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Leave It How You Found It: 5 Ways To Make Less Trash While Camping

No two campers are exactly alike, and everyone has different motivations for wanting to get outside. Maybe you love climbing, fishing, relaxation, memorable family moments, or high-intensity outdoor sports.

The one thing all camping trips have in common is nature itself. That’s why all campers need to know how to care for the great outdoors while exploring. Here are some tips to make your next camping trip your greenest one yet.

Avoid disposable silverware and plates

Plastic, paper, and styrofoam are all big no-nos for the eco-friendly camper. Eating with disposable utensils is one of the fastest ways to pile up unnecessary trash on your trip. Ditch the mess and go green by choosing sustainable options such as stainless steel pots and pans and reusable mess kits.

You can bring a camping-safe soap to wash up when you finish. These dishes should last years if cared for properly, so not only will the planet thank you, your wallet will too.

Know before you go

If your campground has bathrooms, no matter how rustic, it’s essential to do your business there. These facilities are not just for your convenience. Proper toilets also help keep the campsites and surrounding trails clean and preserved.

However, if you’re a hardcore adventurer on a backwoods camping trip, you’ll need to do a bit more planning. Be sure to bring biodegradable toilet paper that you can pack out or burn, a robust sealed container to carry your waste material in, and a shovel to dig your hole.

Bring food in reusable containers

Buy your groceries before you go and pack them in containers such as recycled jars, reusable bags, and lidded food storage containers. Be sure to bring an animal-proof sealed container or a bear bag that can be tossed over a tree branch and stored in the air unless you know that your campsite has bear boxes available.

Bring your own jug

If you frequently camp at sites without running drinking water, consider investing in a big reusable water jug instead of purchasing smaller plastic jugs to fill your bottles. Make sure everyone in your group has their own reusable water bottles, and opt for long-lasting and easy to clean styles. 91% of the plastic we use is not actually recycled, meaning that it is always best to reduce and reuse.

Better than you found it

As an experienced camper, you are a nature ambassador to those in your life. Maybe you’re taking your kids on their first camping trip, introducing less experienced friends to a love of the outdoors, or even just telling people you know about your exploration.

Educating others about the principles of sustainable and eco-friendly excursions can make a big difference for everyone.

Final thoughts

Whenever you wander or leave a campsite, make sure you look around for trash left by others to take with you. If you lead by example and take an active part, you can keep nature clean and healthy for all to enjoy.

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other Amazon websites.

Written by Marcus Richards

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