Every time we camp outdoors, we’re inevitably destroying a bit of nature; we chop up firewood, pollute the air with our cars and RVs, and most campers leave litter behind. Fortunately, the woke movement has raised awareness in terms of eco-friendly camping, emphasizing the importance of leaving the beautiful outdoors intact after the day is through.
However, it may take a while to weed out all the environmentally unfriendly camping habits and traditions from your list, so we’re here to offer a couple of camping hacks suggestions.
BYOB – Bring your own bikes
The acronym ‘BYOB’ used to stand for ‘bring your own bottle’, and it’s time to redefine it. Carbon monoxide pollution is a huge problem in a society that can’t even begin to imagine living without a car, so one of the first steps you can take to make your camping ‘greener’ is to come with bicycles instead.
To be perfectly frank, a couple of cars will not destroy the environment, but that’s precisely the sentiment that most people have. If all campers travel via car, we’re facing hundreds of thousands of vehicles emitting fumes that are ravaging the ozone layer.
Now, cars are certainly convenient for camping, and you’ll have to sacrifice a good portion of comfort and a handful of options should you decide to opt for this camping approach. You will be able to traverse smaller distances, you will probably be more fatigued, and you will invariably be able to haul lighter gear.
However, there are other benefits to be reaped in turn. Biking builds up stamina, it’s fundamentally a healthier activity than driving, and bikes can be used to traverse pretty much any terrain, especially the surroundings of the camping site.
In a nutshell, you’ll be swatting two birds with one stone, working on improving your health and physique while also tending to nature as you camp.
Use organic body products
Most people aren’t aware of the fact that a wide variety of aerosol solutions, sunscreens, and lotions feature permethrin. Essentially, it’s a combination of synthetic chemicals, which are harmless to humans and deadly to insects and water-dwelling wildlife.
It’s typically contained in sprays, dust, liquids, and powders in relatively small doses, to the point that these products can still pass as ‘all-natural.’
Theoretically speaking, applying a coat of sunscreen that contains a small percentage of permethrin won’t harm any insects unless they come into physical contact with you, and it will probably disperse when you enter any sweet water river or a lake.
However, if a couple of people use the same sunscreen, a perfume that features permethrin, and a face powder, they’ll invariably (and unwillingly) hurt certain animals, insects, and fish.
Furthermore, most animals and insects won’t be deterred from nibbling on an aerosol can, or a sunscreen tube should you forget it on the campsite.
If you decide to start using organic body products, such as natural toothpaste, powders, and creams, you will keep the wildlife safer.
The list of natural-ingredient products at your disposal is enormous, including vegetable-based Castile soap, citric acid as a food preserver, aloe vera as an antibacterial gel, witch hazel as a facial toner, organic tea as a breakfast/dinner beverage, raw honey, vegetable glycerin as a hair detangler, beeswax, and many others.
Use solar lights to keep your campsite well-lit
If you’ve decided to follow our BYOB advice and come with a set of bicycles, you’re probably thinking of things to do around the campfire, as it will be the only visible spot after dusk. Even if all campers used their cellphone lights, they’re far from convenient, plus the phones will become scorching hot in a couple of minutes.
Using a pack of solar lights is one of the most eco-friendly ways to make the site well-lit without having to use any sort of batteries or electricity. As their name implies, solar lights draw their power from the sun, so the only thing you should think about is where to position them.
Given that it’s fairly common for campers to settle in a wood thicket where barely any sunlight can manage to push through the foliage and leaves, you may need to hike a bit until you find the right ‘charging station’ for your solar lamps.
One of the best things about solar lamps is that they can act as portable solar-powered flashlights. This means that you won’t be fixed to one location when you set them up, allowing you to take late-night strolls through the woods easily and comfortably.
Prepare waste-disposal stations
The common excuse for littering the campgrounds is not having enough bags to sort the trash. Additionally, certain camper groups aren’t too keen on the idea of sitting next to a bag that reeks of alcohol.
Heavy-duty trash bags are an excellent eco-friendly solution while having an actual portable bin is even better. Given that you won’t have the benefit of abundant trunk space since you’re biking, you should consider packing even lighter.
Bringing more trash bags rather than a few huge ones is recommended. This way, you can balance the weight more easily on your bike. Consider bringing a small shovel so that you can dig tiny holes for toilet paper disposal.
The best camping hack of all time is discovering the many benefits of hiking. While playing guitar around a campfire while drinking shots certainly sounds interesting, nothing beats walking down some of nature’s beautiful trails and enjoying the view.
It’s an excellent way to relax, bond with nature as well as with your friends, and reflect. Physique-wise, hiking promotes stronger leg muscles, improved stamina, and higher lung capacity.
Since you will be in nature, you shouldn’t worry about leaving your belongings at the campsite as most animals won’t steal from you.
What’s more, hiking provides an excellent opportunity to find even better future camping spots. Sometimes people wonder whether the shade’s better just down the hill of where the camp was set, so why not explore your surroundings to your heart’s content?
We hope that this guide was useful to you, that you’ve learned something new today about outdoor camping hacks, and most of all – that you are inspired to hit the great outdoors. But on top of all, make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through, and have a good one, guys!