Sustainable Summer Camping Challenge

This week, as we get halfway through the summer, Solight Design is focusing on Camping! Camping can be one of the cheapest and most fun ways to travel and get outside your comfort zone AND it’s the perfect summer activity for a weekend (or even weeknight) getaway.

Camping is also the perfect way to learn about and utilize sustainable practices. The “leave no trace” mentality is something that everyone can take into their daily lives.

Here are some of our favorite camping tips and tricks:

1. Ketchup Bottle Pancake Mix

This is a great way to prepare breakfast for the morning. All you have to do is mix together your pancake mix, put it into a bottle, and squirt it out over the fire or camping stove in the morning!

2. Camping Scavenger Hunt

This is a great idea to get younger campers excited about being in the outdoors. Do some research about the types of plants and scenery you might find on your trip and put together a list of 10-15 items your kids might encounter along the campsite. Print out this list and bring some paper or plastic bags along so your kids can collect these items. If they're younger, be sure to include pictures so they don't have to read!

3. Campfire Fire Bombs

These fire bombs are the perfect thing to bring along and start your campfire. It's easy, time-saving, and allows you to reuse materials you otherwise would throw away!

Here's how to make your own:

Supplies: Toilet paper or paper towel tube, Newspaper, and dryer lint.

Instructions:

  • Stuff the paper towel tube with dryer lint

  • Wrap the tube in newspaper

  • Store in a dry place until you need to start your campfire!

5. Pack Solights! These packable, reusable, and solar-powered lanterns are the ideal light for camping and hiking. They will light up an entire 10x10' tent and are hands-free.

www.solight-design.com

6. Make your own energy bars and snacks!

When you make your own on-the-go snacks you are not only saving money but you're also saving the environment by picking reusable packaging and sustainable ingredients. You also get to pick exactly what's in your bars so you (and your kids) can be sure you'll like them!

Cashew-Date-Coconut Bars Peanut Butter, Blueberry, & Oat Date Bars

Also... Kids are more happy when they are well fed. Let them help you prepare snacks so that you know they’ll like what you have to offer. Give them snacks as a reward for getting to the campsite or participating in a hike!

7. Organize your waste by trash, compost, and recycling so it’s easier once you get back. Following the "Leave No Trace" principles is the best way to ensure that you're camping responsibly. In order to ensure that future hikers and campers have the same amazing, trash-free experience that you do, collecting and properly disposing of your own trash is a must! We have found that the best way to do this is to bring three different containers... one for trash, one for compost, and one for recyclables. If you plan ahead and only bring what you need, these containers should be almost empty at the end of the trip!

8. Biodegradable Soap and Toothpaste.

Even though camping is all about roughing it, hygiene and personal care is still important! When camping, be sure to pick up some biodegradable and all-natural toothpaste and soap. This ensures that the runoff from your showers or teeth-brushing doesn't harm the environment. Many of the most common soaps and toothpastes can have a detrimental impact on wildlife and plant life.

Here are some of our favorite soaps and toothpastes: Dr. Bronner's Soap, Toothpaste

9. Rent your gear!

Many people, especially in urban cities, are hesitant to go camping or backpacking because they don't want to fork out hundreds of dollars on camping equipment that they don't even have room for at home. The good thing is, many stores around the country now offer high-quality rentals at a fraction of the price! Here are some of our favorite rental companies:

Gear to Go, REI, Eastern Mountain Sports

10. Bring your kids! Start them young! If you have children, hiking and camping can be some of the best bonding experiences they can get. It’s a time to unplug, get face-to-face and challenge themselves. Start small and include games and rewards until kids learn to love and crave hiking and camping themselves.