No matter how much eco-camping experience you have, recent information about campers, camper vans, trailers, and RVs can be enticing. If you’re ready to see more of the country, get among the trees, and beat the summer heat, it may be time to get on the road. Here are few essential tips to be an eco-friendly camper:
Current options for those who are thinking about getting on the road include RV rentals. If you’re considering glamping in Maine, you might think about renting a Class C for a short trip with a small family or a few friends.
Class C’s are about the size of a moving truck. They may have an over the cab bed, as well as bunks to the back. Some of these units include a slide-out. If you choose to rent an RV of any size, be sure to take it to an empty lot for some practice driving before you get it out into traffic or to one of the many beautiful Maine campgrounds.
When it’s time to invest in your camping gear, be aware that there are many manufacturers that focus on recyclable materials. If you’re headed to the northeast in the spring or the fall, you’re going to need a quality sleeping bag.
Invest in camping gear that
- will last for many seasons
- can be recycled when it wears out
- packs down small
- is lightweight
From your sleeping pad to your sleeping bag to the cookware you use over the fire, try to buy once and done pieces, so you’re not discarding and replacing each season. If you can’t afford exactly what you want this year, use what you have or borrow it until you can get something that will last.
Check out your intended campsite before you pack. Will there be drinking water on-site? If there is water, consider investing in a personal filtration bottle that you can fill in the morning and use all day without worry. You can also get a larger water filtration bag setup that you can hang from a nearby tree so everyone can access it, or get a countertop filter to get rid of contaminants.
Water is heavy, and if you don’t buy it far from the campground, it may be expensive. Consider purchasing non-reactive water bottles for all members of your family and load them up before packing your coolers if the water at the campsite is uncertain.
Proper Fire Handling
Check with fire restrictions and firewood restrictions. Firewood restrictions may seem excessive, but many regions require them to reduce the risk of spreading dangerous pests from one forest to another. Follow these restrictions if you want to have a fire to protect the forest.
In your camping gear, make sure you get a pair of welding gloves. Tongs can be useful for managing food over the fire, but heat resistant gloves give you more flexibility when cooking over an open flame. Bring long-handled pots and consider bringing a spare oven grate to keep your pots out of the fire.
Pack In, Pack Out
Managing your trash will be easier if you’re careful about what you bring out to the woods in the first place. Make up your own trail mix and energy bars. Pack them in large Ziploc bags instead of individual wrappers; you can wash the bags and use them again, and you can separate the bars with wax paper or beeswax wraps.
Take out three trash bags with you. In one, put trash that can’t be recycled. In another, place anything you can recycle when you get back to town. Finally, use one for items you can compost. Coffee grounds, apple cores, and other vegetable waste can all go in the compost bag. Every day, take a walk through your campground for anything that doesn’t occur in nature. Keep everyone in your party involved in the act of Leave No Trace camping.
A camping trip can be a splurge of fun in a rented RV, or a super cheap weekend away in borrowed gear. Once you get the camping bug, you’ll likely make friends with other campers and enjoy swapping stories and sharing some gear. Buy carefully. Invest in things you can use for years. Take good care of your campsite and leave it pristine for the next camper.