Zero Waste Camping in the Pacific Rim.
Camping, and leaving no trace.
Setting out into nature for an easy overnight, an extended weekend, or a week-long trip (or even longer) is the perfect way to reset, return to nature, and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. It’s a way to live simply, enjoy a technology-free escape, and spend time with friends and family, away from our usual routines. For the glampers, the car campers, the through-hiking-trekkers, and beyond, these are our favourite ways to reduce our impact on the planet while enjoying some quality time in nature. So here’s to enjoying the great outdoors with less waste and leaving no trace.
Shampoo and Conditioner Bars are a camper’s dream. They are an easy-to-pack solution to keeping those locks fresh. No leaky travel bottles, no heavy liquids at all. Especially if you’re hiking and camping, less weight is always best. As long as you have fresh water, whether it’s a lake, river, stream, or maybe a solar shower hung up on a branch. Channel your inner woodland fairy or water nymph and let your hair down, so fresh and so clean.
If you’re new to using shampoo and condition in solid form, our favourite way to get things frothy is rubbing the shampoo bar between your hands to get some suds and then working those into your roots. Once you’ve started to work up a lather you can even massage the bar of shampoo right into your hair as needed. Then, once it’s all rinsed out, you condition by massaging the conditioner right into your hair starting from the ends and working your way up. After a final rinse, you’re good to go – let the bars dry completely before packing them away in their travel tins and get back to your forest bathing.
Whether you’ve been hiking up a sweat, on the road all day, or simply being a lizard in the sun, your skin can always use a little extra love when you’re camping out. Slather on the Green Room Body Co. For Your Face Cream, it’s rich and soothing to keep your face (and anywhere else) happy and hydrated. Like a super concentrated serum in solid form, this cream is perfectly potted in a little tin, so there’s no chance of a spilly situation. It can double as lip balm, hand salve, and is naturally scented with essential oils, so it won’t attract bugs with strong, synthetic perfumes.
Snack wisely with Stasher Bags, perfect for packing up your favourite treats and ingredients. These reusable silicone bags are sturdy but lightweight and flexible, ideal for packing all of your favourite snacks. When sealed fully they contain any scents, but still, be bear aware and keep your food safely stored (either strung up in a tree or in a bear-safe-bin). Some version can hold liquids if you’ve got leftovers after dinner, or, if you’re feeling a chill you can add some warm water and hold the Stasher Bag in your lap like a little hot water bottle.
Once you’ve eaten and it’s tidying time we love a combo of Eco Sponges and Biodegradable Dish Soap. They are the perfect cleaning pair and let you cut through grease and grime, as they say. Because cooking al fresco means washing up al fresco, and you don’t want to be pouring the toxic chemicals from most detergent dish soaps right back into the earth – or down your drain at home, for that matter. And while some of us might have less strict cleanliness rules when camping you still don’t want to be tasting your gourmet camp dinner in your morning cuppa.
Stay hydrated, especially when the weather gets warm (and if you’re planning to enjoy a couple of adult beverages). We like to pack Charcoal Sticks for water purification – nothing like a little bad bacteria or a parasite to leave you feeling less than 100%. These sticks are a super lightweight and simple way of purifying your water while out in the wilderness but don’t be fooled, you can’t just use your campfire leftovers. The activated charcoal is what you’re after, and it’s the highly absorbent neutralizer that will remove any ickiness and improve water taste and quality in just a few hours. All you do is pop a couple into your water vessel and leave them be, easy as that.
Waking up in the great outdoors, whether you’re in a tent, hammock, camper van or some other shelter, is one of the best parts of camping. Often it’s timed by the sun rising and is set to a soundtrack of nature’s alarm clock – cue birds chirping. While we love the laid-back approach to “roughing it” – foregoing many of our daily routines in favour of a simpler way of existing – we always start the day the same: brushing our teeth. Our go-to toothbrush is a simple bamboo brush (in an all-natural bamboo case to keep it clean and dry) paired with one of the Nelson Naturals Toothpastes. Beyond the usual plastic tube of chemical toothpaste, these pots of paste come in a range of natural flavours and are perfectly zero waste. Choose from flavours like Moringa featuring Iodine & Bentonite Clay for an ultra-effective tooth and gum clean – it’s mineral rich, detoxifying, and we believe will be one of the best brushing experiences you’ll ever have. Or a Citrus Spice flavour that uses a Thieves oil blend with hints of mint, cinnamon, citrus, rosemary, and clove, that’s sure to make your brushing experience divine. And last but not least, Spearmint, it’s a classic toothpaste flavour and the ultimate for fresh breath.
There you have it. The Den’s guide to camping without a trace and zero waste. Because each day is an opportunity to do better and every little change makes a difference. Here’s to camping all summer long and making sure we leave this little planet of ours in better shape than we found it.
Words by Andrea Turner.