14 Mar The Adventurer’s Guide to Eco-friendly Camping
With winter approaching, camping and hiking opportunities will be few and far between. You can still make the most of the warm weather while it’s here though. If you’re thinking of heading off the beaten track for a final adventure before the cold sets in, be sure to pack your eco-camping essentials with you.
It sounds pretty obvious but I’ve attended far too many music festivals and spiritual retreats, and seen groups of fernwehs with battered tents. Either they were missing a few tent poles and pegs, or the cheap thing was coming apart at the seams. If you’re not intending to stay at a BnB, game lodge, backpackers, or something like it, pack a sensible tent. Not only does it provide a comfortable foundation for your sleeping bag, but your tent has to be able to protect you from the elements too. It’s worth investing in a good quality tent that can be used more than just once. If staying on the ground isn’t that appealing to you – there are other options too, for instance, suspended tents are all the range now days.
Again, pretty elementary right? Wrong. If you’ve ever had to survive a cold night in a tent, covered by the blankets you thought would be a cheaper alternative to a sleeping bag, you’ll appreciate how important they are. Because they are insulated, they are built to keep you warm and comfortable when the temperature begins to drop. Take note: there’s no point in being thrifty when it comes to buying a sleeping bag either. If it is too thin, you’ll feel every rock and twig when you roll over or change position. Don’t forget to pack an extra blanket either. Sleeping under the stars, though extremely romantic, gets colder than you think. Don’t forget you can make it fun while keeping it eco-friendly for the kids at the same time.
We all know how important water is. The average human should be drinking at least two litres of water a day. When you’re hiking in the sun or rafting your way down a river though, your body needs a little more to prevent dehydration. That’s why it’s important to have a full water bottle on you at all times. Lugging a five litre up a mountain doesn’t sound like fun, but getting cholera or a similar water-based infection from contaminated water isn’t either. If you’re planning on getting water from the stream flanking your campsite, make sure to purify it first. Boiling it seems to be the universal rule,but some waters can be beyond boiling capabilities, if you’re on the go you’ll need purifying seeds or a portable filter.
To ensure that you have a peaceful night’s sleep, and not have to wake up to an itchy morning, buy an insect repellent that not only does the job but also ensures that you aren’t applying harmful chemicals to your skin. Finding the right product can be tough, but there are a few incredible brands out there making chemical free balms, roll ons, creams, candles and sprays to keep the miggies at bay, using the earth’s natural botanicals.
Soap and hand sanitisers are made out of non-biodegradable runoff that damages ever faction of the earth and wildlife once it’s washed off into water. Eco-friendly toiletries are surprisingly easy to find, don’t cost any more than your average cleaning product, are not tested on animals and don’t have a long-lasting negative impact on the earth. Biodegradable soaps like chamomile rooibos hand soap, acai berry facial soap or multi-use hair and body soap all serve as perfect companions. Do note though, biodegradable soap, shampoo and conditioner need soil to begin their soil to be broken down, so only use them in the river.
Living in the technological age that we do means that no one can ever really be off the grid. Solar kits are an incredible piece of technology that we now have access to that enables us to harness the power of the sun to keep us powered and our lives on the road well lit. So ya, it’s pretty imperative on any camping trip. A high-end solar power kit can give you up to 15 hours of charge. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can also stock up on your items separately e.g. solar-powered lanterns and phone chargers. Pack these to ensure you are never left in the dark or lost with no GPS service from your phone.
Another perfect addition: solar-powered fairy lights if you’re travelling with little ones afraid of the dark.
Thank goodness eco-warriors are finding new and creative ways to minimise our waste. Now you can purchase biodegradable cutlery and crockery. Reuse your utensils multiple times, and when you throw them away you can add them to your recyclable trash.
Neglecting your skin is irresponsible. As the biggest organ of the human body, it demands your attention. And luckily getting hold of chemical-free sunscreen for the entire family is getting easier and easier; The Apothecary’s RAspect is based on four principles; respect for the planet, respect for your body, respect for the power of the sun, and for nature’s power to protect. Easy to carry around, easy to apply kids’ protection is easy to to care of with amazing new developments in the chemical-free sunblock area.