Camping the eco-friendly way

Any outdoor enthusiast knows what a valuable experience camping can be. Not only does pitching a tent in the wilderness provide an escape from our busy modern lifestyle, it is also a great opportunity to appreciate some natural beauty.

South Africa boasts an array of camping locations suited for winter and summer adventures. Making the most of these majestic settings also means preserving their beauty for future generations. Consider opting for these eco-friendly camping habits next time you venture into the wild.

Earth-friendly cooking methods

When it comes to camping, cooking requires either gas or fire. Both have their merits, but let’s look at their environmental impact. While a gas stove is easier to control, disposable canisters aren’t recyclable. The bigger, refillable canisters are safer in any case, as they are less likely to fall over.

However, nothing beats the ambiance of a campfire. Besides setting the mood with its friendly glow, a campfire leaves no inorganic matter behind. As with any eco-friendly fire, stick to burning wood from alien plants.

Take your trash with you

Unless your campsite provides facilities for responsible disposal and recycling, rather keep your trash together and take it home to recycle later. Alternatively, avoid creating trash altogether. Following an eco-friendly lifestyle in general means buying products which require as little disposable packaging as possible. Try to pack for your camp using only re-usable containers.

When it comes to disposing of organic matter like vegetable peels, remember that there is a big difference between composting and just chucking things in the bushes. In the case of purely organic waste, ask the groundskeeper if they have a compost heap or take it home with you.

Moving around without causing havoc

Generally speaking, South African campsites are easily accessible and user friendly. However, when it comes to the real bundu-bashing kind of camping 4×4 enthusiasts love, some clearing is often required. Avoid hacking away at branches and bushes unnecessarily; especially in areas with rare or endangered vegetation.

If you plan to venture into these more rugged terrains, and you’re looking at SUVs or bakkies for sale, pay particular attention to the space underneath the vehicle. The higher the axis, the less damage driving through vegetation will cause. Also consider a cabin large enough for a snooze. Sleeping in the back of you bakkie means you won’t have to clear out plants to pitch a tent.

By putting the environment first at all times, camping can remain the enjoyable and educational experience we love today. Let’s start employing greener camping habits for a happy camping future.