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Image of looking down at hiking boots in a forest floor

Image of looking down at hiking boots in a forest floor

How to Camp Sustainably

Being in the great outdoors and enjoying nature is what camping is all about! So we as campers should all make an effort to camp sustainably and preserve the beautiful environment that makes camping so great. Here are a few easy tips to help you camp more sustainably:

  • Carpool: Travel in as few vehicles as possible or use sustainable transportation to minimize your emissions on your way to your campsite.
  • Equipment sharing/renting: If you’re someone who doesn’t camp frequently, there’s no need to go out and buy yourself gear that you may end up just throwing away. Ask a friend if you can borrow camping gear from them or rent it from SCU’s very own Into the Wild for a fraction of the price of new gear. Alternatively, camping rentals can be found at REI, Sports Basement, or The Ski Renter.
  • Pack light: Only bring essentials, that way you have less to keep track of and less to transport.
  • DIY trail mix: There’s no need to buy a bag of trail mix every time you feel like a protein boost. By preparing your own mix of nuts and fruits before you head out not only do you save money, but you also avoid having to dispose of a single use container.
  • Reusable utensils, plates, and water bottles: A single set of plates and utensils can be used for an entire camping trip without the need to throw anything in the landfill trash bin.
  • Campsite: Don’t damage or disturb the natural site to create a place to camp, set up camp on durable and pre-established solid areas.
  • Propane: If you’re using a propane tank to cook, consider buying a refillable 1lb propane tank from Flame King to avoid having to dispose of your potentially dangerous empty tanks.
  • Soaps: Try to avoid using soaps while camping as they can be harmful to the surrounding environment, however if you really need to, use only small amounts of biodegradable soap (e.g. Campsuds, Sea to Summit Citronella Soap, Dr. Bronner’s Organic Soap) far away from bodies of water or rivers. Also use natural insect repellants such as Herbal Armor or Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellant.
  • Fire safety: You can lose control of a fire in the blink of an eye. Be safe and considerate; keep your fires small and never leave a fire burning unattended. Never start raging bonfires that you may not be able to control.
  • Waste disposal: Remember to bring a bag to use for your trash! Sometimes you may be tempted to throw biodegradable waste into the bushes, but it may contain potentially harmful substances or attract unwanted animal visitors. Disposing of waste in nature should always be avoided, so make sure to hike it out!
  • Pack it in, pack it out: In addition to packing light and properly disposing of your waste, you should always make sure you leave with everything you arrived with. Remember, leave no trace!
  • Wildlife: Don’t feed or disturb any wildlife you may encounter. Food that humans eat isn’t always safe for the animals, but they don’t realize that so it’s up to you to keep them safe.

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