How to Protect the Environment While Camping

Picture: Scott Goodwill 

Many people love camping for how easy it is to be ‘at one’ with nature. The chirping birds become your morning alarm clock, and you can venture off to your tent at the going down of the sun. As enjoyable as camping in the wilderness is, it’s easy to forget that we’ll only be able to enjoy these natural environments for as long as we look after them. If you want to do your part to ensure future generations can enjoy our slice of paradise, here are a few practical actions to take. 

Purchase High-Quality Camping Gear

Bargain-hunting is a fun past-time, and it’s only natural to want to pay as little as possible when shopping for new camping equipment. However, a small price tag can sometimes equal inferior quality, so your camping gear might not last as long as you had hoped and end up in a landfill sooner than expected. 

When purchasing a new tent or other camping essentials, shop with companies that provide high-quality, long-lasting equipment, such as iKamper. As long as you look after your camping gear, it can serve you well for many years to come. 

Take Home What You Bring

Natural environments won’t stay natural forever if we keep disposing of our waste in them. If you bring food and other packaged products on your camping adventure, remember to take them home.. You might not think that a single piece of plastic will do much harm, but think of the consequences if everyone thought that.

If your waste makes its way into waterways, you’re contributing to an already widespread and growing problem with plastic ingestion. Fortunately, taking care of your waste is not time-consuming or challenging. Simply bring a garbage can or bag from home and keep it all in one place. 

Leave No Trace

Alongside taking home any rubbish you arrived with, ensure your camping group leaves no trace. Essentially, you want your campsite to look as it did before you came: pristine and natural. Refrain from taking any rocks, sticks, fossils, or wildflowers home with you, and avoid carving names into tree bark or cutting down trees and bushes to light fires. Think about the people who arrive after you and how much better their camping experience will be if there is no evidence of previous campers. 

Use Reusable Dishes

As tempting as it can be to stock up on single-use plastic and paper products to avoid washing dishes while camping, consider bringing reusable cookware from home. Thousands of trees have to be milled to produce paper plates, and plastic plates don’t break down in the environment for hundreds of years

The more people buy such products, the more that will be manufactured, and the larger the environmental impact might be. If you’d prefer not to wash dishes while on a short camping trip, store them in a sealed container and take them home for thorough washing later. 

Leave Your Dogs At Home

Family holidays might not seem complete without your dog, but if you choose a natural camping location as your vacationing destination, consider leaving them with a trusted friend or family member or booking them into a kennel facility. 

While you might trust your dogs to stay with you at all times, there are never any guarantees that they won’t take off in pursuit of an animal, damaging flora and fauna in the process. If you never travel without your dog, ensure you bring them to an area where they’re permitted and keep them under control at all times. 

Never Leave Fires Unsupervised

Campfires are an integral part of many people’s camping adventures, especially when they’re versatile for cooking nutritious meals, toasting marshmallows, and providing heat. However, nearly 85% of all wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans, with leading causes being unattended campfires, burning debris, intentional arson, and discarded cigarettes. 

If you need to leave your campfire unattended for any length of time, ensure you put it out thoroughly. The USDA Forest Service recommends drowning it in water, mixing the embers and ashes with soil, and scraping all partially burnt logs and sticks to ensure the hot embers are off them. Stir all embers after they’re covered to make sure everything is wet. 

We are spoiled for choice regarding natural camping locations, but that might not be the case if we don’t look after them. The next time you plan a camping trip, consider whether you need to adjust your current camping practices to protect the environment. 

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.