How Camping Vacations Could Help You Go Greener

Camping in the mountains

If you are trying to decide where you want to go on vacation this year and yet are also trying to live more sustainably, you may struggle to reconcile your wish to get away with your desire to lead a better life. Vacations can really increase your carbon footprint if you are not careful about where you go and what you do. Make sure that you make ethical and healthy choices when it comes to enjoying your hard-earned vacation time. Camping vacations could help you go greener.

Heading out Into the Wilds Allows You To Take Back Control

Fortunately, there are many great eco options out there when it comes to choosing a destination. Whether you travel near or far, camping in the wilderness can be an amazing choice which can have very little impact on the environment if you do it right. This is the solution for those who are looking for a relaxing holiday or for those looking for a bit of adventure. A stay in the wilderness is what you personally make of it, which means it is also great for those who are looking to take back a little bit of control in their lives.

One of the barriers to going greener is the feeling that improving things on a wider scale and in our own lives is beyond our individual control. Heading out for a camping adventure can help you reconnect with nature and get some perspective. It can help you reduce your stress levels and clear your head, which could help you see how you can go greener and live more sustainably when you return from your adventure.

Going Off the Beaten Track Will Reduce Your Impact

When many people go to the same places in holiday, this inevitably puts some strain on the infrastructure of an area, its energy and water needs are increased dramatically, often far beyond sustainable levels. Local people and wildlife and the planet can often suffer as a consequence of this mass tourism industry.

By taking yourself of into the wilderness you are not putting strain on any infrastructure. By being a considerate guest in the wilds you can become a part of the natural ecosystem rather than a blight upon it.

You can enjoy its peace and serenity. What is more, when you head off the beaten track you can, quite literally, stop and smell the flowers. You can gain a whole new level of appreciation and love for the natural world around you. This can have a knock on effect on your whole life. We want to protect what we love, so learning to truly love the natural world can make us more inclined to protect it by going greener and choosing more sustainable options when we return from our vacations.

Camping Can Help You Learn to Live With Less

Of course, if you are traveling into the wilderness alone, as a couple or in a small group, you must always make sure that you are well-prepared. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with basic camping and outdoor skills that will help you to feel more at home in the great outdoors. Of course you should also always make sure to carry the right equipment and have everything you need. This does not mean, however, that you should take the kitchen sink. This sort of wild camping is all about bearing things down, peeling things back to the bare essentials.

By living in the wilds, even for a short time, you are not only able to have a wonderful, enjoyable, sustainable vacation, you could also very well come home with a new attitude to those trappings of modernity that you have done so well without. You will be surprised by how little you miss most of your ‘things’ while out in the sticks. The futility and excess of our consumer-driven culture is really laid bare and this can lay the foundations for further steps towards your transition to a more sustainable, green and ethical future. You’ll be more inclined to reduce, reuse and recycle once you get back home.

Camping Vacations Can Teach You New Skills For Self-Reliance

Taking away all the trappings and some of the comforts of your everyday life can be at once a slightly scary and exhilarating experience. Camping in the wilderness far from an arranged campground is something that can be a real learning experience. It can teach you not just about the fragile beauty and diversity of nature but also about yourself. You can find a new fortitude and resilience in yourself that can be brought back with you into your everyday life.

What is more, in a very immediate and practical sense, a camping vacation can allow you to develop a range of new skills which will increase your capacity for self-reliance. For example:

  • You might learn how to hunt or fish sustainably, or forage for your own plant-based food.
  • Perhaps you will learn how to cook fresh food from scratch, with few resources or utensils at your disposal – a skill that will always stand you in good stead, and could even allow you to simplify your kitchen when you get back home.
  • You might learn basic first aid to help you keep yourself and your family safe, and perhaps some natural or herbal remedies based on the plants around you, so you will be less reliant on big pharma when you return to your everyday life.
  • How to read maps and navigate our world without technology, which could reduce your need for gadgets and electronic devices.

These are just some of the things you can learn on camping vacations. So a camping vacation will not only be a greener option that other sorts of vacations, but will also help you to go greener once you return home. One of these adventures could have long-lasting benefits for you, your family and this planet we call home.

Author of our ‘green’ articles is Elizabeth Waddington – a professional writer and a consultant on topics related to permaculture, sustainability, green living and eco travel.

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