The summer solstice has come and gone, Canada Day is coming up and that means one thing: summer is basically here!
With temps on the rise in our Okanagan home, we are gearing up for as many adventures as possible, including one of our faves: camping.
Whether it’s tent-camping you’re into, glamping, or taking your home on wheels to destinations unknown, our tips for keeping your adventure low-waste are simple and straight up.
And of course, if you’re in the market for some tools to help get you there, we’ve got you covered for that too!
Read on for some ideas to make your next getaway low on waste and high on F-U-N.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Tell us if this hits home for you: you’ve just pulled up to your reserved camping spot (that you spent 3 hours online waiting to reserve). You are so jazzed to settle in with a glass of vino (that you brought in your wicked Market Bags Bottle Tote) and cook up an epic fireside meal…
…when you realize you forgot to bring half your meal ingredients. Expletives may or may not be dropped. Depending on how remote your camping spot is, you might be able to turn around and pick up some replacements at a convenience store or gas station, buuut…they’ll likely be overpriced, underwhelming, and probably wrapped in plastic.
Cue the panic and stress.
We’ve all been here!!
Let us help you avoid this situation.
The trick to a stress-free, low-waste camping experience is to prepare. As un-fun as this sounds, it’s actually really helpful (and, FUN)! Read on for five of our favourite strategies.
Five ways to prep your noms for the open road
- Premake meals: depending on how hard-core of a camping experience you’re about to have, you might try cooking, then dehydrating, pasta noodles for quick cooking on the trail; or, put together a stir-fry that can be warmed up pronto after rolling into your campsite.
- Prep ingredients: if the idea of pre-making meals sounds completely overwhelming (we get it), try doing some basic food prep: chop veggies and fruit, par-cook your rice, pre-mix a batch of muesli, or hard-boil some eggs for easy eating later.
- Stock up on snacks: we forgot to mention that snacks are essential for any kind of adventure! Pro tip: head to your local bulk foods store to load up (with your reusable bags, of course). This way, you can pick out exactly what and how much of each snack to pack. Not to mention, it’s super fun! (Our upcycled fabric snack bags are a great plastic-free solution for storing hiking snacks. Think: trail mix, crackers, dog treats, yum…)
- Ditch the bottle: people, it’s 2022. Let’s say no to single-serve plastic water bottles! Bring a big, reusable vessel with you instead. (Having said that we do acknowledge that there is a time and a place for single-use, such as emergencies. It’s smart to keep an emergency kit - including water - in your vehicle at all times!).
- Kick up your coffee routine: those single-serve instant coffee packs from Starbucks are super convenient, but ugh, plastic. Might we (gently) suggest adding a French Press, Aero Press, or percolator to your camping kit to reduce your plastic trash? Grind your coffee before you leave and stash it in a jar for easy scoopin’.
- Fill your cup: Bring some multi-purpose, reusable camp cups for your morning cuppa; afternoon tea; or evening wine. Our friends at Okanagan Lifestyle make some pretty slick camp cups!
Pack it Up (Part I: Food)
Once you’ve prepped all the delicious things, it’s time to start packing. Deep breaths! It doesn’t have to be hard. Often, we use random bits from around the house to keep things organized. These suggestions are a guide: use what you’ve got!
- Get creative with re-used containers: we like to pack up our food in a combo of glass jars, re-used yogurt or take-out containers, really whatever is lying around the kitchen.
- Bulk up: camping is notorious for single-serve everything. We get it! If you’re backpacking you need to keep things light. But if you happen to be car-camping or RVing, you might try bulking up on things like oats (instead of single-serve packets) and other dry goods. This will save you money and cut down on the amount of trash you have to pack out.
- Make the switch: we think re-using what we already have is the most sustainable option but if you’re in the market to switch out your conventional plastic storage items for reusable models, consider the following:
- Stasher Bags instead of Ziploc bags
- Beeswax wraps instead of plastic wrap
And HELLO, we just dropped a brand new fold-over sandwich bag!! This bag is the perfect holder for your stacked sandwich, mouth-watering wrap, or satisfying snacks like GORP and popcorn. Plus, it’s crafted from thick, 100% organic cotton canvas, making it a lovely, plastic-free way to keep your yums fresh until you’re ready to sink your teeth into them.
Pack it up (Part II: Everything Else)
While we are all about food, it turns out you need a bit more than just sustenance to make an adventure complete. For all those other bits, there are low-waste solutions, too.
- Everything in its place: peace of mind can be found in a tidy campsite, right? Reusable bags are a great way to keep toys, clothes, and games orderly and stashed away when not in use.
- Tidy up your toiletries: Our organic cotton mesh bag is perfect for bathroom toiletries and trips to the shower house.
- Tote-ally levelling up: If you’re escaping for a quick weekend getaway, save the big, bulky backpack: throw your clothes into our Tote 2.0 and GTFO!
Remember the Why
Prepping for a low-waste camping trip might be a bit of work, but it’s infinitely rewarding. When we’re prepped, we can rest easy knowing that our things are ready to go and we’re treading more lightly on our planet.
Camping and outdoor adventure are all about experiencing nature and having fun with family and friends. For us, this is what recharges our life batteries to keep on doing what we love to do. By getting outside (even if only for a weekend) we remind ourselves what the journey to be more sustainable is all about: protecting and preserving our planet!
We hope these tips help as you get ready for your next adventure. We’d love to hear from you what your favourite low-waste tricks are!