I don’t mean inexperienced (or sick!), but environmentally friendly!
Being out in the elements is easier than ever, but your trip can quickly become a very wasteful event if environmental-friendliness is not one of your priorities. With the rise of single-packaged food and toiletries, traveling outdoors is much more convenient, but your weekend might take much longer to decompose than you’d think. It’s time to take responsibility and make sure we are appreciate nature by taking care of her so we can enjoy her longer.
LEAVE NO TRACE BY CAMPING GREEN!!
The concept “Leave No Trace” originated with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service in the 1960’s. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service started to teach their visitors how to have a minimal impact on the land. Also in the 1970’s, groups such as the Sierra Club were advocating minimum impact camping techniques.
Eventually the nonprofit organization Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics was created in 1994. It is a national and international program designed to assist outdoor enthusiasts with their decisions about how to reduce their impacts when they hike, camp, picnic, snowshoe, run, bike, hunt, paddle, ride horses, fish, ski or climb. The program offers seven principles that can offset our impact and make responsible recreation a part of our outdoor experience:
1) Plan Ahead and Prepare; 2) Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces; 3) Dispose of Waste Properly; 4) Leave What You Find; 5) Minimize Campfire Impacts; 6) Respect Wildlife; and 7) Be Considerate of Other Visitors.
Today, we can follow these same principles when camping green plus bring our favorite Norwex products because they are environmentally friendly and contain no toxic chemicals!
Here are 10 WAYS TO MINIMIZE IMPACT WHEN CAMPING GREEN IN THE OUTDOORS:
1. Whenever possible, use existing campsites. Camp on durable surfaces and place tents on a non-vegetated area. Hike on established trails to prevent damaging the soil and plants.
2. Camp at least 200 feet from water, trails, and other campsites. Improper toilet procedures can contaminate a lake or river with giardia or coilform bacteria.
3. Pack it in, pack it out. Carry a trash bag and pick up litter left by others. Properly dispose of what you can’t pack out. Keep paper products to a minimum.
4. Repackage snacks and food in baggies. This reduces weight and the amount of trash to carry out.
5. For cooking, consider using a camp stove or grill which leave less of an impact on the land.
6. Observe all fire restrictions. Use existing fire rings & only fallen timber or dead wood found on the ground for campfires. Do not cut standing trees.
7. Allow the wood to burn down to a fine ash. Pour water on the fire and drown all embers until the hissing sound stops. Put out campfires completely before scattering cool ashes. If you don’t have water, use dirt.
8. Detergents, toothpaste and soap harm fish and other aquatic life. Wash 200 feet away from streams and lakes. Use biodegradable soaps. Scatter gray water so it filters through the soil.
9. Respect wildlife and leave what you find for others to enjoy.
10. Following a trip, wash your gear and support vehicle to reduce the spread of invasive species.
More Camping Tips
If you are a little green (as in inexperienced) when it comes to camping, check out MyOpenCountry.com and start with their 101 Camping Tips post for ways to stay safe, have fun, and be green! It was a very helpful reference that I’ll use to brush up with when we go North next summer!
I love to use my Norwex products “Up North” (as Minnesotans call the wilderness north of the Twin Cities)! If you would like some tricks on how to use them on your next camping or cabin excursion, check out some of our blog posts linked below!