Hand Holds Tree Branch

8 SIMPLE WAYS TO BE AN ECO-FRIENDLY CAMPER

Camping is a luxury that’s afforded to us by nature. It’s important for campers to recognise the multitude of ways they can benefit from the great outdoors and as such, they should do their part in minimising their impact on the environment. Here are eight simple ways on how you can become an eco-friendly camper.

USE ECO-FRIENDLY CAMPING GEAR

As more campers are becoming environmentally conscious, more companies have also shifted to greener practices by creating eco-friendly camping gear. There are a lot of tents and sleeping bags that are made from non-toxic and recycled materials. Likewise, there are a lot of clothing options that use recycled fibres like polyester. Campers can also limit their use of plastic cutlery and bottles. Instead, you can opt for utensils that are made from aluminium alloy or wood.

STAY IN DESIGNATED AREAS

Nature lovers will undoubtedly love to discover a spot that has yet to be touched by man. Camping is all about being far from civilisation and other people, after all. However, eco-friendly campers should resist this temptation and stay in designated campsites. You should also stick to established paths when hiking. Not only do you prevent disrupting the area, but you’re also protecting yourself by sticking to areas that have been approved by authorities.

CAMPFIRE SAFETY

As much as possible, avoid setting up a campfire to lessen the risk of starting accidental fires. Using a portable stove for your cooking needs will be much easier and faster, anyway.

However, if you really have to set up a campfire, make sure that there are no fire restrictions set in place. Pick an area that has an existing fire pit ring and keep your campfire small. The area must be clear of debris and that it’s some distance away from your tent and other camping equipment. Only use dead wood on the ground. Do not break branches off of live trees as you will damage them and will disrupt the homes of the wildlife.

DO NOT CONTAMINATE WATER SOURCES

To prevent water pollution, don’t brush your teeth, wash your dishes and bathe in lakes or streams. The chemicals in soaps and detergents will significantly impact water quality. Even eco-friendly products have the capability of interfering with the water. Additionally, don’t contaminate the water sources with human waste. They should be disposed far away from the water and covered deep in a hole on the ground.

RESPECT THE WILDLIFE

In the great outdoors, you’re technically visitors in the animals’ natural habitat. Do your best to respect the wildlife and their surroundings. Don’t interfere with them and observe only from a safe distance. Also, don’t feed them human food as it will interfere with their foraging behaviours. If they become reliant on human food, they’ll try to steal food from campsites. It may also cause some health concerns for the animals.

CONSIDER OTHER VISITORS

Apart from you and your companions, there are also a lot of other campers at any given time. Be considerate by minimising the noise you create and respect a campground’s rules and regulations. Be courteous when interacting with others.

LEAVE NO TRACE

‘Leave No Trace’ is an established program that aids in protecting the environment. Eco-friendly campers should always remember this principle before leaving their campsite. Inspect your surroundings, double check if you have all your gear and make sure that all your trash has been kept or disposed of properly. Don’t leave leftover scraps for wild animals to feed on.

DO NOT TAKE SOUVENIRS

Another way to preserve the environment is to make sure that you don’t take souvenirs from your camping trip. Stones, shells, artefacts and wood should be left in their natural condition. Don’t make alterations as it will affect how future visitors will experience the great outdoors.

As an eco-friendly camper, you should always consider how you can protect and preserve the environment. By having a conscious mindset, even the little things you do can be of great benefit not only to your surroundings but other people as well. By following these practices, we can ensure that future generations will still enjoy the majestic views and landscapes that are present today.


 

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Madeleine Park
madel@dinga.com.au

Madeleine is a real green thumb and spends most of her time outdoors in her garden if she is not outdoors somewhere else.