Last year Love Summer in Cornwall published an article written by our very own Lyssa, it is all about her Top 10 Eco Camping Tips.
As outdoor enthusiasts we all know the old adage “Take only pictures, leave only footprints” which is an important thing to remember whilst out on adventures, but what about where we pitch up for the night? How can we make our camping experience greener?
Here are a few little tips I hope will help
1. Sourcing gear: There are a few different ways to be green when procuring your camping gear. One is to buy second hand. You can find lots of great preloved kit on eBay, ukcampsite.co.uk and even for free on Freecycle. However you need to be sensible about it, for example it might not be the best idea to buy second hand climbing ropes. You can also borrow kit off your friends. I have lost track of the amount of people who have gone on to festivals in my tent. - If canvas could talk! Good quality kit lasts, so why not share the love and share your gear.
2. Choosing Gear: When buying your gear make sure to go for good quality. The cheaper options are often a false economy that may only last one season. If you get quality kit it will hopefully last as long as your love for camping
3. Power :You may be one of those people who can’t go far without their smart phone or tablet- which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It can help you out if you are lost, help you find a good place to eat and even send photos to your work colleagues that will inevitably make them jealous. Why don’t you invest in a solar charger so you can power these devises in a green way. There are lots of different kinds of chargers out there; including ones where the solar panel attaches to your back pack, charging your phone while you are out walking. Do a bit of research and find the right one for you
4. Lights: LED lanterns and torches are a good idea to use as they will make your batteries last longer. But why not go one better and get solar torches or wind up lanterns. A bit of sun and elbow grease and you will be lighting up your campsite. Winding up the lights is also a fun activity for the little ones and it makes them feel like they are helping.
5. Crockery and Cutlery: Use reusable dishes. This doesn't mean you have to take your finest china from home; you can buy beautiful camping sets. Most supermarkets sell them now including the essential brightly coloured wine glasses! Or you can pop down to your local camping shop and see what they have. This is much better than using paper plates and throwing them away after.
6. Toiletries and soaps: Buy eco-friendly, biodegradable toiletries. You may be tempted to take what you use at home, or even buy those smaller travel size ones but often these are filled with harsh chemicals that are not good for the environment. The same goes for washing up liquid and washing detergent.
7. Rubbish and Recyclables: Dispose of your rubbish correctly. If you are out and about keep it with you until you find a bin. Most campsites now have recycling facilities but if you can’t find a recycling point, take your recyclables with you on your next trip to the supermarket. The old adage says “Leave no trace” why not take that further and try to leave your campsite in a better condition than when you arrived, pick up any stray litter that may be around and dispose of it properly.
8. Washing: Most campsites have shower facilities, but this doesn't help you if you are out wild camping. Try a solar shower, they are surprisingly effective. You just fill the black back with water, leave it in the sun for the day and you will have nice hot water for a quick wash. Bliss.
9. Food: Whilst it is great to take some of the essentials with you from home, why not try to shop local while you are away. Not only will you be supporting local farmers and traders, it is likely the produce you will buy will have a smaller carbon footprint. A lot of campsites sell local foods on site, but if not it is great reason to stroll into the village and maybe even sample a pint of local ale.
10. Fire: It is important to have a safe fire, whether or not this is for heating or cooking. As you know wood is a source of sustainable renewable energy, your gas stoves and heaters are not. However a lot of campsites don’t allow open fires any more as it damages the ground. Try a portable wood burner, like our Frontier Stove. These are more fuel efficient than open fires, a great source of heat, an efficient means of cooking and safer than the alternative.
If you have any other top tips you would like to share with us please get in touch, we would love to hear them!
Enjoy the adventure!