Environmentally conscious packing list for campers

Jun 22 2023

A 'Leave No Trace' sign in a forest

Camping connects you with nature, whether you're exploring a local beauty spot or going further afield. It offers unique experiences like waking up to a curious cow at your tent, showering under a waterfall, or enjoying starry skies away from city lights. Seasoned campers follow the mantra of "leave no trace”, encouraging us to make choices that lessen our impact on the environment. To help you be an environmentally conscious camper, we’ve come up with a list of simple swaps for your camping essentials.

Biodegradable cleaning products

Whether it’s for yourself or your dishes, cleaning products are essential even when camping. Keep your impact to a minimum with biodegradable shower gel, shampoo, and washing up liquid. Using non-biodegradable cleaning products can lead to the release of pollutants like phosphates, petrochemicals, and surfactants, which are especially harmful to wildlife. That being said, biodegradable cleaning products still need to be used responsibly. If you’re in an area that allows for greywater dumping, discard your used water in a different place each time, at least 200 feet from any water sources. If not, tip it into a sealable container and dispose of it elsewhere. Biodegradable cleaning products are increasingly available in supermarkets, and so are great for helping campers to leave no trace.

Fuel for your fire

If you’re planning on having a campfire (check whether it’s allowed in your chosen camping area), consider swapping store-bought firewood for a more sustainable option. Coffee logs and compressed wood logs are a great option as they both of these use waste materials – coffee grounds and wood shavings – that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Avoid using deadwood you’ve found around your campsite as often these provide homes to all kinds of bugs and insects, and don’t cut wood from living trees either.

The night sky

Solar-powered portable charger

Mobile phones are vital for a lot of campers, whether it’s to be able to contact someone in case of emergencies or to take photos of the beautiful nature you encounter. If you’re in a tent, you won’t have easy access to mains power, so packing a power bank is essential. Going for a solar-powered charger when sunlight allows is a fantastic option, benefiting both you and the planet, as it uses energy from the sun to power your device as opposed to relying on you charging the power bank using mains electricity before your trip. Alternatively, a larger lightweight foldable solar panel is a popular option for campers who need more power from their chargers.

Camping equipment including a rucksack and water bottle

Reusable water bottles and carriers

Keep your single-use plastics to a minimum while you camp with reusable water containers. Some campsites have drinking water taps so you don’t have to bring your own bottled water. Be sure to bring a large reusable water carrier to save you from lots of trips to the taps. If you’re camping somewhere where you won’t have access to fresh water, invest in a good quality water purification straw. These allow you to drink collected water by filtering out bacteria, microplastics and parasites. If you’re likely to have to find your own water, make sure you know how to do that safely before you go.

Solar or windup lantern

When you’re camping out under the night sky, it’s useful to bring a source of light with you. Leave the batteries at home and opt for a lantern or torch powered by renewable energy. If you’ll be camping somewhere that reliably gets lots of sun throughout the day, you could go for a solar-powered lantern. Alternatively, windup lights are a great option if you’re camping somewhere that doesn’t tend to get much sun.

The night sky

If you’ve been inspired by our swaps, tag us on social media in pictures of your environmentally friendly camping set up. Check out our blog to find out how we’re making our centres greener, and visit our website to book your camping trip with us. You can also sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest news and offers.