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Camping with Stewardship in Mind

Is camping, hiking, or simply gathering around a fire part of your plans this summer or fall?  It’s easy when you’re outside to want to take care of the Earth, isn’t it?  No one can hide from the way creation speaks to us.  After all, Psalm 19:1-4 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.”  Wow! I just love those verses!

During the last few years, our family has become quite the campers.  It’s easy to become this way when you have three growing boys and no yard to run.  Outdoor adventures are a must!  

Our love for the great outdoors has grown and as we’ve had to purchase more camping “essentials” it’s become easier to be more mindful in our purchases thanks to these great companies that not only create helpful products for our adventures, but also give back.  While there are hundreds of options out there, these are just a few of my recommendations.

First up: hiking boots.  Recently, we replaced my 11year-old hiking boots and ended up purchasing a pair of Oboz.  My husband and I are now hiking boot twins. Yikes!  It’s hard not to love the comfort of the boot and the brand’s commitment that a tree is purchased with each pair of shoes sold.  Beyond that you’ll find this Bozeman, Montana based company has community events they share online as well.

Eating outside is one of the reasons we love camping but it’s also an area that can create a lot of waste, or not, depending on how you camp.  Ditch the paper plates and opt for some more Earth-friendly choices.  Before a big camping trip late this summer we were happy to find compostable plates and utensil options at Costco! A better option, though since we live in Black Bear country and all waste needs to be put in a bear-proof dumpster at night, is to bring reusable plates, utensils, and Earth-friendly soap like CampSuds.  When water is available at a campsite, even by way of running stream, this biodegradable soap is awesome and won’t have you wondering about what you’re putting back into the water system.  Just a few drops and our dishes were clean!  Dr. Bronner’s has been a long-time favorite too when it comes to cleaning yourself and can be used on dishes as well!

As we grow our camp kitchen I have major heart eyes for these meal kits by United by Blue.  Their mission is that for every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from our oceans and waterways.  How cute are these water bottles and sets?

One last must have, bug spray!  If you go camping without it, say a prayer.  We reach for the good stuff on camping trips to fend off mosquitoes and ticks.  Ben’s uses an Eco-Spray, lasts longer than conventional sprays, is water-based and fragrance-free! 

I know there are so many companies out there giving back and doing good for the Earth.  While shopping around online I loved that REI lets me compare products and even had a sustainability comparison tool available while I shopped for boots.  REI also encourages you to purchase used equipment to keep real life recycling possible.

When you hit the trail or go camping for a night, be kind to the Earth and to your campsite neighbor.  Learn from one another, share a spork, and enjoy the great outdoors! 

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