The place experience and learn about yourself has always been the wild. Be it the mountain or the seaside, each destination is an inspirational adventure and lesson. Few activities are as cleansing and recharging as experiencing nature. But to enjoy the fruits of the natural world, we must first take care of it. This is where the philosophy of sustainable camping comes into play.
What is Sustainable Camping?
Sustainable camping is synonymous with environment-friendly camping. The goal is to minimize your footprint and make the most out of your camping experience without altering the environment. Once you start this journey, you will begin to reap the benefits of your actions. Sustainable camping promotes environmental conservation, preserves the well-being of local wildlife, and reduces greenhouse gases and pollution. Apart from its ecological benefits, this type of camping is cheap, easy, and highly rewarding to your physical and mental health.
To see how you can jump-start your environment-friendly quest, let’s look at the top 5 tips for sustainable camping.
Choose Natural and Reusable
We can’t talk about sustainable camping without eliminating all single-use products. Getting rid of plastic cutlery, cups, or wet wipes is essential for keeping the area around your camp clean. Most of the littering in the wild consists of small single-use plastics or food packaging. It’s the small pollutants that accumulate and make the big problems.
On the same principle, conventional toxic products such as bug sprays and sunscreen cause significant damage to the environment. Even though they don’t leave a visible trace, the chemicals inside these products get absorbed by the soil and water, effectively harming the wildlife.
Choosing multi-use cutlery or switching to an all-natural mosquito repellent goes a long way as it’s precisely these small changes that have significant results.
Durable Camping Gear
One of the key elements of sustainable camping is using durable and natural gear. Minimizing your footprint goes beyond camping itself. Choosing a product that will last you for years will save the planet’s valuable energy and resources. A lot of low-grade synthetic gear is designed to have a short life span, so the cycle of consumerism continues. This ill-practiced strategy not only costs more in the long term but ultimately creates pollution and environmental problems as people get rid of their old gear.
Going the natural route with a long-term investment is the best way to enjoy nature while being eco-conscious and responsible. Nomad Heat’s sleeping bag is made of natural wool, linen, and mulberry silk. The wool batting inside provides unparallel temperature and moisture control while the mulberry silk coats the piece with an inner and outer lining of comfort and durability.
The wool is 100% natural and comes from local small Bulgarian sheep farmers. It contains no bleaches, fire retardants, or chemicals as the aim of the product is to let people enjoy the wild in the utmost natural way possible. Wool’s breathability and hypoallergenic properties provide a comfortable and healthy environment for your well-being. It diminishes odor by repelling bacteria, microbes, and mildew.
All the materials are completely reusable and biodegradable. This sleeping bag is the perfect gear for anyone interested in sustainable camping.
Proper Waste Management
Much like every other creature, we produce a significant amount of waste, especially during camping. However, as we are merely guests, we need to take extra care of our unnecessary byproducts. Relieving yourself should come with a little bit more strategic thinking than merely going into the bush and doing the job. Since we consume a lot of chemically contaminated food, our feces contain a lot of toxins, harmful bacteria, and trace chemicals. Organic human waste can pose harm to wildlife, and as such, it is important to dispose of it carefully. Digging a hole of at least 6 inches and then filling it after the deed will protect the wildlife from finding it.
Use the same strategy for disposing of dishwater. Gather the food scraps in a bag and pack them home where you will have an adequate place to get rid of them. Dig another or use the same toilet hole to take care of the dishwater or any other contaminated liquid. All organic or nonorganic garbage should be packed and thrown away at an appropriate trashcan. You always want to leave the campsite better than you found it while leaving minimal to no trace of your camping footprint.
Safe and Responsible Campfire
The first thing you should make before starting a fire is to check if there is a fire ban for your designated region. If there is one, chances are it’s there for a good reason – you don’t want to be on the news for starting a wildfire.
If you have a green light for a campfire, then try to be as careful as possible. Build a fire in an area that won’t damage or prevent wildlife from forming. Contrary to popular belief starting a fire over a rock is not a good idea since the heat will scar the rock and make it difficult for moss and lichen to grow. Try to find a nice bald patch of dirt or simply dig a big hole and make a fire pit. That way you not only limit the chance of causing a wildfire, but you enrich the deeper levels of the soil with nutrients.
One of the hardest parts of sustainable camping is resisting the temptation to feed and make contact with wildlife. A lot of our modern food is chemically contaminated and harmful to wild animals. Even if the source of nutrition is organic, chances are the food you may give is completely unnatural for the species’ diet and will damage their health.
Trying to approach or let alone pet an animal is a certain way to create a dangerous situation for both of you. Often the scent of humans on baby animals will cause the parents to abandon their child. While interacting with a fully grown animal is a high-risk activity that most of the time ends in distress or conflict.
In the rare occasions of more domesticated or curious species, we can be certain that the damage has already been done. Even though the animal may seem intriguing and friendly, we must realize that the creature has been made reliant on our artificial help and its natural ability to look after itself has been compromised. Appreciating wildlife from afar with as little contact as possible is the best thing we can do for them.