Low impact camping or camping the hippy way.
Tea pot on a camp fire
A couple of weekends ago, Rick and I and long time friends, went camping at Larrabee State Park. We all love the outdoors, fresh air, rain, sun, trees. Not mosquitoes. Since we aren’t rolling in the dough and friend Erin couldn’t get away from work, we decided to do a quickie camping trip.
Castile soap – One needs soap to clean hands, dishes etc. Castile soap is biodegradable as long as there isn’t anything else nasty added to it. I love Dr. Bronner’s tea tree liquid soap. I’ve used it for dishes, regular hand washing, showering etc.
Cast iron pan – This is something I use camping and at home! Though they are rather heavy. They can be used over a fire grate or on a propane stove of some sort. As long as you know how to cook with them, and they have been properly seasoned, they are relatively easy to clean and use the next time around.
Java log – This is a recent discovery. I’ve felt a little strange about burning wood. I feel badly, like it’s wasteful. How is one supposed to be sure the wood you are burning was chopped down ethically? Where does firewood at stores even come from? I’ve been lucky enough to have access to wood at my parents house. Each year a tree or part of a tree there falls down in a wind storm. They don’t have a wood stove so it piles up, ready for whomever goes camping. However, the last several times I’ve “borrowed” wood, it’s burned super fast, leaving us without. This time camping, Erin decided to buy a Java log. They are supposed to burn for 2-3 hours. They are made out of coffee grounds and vegetable waxes which burns cleaner than wood, and much hotter. And since I think camping should include a fire(not a very hippy view I know) a java log might just be the answer to your problems. My experience, though it was only one night, was a good one. I’ll be doing more “testing” on my own, in order to come up with a more complete review of this. For now, it’s worth a try!
Enamel or other type of reusable cookware – I hate, and I mean HATE, paper and Styrofoam plates and plastic cutlery. It’s soooo wasteful. It doesn’t get reused, creates waste that might even fly away at your campsite, not to mention the stuff that makes it to the landfill. I’m fully in support of reusable cookware/dinnerware. We bought blue enamel plates, cups, and bowls. Though they aren’t super light, like you might want if you plan to hike a ways to a site, for the type of camping we tend to do, they are just wonderful. And on top of being non-wasteful, they are super easy to wash. Food doesn’t seem to stick at all. Just a little bit of soap and water and it all slides off to leave a clean plate behind. Just remember, if it chips that means that tiny little chips might end up in your food, which is not very a good thing, even if it is “safe”. Be nice to your plates, cups and bowls and they should last for a long, long time!
Tea pot – Yup. Simple huh? It seems the camping coffee peculator shines brighter than the little old tea pot. But really, tea is something that almost everyone can drink. It’s usually better for you. And you can use it to boil water for dishes so your fingers don’t freeze. Or just in case something goes wrong with your water supply, boil the water for drinking.
Linen bag for granola or trail mix – Our friends used a couple of linen bags for the granola and trail mix they brought to the August camping trip last year. I have yet to make my own linen bags to use for camping or everyday stuff. I refuse to pay $5 for a bag I or Rick could make for a $1 or so.
Biodegradable toilet paper – Because you just never know.
Towels – instead of paper towels for obvious wasteful reasons.
You’d think it wasn’t relaxing if all we did was pack, sleep to nights, repack and unpack. Actually, it was amazingly recharging. And since it’s still spring, it’s a better idea to do a shorter trip in case the weather is less than perfect. Which was the case.
Since we went camping and it’s the beginning of camping season, I thought I’d do a post about how to camp low impact or camping the hippy way(my version, as there could be many).
First, before I begin my list of nifty cool things and ideas, I have to say, I’m not a hardcore camper. I love camping, but I prefer access to showers(though I will try camping without, near a river), and toilets(also, willing to try without). I have never camped at a place I had to hike. Not yet. I’m willing, and if Erin has her wish, we’ll probably go this year. Possible Nooksack trip? Who knows. But I love the outdoors, until they try to steal our food of course. Raccoons! Cute, but nasty. Camping is something I’ve only recently become excited about and interested in. I’ve always loved my time outdoors, but at the end of the day I could go back for a shower. Everything I say about camping, or that I’ve tried, has been used at a site, in a campground, with a bathroom or port-a-potty (not recently emptied, bleh) not at a far away place where you pack in everything in one trip. I think I’ll try that someday, but not right now. Anyway, onto the camping recommendations.
The list could go on and on. The limit is only your imagination. If you have ideas let me know. I’ll add them to the list. For now, I’ll leave you with these basic ideas to ponder, and hopefully use on your next camping trip!
Tea in an enamel cup