These sustainable camping essentials are easy on the planet, and make any nature outing more enjoyable!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Now that the high humidity and bugs have started to wane, there’s no better time than now to plan a fabulous camping trip.
These trips are marked by brilliant night skies, vivid foliage, crisp mornings, and stunning afternoons. Especially since flights aren’t possible for some, now is the best time of year to take a summer ‘staycation’. You can hike, paddle, or just soak in the views.
But a week in the woods can lead to dire consequences for the environment. Even the campers with the best intentions tend to leave garbage behind, trample on tender plants, destroy ecospheres with bug sprays, and pollute the water and air with chemical-ridden shampoos and soaps.
However, with a bit of planning, you can choose eco-friendly products that leave no trace, and take better care of yourself and the environment while you’re at it!
Here are some suggestions for the best sustainable camping products to take with you if you decide to go on a camping trip this summer.
The Best Eco Friendly Camping Essentials
Backpacks and jackets are the first things you to have start gathering for an adventure into the wild. This way you’ll be able to travel light and comfortably and fully enjoy your nature treks in comfort.
Patagonia is the probably one of the best brands to fit all our outdoor needs. I love their colourful, light and efficient Houdini jackets, which can be stored away in their tiny cases.
For carrying stuff, the multifunctional, waterproof Houdini backpack was made to fit all your essentials in perfectly for your quest in the great outdoors.
Sustainable camping essentials pretty much begin with your shelter.
Come rain or come shine, you will need a comfy den that will keep you fresh during hot, stuffy evenings, and warm on damp, rainy nights. Whatever the circumstances, you must make sure you have a good night’s rest to be fully energised for your walks through nature, right?
But sadly, most tents are made from pretty un-eco-friendly materials like nylon.
If you want to minimise your impact on the planet, try using The Earth Ship. This is ‘green’ tent made from MOLECULE-4, a textile made from recycled materials.
The super cool design on the fabric was created by artist Mars-1, famous for his depiction of multi-layered landscapes and otherworldly imagery.
The tent isn’t just resistant, durable, and popular amongst glampers – it’s also super easy to pitch! And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, check this out: for every tent you buy, 10 trees will be planted.
Another fundamental item for your rest is the proper sleeping bag. It should be cozy, light, and of course, eco-friendly.
A good choice in these regards is the Big Agnes Newcomb Sleeping Bag. It’s filled with PrimaLoft Black Insulation – a warm, compressible and 80% recycled fabric. Plus, it comes with an amusing mummy-like shape that wraps around your body perfectly, to protect you from humidity, bugs and bleak temperatures.
A Solar Lamp
If you don’t want to be stuck in the dark, a lamp should be one of your sustainable camping essentials. LuminAID is perfectly fit for camping, since it’s compact, inflatable, and most importantly – it’s solar powered.
This will come in handy for any type of weather, because it’s super durable, waterproof, and won’t break if it slips out of your hands.
It’s also very easy to charge: it takes no more than a couple of hours, and its full charge can last up to 24 hours!
Of course, you’re not going to be stuck on Facebook or Instagram while you’re enjoying the beauty of nature (I hope!). But just in case of emergencies, it’s not a bad idea to take your phone with you. But…how will you charge it?
This Portable Solar Panel by BioLite is the ideal choice. It helps you even in the way you have to charge it, because it has an integrated sundial to let you know exactly which direction it should face to get the fastest charge.
It’s light, easy to use, and most importantly, it charges quickly, since it has a microprocessor that gathers as much power as possible without overloading the system.
What kind of a camping would it be without s’mores and marshmallows roasting under the stars? That’s just part of the charm of the entire experience, right? But sometimes, it’s not as easy to get a fire going as you’d think! And even when you can get one blazing away, you need to be wary of starting forest fires from the embers that remain.
In fact, before you set out on your trip, you should check with the NPS or FS for fire bans and current regulations. Where fires are permitted, be sure to only use existing and designated fire rings. Remember: making a bonfire may not be necessary and has the potential for disaster.
If you make your own fire, remember that even dead logs can be shelter to small wildlife and insects, so only gather small, non-intact pieces no larger than the diameter of an adult wrist, if you want to save the lives of these little beasties.
Alternatively, using a Portable Campfire is a great option! They’re easy to start, won’t burn down the forest, and are also sustainable – this one is made from 100% recycled materials.
Plus, its portable fire pit burns for hours without producing smothering smoke, making it perfect for those with asthma, or for those who just don’t enjoy getting teary eyed and coughing during weenie roasts!
For your outdoor meals, you will need a grill that is easy to pack, doesn’t weigh too much since you’ll have to carry it around at all times, and that is kind to the surroundings you will be exploring.
The Fire & Flavor Reusable & Portable Eco-Friendly Grill is perfect for nature wanderlusters. It weighs less than 10 pounds, it comes with a waterproof case, it is easy-to-clean and has a non-stick grill.
And frankly, it couldn’t be greener: its charcoal pods are plant-based, and its spatula is made out of bamboo!
Cutlery & Dishes
Once you’ve cooked that delicious food, you’ll need something to eat it on. Obviously we all want to stay away from single-use plastics and disposables that can be tossed away. Even the eco-friendlier paper cups, plates and cutlery should be avoided, as they’re usually lined with plastic.
The best option is something that can be washed and used over and over again, and is resistant to outdoor life. Sure, you could bring along wood plates, but they weigh a ton. Plastic is lighter, sure. But…it’s plastic! And aluminium has been associated with Alzheimer’s.
The solution? Smidge covers all the camping equipment you need to eat and drink, from cutlery, to plates, bowls, mugs, bottles, and even straws. Everything is 100% natural, made from plant-based materials that are fully biodegradable.
Living outdoors can be quite a challenge, especially for urban dwellers who are used to having every need accommodated by the metropolitan life. So make sure to pack some survival basics into your sustainable camping essentials, because, well…you never know.
For example, this Adventure Essentials Survival Kit provides everything you may need if you get lost. It comes with an aluminium LED flashlight, water purification tablets, compass, wire saw, reflective trail markers, and waterproof matches.
Everything you need, just in case!
Health & Safety
As much as one would never want to get injured or get sick on a holiday, you must be prepared for any situation. Even if it’s just a scratch, you must have the necessary tools to cope with the unexpected.
This Essential First Aid Kit is compact and won’t take much space in your backpack and yet it contains an entire medical world to keep you prepared for any circumstance. As they say, “better safe than sorry,” right?
You’ll definitely be very safe with this kit, which includes bandages, thermometers, antibiotic, burn cream, aspirin, tweezers, emergency whistle, and so much more.
Bug sprays are one of the most important sustainable camping essentials to bring along with you. But when it comes to protecting yourself from creepy crawlies, please think of the environment. Chemicals that kill the nasty bugs you don’t like – like mosquitoes – probably also kill the ones you do like, such as ladybugs and fireflies.
That’s why it’s essential to choose a bug spray very conscientiously. Buy something that will be good to ‘good’ insects, your body, and Mother Nature.
Check out the just-released Camp Kit from the Little Flower Soap Co, for example. Their Bug Spray, Citronella Candle, and Itch Relief Roll On are all made with essential oils grown and made by Little Flower themselves, so they will repel the naughty creatures and keep them at a safe distance, but without killing them.
You may not know this, but many bathing products have detrimental effects on nature, because of the chemicals they contain. Make sure you pick personal grooming items that are easy to pack and that won’t jeopardise the wellbeing of local flora and fauna, or pollute the waterways.
For example? Try the Bathing Culture Mind + Body Wash 8. It’s organic, biodegradable and feels great on your skin – and hair! Yep, that’s right: it can be used as a body wash, dishwashing soap, or shampoo.
Unlike some soap blends that contain phosphates and other antibacterial ingredients, this one is completely harmless to all living things.
Also bear in mind that campers should never take wipes, because no matter how natural they maybe, when discarded into the wild, they’re just non-biodegradable rubbish, so this serves as a better alternative.
It’s almost inevitable that whilst camping, you’ll suffer a few bug bites and scrapes at best, or poison oak and skin allergy issues at worst.
The CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm is a remedy that soothes all of those skin maladies, thanks to the presence of Sea Buckthorn Oil, Turmeric, Alpha-Bisabolol and healing Reishi Mushrooms.
The balm is also a perfect hydrator for rough skin. In short, it’s the one vital skincare product you’ll need!
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