I recently returned from a camping trip with pockets bursting with single-use snack wrappers. As I shoveled it all into the garbage, I wondered how it was possible to generate more waste “roughing it” than I do in my city life. I wanted to do better so I consulted with three REI experts on how to have a greener camping trip. Greener camping is not too much different than greener living—it just takes a desire to do better by the planet, with a little planning.
As you’re planning meals and snacks for your trip, think carefully about waste. Instead of enjoying single-use goos, grab a squeeze bottle and refill it yourself. “I started looking for recipes to make my own protein and energy bars,” said Gemina Garland-Lewis, National Geographic explorer, ecohealth researcher and REI member. “I can make my own, buying ingredients in bulk to decrease the packaging waste on that side.” She added, “I use the beeswax wraps—they’re washable and reusable.”
Whether you’re in the front country or backcountry, the easiest way to make an impact is sorting your waste. Bring at least two reusable trash bags, one for trash and one for recycling, you could even consider bringing one for compost. If your campground or trailhead doesn’t have compost or recycling, take it home and make sure your waste is properly disposed. Make frontcountry camping even easier with these.