Minimal Footprint Camping – Being Conscious of Your Surroundings

By Nick Oetken
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Minimal Footprint Camping – Being Conscious of Your Surroundings

Nick Oetken
 
View of tent in camp ground in the middle of pine forest.
View of tent in camp ground in the middle of pine forest.
 
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In today’s day and age, with a plethora of modern gadgets and outdoors equipment, camping is no longer such a daunting prospect. People from all walks of life can successfully head out into the wild, relying on their top-of-the-line equipment to ensure they have an easy and smooth trip.

While this is all certainly a benefit to those with little experience, it can also have its drawbacks.

In fact, people today are so reliant on modern technology, electronics, GPS, and electric power that they have completely distanced themselves from an iconic, primal, and natural outdoors experience.

While smartphones and GPS devices provide a lot of advantages in the woods, being overly reliant on them could be your downfall
While smartphones and GPS devices provide a lot of advantages in the woods, being overly reliant on them could be your downfall

That’s why today, we’re discussing a much-needed theme: a stripped down, in-tune, and minimal footprint outdoors experience – a deeper connection with nature, which is minimally reliant on gadgets and fancy tools. Today, we’re taking you off the grid.

Back to the Roots

Sun is free for all to use, and such a power source is natural and safe.
Sun is free for all to use, and such a power source is natural and safe.

Now, there’s no doubt that every camper, hiker, and outdoorsman wants to have as easy a time as possible when he or she is out in the wilderness. Anything that makes things easier should come as a much-needed help, right? Well, yes. But camping in a modern way has its drawbacks too.

At a time when nature is in a very threatened state – with rampant pollution, destruction of habitats, and a variety of other troubles – we want to do as much as we can to stop this situation from becoming even worse.

Now, take a look at your choice of equipment. There’s a good chance that anything fancy will require either batteries, charging, fuel, or anything similar to operate. Why not opt for solar-powered gadgets? Sun is free for all to use, and such a power source is natural and safe.

Amongst those inefficient methods, RV camping really stands out as it is really dependent on various pollutants and in the end doesn’t really offer a hands-on experience with nature. Most “motorized” excursions into the wild fall under the same category.

RV camping is neither as easy or as efficient as most people think when it comes to living off the grid
RV camping is neither as easy or as efficient as most people think when it comes to living off the grid

On the other hand, all you traditional hikers – all of you who like to “hoof it” – take care to be as independent as you can. Take time and practice to learn as many traditional methods as you can, relying as little as you can on modern equipment. There is quite a lot of efficient old-school methods for every outdoorsman, some of which we have written about and some of which we are yet to mention. From orientation, fire starting, edibles, and sleeping, all the way to hunting and fishing, these methods all tie in together to create a rewarding and independent camping trip – a real connection between man and the wild.

You’ll also want to take care not to rely heavily on store-bought goods. Remember that almost everything is packed in slow-degradable plastics and nylon, which you cannot dump wherever you please. This means you’ll have to carry all that rubbish with you. This is only one part of being conscious of your surroundings and actually caring for the wellbeing of the world around you.

Remember that almost everything is packed in slow-degradable plastics and nylon, which you cannot dump wherever you please.
Remember that almost everything is packed in slow-degradable plastics and nylon, which you cannot dump wherever you please.

Careful & Content

To fully appreciate the nature around us, sometimes we need to sacrifice just a little bit of our own comfort. We like to call it the camping experience with a “minimal footprint.” This means that you need to base your stay in the wilderness in such a way that it makes you almost invisible. Becoming one with the nature around you will only bring you a richer, more rewarding experience that will not harm your surroundings.

So, in summary: don’t rely on fancy power-consuming gadgets, don’t litter or pollute, and try to be as independent as you possibly can. It only takes a little to achieve a lot. Let’s save our surroundings!

The Off-Grid Life

Besides camping, there are other ways of having a minimal footprint. For those more experienced nature dwellers or those who simply want to live their lives more consciously in relation to nature, there is always the option of living off the grid. A life off the grid entails a complete (or almost complete) independence from modern “luxuries.”

Living off the grid, and just living a simpler life, can be a very rewarding long term experience
Living off the grid, and just living a simpler life, can be a very rewarding long term experience

Living off-grid entails that you have your own sources of water, energy, food, and all else that is needed for a satisfactory life. Those who commit to this lifestyle are truly reverting to the old tried and tested traditional ways – relying on solar power, rainwater, outhouses, composting toilets, gardening, and the labor of their own two hands to ensure a healthy and humble life.

But one thing is always a certainty: reverting back to a simpler, traditional lifestyle will bring with itself so many valuable and deep rewards. To experience life in a way that makes even the tiniest of things valuable and cherished will give you a whole new perspective on the world around you. This is exactly why you should never hesitate to take that leap and try things that others won’t – because who knows, maybe a life-changing experience lies just around the corner!

 
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