Conscious Camping Tips
By Carolyn “The Healthy Voyager” Scott
Summer is just around the corner, and what’s more summer prep appropriate than camping? Whether you rough it, tent it, take a camper or an RV, you tend to not have all the comforts and accoutrement of home when you’re sleeping under the stars, which makes it very easy to fall into a rut of convenience store food, cooler snacks and campfire munchies. This can lead to sleepless nights and fatigue—a bad combo if you will be hiking, boating or engaging in any physical activities that require you to be alert and on your toes. Below are some tips to green up, be healthy, and make the most of your next venture into the wild!
1. Eat your veggies! Fruit is fairly easy to come by, but getting your greens is nearly impossible. Try making a big batch of green juice before you leave and keeping it on ice during your trip. Juice spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, parsley, apple, lemon, and ginger for a yummy yet healthy libation. If you will be gone too long or don’t think your ice supply will keep, perhaps try a veggie supplement like Healthy To Go “Go Greens” – each packet provides six servings of green veggies in just a few tasty gulps. Don’t forget to store your beverages in glass!
2. Drink lots of water! Activities in the hot sun are a killer cause for rapid dehydration. Keep liquefied and cool. Bring a bunch of water from home in reusable or recyclable gallons. Invest in a hand pump for the 5 gallon bottles, which makes it much easier to refill little bottles or wash dishes. It also comes in handy to fill a bowl to wash your face and brush your teeth. Be sure to dump “gray water” in designated areas, away from fresh water sources and not in the bushes.
3. Stock up on healthy snacks. Load up on organic chips and salsa or guacamole as well as hummus with chilled cucumber chips. Prepare veggie skewers ahead of time at home, pack them in foil on ice for the trip, then grill them up at the campsite! When away from your site, bring bars suggested on the Healthy Voyager Approved Directory to keep your hunger at bay without killing your insulin levels. Also, pack as much as you can in reusable bags or storage. This way you decrease disposable food packaging.
4. Fall off the grid. Keep your cell phones, iPods and computers charged with the sun! Use solar panels instead of generators, crank or shakable flashlights and crank radios. Replace disposable batteries with rechargeable whenever possible. A great stop for your portable solar needs is Sundance Solar.
5. Bring enough receptacles to keep your trash separate from your recyclables. Some camp sites aren’t equipped with separate dumpsters, so haul your own trash to the closest place that can take recycling.
6. Bring your own dishes and firewood. Invest in some camping kitchen and dishware. Do your best to avoid using disposable stuff. It’s way cheaper on your wallet anyway! Also, it might seem that using timber from around your campsite is eco-friendly, but it actually threatens the forest’s future. When fallen trees and branches decompose, they return nutrients to the soil, feeding the surrounding trees and vegetation.
7. Stay within your site’s boundaries and on paths. Venturing into the forest threatens fragile plants and disrupts the homes of animals living there. Plus, every time you veer off of a path, you create an opening for others to follow—which will eventually widen the trampled area and reduce wildlife. Also avoid the temptation to throw rocks and remove brush while you’re on the trail.
8. Keep campfires small and contained to a pit. Don’t burn plastic, metals or woods that have been treated with chemicals. If you use an outdoor grill, dump the ashes in your fire pit or dispose of them in designated areas.
9. Follow the rules of the campsite… especially the bathroom rules, as some sites may be on a septic system and anything other than what is supposed to go in toilets or drains can harm it. Be a mindful guest and courteous camper. Your fellow campers will thank you!
10. To locate great campsites around the country, be sure to check out Go Camping America.
Camping with friends, family or venturing on your own can be incredibly fun, and even more so during the summer months with all the outdoor activities available near campsites. Just make sure you are prepared for the area you will be visiting, and be a cautious, conscious camper!
Carolyn Scott is the executive producer, creator, host, and writer of The Healthy Voyager brand. Her web series, radio show, site, blog and social network show you how to live, and travel, healthy and green.