Green Camping & Hiking

Green Camping & Hiking

I’ve got to admit this whole ‘going green’ and ‘save the planet’ thing passed me by until a few years ago. I never saw myself as a ‘tree hugger’ as let’s be honest most of them look like they just need a good wash! It’s hard to think about the environment in a world of disposable razors, pre-packed sarnies and even (though I’d never use one!) use-once disposable barbeques! But as a lover of the great outdoors I’ve realised it may not be there forever if we don’t start to take care of it.

Green camping and hiking isn’t just good for the planet either – a lot of the practicalities of it are just plain common sense. With a little thought and planning it really is easy to go green when you go on your outdoor adventures.

One of the most simple things to do in green camping is to take in what you take out. Some camping sites offer trash disposal but be prepared to take your trash home with you. If you’re planning a wilderness hike you certainly need to do this. I can’t tell you how angry I get if I see a bag of trash out on the trail. It’s just bloody selfish and lazy! By the way, ‘trash’ includes human waste so be prepared for this as it’s a new experience for many people.

Obviously you’re going to need to take bags along to bring your trash home and these come in various types and sizes. If I’m on a short hike I’ll use one pocket in my backpack for all trash on the day so any packets and wrappers will be stuffed in one place, nice and easy. Always use proper camping dishes and cups – or a water bottle – so you don’t end up taking along Styrofoam or cardboard. You’ll save money doing this as well as the planet so going green really is good for everyone!

Green Camping & Hiking

OK tree huggers, let’s talk about those trees! If you take a trip through somewhere like The Alpine National Park you can’t help fall in love with those amazing trees so let’s all make sure we look after them for others to enjoy in the future. One of my pet hates is people who tie dogs to trees! Not only is it unfair on the dog when you’re in the great outdoors, it can also damage the tree’s delicate bark. A golden rule of green camping is to take your own firewood. This may seem ridiculous when you’re going to be surrounded by trees but they aren’t there for you to start chopping bits off! And if you’re thinking of burning downed timber or loose branches you find on the ground, think again. Fallen trees and branches naturally decompose and return nutrients to the soil, feeding the forest around them.

Whether you’re into green camping or not you always need to think about how you use water on an outdoor adventure. My missus will be the first to tell you I keep my washing to a minimum on a trip! When you do, use phosphate free biodegradable soap. Wash your cooking kit in similar eco-friendly soaps. The water you use for washing up in should be dumped away from fresh water sources and not in the bushes!

On any outdoor adventure us guys like to go back to our caveman routes and start a fire! But for green camping there are some things to think about. Keep campfires small and contained to a pit if you can. Never burn plastic, metals or woods that have been treated with chemicals.

Another thing I get really annoyed about on a hike is if I see batteries thrown on the trail somewhere. We don’t need these anymore! There are much better options such as crank or ‘wind up’ flashlights and radios. Most kit will take rechargeable batteries which are cheaper over time as well as great for green camping.

So you see green camping is pretty much common sense camping. Only take what you need, try not to kill too much along the way and take your trash home with you!

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