Camping is one of the most wonderful activities we could opt for, allowing us to take a much-needed break, get some fresh air, and spend some relaxing time enjoying the stunning natural surroundings. But even though it might seem like a sustainable form of travel, camping could also turn out to be quite harmful to the environment, especially if we don’t adhere to more conscious and responsible practices. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much effort to make a positive impact, so here are some simple ways you could make your next camping trip more eco-friendly:
Opt for quality equipment
From tents and sleeping bags to waterproof clothing, camping equipment isn’t exactly known for being sustainable, as the use of synthetic materials is necessary in this case for keeping you clean, dry, and sheltered. For that reason, it’s recommended to spend a bit more on high-quality equipment if you are a regular camper, in order to ensure you have durable and resistant gear that will serve you well for decades. In case you don’t go camping quite as often, on the other hand, renting your equipment, borrowing gear from friends or family members, or even buying used equipment that’s still in great condition are all more eco-friendly alternatives to buying new gear.
Choose reusable alternatives
While plastic cups and paper plates might have become synonymous with camping, being more environmentally conscious when camping doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult. Instead of carrying around plastic water bottles, opt for reusable metal ones and keep them topped up with fresh and clean water. For your daily tea or coffee, you could pack a reusable travel mug, and choose metal or bamboo utensils for your meals. When packing food, it’s also advised to avoid individually wrapped items and instead prepare your own meals at home, which you could then easily carry in Tupperware, reusable silicone bags, or even beeswax wraps, in an effort to make your camping trip more sustainable.
Invest in the right gear
Similar to camping equipment, the gear you bring on your camping trip should also be high-quality and long-lasting, in an effort to avoid constantly replacing cheap and poorly made items. For instance, you might want to invest in durable otf knives made from hard and resistant steel. Not only will such a knife be incredibly useful when it comes to cutting cords, splitting kindling, and other camping activities, but is also strong and sturdy enough to last for years to come. As lighting is another necessary aspect of camping, you can make this more sustainable as well by opting for solar-powered lamps and lanterns or rechargeable batteries for your conventional lighting products.
Select an appropriate location
Although pitching your tent in a remote and secluded area might sound like an adventure, such practices could cause more harm than good to the environment. Whether you choose a national park or a protected area, campgrounds will always be situated in special locations, often based on environmental and safety factors. This means that camping only in designated parks and campgrounds might be the best option, in an effort to avoid disturbing nature and the local wildlife. Similarly, it might be a good idea to choose camping spots that are close to home in order to reduce your carbon footprint by saving on fossil fuels and other resources.
Be careful when handling fire
Fires are among the biggest threats to our forests and wildlife, which is why practicing safety should always be your number one priority when camping. This means looking for any fire bans and restrictions in advance, and only building fires in rings and pits that are specially designed for that purpose. It’s also recommended to only use firewood from local sources, as this ensures that you won’t accidentally introduce any invasive species to the area. Make it a point to teach yourself other fire safety practices as well, especially when it comes to starting and putting out your fires, in order to be a more responsible and mindful camper.
Leave no trace behind
One of the most important rules of eco-friendly camping is to always leave your campsite exactly the same, if not even better than you found it. Not only does this mean reducing your camping waste and always picking up the trash you do produce, but it also includes not disturbing nature, such as collecting rocks or picking flowers, as well as not introducing any invasive species into the environment. Keep in mind that you are always a guest in any campsite, sharing it both with other campers as well as the local flora and fauna, which is why your priority should always be not to disturb the environment.
Even though camping is an incredibly relaxing and enjoyable activity, it can also be quite damaging to the environment if not done properly and mindfully. So, keep these simple tips in mind in order to make your next camping trip a bit more eco-friendly and sustainable.