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Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Camping: Tips for an Eco-Friendly Adventure

Embarking on a family camping adventure offers the perfect opportunity to connect with nature and teach our younger generation just how to be conscious of making smart, eco-friendly, and sustainable camping choices.

Keep reading our ultimate guide to sustainable camping as we dive into how to minimize our environmental impact, go over top-notch eco-friendly gear, and camping practices that keep the land just as it was once you leave.

Sustainable Camping

Minimizing Environmental Impacts

Eco-Friendly Transportation

It’s a well-known fact that vehicle emissions negatively impact the environment. In our daily lives, it’s hard to escape such issues, but there are small things we can do to help.

When planning that camping trip, make sure to carpool with everyone that’s going. There’s no need to take multiple vehicles to the same location.

Once at the campsite, it’s a great idea to utilize bikes, scooters, skateboards, and rollerblades to get around the campground instead of driving from place to place.

If you’re at a location with ponds, lakes, rivers, or streams, break out the paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes. Not only does this minimize the impacts of harmful gasses, but it also gives you a fantastic workout.

Follow Established Trails and Designated Campsites

Following marked trails and paths and keeping to designated campsites benefits the nature and landscape around you and is often put into place for your safety. Additionally, Nesting animals and other wildlife prefer to be left in peace while they exist in their natural habitat. Going off the beaten path could potentially disturb these animals or you might accidentally disrupt their environment–which we don’t want!

Always remain on marked paths and stick to designated campsites to:

Prevent Further Erosion

  • By sticking to marked paths and campsites, you will preserve the land around you and not contribute to land erosion.

Conserve the Environment

  • Too many wandering feet can cause damage to the natural flora. Keep to the respected areas to let nature bloom.

Protect the Wildlife

  • Animals are great hiders and are only seen when they want to be seen. By keeping to the marked trails and campgrounds, you’re respecting the wildlife’s rights to their own privacy and safety.

Preserve Scenic Beauty

  • Like conservation efforts, the more you leave something the way nature intended, the greater the reward. You’ll be able to come back years from now and enjoy an even more beautiful view.

Participation in Local Conservation Efforts

Reach out to your local forest preserves to see what events are taking place and how you can aid in further conservation. There are many ways to help, from physical to financial, that can keep these natural spaces thriving.

1. Support Conservation Efforts Financially

If you’re unable to donate any of your time, you may be able to financially assist in projects since most of these efforts are volunteer-based and receive little or no funding.

2. Create or Support Green Spaces

When living in urban areas, there may be limited green spaces around you. Find time to participate in community gardening projects, tree planting initiatives, or building a local park.

3. Participate in Clean-Up Events

Most of these events are volunteer-based but drastically help out the natural landscape and environments. By cleaning up, you can expand the life of plants and animals.

Sustainable Camping

Eco-Friendly Camping Gear

Just because camping gear is considered eco-friendly, that doesn’t make it uncomfortable or less valuable. Some eco gear is top-rated among other energy-sucking or gas-guzzling equipment.

Here are a few items we think could get you started on your next sustainable camping journey.

1. Tents Made From Sustainables

Big Agnes is a camping company that strives to provide quality camping gear, all while being eco-minded. These tents are made so campers can be sustainable and leave a small footprint behind. By no means are you sacrificing durability.

2. Solar-Powered Camping Gadgets


Instead of powered generators or building fires where there are no provided fire rings, it’s best practice to use something a bit more environmentally friendly and not create unwanted fumes or burn unmarked landscapes.

These collapsable solar-powered lanterns are perfect for any backpacker and camper. Lightweight, easy to store, and bright when needed are the main perks of owning one of these little lanterns while maintaining an eco-friendly lifestyle.


Let’s be honest. Most of us cannot get away from using our cell phones, even while all the campground. But not just because we have to check our emails or social media.

Most of us use our phones for safety and to have a lifeline when needed most. Our phones are also our cameras now, so it’s important to capture those family memories while they are occurring. That is why these solar-powered charging stations are beyond impressive and vital to keep in your bag.

Not only are these chargers a renewable energy source they greatly reduce the carbon footprint by minimizing greenhouse gas emissions caused by other electrical sources. Solar panels have a much longer lifespace than traditional methods and can be recycled once they have stopped working.

3. Cleaning

If you have been camping out in the woods, you’ll know the importance of having some warm, even hot water. It’s very time-consuming to heat water to either wash dishes, clothes, or yourself. But with a solar-powered portable shower bag, it’s easier than ever.

Just fill it with water and leave it in the sun. It’s that simple. After a few hours, you’ll have hot water to do some washing up, even in the middle of nowhere.

Just like the solar panel chargers, these bags can heat up water by using a reusable energy source, the sun. There is no need for generators or even gas stoves to heat water. You’re fully using the energy provided every day and for free.

4. Cookware and Water Purification Tools

Pots and Pans

One of the best things you can do as a consumer is buy things with purpose and to last a lifetime. One of these is the most amazing stainless steel cookware camping set from GSI Outdoors.

These durable pans will give you excellent results and last time and time again so that you can reduce the number of items in our already overfilled landfills.

Water Purification Tool

One of the best, most sustainable items you can carry while camping is a LifeStaw. These tools allow you to drink any water anywhere. And can keep you going in any problematic or emergency situations.

5. Eco-Friendly Hygiene Products

Essential Oil Infused Wipes

Keep yourself clean after your hiking adventures with these biodegradable body wipes. The oversized 12” by 12” wipes allow you to wipe off the dirt without worrying about finding a water source. The all-natural ingredients won’t harm even the most sensitive of skin and, most importantly, the environment.

Environmentally Friendly Camping Practices

Leave No Trace Principles

The LNT principles are guidelines that teach about a sustainable way to be responsible in natural environments. It’s set up of multiple principles to follow when out in nature.

1. Dispose of Waste Properly

Pack up all waste, even biodegradable items. Throw away all garbage in the proper areas once you have left the campsite. If you “pack it in, you must pack it out.”

2. Minimize Campfire Impacts

The best way to accomplish this is by cooking in a gas-powered camping stove instead of building an open fire. Or use campfire rings that are provided by the campgrounds.

3. Respect All Wildlife

Respect and view wildlife from a distance. Never feed or disturb animals that you may come into contact with. This can harm the animals and disrupt their natural behaviors.

4. Plan Ahead and Prepare

Planning and preparing reduces the likelihood of emergencies and limits your environmental impact.

5. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

Stay on marked pathways and camp only in designated areas to reduce any damage or disruptions to the already fragile ecosystems around you.

6. Leave What You Find

Preserve the environment by leaving all rocks, flowers, plants, and animals as they are.

7. Be Considerate of Other Outdoor Enthusiasts

Be considerate of your camping neighbors, keep your noise levels appropriate, yield the trails to others, and keep a positive and inclusive attitude.

To truly minimize your footprint and have an eco-friendly adventure, be sure to follow these seven principles. They are paramount in making sure our forests are able to be enjoyed for generations to come!

Sustainable Camping

Wrapping Up The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Camping

In adopting the principles in this article, outdoor enthusiasts not only ensure a small environmental footprint but also contribute to the longevity of Earth’s natural beauty.

By choosing eco-friendly gear, respecting designated areas, and playing a part in conservation efforts, campers play an important role in creating lasting relationships between humanity and the great outdoors for generations to come.

Please read our article about sustainable RVing to see how to keep an eco-friendly mindset on the open road!