Don’t Leave Home Without This Green Camping Gear

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If you spend any time camping in the outdoors, chances are you’re going to be passionate about protecting it. While camping isn’t necessarily a high carbon footprint activity, there are still ways to minimize your environmental impact even more when planning a weekend or week of trail blazing. Check out these green camping gear options before you head out.

Even if you’re camping to get away from it all, sometimes you want to stay in touch – just a little bit. Whether you need electrical backup for emergency cellular phones, GPS navigation systems or some tunes in the tent at night, a little wattage can be a good thing. Forget traditional batteries, which are thrown away after one use. Instead, use recyclable batteries charged up for your electronic needs.

Green camping gear

EnerPlex PackrThe power of the sun and heat also create effective electrical charging stations for all of your gadgets and gizmos. Seems like anything used for camping nowadays also comes in a solar-powered format. Solar powered backpacks store up energy as you’re trekking during the day, for use at night. Palm sized solar panels can also be strung up at a campsite or attached to your backpack to harness the power of the sun. A hat with a solar-powered headlamp built in, like the POWERCAP Solar Headlamp, protects your eyes from glare by day, and allows you to read at night.

Lights inside your tent are a necessity, but no one wants to lug around a lantern.  The LuminAID Solar Light not only recharges with solar power, but it’s an inflatable pouch that folds flat when not in use, minimizing space in your backpack.

Campfire

Not a sunny day? Don’t worry. Start a campfire to charge up your mobile phone. The BioLite CampStove is a small campfire that can multitask – cooking dinner while also charging your batteries. Using wood inside its canister for a smokeless campfire, an attached system generates electricity from the heat to charge cameras and small appliances.

Hydrate

Potable water is another major source of concern when out in the wilderness. Bottled water is way too heavy to carry with you, and recycling those bottles is impractical, anyway.  What you need is a filtration system that can turn nearby water, such as from a stream, into safe water to drink. The SteriPEN uses the power of UV to purify up to 8,000 liters of water and also doubles as a small flashlight. The Vapur MicroFilter is a lightweight flexible water bottle with a water filtration system inside to remove bacteria and protozoa.

Eat up

Want some coffee for the day? The Sunrocket is a solar powered kettle and thermos. Opening up its reflective panels will harness energy to bring liquids to a boil in approximately 30 minutes, while keeping the liquids hot for hours afterwards.

Ready to fuel your body after a hard day of activity?  The Outdoor Herbivore creates vegan and vegetarian dried meals made with mostly U.S.-grown and organic ingredients, such as Basil Walnut Penne and Curried Apple Couscous. Many are no-cook options.

Protection

Even though you might love everything about the outdoors, chances are you don’t love the biting insects. The jury is still out on whether or not DEET-based sprays are worth the exposure to the chemical. There are plenty of non-toxic, totally natural options out there if your insect exposure is just a few mosquitoes, or if you don’t attract insects.

Feature image courtesy of Christopher Michel

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Kimberly Button

Kimberly Button is the author of The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home and the Editor-in-Chief of GetGreenBeWell , featuring modern, sane ideas for living a non-toxic life. A professional journalist for nearly two decades, Button has written for magazines such as Martha Stewart's Whole Living, American Airlines, AAA, Sierra, National Geographic Traveler, and Vegetarian Times. Visit KimButton.com for more information.

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