Conscious Camping

by Carolyn The Healthy Voyager Scott

Summer 2010 is here, and what’s more summer appropriate than camping? Whether you rough it, tent it or RV it, you won’t have all the comforts of home, making it easy to eat unhealthily – and to live un-environmentally. Below are some tips on how to make choices that are good for you and the planet!

  • Be green and bring your own – dishes, that is! You can find lightweight dish wear designed specifically for camping at camping supply stores and online at REI. Avoid the disposable stuff—you’ll save your wallet and the environment. (And try to avoid using disposable bags, too.)
  • Stock up on healthy snacks. Load up on treats like organic chips and salsa or guacamole and hummus with carrots. When off on hikes, bring energy bars to keep your hunger at bay without killing your insulin levels.
  • Eat your veggies! Fruit is fairly easy to come by, but getting your greens is nearly impossible. Try making a big batch of green juice before you leave home and keeping it on ice during your trip. Juice spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, parsley, apple, lemon & ginger for a yummy yet healthy libation
  • Drink lots of water!! Activities in the hot sun can lead to rapid dehydration. Keep liquefied and cool. Bring water in reusable or recyclable gallons. If you bring water in the 5 gallon bottles, invest in a hand pump. And be sure to dump “gray water” in designated areas, away from fresh water sources and not in the bushes.
  • Bring enough receptacles to keep your trash separate from your recyclables. Some camp sites don’t offer recycling, so keep a bin for your recyclables, and dispose of them once you’re home.
  • Fall off the grid. Keep your cell phones, iPods and computers charged with the sun by using solar panels instead of generators. A great stop for your portable solar needs is Sundance Solar. Opt for crank or shakable flashlights and crank radios, and as at home, replace disposable batteries with rechargeable.
  • Stay within your site’s boundaries and on paths. Venturing into the forest threatens fragile plants, disrupts wildlife and leads to soil erosion. And every time you veer off a path, you create an opening for others to follow. So don’t do it!
  • Keep campfires small and contained in a pit. Don’t burn plastic, metals or woods that have been treated with chemicals. If you use an outdoor grill, dump the ashes in your fire pit or dispose of them in designated areas.
  • Follow the rules of the campsite. Especially the bathroom rules, as some sites may be on a septic system and anything other than what is supposed to go in toilets or drains can harm it. Be a mindful guest and a courteous camper — your fellow campers will thank you!

Camping with friends and family, or venturing out on your own can be incredibly fun – and even more so during the summer months. Just make sure you are prepared for the area you will be visiting, and be a cautious as well as conscious camper!

To locate great campsites around the country, be sure to check out Go Camping America or All Campgrounds.

Carolyn Scott is the executive producer, creator, host and writer of The Healthy Voyager brand. Her web series, radio show, site, blog and social network show you how to live, and travel, healthy & green. For more information, product recommendations and where to purchase, visit www.healthyvoyager.com

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