With the hot days of summer behind us, camping takes on a whole new life. Cool mornings, brisk hiking weather, and the breathtaking colors of the season make fall one of the best times of the year to go camping. In addition to the milder fall temperatures being more comfortable for exploring nature (with the appropriate clothing and gear of course), chilly fall temperatures also usually chase the overflow of bugs to a warmer climate, so you can certainly expect having a lot less pesky mosquitos flying around your tent. Fall is also prime time for quite a variety of different camp activities that the entire family can enjoy, such as apple picking or pumpkin picking and carving.

You camp because you love nature. It’s our duty to protect and preserve the places we visit. Each and every single one of our actions have a significant impact on the world around us, and when you’re busy soaking in the beauty of your surroundings, it can sometimes be easy to forget that. Exploring hiking trails, observing local wildlife, camp stove cooking, lighting fires, and disposing of garbage can all be easy to cause damage without even realizing.  

That’s why we put together a list of tips to help keep you on the sustainable path as you head out on your next camping adventure. Whether you’re planning a weekend stay in a national park or embarking on a week-long backpacking trip, keep these tips for eco-friendly camping in mind:

1. Plan your meals and pack them in reusable containers

Having a meal plan means helps you avoid impulse purchases at the campground shop of items that are more likely to be wrapped in lots of plastic. Not to mention that you’ll have very little choice over what you can get. If you plan accordingly, you can definitely bring all your own food with you. Choose lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, dried grains and pasta, canned vegetables and beans, and jars of sauces

2. Shop locally for your food

When planning your fall-hiking trip menu, take a look at what your local food shopping options are. Do a little research to find a local farmers’ market or pick-your-own fruit farms near your campground that will probably not wrapped in plastic

3. Ditch disposable water bottles and bring your own refillable water bottle

Americans consume 1,500 plastic water bottles each second. If you haven’t managed to ditch those single-use plastic bottles for good, fall camping season is the perfect opportunity for you to do so—once and for all. Not only are disposable water bottles harmful to the environment, but they can also be harmful to your health. Most campground water is perfectly drinkable so it is really worth investing in a personal water bottle that you can take anywhere that you go. Check out our blog post on our favorite eco-friendly water bottle options to help you stay hydrated on your camping getaway

4. Borrow or rent gear

Borrowing from a friend or renting large items such as tents and sleeping materials is a great way to be more eco-friendly as you prepare for your adventure. If you camp quite regularly then this isn’t so practical, but if you’re an infrequent camper, or new to camping, it’s a surefire way to avoid buying gear that you may not use again for a long while

5.Purchase quality gear that will last you longer than a season          

If you’ve borrowed or rented gear and are ready to invest in your camping essentials, avoid going for the most inexpensive options available. While the initial investment can be significantly more than seemingly similar alternatives that are half the price, purchasing high-quality gear will be well worth it in the long run. Start collecting gear over time and search the sales for some bargains

6.Practice proper waste disposal and site clean-up

Correct waste disposal is really important and is something you should do throughout the duration of your trip. Separate your recyclables from your nonrecyclables and bring them home with you to dispose of. Also, before you leave your camping site spend some time to pick up any little bits of food and trash that have slipped through the net during your stay, and leave no trail behind you

It’s important that we all do what we can to reduce our eco-footprint and to respect mother nature as much as possible. By following the tips above, you can soak up autumn’s wonders on your camping adventure while also enjoying the peace of mind in knowing that your endeavors aren’t causing harm to the environment. If you’re interested in more ways to help our planet, be sure to learn about Kiwi Energy and our innovative energy and natural gas products