Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Eco-Traveller’s Guide to Camping

An appreciation of camping trips and nature go hand in hand; generally those who wants to snuggle up under the stars also want to ensure those stars aren’t blacked out by a blanket of noxious smog.

But how to camp in the most eco-friendly way possible, without leaving a negative carbon footprint?

Environmental Camping

The UK is doing a great job of introducing new, innovative, environmentally-friendly options for campers.

Take the Trellyn Woodland campsite, for example, which has introduced geo-huts for visiting campers. These futuristic-looking huts are made from recycled timer and all the fittings and furnishings are made from renewable, recyclable sources. They even have compost-toilets and produce all electricity via solar panels.

Another notable site is the Eco Camp in Sussex, two stylish ecological campsites set amongst the beautiful bluebell forests of Wild Boar Wood and Beech Estate.

The site offers solitude and privacy within the bushes and trees for the ultimate escape to the countryside. They offer totally off-grid camping, with an ecologically-friendly shower system, as well as eco toilets. A truly green and guilt-free experience!

Environmental Caravanning

Although some may think of caravanning as having a detrimental impact and to come with a giant carbon footprint, if you compare it to air travel it wins every time. Designers and manufacturers are also doing their best to make caravans even more eco-friendly. Take a look at a couple of designs and concepts changing the face of caravanning:

Photo source: Cosford Caravans

This VW Westfalia camper has wood panelled sides, a solar panelled roof and is equipped with a 4-speed automatic turbocharged bio-diesel hybrid drivetrain, which means when you aren’t running on electricity, you can power it with recycled vegetable oil! (You can read more about it on the Cosford Caravans website).


Recent camping trends are driving people towards these enticing looking Mongolian tents, which usually have a covered hole in the ceiling so you can lie down and watch the stars. This style of camping also means you can actually get a good night’s rest, without having to lie on the hard, rocky ground below.

One great place to glamp is the Long Valley Yurts site in the Lake District and Peak District, where you can get back-to-nature without compromising on comfort. Each yurt comes with a wood-burning stove, comfy futon beds and solar lighting.

Tips for eco-campers

Although these campsites and caravans offer the promise of guilt-free travelling, eco travelling is a collaborative effort and you still need to be conscious of protecting the environment. Here are some ideas to get you in the right mind-set of ‘leave no trace’:

  • Save electricity by using wind up lanterns
  • Buy second hand camping gear (it counts as recycling!)
  • Use designated fire pits and use allocated firewood and kindling
  • All over the UK you can find pre-designated walks and so be sure to save the surrounding fauna by keeping to the trail (especially in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty)

As always with camping the aim is to find a balance between responsibility and enjoyment. We have a duty to protect the environment, but don’t let that get in the way of enjoying your holiday!

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