As we venture out into nature, it only makes sense that we should want to leave the smallest “footprint” as possible. Responsible campers and hikers ensure their campsite is clean and that they take away any trash, and as much as possible leaving the campsite or trail in the state they found it.
But we can take the ‘Leave No Trace’ ethic one step further by using equipment that has been produced with sustainability in mind. To this end here is a list of great adventure supplies that are sustainable, having been produced using as few resources as possible.
1. Solar stove
Instead of burning wood, gas, or even charcoal, you can use the sun. Solar-powered stoves, like the GoSun Sport, will allow you to cook using only the heat from the sun. This also means that you do not have to keep an eye on an open flame, reducing the risk of starting a forest fire.
2. Insulated water bottle
Of course we all have about 10 water bottles hanging around, but an insulated bottle can make a world of difference. You can get a sustainable insulated bottle, such as the ones that Klean Kanteen makes, where the bottle is made using sustainable and responsibly sourced materials such as bamboo. Klean Kanteen is also well-known for contributing to environmental organizations.
3. Environmentally conscious hiking boots
You can even get hiking boots that have been made using sustainable materials and from companies that do their part to help the environment. One of these companies is Oboz, who use wind power for their headquarters and use only environmentally conscious materials. Pay attention to the materials used in your hiking boots to make sure you are getting the most environmentally friendly pair you can.
4. Bamboo utensils
Instead of purchasing disposable or plastic utensils to eat with, why not get yourself some bamboo utensils. They are reusable and as long as you go with a brand made from sustainably harvested bamboo, you won’t be harming the environment. As a plus, they are lightweight, making them easier to carry than metal cutlery. Many camp foods can be eaten without any utensils, but some things really do need the help of knives, forks, and spoons.
5. Recycled tent
If you can’t find a used tent that suits your needs, you can get one that is made from recycled materials, such as the Nano OZ tent. The Nano is made using recycled PET bottles and recycled plastic.
6. Eco sleeping bag
Just like with a tent, these days you can get a new sleeping bag that is made with recycled materials. Full disclosure: most eco-friendly sleeping bags are not going to cut it in extremely cold temperatures. But, they are also lightweight and can be less expensive than traditional sleeping bags.
7. Solar lantern
Really the best energy that you can use on a camping or hiking adventure – beyond the energy supplied by yourself, of course – is the sun. Using a solar-powered lantern can ensure that you will never need to use batteries or burn oil, but instead get a charge off the best energy source out there. An added bonus is that you will no longer need to worry about remembering to pack replacement batteries.
One thing to keep in mind as you aim to be a moret environmentally conscious adventurer is that the most sustainable hiking and camping items are the ones that you already own. See if you can mend, reuse, or make something that you already have work for your needs before you commit to buying something new. You can also see if you can resell or recycle something that no longer works for you, helping other campers while ensuring that used items do not wind up in a landfill somewhere. And remember: Leave No Trace – carry out anything you have carried into a campsite, leaving it as you found it.
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