Thursday, June 4, 2009

Greening Up a Summer Camping Trip

A couple days ago over on my personal blog I discussed the likelihood that I would be taking at least one camping trip in my lifetime and it was very possible that trip would take place this summer. When considering all of the things that could be enjoyable while camping, I wondered how I could do so and still be kind to the Earth.

Our trip will involve some friends with babies and a dog as well as Matt and myself, and activities will include hiking, cooking, showering, sleeping, hanging out and reading, making ‘smores, drinking and of course eating campfire cooked food. What I found is there are ways to be kind to the Earth, still be somewhat light on our feet and have an enjoyable time while doing it.

One of the things that nerves me about camping is the pitch black of outdoors when walking to the bathroom at night. Well with the crank flashlight we have that should not be a problem! There is a handle on one side that pulls out and can be cranked repeatedly to juice the light. No batteries and no electricity required. The one we have is residing in my car trunk emergency kit right now. The light lasts for a few minutes and when it goes out simply crank it up again. It is a powerful light for illuminating a trail.

Perhaps however I want to do something a little lengthier that involves light at night. No problem! Countless companies sell lanterns with led lights but the K-Light from PiSAT Solar enjoys up to twenty hours of run time and takes nothing more than the sun to power it. The K-Light is water resistant (Both the unit and the solar panel) and the website boasts that it weighs about the same as a can of soda.

As the sun begins to set the bugs are drawn into the wondrous lantern light and because I am not one for bugs I will definitely be picking up some Badger Anti-Bug balm from my local REI. It is made from all Earth friendly ingredients and contains no DEET. With lemongrass and rosemary it will even smell nice, but don’t worry guys, it is not girly.

Sitting around the campfire is probably the activity I look most forward to while camping because of two things -- drinking beers and ‘smores.

By going for organic beer and wine it will be a nice way to thank the dirt beneath me as well as enjoy some yummy libations. Doing a quick Google search provided me with links to all kinds of local, organic beers.

Then it was on to the components of a great ‘smore -- chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow. Sweet and Sara carries a vegan marshmallow (found in a bunch of Whole Food’s locations across the United States) and New Morning makes an organic honey graham but the most important topper of all, a bar of chocolate can be beneficial in a few ways. We received for the holidays last year Endangered Species Chocolate bars. The ones we got are dark (certified Vegan and Kosher!) but this innovative company (who donates 10% of all net profits to endangered species and their habitats) also carries a milk chocolate version of their 1.4 oz and 3 oz. bars as well.

This summer we campers will be well fed, safe and relaxed knowing we can keep the bugs away and the laughs over beers coming all while having little to no negative impact.

Next up, to find environmentally responsible tents, sleeping bags and athletic equipment to further enhance our eco-camping experience!


Endangered Species Chocolate said...

I am ready for a camping trip! Thanks for putting me in the mood.

ginger said...

please let me know how those vegan marshmallows are if you try them. i haven't had a marshmallow in years! i think there's a recipe somewhere i should try too...hhhmmm.

oh, and i don't want to hurt anyone's feeling's but if they are who they say they are then they should probably appreciate the feedback...ahem: the chocolate you mention used to be my favorite for the reasons you state ~ until i went vegan and am now limited to dairy free. their dark chocolate is bitter and crumbles easily. try a bar by chocolove sometime, they're sinfully delicious and vegan (the dark varieties).

Jenn said...

I am considering picking up a bag to try just to see if they are good with a smore & will definitely let you know. I will totally try crumble-less chocolove bars too. (like its really twisting my arm to ask me to try different chocolates lol) Thanks for the tip girl!