Whether you’re wild camping or pitching up at a campsite, camping is one of the best ways to get back to nature. But there’s no escaping the fact that camping can be damaging to the wild places we love. Fortunately, we have some eco-friendly camping tips to help you minimise the impact you have on your surroundings.


Leave no trace

Leave no trace is the golden rule of camping, and everybody should follow it. Regardless of where you’ll be camping, you shouldn't leave anything behind that doesn't belong there. It’s important to consider everything, from making sure you’ve packed up all your kit to tackling all your waste. 


You need to follow this ethos out on the trail too. As well as packing out all your waste, you should stick to footpaths to prevent unnecessary erosion. 


Don’t forget human waste either. When you’re out on the hills for the whole day, you’re going to need to pee or poo, so do it responsibly:


  • Make sure you’re at least 60m from any water sources to avoid contamination
  • For solid human waste, you need to dig a hole at least six inches deep and fill it in once you’re done
  • Toilet paper, wipes or feminine hygiene products need to be packed in a bag and carried with you until you can dispose of them in a bin
  • Use eco-friendly hand sanitiser to wash your hands once you’re done

Opt for reusable

Your rubbish will soon stack up if you're relying on canned/bottled drinks and disposable cutlery, so opt for reusable camp kitchen essentials to reduce your waste. 


A reusable water bottle is a must for any trip. Choose one with filtration capabilities if you know you'll be out in the wilds and need to top up from natural water sources. 





When it comes to cutlery, pots and pans, if you’re pitching up at a campsite for a few days, you can pack things from home to save buying unnecessary gear. However, if you’re on a multi-day trek, it’s best to invest in specialist camping utensils, many of which have multiple uses to cut down on the gear you need to carry.





Avoid plastic packaging

Plastic is everywhere, from the clothes we wear to our camp kitchen, so we’re not suggesting you go completely plastic-free. But, by avoiding disposable plastic, you can minimise your impact and reduce the risk of you dropping litter when you’re out exploring.


Check out our top tips to help you reduce your plastic use when camping:


  • If staying on a campsite, pre-cook some meals and freeze them in advance. They’ll last a couple of days in a cool box and mean you won’t have any plastic packaging to dispose of
  • For multi-day treks, it’s harder to prep food yourself as most of the time, you’ll be relying on low weight, rehydrated meals to keep you fuelled up for the challenge ahead. However, it is possible to minimise the amount of plastic you carry by pouring the meal out of its original packaging into a resealable bag or tub to take with you. You can then recycle the original plastic, and there’s no chance it’ll blow away and end up somewhere it shouldn’t
  • Another tip for when you’re heading out to the hills for a few days is to make your own snacks instead of buying pre-packaged ones
  • Always carry a bag for rubbish in your rucksack. Use it for all your waste, including items you may view as degradable, like fruit peel. Remember, you should leave no trace 

Light fires responsibly

When wild camping, use a camping stove instead of lighting a fire. Not only do fires cause damage to the area you light them in, but many wildfires are inadvertently started this way. 


At campsites, only light a fire if allowed and follow any rules.

Wash consciously

You still need to wash and stay clean when you’re camping, but many washing products contain ingredients that are harmful pollutants to water and land resources. By switching to natural and organic products, you can help reduce your impact while still staying fresh and hygienic – what’s not to love?


If you’re roughing it on the mountainside and braving a natural water source for a wash, then ditch the soap. A good scrub with a loofah or hard sponge will leave you feeling refreshed without contaminating the water. Plus, you'll get a buzz from the cold water. If that's not your thing, try a strip wash by heating some water on your stove and using it to wash your essential bits.


Buy local

Many of our favourite camping areas rely on tourism to survive, but tourism can have a negative impact on the locals. To help ease the burden, put money back into the local economy and buy locally. 


Shopping at farm shops, market stalls, and local producers is also a great way to cut down on wasted packaging, as they tend to use less plastic than supermarkets. 


Many larger campsites have small shops on-site stocked with locally-sourced essentials, from fresh veggies to eggs and bread. If there’s not a shop on-site, talk to those working on the campsite and find out where to buy the best produce.


And for backpackers, buying local is a great way to keep what you carry to a minimum. Simply top up with the essentials as and when you pass through somewhere with a shop.

Camp closer to home

Exploring new places is one of our favourite activities, so we’re not saying give up travel altogether, but consider taking a couple of trips closer to home. Planning a backpacking trip for a few nights not far from home is a great way to get a new perspective and we promise you’ll be surprised by how much you learn about a place you thought you knew well.


Then, when you want to venture further afield, why not consider more sustainable methods of transport or offsetting the carbon footprint of your travel?


Look after your gear

There’s no escaping that you’ll need a fair bit of gear for camping. From your tent and sleeping gear to cooking equipment and clothing suitable for all weathers, the list goes on. But if you see your gear as an investment and look after it, you can help reduce its overall impact.




Different types of camping require different gear, which is why we offer advice to help you make the right choice first time around. We also offer fitting services to get you the best fit and can advise on products to keep your gear performing at its best for longer. 


Plus, because we know that when you’re out pushing your limits, your gear is more susceptible to damage, we offer repair services too. All you need to do is bring it into your local Snow+Rock store and let our experts work their magic. 



Take time to disconnect

Heading on a camping trip is all about getting out into nature, so consider whether computers, tablets, Kindles and other electronics are needed. Take time to step away from gadgets and give yourself a chance to reconnect instead. The time you save doom scrolling Insta could be put to good use trying out a new activity like wild swimming or scrambling.



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