Sustainable Camping Tips
The Increasing Popularity of Camping
The past two pandemic years have seen a dramatic increase in camping. More people than ever are seeking solace and respite in the great outdoors. It is exciting to see many first time campers hitting the road, but there are also environmental impacts to be concerned about. We want to make sure the great outdoors is still great for our kids and grandkids. Consequently, it’s important to follow sustainable camping practices that take care of our natural resources.
Leave no trace – Leave it better
You have probably heard of the principle of leave no trace behind. However, we would like to encourage you to leave it better than you found it. Did someone else leave trash or goods behind? Clean them up!
Leaving no trace means that you are careful to bring out everything that you bring in. In addition, it means not moving any natural items and not introducing invasive species to a new location.
Choose your location wisely
It may be tempting to go off to explore on your own, but there are established campsites for a reason. If you choose to go off the beaten path, you can actually cause a lot of harm to nature. Campgrounds have been chosen both for the safety of the environment and the safety of campers – stick to designated areas!
In addition, by choosing a camping location closer to home you can decrease your carbon emissions. We’re fortunate to live in such a beautiful corner of the country. There is a lot to explore in our backyard!
Waste not, Want not
It should always be your goal when camping to have as little waste as possible. Things like plastic water bottles and prepackaged snacks can be convenient, but also cause a lot of waste. Plan your meals ahead of time and only take what’s necessary. Try to use reusable containers and bags that can be used again rather than dumped. Instead of regular batteries, invest in rechargeable ones that don’t get discarded. Even better, look to use solar powered lanterns and chargers that harness the power of the sun.
Rent or Borrow your Gear
Are you a newbie to camping? Or someone who only takes a trip (or less) per year? Rather than spending a bunch of money (and taking up precious garage space) on lots of gear, consider renting or buying your camping equipment. With the recent boom in the camping industry, there are lots of great rental options out there.
Use Biodegradable Products
It’s been shown recently that sunscreens are causing damage in oceans, lakes and streams. You can do your part to prevent damage by using biodegradable sunscreen, soaps, toothpaste and bug repellent. Biodegradable products help ensure that you truly will leave no trace behind.
Use Caution with Fires
This tip should go without saying in the West, but it is one of the most important when it comes to sustaining our natural resources. Burn bans and warnings should not be taken lightly. If burning is allowed, be certain to only do so in approved and well designed locations. Choose firewood from the location where you’re camping (within 50 miles) to ensure no invasive species exist on the wood. Always put your fire out at least 45 minutes before going to bed or leaving so you can be certain it is properly extinguished. When putting out the fire, dump water, stir the ashes, wait, then repeat the process.
Following these sustainable camping tips will help ensure that we keep our natural lands as a haven and treasure to explore for many generations to come.