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Conscious Camping Tips

June 14, 2010
By Guest Blogger
|8Comments|


 

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.



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8 responses to Conscious Camping Tips
  1. I go camping all of the time, and these tips are great. I really love the tips for food, especially, because it’s been hard for us when we cook out. Most people pack hot dogs/hamburgs :( and we don’t want to do that!

    I did want to say that people should be careful about bringing their own firewood. Buying firewood nearby to the campsite is great, but bringing your own can be tricky, since there is the Emerald Ash Borer right now.

  2. I bring vegan versions of hot dogs/burgers in the cooler, at least for the first few days. As well as prewashed salad from my own garden. But we camp in a pop-up camper, and can almost always find a farmer’s market along the way. If you are backpacking, taking a class on foraging for greens might be helpful.

  3. Oh, yeah, also, campers are not allowed to import firewood into state or national parks, so you have to forage or better, buy from them there.

  4. I agree to the water part, every camper needs a lot of water in order to be hydrated throughout the camping adventure. You surely would not like to get sick up there.

  5. I agree too Frances… Water is one of the basics in camping. Actually, water is more important to me that food. Getting thirsty is worst that getting hungry.

  6. Thank you for the informational tips, I can say that getting hydrated is the most important part. :)

  7. Liz said on June 12, 2013

    The only piece I would disagree with is taking your own firewood. The ash borer and other pests can be spread by taking your own firewood. The best source for firewood is at the campsite. They usually sell it at certain times and is sourced from trees that had to be removed anyway. You should not scour for your own wood from forests, mostly because it is still green and will be smoky when burned. Happy camping!