The San Juan River, like many others, is a highly sensitive environment, operating in a delicate balance between the natural and modern world.

To preserve the natural balance, strict regulations exist for campers and boaters to cover their tracks while in such areas.

The fire is a fundamental and comforting component of camp, and can be a tool for survival.

It’s simple to have a fire and clean it up properly. Here’s how to make sure you do so:

1) The fire pan

Instead of fire pits, use a fire pan: it’s an elevated tray that contains the fire without spreading ashes into the immediate environment. The fire pan makes for easy clean up at camp, it’s easy to use and is required gear in many areas.

2) Sifting

Before breaking camp, the ashes from the fire pan should be carefully sifted, and any reaming pieces of material should be packed out. The best way to do this is by using a standard kitchen strainer. Who knew?

3) Wash it away

After the fire pan has been sifted and all larger materials have been properly collected and packed, the organic ashes can be distributed in the water.