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Tips for Planning an Eco-Friendly Camping Trip
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Tips for Planning an Eco-Friendly Camping Trip

Aug 13th, 2015

A summer camping trip is a great way to catch up with friends or spend quality time with family, creating new memories with the people you care about most. It’s also a great mechanism for unplugging from the digital world and reconnecting with nature.

To make your weekend in the great outdoors as eco-friendly as it is memorable, follow these green camping tips.

Camp with Used Gear

If you’re an avid outdoor adventurer who spends as many nights sleeping in a tent as you possibly can, it makes sense to invest in your own camping gear. When shopping for a tent, sleeping bag, lantern, camping stove, etc., don’t rule out used equipment. You may be able to save money and end up with higher quality gear than you would if you purchased everything new.

If you don’t camp often but have friends that do, ask to borrow equipment. You can also look into renting gear. This keeps the material impact of your trip to a minimum, prevents you from having to create storage space in your apartment for stuff you don’t use often, and saves you money.

Bring Reusable Dishes

You’re not going to want to bring your finest china and pewter silverware on a camping trip, but that doesn’t mean you have to go out and purchase a disposable dining set. If you have durable plates, bowls, and cups that don’t mean everything to you, bring them for your meals. For silverware, the same rules apply. Many campsites have washing stations where you can clean dishes between meals, so you should only have to bring enough cookware and cutlery for everyone in your party to eat together. If you need meal ideas or a kitchen checklist, Love the Outdoors is a great resource.

Build Safe and Responsible Campfires

With fire danger high in some parts of the country and air-quality related restrictions on recreational fires in place in others, you should always make sure you’re campfires are allowed before you build one. If you do burn a campfire, use an established fire ring; fast-growing, seasoned firewood; and as little charcoal and lighter fluid as possible.

Use an Eco-Friendly Waste Management Kit

Choose a full-service campground and you shouldn’t have to worry about much except for bringing your own toilet paper (campgrounds are notorious for running out!). Opt to have a more rustic camping experience, however, and you’ll need to be prepared when nature calls. Eco-friendly waste management kits include mini-shovels, biodegradable toilet paper, and straightforward instructions for use. They are small, hygienic, make you feel good about not leaving a trace, and are fun to laugh about with fellow first-time users.

Bring Earth-Friendly Toiletries

On the note of environmentally conscious bathroom practices, pack only eco-friendly toiletries. Biodegradable soaps, shampoos, and all-natural creams and lotions are much better for the rudimentary plumbing infrastructure found at most camping sites, not to mention the ground soil and surrounding environment.

Now that you know what an eco-friendly camping trip entails, are you up to the challenge? Make a point of planning a trip with the lowest-possible environmental impact. Choose an appealing campsite that is relatively close to your apartment, and bring as few disposable materials as possible.

If at any time you feel like being eco-friendly is too burdensome, just take a look at the wildlife around you and remember what’s sustaining you and your lifestyle. A green camping trip is a great way to show your respect to Mother Nature.

Are you an avid camper? Add green camping hacks of your own in the comments.

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