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Many of us do our best to make eco-friendly decisions in our everyday lives. But… Is it possible to keep up these good habits while away camping?
Yes, it's completely possible to be a happy, eco-friendly camper. Although camping can be challenging at the best of times, it’s such a good way to get out of your comfort zone and reconnect with nature.
When we’re on the road and away from home, despite our best intentions, we tend to seek out the quickest and easiest option if caught out and unprepared. This often results in needless waste and a trail of hasty decisions.
I recently went on a three-day camping trip with my partner. He and I are fairly inexperienced campers, but we tried our best to prepare accordingly to minimise our plastic wastage.
Here are our five top tips for all the earth-conscious campers out there.
1) Reusables are your best friend!
We can’t stress this enough: bring your own reusables! Here at F&F, we stock a huge range of reusable items that will come in handy while camping. With a little forethought and preparation, you can greatly minimise your single-use plastic waste. Personally, I’m not sure what I would’ve done without these items:
Water bottle – Taking your own reusable water bottle is a must - all camping grounds will have water taps so you can fill up, and you could even freeze a few and throw them in the esky to keep them extra cool (and act as extra ice blocks). We love this SoL Reusable Glass Bottle which comes with a handy hemp storage pouch and a cleaning brush. If you’re looking for an insulated option, the Cheeki Insulated Water Bottle keeps your drink hot for 24 hours and cold for 36 hours. Perfect for camping!
Cutlery – It probably isn’t one of the first things you remember to pack when camping, but it’s definitely one of the handiest things you can bring along. You never know when you’re going to need a spoon, knife or fork. The Green + Kind Natural Wood Cutlery Luxe Set is perfect for a trip, as it comes in a handy organic cotton pouch and can be popped easily into your backpack. Another great option is the Green + Kind Eco Box, complete with coconut bowls, cutlery, straws and a produce bag set; it's perfect for camping! This EcoSouLife Bamboo Camper Set is heat-resistant so great if you intend on gathering around the campfire.
Reusable Coffee Cup – A necessity, for so many reasons. If you’re at a regular camping site with access to hot water, your reusable coffee cup will be the first thing you’ll reach for in the morning. For something lightweight and easy enough to carry around all day, look no further than a trusty KeepCup. It's also super easy to clean. For a more hard-wearing option, this Reusable Coffee Cup by rCup is leak-proof and made from old recycled coffee cups.
2) Keep it simple with multipurpose toiletries
Nobody wants to be packing a million different tubes and bottles on their camping trip, so pack light and keep things simple by choosing multi-purpose products.
Dr Bronner’s Liquid Soap is the multi-tasking king. With over 18 different uses, it’s the perfect camping companion. It can be used as a quick fix for face wash, body wash, laundry liquid, all-purpose cleaning – even as a toothpaste! I found it super handy for cleaning dishes and clothes.
Face/body/shampoo – Another great multipurpose product is the Green + Kind Facial Cleansing Bar. It’s deeply nourishing for the face and can be used all over the body. Plus, it’s 100% vegan and has compostable packaging. Shampoo bars are a great zero waste option and are super moisturising, plus you can get a lot more washes from a small bar than a standard shampoo bottle! Or why not skip the soap altogether and opt for a dry shampoo - this Black Chicken Remedies Dry Shampoo is an absolute life-saver.
Simple As That Sunscreen – a natural vegan sunscreen for face and body. Perfect to store in your camping bag and use throughout the day.
3) Food prep is key!
Food prepping is essential for camping and road trips to avoid buying store-bought food packaged in unnecessary single-use plastic. You don’t have to organise anything fancy; just make sure it’s able to be prepared quickly and without too much fuss.
Prep a few jars of overnight oats to have for breakfast or as a quick snack – super easy to grab and eat on the go.
Soups, curries and stews can be pre-cooked and stored in the BBBYO Foodie Lunch Container to reheat on your camp stove. It keeps food hot for 12 hours, or cold for 24 hours!
I made the mistake of packing way too many clothes for a few days away camping. Instead, check the local weather forecast and pack accordingly; it rained the whole time we were away and I didn’t even bring a raincoat!
Pack comfy, multi-purpose items. Tops and bottoms that can be worn when out exploring, around the campsite, or even to bed will be super handy.
Invest in some good quality shoes for wherever the trip takes you.
A lightweight bag like this Onya Backpack is the perfect companion for a camping adventure; plus each bag is made from 10 recycled plastic drink bottles - keeping more plastic out of landfill!
A great pouch for toiletries and makeup is our Urban Originals Starlet Pouch - it's lightweight, durable and hand washable, so makes a great travel companion.
If it’s that time of the month, the ModiBodi Vegan Bikini will give you extra protection, so you can say goodbye to disposable sanitary products.
5) Borrow or rent gear + clean up your campsite!
Before buying a new piece of gear, consider borrowing from a friend, renting or repairing the gear you may already have! If you’re new to camping, buying a new tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, gas stove or esky can be costly to your wallet and the environment. Ask around or invest in some good quality gear so you dont end up with a tent that is a one time use.
It’s also important to dispose of your waste correctly when camping. Everything you take with you needs to leave with you! Do the right thing.