For many, a camping trip is more than a holiday. It’s a chance to slow down our busy lives, reconnect with nature and enjoy true freedom. But how can we enjoy the outdoors without harming it? Following these simple steps will help to protect our beautiful countryside so it can provide comfort, inspiration and relaxation for generations to come.
1. Give your home a break
Being a green camper starts at home. If the whole household is heading for the fields, you can save some energy and money by giving your heating and electronics on standby a rest. It’s also a good idea to use up or donate any perishable food before you leave to avoid it going to waste.
2. Borrow equipment if it’s your first time
It’s hard not to fall in love with the great outdoors after your first camping experience. But, before you go out and buy all the gear, it makes sense to borrow some equipment from a friend or family member. It’ll help you make sure that camping is for you and give you a good idea of what gear you’ll need next time.
3. Stay local and hike
When choosing a location, consider staying local and finding a campsite within hiking distance. You’ll feel a much better for it and it’s a great way to kick off an action-packed escape. If that’s not possible, try and keep travelling times to a minimum and make good use of your walking boots whilst you’re away.
Remember, when choosing a location make sure to check that it's safe and sensible to camp there. Be mindful of local people, wildlife and the land you're staying on.
4. Seek out green camping sites
The British countryside has plenty of eco-friendly campsites to choose from. Seek out a site that prides itself on its low environmental impact. The Greener Camping Club is a good place to start, with all certified sites committed to being sustainable.
5. Use recycled down and synthetic sleeping bags
Using recycled down and synthetics to insulate sleeping bags is becoming increasingly common as outdoor brands look to reduce the impact that their products have on the environment. But, remember that not making a purchase is still better for the environment, so taking good care of your existing equipment is our top tip. We stock a range of fabric care and treatment products to help you extend the life of your gear.
6. Go Solar or Switch Off
Holidays are all about switching off from your everyday life and relaxing. Why not take it one step further and turn your devices off? It’ll help you connect with nature and reduce your energy consumption. When it comes to lighting up your tent at night, consider naturally harnessing power from the sun with a solar-powered lantern.
7. Share a campfire or use eco cooking alternatives
Many campsites offer shared cooking facilities that are great for socialising with other campers and cutting down on pollution. Alternatively, use eco-friendlier products like a natural fuel or the BioLite FirePit.
8. Avoid single-use plastics
Single-use plastics are a bad habit that the world is collectively trying to kick. As always, bringing your existing equipment from home is the ideal scenario. If that’s not feasible, look for reusable and greener alternatives to cooking equipment and toiletries like water bottles, tableware & cutlery, beeswax food wraps, recycled toilet paper and face cloths. You could also try out some biodegradable alternatives like bamboo compostable plates and cutlery.
9. Shop local
One advantage of camping in the countryside is that you’re usually not too far away from a farm shop. Filled with locally-produced delights, they’re a great place to stock up on supplies for your holiday. Not only will you be supporting the local economy, but you’ll also be picking up produce that hasn’t travelled as far as that which you’d find in a supermarket. Keep an eye out for egg honesty boxes on your travels, too. They’re a great place to pick up that-day-fresh eggs which are much better for the environment.
If you're travelling to a small village with limited resources, be mindful of the locals that may rely on the local stores and be sure to leave enough essentials for them so they don't have to go without.
10. Take your own shower
If your campsite doesn’t have green facilities like bucket showers, then take your own. Water, gravity and sunlight are all you need for a warm wash in the wild with solar showers. They’re inexpensive and definitely beat queuing up for ages to use the shared facilities.
11. Leave no trace
Reducing your environmental impact when camping is important not only for the planet but for local wildlife and other campers who are sharing the facilities with you. Remember to leave your space clean and litter-free and take away all waste before recycling it. For more tips on how to achieve minimal impact, check out the seven principles of leaving no trace.
If you have any eco-friendly camping tips you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear them. Get in touch via our social media channels or post a comment below.