Leave No Trace: How To Have A More Eco-Friendly Camping Trip

Millions of people go camping every year and that’s wonderful because being outdoors is refreshing. Now imagine coming to your favorite camping spot ready to spend the day in nature only to find it covered with trash?

That’s not a nice image. And that’s exactly how other campers feel when they arrive at the spot and find the trash that you left behind such as plastic bottles, paper, etc. No one likes to arrive at a dirty campsite, we can all agree. But then again, many of us don’t take the time to clean it when the time comes to leave the campsite.

Just imagine, if everyone left such a mess after camping, we would run out of nice camping spots pretty soon. Not to mention what it does to the environment.

It’s 2019 and caring for the environment is no longer an option, it’s a must. Camping is a fun activity for us, but there’s no fun in destroying nature. If you are going camping soon, we have a few useful tips for you. In this article, we will show you how to have a more eco-friendly camping trip.

Start at Home

You might not be aware of that but your eco-friendly adventure starts way before you actually arrive at the camping site. It starts at the grocery store when you go shopping for food. If you take a moment to reflect, you will realize that this creates a huge amount of waste. Just think of all the excess packaging, all the plastic bottles, containers, etc.

Packing for my first camping trip

One way to reduce waste and be more mindful of the environment is to prepare your own food at home instead of bringing store-bought products. One example are protein bars which come with unnecessary wrappers and are not so healthy anyway. You can make your own bars at home and use your own containers to pack them. In fact, use your own containers to pack most of the food and you can get reusable bottles instead of plastic ones. This will help reduce the litter and will leave your campsite clean.

Use Biodegradable Packaging

Speaking of containers, you’re not doing anyone a favor by using plastic ones. There is a smart alternative to using plastics and it’s called hemp bioplastic – plastics made from the hemp fiber. Hemp plastic doesn’t take nearly as long to degrade as regular plastic so it’s definitely a better option for your eco-friendly trip.

On average, hemp plastic takes about 3-6 months to decompose. It is certainly more eco-friendly when compared to petroleum-based plastic which takes hundreds of years to degrade.

You should remember to bring reusable bags to pack all the trash when you’re done camping. You can even recycle some of the waste when you go home.

Organic Is Better

When buying food for your camping trip, it is recommended that you get organic food for more than one reason. Why? Well, first of all, because organic farming is better for the environment as it reduces pollution so by purchasing organic products, you are making your trip a little bit more eco-friendly.

buying food for your camping trip

Another reason why you should opt for organic food is that unlike with traditional farming, pesticides are not used in the process. No chemical fertilizers or weed killers of any kind are used in organic farming. This means organic products are better for your health.

Use Biodegradable Soap

Regular soap affects the environment, especially if you use it near a water source. Fortunately, there is a better alternative for this as well. You can bring biodegradable soap for washing your dishes. It’s a small act on your part that might have a big impact on pollution. But even then, make sure to do your dishes far from a water source.

Don’t Damage the Environment

While planning your camping trip, there is another thing you should keep in mind besides bringing biodegradable products. Under no circumstances should you damage vegetation and disturb the habitat.

What do we mean by this? First of all, you should not build anything at your campsite. Don’t cause damage to trees by cutting them or hanging your clothes on the branches. It is not uncommon for people to hammer nails into trees in order to hang their clothes to dry. This is not very eco-friendly as it damages the branches.

If you really want to have a campfire, do not cut and burn wood. Instead, search the campsite to find dead wood and use the existing fire rings. Finally, make sure to put the fire out before you leave the campsite. Forgetting to do so could cause the fire to spread and cause unthinkable damage to the environment.

Refrain From Bug Spray

As hard it is, refrain from using bug sprays to repel insects. These things are extremely toxic and not only harmful for the animals but for water as well. Not to mention that it’s toxic for your own health too. The same goes for sunscreen. We don’t often think about little things like these but it’s precisely these little things that we should pay attention to as they have a huge impact.

Leave Nothing Behind

Your adventure is over and now it’s time to go home. Despite using biodegradable products and preparing your own food, there is still some waste likely to be left. When your camping trip comes to an end, make sure to use the biodegradable bags we mentioned earlier and pack all the trash you can find. Don’t even think about burning your trash because that pollutes the air. You can dispose of the trash properly when you arrive home.

This might be the most boring part of your adventure but it’s a necessary one. Include your friends or kids and pick up the trash together. Nature, as well as future campers, will be thankful. Remember that your goal is to leave no trace so make sure that you leave the campsite exactly as you found it.