Hey there campers and welcome to my post where we will check out my 6 tips for eco friendly camping this year. As we know, camping is a fantastic pastime for families, friends or even just a solo trip out to get away from it all. For many of us however, there is a strong need to try to undertake some ‘Leave No Trace’ camping and keep the wilderness as we found it once we leave and come home.
So for those of you looking for some extra tips to keep your camping trips as environmentally friendly as you can, let’s check out 6 tips I have come up with below.
1. Take reusable items
The use of reusable items is probably the most common change that many make when looking to implement a more eco-friendly lifestyle in both the home and at the campsite. This means packing everything you are taking with you in containers that you can use over and over rather than a once off disposable bag that is used once and discarded.
This can include:
- Packing food in plastic containers before you leave rather than using cling wrap or foil.
- Using proper water bottles from a large container rather than purchasing water in non-reusable bottles.
- Packing proper utensils, kitchen and dinnerware rather than plastic disposable options – there are some good wooden, foldable or collapsible options available here too.
If you are looking to cover foodstuffs then also look for such options as beeswax wraps as well. Basically, try and use things that you will bring home and wash to use again rather than throw into your campsite bin.
2. Use biodegradable products
I guess the one thing to keep in mind here is that with our reusable options above there is a greater need to washing up and cleaning whilst you are out and about in the wilderness. As a means of maintaining environmentally friendly behaviors here then another trick is to ensure that you are using biodegradable options where you can.
Biodegradable soaps and detergents are manufactured free of harmful chemicals and phosphates and designed to break down naturally back into the environment. These are usually made of water, oils and natural odours (plant extracts, essential oils etc.) and can be used for:
- Personal care
- Washing up/camp kitchen use
- Cleaning of camp gear and vehicles
Bar soaps also tend to be more effective that liquid options when it comes to release into the environment as well.
And further to our first tip above, if you do wish to use disposable plates etc. when camping for whatever reason, ensure they are biodegradable.
3. Stick to solar
This is another option that is gaining traction in both the home and camping environment here solar power is used rather than tapping into the electrical grid. And whilst it is true that most campsites do provide power outlets for campers to hook up their appliances and lights with, solar panels are still a better way to manage this when it comes to eco friendly behaviors.
Now, this will obviously cost you a bit more to get set up (rather than a simple extension cord and power board) however once you have it all, you will be able to run everything you need without the need for outside power. And of course, if you really wanted to go hard here, leave most of your appliances at home as well.
4. Stay on the ‘beaten track’
It is a common saying amongst campers in that we like to get “off the beaten track” whenever we can. However let’s differentiate that with our behaviours once we get there. In this case we want to look after our surroundings by making sure we use roads and walking tracks that are already there.
Whenever you go for a hike, wander or even a bit of four wheeled driving, the more you stay on paths where others have been, the less damage you are going to do to other areas of the bush, sand dunes or general forest areas. So unless it is an absolute necessity, or for safety’s sake, if it is not a path, don’t walk or drive on it.
5. Leave it alone
And whilst we are talking about movement around the great outdoors, the next tip here is that whilst we are keeping ourselves on pre-made tracks, we can take the next step of not removing anything that we don’t need to as well. In many wilderness areas, fragile eco-systems are established using all parts of the forest and trees including fallen branches etc.
If you want a campfire, by all means light one if it is allowable where you are, however bring your wood from home before you come rather than foraging in the bush for it. This way you are using sustainably sourced wood for your fire as well as leaving your camping area as you found it.
Also keep this in mind as you look at coastal rock formations etc. as well and try to keep the removal of stones, shells and other naturally occurring items too.
6. Take everything with you
And finally, this is another common piece of advice but sadly one that is commonly ignored by many campers. But basically, if you bought it into the campsite, then take it out with you as well. And whilst most of us will get all of the bigger stuff such as rubbish and our gear, it is those smaller items that we often leave behind.
So before you leave, run yourself a good old fashioned rubbish parade (we knew them as ‘Emu parades’ here down under) where you all line up and walk side by side along your campsite to pick up all those small items that fall away such as:
- Bottle tops
- Bread clips
- Wrapper edges
- Small toys
- etc. etc.
This way you can be rest assured that you are removing absolutely everything from the campsite as needed.
And there they are, my 6 tips for eco friendly camping. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences here.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time.