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5 ways to make camping eco-friendly

By Christine Hill

For a weekend getaway, grab a tent and some basic supplies to explore local campsites with these eco-friendly camping tips.

Camping can be an immersive and gratifying experience with nature that’s fun for the whole family. It’s a great way to unplug from the buzzing digital world and the demands of everyday life to be with loved ones and nature, uninterrupted. However, a conscious effort to be as environmentally friendly as possible while camping starts way before the first tent is pitched. By planning ahead and sticking to eco-friendly ideas while on your trip, you can greatly lessen your environmental impact while doubling the fun of camping.

1. Find used camping gear

There is no need to go out and spend money on new tents and backpacks when you can find a good used alternative at a second-hand store or borrow equipment from a friend. Both ideas encourage reuse, and are frugal ways to start your green camping trip.

2. Pack natural toiletries

Instead of regular shampoos and conditioners that are full of chemicals, bring biodegradable soaps and shampoos. By doing this, you’re not adding chemicals to your campsite or surrounding waterways.

3. Think inside the box when planning meals


A DIY box oven can be used to elevate camp food.

Camping food can go beyond hot dogs and hamburgers with this fun way to reuse a cardboard box. With a simple cardboard box and aluminum foil, make a box oven for tasty treats like cinnamon rolls, quick breakfast burritos, s’mores, and many other ideas. To learn how to make your own box oven, click here.

4. Reuse your dishes

Ditch the paper plates and plastic silverware and use reusable plates and cooking utensils instead. The way to make this a feasible camping option is to bring your own dishtowel, biodegradable soap and a small bucket to wash your dishes. This will cut back on waste and help you to leave nature exactly how you found it.

5. Choose a local camping spot

Save time and reduce your carbon output by pitching your tent at a nearby camping spot. Clay County Park Department offers 777 campsites at Camp Branch Campground and Crow’s Creek Campground at Smithvillle Lake. The site has 24 miles of trails along with swimming beaches and shelters.

These campgrounds are all less than one hour from Kansas City:

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