Nature is beautiful and we all probably want to be outdoors whenever we get a chance. Even in the big cities, we try to stay and relax in the parks or gardens from time to time.
The truth is that the areas or places where nature is left in the most natural form are the best for one to enjoy. On the other hand to be as beautiful as it is that much we have to care about it.
So, if you ever found yourself confused or wondering what is for the best to do outdoors to not disturb any wildlife or make a bad impact on the natural surroundings, further you can read about what you can do that’s for the best of the environment, how to do it and what to be aware of.
When you spend your vacation living in a tent, a camp or a camper that’s called camping. But when camping and luxury meet together that’s called glamping. Glamping means having an authentic experience in the middle of a wild or nature in luxury accommodation, from lodges, tree houses, tents to resort-style services, where you won’t have to give up your comfort.
Depending on the privacy and remoteness there are a few types of camping. Backcountry camping, for example, is practiced by backpackers for overnight stay most often in the forests or woods. On the other hand, you can camp in designated areas, like campgrounds that provide facilities and amenities such as toilets and benches, you can car camping, beach camping or even festival camping. Whichever you choose you won’t go much wrong if you like the outdoors.
Good preparation is key to a wonderful camping experience. If you prepare yourself for extreme weather conditions, get to know the regulations of the area you’ll be visiting and pack well you’ll be minimizing the chance of any unwilling situations of happening, making ideal conditions for a great time spent outdoors.
So, here is what you can do to prepare well:
Make sure someone knows your plan. If you plan to travel and camp on established trails and campsites you won’t be creating any new impacts. Firstly learn about the area and get familiar with the regulations, and what is allowed or not.
Next, check on the weather and prepare for extreme hazards. When wearing appropriate comfortable clothes for the weather conditions and in layers, you’ll be warm in colder temperatures and would easily adjust to warmer temperatures.
Although you’ll probably have a phone and a GPS it’ll be much better if you don’t rely too much on accessories that require charging batteries and gather maps and compass instead.
You’ll need waterproof matches or a lighter to start up a fire. Another option though to give you the light in the night are the headlamps or flashlights. Don’t forget to bring the Repair kit and tools, First-aid supplies and garbage bags. I admit that there are moments when we see something simple as a trash can that we may get all thrilled by, but if there isn’t any available be prepared to pack up your trash and take it with you.
Finally, the food. Repackaging the food is a sure way to avoid leaving any trash in the places we visit. If you repack the food in reusable containers you’ll be carrying you won’t leave much of a trash behind you wherever you go. You can bring high-energy nutritive meals that are easy to be prepared and packed.
Rules, and regulations are a good thing to follow. Written by people for people that love and care for nature too.
With the great weather, the sun and the sea hitting the beach in summer for many is a usual activity. But certainly there is no better way for one to stay as much as possible near the beach, and as in many than when beach camping. Often the best beaches don’t have campgrounds and are off the beaten path which makes them that much attractive for the campers.
Although beaches may seem like pretty safe environments, in case of a storm and bad weather things can change very quickly and waves get really huge in a matter of minutes. To stay away from unwilling accidents you should consider a few things when beach camping.
For your own safety, you should try and find a reasonable spot for your tent and consider all the possible hazards. The main thing to do is to check with the authorities on which beaches camping is permitted. The second thing, are the tides. The seaweed is a good sign that tells where on the sand the last tide has reached. Never camp below the high-tide line. Consider the moon as a significant factor for changes in low and high tides too, but there are apps for tides as well that you can rely on. The best advice would be to pitch your tent somewhere where sand meets vegetation. In that way, you won’t be exposed on the sun to the fullest and will get some natural shade as well.
Make sure the beach allows campfires before you start one. If, so the easiest way to build up a fire on the beach is by digging a hole in the sand. In that way, it will be protected from the winds that can be quite often present in open spaces such as beaches and near the ocean.
Except for the tent, the sleeping bag, a cookware, utensils, and dishes, a must-have accessory is a brush which you’ll find it exceptionally useful for cleaning the sand that will keep on going inside the tent. It’s a must-have when beach camping.
Beaches are great mostly because, despite the sun and the sea, we really don’t have to wear many clothes and people are generally relaxed. It’s the only place where you constantly will find people that are enjoying themselves. They don’t require much of a bulky stuff and equipment or clothes that would take much of a space which makes them the most convenient way of camping. When planning camping on the beaches and areas that are more exposed on the sun consider wearing clothes with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) that will protect you from the sun rays, as well as sunglasses and sunscreen.
When beach camping most often the areas include some remote islands or beaches that are part of a Natural Parks. So when you find yourself on some beautiful beach where sea turtles roam freely, make sure to pick up all of your items from the beach in the night, since they nest their eggs in the sand at night and your items can keep them from nesting. Light makes them disoriented and they can easily fall in or stuck in holes. Turn off your light and bury any hole you see on the beach.
When we are hiking we are actually sharing the trails with others and thus we should engage and communicate with each other. Yielding is the key. There are certain rules for who has the right way among the trail users, well known as a yield triangle: horses should be allowed always to pass in the safest way possible, bikers yield to all other trail users and should ride with slow speeds and the downhill trail users when seeing an uphill user should step aside.
Backcountry refers to land that is isolated, undeveloped and difficult to access. So, when backcountry camping you’ll be spending at least one night in the wilderness, usually at a designated backcountry campsite or trail far from the nearest road, where you probably have to hike for about an hour or two in the forest.
Besides camping in designated campgrounds you can actually, if you prefer some more privacy, camp in other areas away from campsites, hiking trails or roads, also known as dispersed camping. In other words, you’ll be camping in the forests, in the countryside where probably you won’t find any facilities such as toilets, cans or tables. Speaking of which, if you do get inspired in nature and get an urge for designing furniture you shouldn’t. Our impact should be minimal if none. Avoid building anything, like benches, in the wildness and leave it as you found it.
The two most important starting points for any camping activity are: know the rules of the area and always leave the wilderness the way you found it. If you ever wonder how is it like to camp somewhere that’s not a designated area for that like a campground, where you won’t find all the usual amenities and facilities available such as toilets, water, or sinks here is what you should know and expect when selecting a campsite in such areas and what you can do for you to be sure that everyone stays in good shape, you and the natural surroundings, when leaving the site:
1. How to select a campsite? If you want to pitch a tent somewhere in nature is good to look for a spot where people were camping already.
The ideal spot for that should be away of any vegetation as possible and near the water, a lake or a river. In that way, you’ll have an easy access to water for cooking and cleaning. But keep in mind though, to avoid contamination the average distance of the water has to be at least 50 m. If planning to camp in natural parks and woods for the warmer drier night go for sites that are slightly uphill. The ground loses a lot of warmth overnight, so if you choose an area with trees, it’ll protect you from winds and help you stay warmer.
2. The most traditional part of any camping is building a campfire.
The good thing about it is that basically, we’d only need a lighter or matches to start up one. Out there in the woods, we’ll need something to warm us up, to cook on and to give us the light in the night. Only one match can do the magic. Still, we’ll have to follow some rules to leave minimal impact on the environment and to avoid any unwilling accidents of happening.
First and foremost you should use a designated fire ring in areas where a fire is permitted. Also, keep enough water on hand to put out the fire if things go out of hand. To build any type of fire you’ll need anything that catches fire quickly like dry lives is a great natural option or pine needles.
Make sure to check on the regulations for gathering firewood too. Pick only branches that can be broken into small pieces only by hand. For those nice fires that burn long into the night, you’ll need a firewood and that’s a bit heavier to be carried in your backpack. It’s best to plan for that if you are car camping. Keep fires small and burn all the wood in cold ash.
If camping in an area where fires are not permitted, or simply the weather isn’t good and it’s raining, the other option is to bring a small camping stove, to wear layers to keep you warm, and bring your own illumination, such as an inflatable lantern or headlamp bottle lantern can be of a great use.
3. Sometimes when we do the dishes in nature and camping there might be no sinks, or toilets available.
When we are in nature and get washed we are generally producing dirty water. So, at least we can do is to be more cautious when doing the dishes. If we remove all the food well and then put the dishes into a water with very little biodegradable soup we’ll be minimizing spreading any contamination or hurting wildlife. In some campsites when allowed, you can dispose of it in a sink or in a flash toilet. But, if not you should walk away for about 50 m from any water source, campsite or a trail and spread it out on the ground.
4. Now, all fed up and relaxed you may soon be start wondering what to do in this gorgeous weather and this beautiful nature when there aren’t any toilets available?
Well, that shouldn’t keep you worry because there is a simple solution to that – a cat hole. As the name implies it’s a hole, just as the one that cats are digging when they are disposing of their waste. So, this is how you do it: walk at least 50 m from water sources trails and campsites. Look for areas where other people are unlikely to walk or camp. Your cat hole has to be on a dry spot where with a small shovel you’ll dig nearly 20 cm deep hole. When done either pack up your toilet paper or bury it. Fill the cat hole back in and disguised it with branches and natural materials. When cat holes are not allowed, like in winter environments, near the rivers, canyons, oceans, lakes or popular trails you can pack your waste in the plastic zippable bag.
If properly disposed of, the human waste in nature will minimize contamination and spread of diseases.
To protect wildlife and ourselves we shouldn’t ever approach animals and always observe them from a distance. Feeding wild animals affects their health and behavior, so don’t do that. And by storing our food and garbage securely we’ll be protecting our food and animal’s well-being.
Finally, don’t miss out stargazing when the weather is good. Let yourself-go, stay outside of the tent and enjoy the sky full of stars shining in the night.