Hiya happy campers! Camping season is BACK and more people are getting out than ever. While we love seeing so many new faces, we’re here with six planet-protecting pro tips to make sure we’re all doing our part. After all, our Built for Play lifestyle depends on taking care of our favorite playground…Planet Earth.
1. CAMP MORE.
This probably isn’t the most surprising of sustainable living tips, especially coming from folks whose job it is to make your favorite camping stuff. But did you know that an average night in a hotel carries an ecological footprint of 15–27kg of CO2? That’s about the same as driving 50 miles. Sure, you have to drive to get to your campsite, but depending on where you’re going and how long you’re staying, camping might just be the way to reduce that carbon footprint (as well as connect with nature).
2. PACK OUT.
Check out Leave No Trace and make sure you’re up to speed with the basic tenets. Today, we’re going to focus on packing it out AND waste sorting—which is one of the easiest ways to be a little greener during your next outdoor adventure. Weirdly, many campgrounds don’t sort recycling, but our Trash Pak makes it easier to pack it out and sort it at home.
How does it work? Capable of hauling a weekend’s worth of waste & recycling, Trash Pak mounts easily to most cars and is built to withstand intense sun, rain or wind. At camp, use it to manage waste and keep things clean. When it’s time to head out, keep the mess, leaks, and smells outside of the car. Simply rinse it out at home and you’re ready for the next adventure.
3. BUDDY UP.
Carpooling is important, though current times make it tricker than ever. When safe, experts generally agree that flying carries a slightly lighter carbon footprint than driving, at least when at full capacity. While airplanes do use more fuel than earthbound vehicles, the headcount typically brings the overall average down. One important exception: when full, multi-passenger vehicles can average out just fine. So, if you’re wondering how to live more sustainably, consider inviting a few more homies along on your next camping trip*.
*Always consider travel recommendations and safety guidelines when making decisions about COVID-19.
4. WASH UP.
This is a big one, and we’ve all been guilty of it at some point. After all, car camping is SO much easier when you don’t have to lug your dinner dishes over to the shin-splashing, mosquito-breeding non-potable water source. IT’S ONLY A FEW PAPER PLATES, KAREN. However, if you’re a you’re genuinely looking for sustainable living tips, you can start by washing those dang dishes.
5. LIGHTEN UP.
If you’ve ever hiked the backcountry, you already know the importance of packing light. So, while you might never be one of those people who trims your toothbrush (which is FINE, by the way), now’s a great time to apply some of those backpacking principles to the rest of your life. As with many sustainable living tips, “lightening up” looks different to everyone. One idea we kick around often here at Kelty HQ is this: if you don’t even know where it is, do you really need it? This applies to the “nice” dishes from your wedding registry as well as the soccer ball ice cream maker you got in the white elephant exchange a few years back. Our humble suggestion: haul everything out of storage, and consider donating stuff you don’t need.
6. SPEND SMART.
Sure, we want you to buy our stuff! It’s good stuff, and it’s kind of our job to get you to buy it. But one of the things that makes Kelty gear so great is our commitment to durability. When we say something is Kelty Built, we mean it’s really made to last. Every now and then, we come across a customer who has traveled a ridiculous distance with a Kelty product—one pack withstood 50,000 miles of adventure, including an attempted murder!
Our point is, one surefire way to minimize the junk in life’s landfill is to buy BETTER stuff. This doesn’t mean it has to be 10x more expensive, it just means sturdy, well-made products that you don’t have to replace every two years. And, when it’s time for your favorite gear to finally go, make sure you donate it. There are hundreds of ways to give these guys a new home, but local shelters and youth centers are a great place to start.