Camping is a wonderful way to spend your vacation and connect with nature. On the surface, simply the act of heading outdoors seems like it would be good for the environment. However, all too often I see people simply treat camping as an outdoor party and it is anything but an ecologically sound alternative to heading to a fancy resort. When done properly though, this family-friendly style of vacation can easily be a great way to spend time exploring a new area and connecting with nature as well as your companions in meaningful ways.
Being on an adventure in the outdoors is exhilarating. But the outdoors also need preservation and it's important to be a responsible adventurer. Sustainable camping and being green is more than just being cheap or simple. It’s not just the destination or the gear you use but the way you engage with the space around you that matters just as much. Simply put, sustainable camping is about being a responsible camper and ensuring that the experience you enjoy today is here for your children and their friends decades from now too!
Leave No Trace
Leave no trace is one of the key principles for responsible campers. Do not leave behind any trash from your camping, hiking, or backpacking adventures.
When someone thinks of “leave no trace”, the image that comes to mind is trash left behind by campers. That part is true. However, you’d be surprised how often campers leave behind gear and other assorted items. Ropes and similar gear are often left behind. A responsible adventurer should make it a point to follow the leave no trace policy.
Get Good Camping Gear But That Doesn't Always Mean New
While camping by itself is inexpensive, getting good gears can cost quite a bit. Being smart about where you get your gears can save you a ton of money but it is also better for the environment. It’s a good idea to use an outdoor gear marketplace to buy used outdoor gears. Conversely, you could also sell gear you no longer need.
Good campers maintain their gear well. Using a respectable marketplace is a great way to get useful gear at very low prices. The sustainable camper also considers thrift stores, where you can sometimes run into a great deal. It’s worthwhile to borrow gear from friends, but don’t be a burden!
A lot of new gear is churned out every day by factories. Sure you could buy everything you need, but mindless consumerism doesn’t help any of us. It sure doesn’t help the outdoors. Using a marketplace for enthusiasts makes a difference.
It is important to understand that being frugal isn’t the same as being cheap and ultimately it's all about conservation of resources. The idea is to get good gear at a great price, not to skimp on gear. The essentials for your camping trip must be of high-quality and in good order.
Plan Ahead For Your Trip
Most national parks and popular campgrounds encourage their patrons to plan ahead for their trip. Make reservations well in advance, prepare for the weather, and perhaps avoid the rush hours. Campers looking to maximize sustainability realize that visiting during the low-tourist season brings some cost benefits but it is also better for the environment too. That isn't to say that you can't enjoy a prime spot for camping in a peak season. However, it may require some extra planning and other compromises.
You could get a great campsite for a relatively lower cost. And really, the best way to enjoy the great outdoors is without crowds all around you. Besides, most of these are ecologically sensitive areas. A high footfall creates pressure on the local environment and resources. It is more productive to visit these sites when your impact on the local environment is likely to be the lowest. Learn more camping tips & Camping Gear buying guide at Deep Blue Mountain
Managing Your Food And Cooking
The food and utensils you carry should depend on the type of camping you have planned. If you’re going car camping, there isn’t much need to invest a ton in specialty utensils. You can carry what you need from home.
Of course, you don’t have to carry your prized non-stick cookware to the heat of the campfire. There’s a good chance you have an old pan that hasn’t seen use in some time. It sure would love some action on the campfire. Again, choose pragmatism over mindless consumerism.
Where possible, remove food from its packaging and place it in containers. Sturdy and airtight bear canisters are practically a necessity for many locations. Carry canisters/containers even if your chosen campground doesn’t have any issues with animals.
The canisters/boxes are good if you’re car camping. If you’re backpacking or hiking, consider Ziploc bags to lower the weight and volume of packaging. As you empty the food packets, they can also serve as containers to take along any trash or waste you may need to carry away.