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Safe and happy camping

This post originally appeared on the JustGreen Community website.

Camping can be one of the most eco-friendly hobbies or vacation activities, bringing man and wilderness together and exposing campers to the sheer beauty and power of nature.

Camping is also a great way to teach your children about the environment, the significance of carbon neutrality, and the importance of protecting our planet from carbon emissions, pollution and climate change

Before organizing your tents and sleeping bags, take a look at some of our top tips for camping the eco-friendly way:

Eco-Friendly Camping/Hiking:

  • Leave your campsite exactly how you found it – take all trash, biodegradable materials, etc. with you when you leave.
  • Consider investing in a portable, eco-friendly, electric camping stove/heater instead of relying on campfire, which can release harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
  • Bring along re-usable plates, cups, silverware, etc.
  • Dump wastewater from cooking/washing clothes directly onto dry land, far from any river or stream.
  • To reduce carbon emissions from a long trip in the car or camper, consider choosing a nearby camping location.
  • Stay on the marked trails – not only is this a safety measure, it will cut down on erosion/destruction of the natural environment.
  • Look into/research and purchase organic or eco-friendly camping gear, tents, clothing, etc. There are a number of brands on the market that specialize in such equipment.

Camping Safety:

  • Pay attention to all signs, warnings, park regulations and ranger instructions. The rules are there for a reason!
  • Get vaccinated before your camping trip – ask your doctor if you and your family are up to date on all recommended vaccines, especially if you are travelling to locations outside the United States that might have health issues.
  • Prepare healthy and safe food with these helpful tips.
  • If you will be building a campfire, practice appropriate fire safety. Consider purchasing flame-free, portable or electric heaters/stoves in order to offset carbon emissions, as well.
  • Never use fuel-burning equipment, grills, heaters, lanterns, etc. inside a tent or camper.
  • Use insect repellent to protect against bug bites that may cause disease. These forms of natural insect repellent are a great way to offset your carbon footprint, as well!
  • Bring appropriate bedding/clothing for the temperatures.
  • Save your skin, and help reduce carbon emissions and the effects of climate change by using these forms of eco-friendly sun protection.
  • Don’t leave out food, garbage or other materials that may attract dangerous wildlife, such as bears or mountain lions. Keep all food in airtight containers, and stored away from your tent.
  • Keep an eye on kids if they’ll be swimming in rivers, lakes, streams or other bodies of water. Stay away from any body of water with a strong current.

Our best advice is to be prepared (the Boy Scouts are on to something with this motto!). Be sure to bring along emergency equipment, first aid kits, flashlights, blankets, maps/compasses, etc.  Before leaving on your trip, check the weather report, carefully go over the safety regulations of your campsite, and tell your friends and family about your plans and exact location.  In case of emergency, know who to contact and how to reach them quickly.

Following these tips will help you enjoy nature, while protecting our planet at the same time! Have any additional tips to share? Let us know in the comments, below! 

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