GVI, a UK-based volunteer government agency, lists “Climate Crisis and Clean Energy” as one of its six most pressing global issues. Over the past few decades, global warming and its effects have caused irreparable damage in our world. The polar ice caps continue to melt leading to the loss of viable living habitats for many animals including polar bears, penguins, whales, and walruses. Besides, air and water pollution, the constant sprawling of cities, and deforestation have negatively affected the quality of life of millions of individuals all over the world.
To deal with these issues and prevent further damage, a global effort is required, one that starts with worldwide cooperation and national policy. However, there are certain things we can do as individuals at a local level. One of them is taking the appropriate measures and precautions when spending time outdoors, specifically when going camping with our family and friends. Here are a few things we should consider:
Planning Your Trip
Before going camping, we should first prepare all the essentials of our trip. These include our clothes, food and water, and camping equipment among others. Some useful planning tips are:
- Take as few clothes as possible. This will not only reduce the amount of luggage you have but also avoid unnecessary washing. Remember you are outdoors and a sweater, jacket, or a pair of jeans can be worn more than once.
- Pack easy-to-prepare dishes. The less cooking you need to do, the lower the impact on the environment. Supermarkets currently offer a wide range of canned foods you can choose from.
- Bring enough water but make sure it is packed in eco-friendly bottles and containers. You can also find out in advance if the camping site offers water and other drinks to campers.
- Don’t forget to take disposable garbage bags with you. The goal is to leave the site as close to how you found it as possible, therefore minimizing your carbon footprint.
- If driving, you could look into getting an LED light bar for your car or pickup truck. They can serve as a short-term replacement for lighting, are affordable, and eco-friendly.
Protecting Your Surroundings
It all starts with self-awareness, being mindful not only of ourselves but also our surroundings. Once we have arrived at the camping site, the first thing we should do is locate all the important areas. These are mainly cooking sites, garbage disposal areas, places to set up our tents, cleaning and washing areas, and natural or non-access areas. Getting a campsite map will certainly help us move around more efficiently as well as making our experience better for both ourselves and our fellow campers.
When involved in outdoor sports such as hiking, trekking, and swimming, it’s also important to be cautious about what we leave behind, namely empty plastic bottles and food wrappers. As mentioned before, carrying disposable bags at all times will help in preserving the surrounding environment.
Being One with Nature
Camping can be a great experience filled with benefits for both our bodies and our minds. It serves as an outlet for the stresses of the daily grind. It also helps us stay in shape, relax, and absorb the physical wonders of breathing fresh air. But most of all, it’s a chance for us to go back to our roots, to get in touch with nature and enjoy the benefits that this brings.
When we have time to think and take a break from daily life, we distance ourselves from menial things and come closer to our true selves. As a result, we not only understand ourselves better but also get to focus on our priorities. Being in nature serves as therapy, an opportunity for us to heal psychologically.
Regions and Seasonality
One way to protect the environment when camping is by doing so in specific areas during low seasons. Of course, this is easier said than done as most people usually get time off from work at around the same times during the year. Also, parents need to consider their children’s school holidays. However, if time is not a pressing issue, you could look into less crowded areas based on seasonality. The fewer people there are in a specific place, the fewer chances their presence will harm the local environment. A reputable government-approved site will give you the information you need.
More than 50 million Americans go camping each year. Whether it is in a national park, a specific camping site, or simply in their back yards, millions of people enjoy this timeless activity. Before you embark on your next camping holiday, however, remember to plan well, protect your surroundings, and give yourself a chance to get in touch with nature. It will definitely make your experience worthwhile.