15 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Camping Trip

As you trek, hike and explore this fall, be sure your outdoor adventure is as green as it can be. Set your compass in the direction of eco-friendly using green camping tips.

Whether it’s your first time to load a pack or you’re a backcountry junkie, use these eco-friendly camping tips to ensure you’re keeping the planet sparkly clean.

Gear up for eco-friendly camping

  1. Let someone else break in the gear. Buy second-hand gear or borrow from a friend to limit your impact on manufacturing and transportation needs. Second-hand gear really is the ultimate eco-friendly camping gear.
  2. Stay close to home. When planning where to set up basecamp, try traveling short distances to  minimize the impact of car emissions (Find a National Park near you). Remember to pile up in one car if you’ve got a crew going with you.
  3. Use sustainable power. Solar lighting and rechargeable batteries make the cut here. In fact, Goal Zero’s Crush Light is lightweight, collapsible and has a built-in solar panel.
  4. Buy in bulk. Remember that crew going with you? Split up who buys what so you don’t duplicate efforts and create unnecessary waste. And speaking of waste, shrink the amount of packaging waste by buying in bulk for food and water (no single-serve water bottles here!).
  5. Say no to disposable. Yes, plastic cutlery and paper plates would be so much more convenient, but you wouldn’t be making Mother Nature very proud. Reusable dishes and cutlery eliminate waste.
  6. Safely stay nice and clean. Depending on the length of your trip, you’ll probably have to bathe or shower in the great outdoors. Use toiletries and hygiene products that are biodegradable so you won’t harm any part of nature.
  7. Protect your skin the non-toxic way. When it comes to sunscreen and bug spray, be mindful about what you put on your skin before swimming in lakes and streams. You might try making your own homemade insect repellent.

Pull off green camping at basecamp

  1. Think minimal impact. Keep your campsite small and contained to not disturb much of the land.
  2. Use the trail. Walk single file, staying on the trail, to avoid harming vegetation and to curb erosion.
  3. Store it safely. Ensure food-storage containers are BPA-free.
  4. Fire safety. There’s no compromising on this one. Do your part and be vigilant.
  5. Conserve water. When washing gear or bathing, use as little water as possible. Make it a game between campers of who can clean up using the least amount of water.
  6. Have trash in tow. It’s a given that you’ll pack out your own trash, but consider setting up a buddy system for cleaning up anything left behind by others who came before you (mesh or breathable bags are smart picks). One camper can handle trash, while two others can knock out recyclables and anything that can be composted. It’s a great way to thank the planet for your outdoor excursion.
  7. Souvenirs are a no no. Opt for photos or mental snapshots to remember your special finds.
  8. Leave it as you found it. There’s not much more to add to this other than the word “better.” Leave it a little better than you found it and practice the art of “no trace camping”.

With these eco-friendly camping tips, you’ll really move the needle on your green-camping meter. You can also be mega-ready for tip #14 by reading the blog Simple Tips for Snapping Perfect Outdoor Pics.

If pitching a tent isn’t your thing, but you still want to enjoy the outdoors, the blog Give the Gift of Adventure has ideas and inspiration for getting up and getting out.

No matter how you enjoy our planet, be sure to show your appreciation for all it has to offer by using clean energy. Find 100% pollution-free electricity plans that feature wind and solar power.