Let’s face it, everyone needs a vacation! We need time to unwind and recharge. Are you considering a camping trip for your vacation this year? What better way to live naturally then to spend time in the great outdoors with eco-friendly camping gear!
Being outside in nature provides so many benefits to our health and mental outlook. It can even provide relational benefits when we’re camping with friends or family.
Camping Provides a Host of Benefits
- Enjoying fresh air
- Getting exercise
- Reducing stress
- Disconnecting from technology
- Getting a boost of Vitamin D from being in the sun
- Spending quality time with family and friends without distractions
- Providing quiet time to think and pray
- Better sleep
While you’re enjoying the benefits of being in the great outdoors, make sure you bring camping gear with you that is eco-friendly and isn’t harming you or the environment with toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, many camping products contain toxins such as synthetic fabrics and fragrances, flame retardants, plastics with BPA and other harmful chemicals. Fortunately, however, some companies are starting to offer more eco-friendly options which are kinder to the environment.
Here are some suggestions for a greener, healthier, eco-friendly camping experience.
Must Have Eco-Friendly Camping Gear
You sleep on an air mattress 6-8 hours. It’s best to make sure that the mattress isn’t made with toxic chemicals which can be inhaled throughout the night. Due to the nature of air mattresses, they need to be flexible, comfortable and water proof, so plastic is typically the material of choice. However, which type of plastic is your air mattress made of? The mattresses below are considered to be less toxic because they are made with TPU instead of PVC.
The backpacks recommended below are made by United By Blue. They offer backpack options that are made of organic cotton, or recycled polyester. They also use eco-friendly standards in their manufacturing process.
Did you know that your cookware can leach harmful chemicals as you cook? I highly recommend avoiding cookware with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Better cookware options are cast iron, ceramic, or stainless steel.
When camping, you need to keep food cold, but don’t necessarily want it to take up a ton of room. Soft coolers are a great option instead of hard plastic coolers. These recommended coolers are made with TPU and are easy to carry.
Dinnerware and Food Containers
Similar to cookware, dinnerware and food containers can leach harmful chemicals. A better option for you and the environment is to use stainless steel instead of paper or plastic products. Below are recommended items which are stainless steel.
Light: Lanterns and Flash Lights
Rechargeable solar powered lanterns and flash lights are a must when camping. No need to carry around batteries and kerosene when using the following recommended lights.
While one of the benefits of camping in the great outdoors is to have time without technology, it’s nice to have a phone for emergency purposes. These solar powered phone chargers make sure you can get enough power if a phone is needed.
Sleeping bags can be harmful similar to air mattresses. Who wants to sleep surrounded by chemicals all night? Not me! Here are some better options which include cotton sleeping bag interiors instead of polyester.
Of course, if you want to go all natural, you can make a campfire by rubbing some sticks together, or use a few matches. However, if you would like some modern day conveniences of cooking a little quicker without the need for propane, these stoves are a great option. They’re easily portable and lightweight too.
While you’re in the great outdoors enjoying some Vitamin D from the sun, it’s good to be protected if you’re going to be in the sun for a prolonged amount of time. The Environmental Working Group has rated sunscreens according to the toxicity of their ingredients. Here are some of their highest recommended sunscreens.
No need to use plastic utensils which get tossed away after each use. Why not use reusable bamboo or stainless steel utensils which don’t harm you or the environment.
Water bottles are a must to replenish fluids. These water bottles are made of stainless steel and keeps water cold all day in the hot sun. Here are some water bottle recommendations:
Happy eco-friendly camping!