they suppose to clean out the fire rings when a camper leaves. I will add it has gotten worse since so many of these places can’t get camp host to work there anymore, probably because they got tired of cleaning up the trash.

Last edited 6 days ago by Roy Davis
Bob Weinfurt
6 days ago

I never have at a small, privately owned park but have several times at a state or town park.

TScott
6 days ago

Being a camp host at a state park, I clean fire pits regularly and mostly find cigarette butts in them. Occasionally, I find other trash but not very often.

KellyR
6 days ago

If I find a fire pit that bothers me, I clean it up and go on with my life. No big deal.

Carol
6 days ago

We camp hosted in AZ for a few years and came across this often when cleaning the sites and the firepits. The worst was beer cans (they don’t burn well) and bits of food which was difficult to clean out.

DW/ND
6 days ago

In addition to cig. butts – how about volumes of spit out sun flower seed shells! Difficult to pick up without a rake of some sort which buries many in the sand or dirt. If they have to be left – I would rather see them in the fire pit and not scattered all over the campsite. At least they could get burned or picked up with a small shovel!

Wayne C
6 days ago

I have burned garbage (not plastic) in the campfire with great success. I have burned cans (both steel and aluminum) cantaloupe and watermelon rinds and many other non toxic items. The important part is to have the fire very hot (hot enough to melt glass) and keep it burning that hot until the items are consumed. Metal cans take several hours. BUT, in a campground there is no reason to not use the garbage can.

Bob Palin
6 days ago
Reply to  Wayne C

where do you think the metal you are ‘burning’ is going? Metal doesn’t burn, it melts and runs into the soil under the fire pit, this is a potentially serious pollution problem over time.

Larry
6 days ago

We camp host in several parks and always clean out the pits as part of checking the site before new arrivals. Of course not every campground is that conscientious. What always amazes me is the trash, junk, butts, uncooked food, foil, egg shells, plastic bags, etc., that people leave. A fire pit is not a garbage can.

Snayte
6 days ago

I truly believe that all public parks should no longer allow smoking.

Dennis
6 days ago

Yikes! Just spent 2-1/2 hours cleaning up a spot in the National Forest that had been occupied Labor Day weekend. Used electric coffee pots, metal poles, food husks, cigarette butts, Corona Extra caps, tin foil, soiled toilet paper etc, etc, etc. I am glad to do it because it prevents a “NO CAMPING” vertical post being inserted into the area by the USFS. I’ve got a 30′ class A so I have the room to transport all the trash. Thankfully this only happens about every other year. I know who did it and I will politely ask them to refrain if I see them again next Labor Day weekend.

Richard
6 days ago

DW is highly asthmatic. We avoid fires and pits. The human being is a terrible/disgusting animal.

Joe
6 days ago

We had a yellow lab and she learned the first thing out of the motorhome was to check the fire pits for something to eat.

Leslie Schofield
6 days ago
Reply to  Joe

We camp host and our dog ‘helps’’ clean the sites. He hits the fire pits first, then patrols the perimeter for thrown out food scraps.

Michael
6 days ago

I’ve never been at a campsite that did NOT have cigarettes butts in it, not to mention scattered around the campsite as well. My worst experience, hands down was last January at Scaddan Wash BLM in Quartzsite. Since it’s all pack in pack out, the previous tenants just threw ALL their trash in the fire ring and left. It filled up a large garbage bag. A prime example of the minority ruining it for the majority!

Richard
6 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Society is controlled by the lunatic fringe.

Ron
6 days ago

CFS – Can’t Fix Stupid

Marci Burton
6 days ago

I walk the grounds picking up litter on Mondays here at the campground I work camp. Each week there are quite a few firepits I clean trash out of. Cigarette butts in firepits and on the grounds are the worst in my opinion because I know it’s adults leaving them and adults should know enough to clean up after themselves.

Bob p
6 days ago

I have never found this as I no longer build campfires. Years ago when my family was young we always had campfires, but back then parents raised their families to not burn garbage in a fire pit. During the last 2 generations it seems parents have gotten to lazy to teach their children proper things that people should and shouldn’t do. Like putting your garbage in the dumpster that may be 50 yards away and not in the fire pit. Sorry if this insults you but if parents don’t start being parents this country is going to become a third world country during the next generation. The main reason this country became what it is is because children were raised to be decent productive citizens of society, not leaches living off someone else. Letting someone else “do it”.

Elaine Ashton
6 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

Your statement explains more than just campground problems — it’s the problem of the whole country. The concept of decent productive citizens is beyond the brain power of those in Washington as well.

Ron T.
6 days ago
Reply to  Elaine Ashton

Those decent productive citizens of the past were the same ones who created industrial smog in some cities so bad headlights were sometimes needed during the day and rivers so polluted they caught fire. They also spread DDT everywhere with abandon. If you complain about today’s children, remember we are their parents and grandparents, so we’re responsible for their perceived lack of responsibility not Washington DC.

Robin
6 days ago
Reply to  Ron T.

We’ll said, Ron.

T. Hudson
6 days ago
Reply to  Ron T.

Exactly!

Tommy Molnar
6 days ago
Reply to  Ron T.

I think you’re being a bit heavy-handed Ron. As we as a nation learned of the problems and mistakes, we have corrected them. At least as it pertains to pollution and bug killers. I also don’t think my grandparents contributed to today’s problems with kids being lazy or out of control. Current parents and public schools can take a lot of blame.

Snayte
6 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

Gee, I wonder who raised the current parents that aren’t capable of parenting.

KellyR
6 days ago
Reply to  Snayte

Snayte, When some people go on their rants about parenting, I often wonder the same thing. Who was it that screwed up so badly as parents? – The Greatest Generation?, the Baby Boomers?, or the generation after that?, whos name I don’t know. After all, we “KNOW” that the Greatest and Boomer generations did nothing wrong in childrearing, right? As we extrapolate, does that mean it is the 10 and 12 year old’s that leave firepits so dirty?

Tommy Molnar
6 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

Amen Bob!

Pat
6 days ago

Just about the first thing we do is check the firepit and areas around it for chicken bones and other detritus before Phoebe, our dog, finds it. We generally stay in State Parks and COE facilities. We stayed in beautiful Red River State Park in E. Morehead, MN and they had a volunteer who drove around and cleaned out all the fire pits, daily. This is one of my favorite state parks.

DW/ND
6 days ago
Reply to  Pat

Hi Pat: I haven’t heard of RRSP or E Morehead, MN. I live on the ND side of the border with Moorhead, MN which has or had a KOA on I-94 E of Moorhead. There is Buffalo River State Park – about 25 miles east of Moorhead on US Hwy 10.

kat
6 days ago

Okay, it’s pandemic time, we are camp hosts in a popular state park in Michigan, they can’t get workers so the camp hosts pick up a lot of the jobs including checking out fire pits daily. I had to take a wagon with me as people would leave their bags of garbage, the dog poo bags, used diapers, food bags, etc. I was amazed at how bad it was. Not everybody, but enough idiots to turn us off of camp hosting at a state park again.

Robert Champlin
6 days ago

As a Workamper in many different campgrounds, all privately owned, it is the worst part of the job. It is rare to come across a firepit that does not have some kind of trash, garbage, or nasty cigarette butts. I could really get on a soapbox rant here but I won’t.

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