Camping is a great way to escape the confines of our concrete jungles and reenergize ourselves through nature. I, like many others, love to take the weekend off and head to the local grounds to fish in the creek or just hear the chirps of birds echoing off the tree foliage. However, I’ve often arrived at the designated camping areas and seen discarded granola bar wrappers, trampled ferns and bushes, and an overall lack of cleanliness. It is sad to see our lack of respect and gratitude to nature for lending us its resources. However, there are steps that we can take to remedy this issue. By reducing our waste and using more sustainable equipment, we can keep the beautiful campgrounds just as clean and green as when we arrived.
Store Food In Advance
The most common trash from camping is packaging and wrapping. Even if you are planning to take natural snacks like blueberries or grapes, try to avoid plastic packaging and take a reusable box or Tupperware instead. It’s environmentally helpful and takes little to no hassle to package things. Besides, it’s easier to keep track of where everything is stored since everything is now centralized instead of placed around in many separate little packages. And it’s healthy! When you package your food, you know exactly what ingredients you are putting into it. However, frozen or canned foods often contain chemicals and junk that you may be unaware of altogether. But, if you need to carry prepackaged boxes, just be conscious to properly discard them after you are done.
Use Reusable Water Bottles!
Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental problems this generation faces, and disposable water bottles are the leading issue. 80 percent of consumed plastic bottles end up in landfills, adding up to almost 2 million tons of additional waste in the US. Reusable water bottles are a surefire alternative to disposable ones, so please make sure to take one the next time you camp. They also help keep your campsite tidy, since you don’t have to be constantly discarding bottle after bottle.
Only Camp in Marked Areas
Camping off the beaten path sounds like a good idea, but it does come with unintended consequences. Designated areas protect both the natural environment and yourself. Plants can continue to thrive in spaces where humans have not trampled, and you can be safe from potentially angry disturbed animals and insects. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement, and the plants and natural environment will be grateful for the respect.
Choose Used or Worn Gear
New camping equipment is pretty expensive, as well as environmentally unsustainable for the most part. If you want to keep some money in your pocket, it is best to opt for lightly used gear instead. Rerouted is one of the best places to buy camping gear. Everything listed revolves around one aspect of nature or the other, so there is a comprehensive listings page for new items going up each day. So, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find some good diamond in the rough equipment! It doesn’t hurt to poke around and check what is available. Hiking boots, camping poles, water bottles – you can find all of them on Rerouted affordably!
Minimize Car Usage While Camping
If you drive to your campsite, don’t touch the car once you set up the tent. If you need to travel elsewhere to hike or explore, try to complete it by foot or by biking! Get an extra dose of nature while controlling your carbon emissions in the forest. It also captures the essence of being “one with nature” better too.
Leave No Trace
The golden rule of “treat others how you want to be treated” applies more than ever when it comes to camping. After everything is packed up, the campsite should look the same. Respect the space and the people who take care of it, and karma will make its way around. Pick up wrappers and make sure all your belongings are collected!
Ultimately, there are several easy and simple ways to camp sustainably. You might be doing so already! It doesn’t require a drastic change in routine, only a turn towards being extra conscious of the nature around you. And of course, you can begin to be more sustainable right now by just checking out the listings Rerouted has to offer. See if you could add gear to your next camping trip – go on, get going!