Waste Management While Camping
Camping is a very popular way of having a family friendly vacation while not breaking the budget! Summer is definitely camping season. And the UK is full of wonderful places for camping with some lovely views. It is a great way for relaxation, reconnection with nature and just have a blast without spending that much. It is a preferable way of tourism not only for big families. Backpackers of all ages take on the road to this year’s adventures, strap your sleeping bag, your tent a couple of sandwiches and you are ready!
However, while we are enjoying the beauty of British landscapes and rivers on the chill and quiet campsite, we must do our best to keep this place in the same pleasant condition we found it! It will take from us the effort of not leaving a simple trace we have ever been there in the first place. This is super important for campers, and for their “Leave no Trace” philosophy.
In essence, we will learn how to handle our byproducts as bottles, food wrappers and other rubbish we generate while we are camping. And we will learn to do it in such a manner, that it will not only limit our trace to a minimum, it will also save us unwanted encounters with wildlife.
Campsite Waste Management Gear
Let us start with some “must haves”. Those products will ease up the task of managing our waste while we enjoy our stay at the campsite. Nothing special, nothing super expensive!
Diono - Diono is a great way to store your rubbish and if you have a couple of them it would be even better because you will need to separate your waste. Organic, plastic and cans should be enough, so that means tree separated bins. You can use an ordinary trash bag for your plastic wastes as long as you still rinse them and let them dry before bagging them. Anyway, the Diono is a portable trash bin that you can just fold in and out whenever you need it. It is perfect for saving space and it will be a great solution for those of you traveling only with a backpack!
Portable Ashtray - We have chosen this one because you can still use it even if you are not camping. It has a good looking design and it sits in a cup holder in your car. We can only recommend you using an ashtray like this one in your everyday life as well. Nobody wants to see a carpet of cigarette buds on his vacation spot or on the streets his walking. It is not only a grotesque view, it has an awful odour to go with it! On top of that cigarette, buds take up to 10 years to dissolve. So for smoking campers, it is important not to throw buds all around. Hang this fellow on your backpack or your belt. It can stop your cigarette litter from smelling, so you will be perfectly fine. Buds are not only a dangerous pollutant but a fire hazard as well, so we feel like keeping them off the ground and properly store is a must!
Reusable Grip Seal Plastic Bags - Those, again come in handy in everyday life for packing snacks and whatever you like else! When we are packing for camping we will use those for all things that have odours. Hygiene products, food and everything that has an unnatural smell. The grip seal will prevent smells from leaving your luggage and provoke wildlife from invading your tent.
We have now covered some essentials that we must obtain before everything else. Let us proceed with some tricks and tips to make things easier and much more efficient.
Waste Management in The Campsite
Some campsites have their own waste collecting staff that comes on a regular basis and collects the rubbish from special bins provided by the administration of the camp. If you love to spend your free time more “off grid” and you have chosen a campsite that does not provide such a luxurious service like the rubbish collection you will need to store and take out your waste on your own. But what is the proper way to do that without any unwanted fuss?
Groceries Shopping For Camping
Your preparations should start in the store from which you are shopping your beverages and food. Yes, way back there.
Let’s start with beverages. What kind of vacation it would be without a cold soda or a brew of your liking. You can’t enjoy free time without your special drink, right? When you are shopping for your drinks limit the items packed in glass bottles! Why? Well, you can’t leave glass behind. At least you should not do that. And if you have to take your bottles all the way back home when your vacation is over it will be purely a waste of space, plus it adds unwanted weight. Chances are that your car will be far away from your camp and you will have to carry all those glass bottles to the car drive them back home in order to return them for recycling. Well, that is the right thing to do. Glass will not just dissolve in a harmless byproduct if you just throw it in the bushes, and we really hope that you are not THAT kind of person in the first place. Go for aluminum cans, cardboard boxes, even plastic bottles if there is no other option. All those could be compressed, and will not add weight on your back on your way back.
What should I drink from?!
Bring your reusable cups! Coffee mugs, aluminum camping dinner sets, cardboard disposable cups. Those are your options. Never, plastic disposable cups!
What about food?
Whatever you like, but keep in mind that the best practice is to keep packagings to the minimum. And try not to overstock on food. As far as it goes for plates, again use recyclable ones. You might want to checkpoint three from a previous article on innovations against rubbish pollution.
Before Bagging Things For Your Rubbish You Should
- Rinse everything before bagging it for good. It is important not to leave any leftovers in the packagings that you put in the rubbish because in time they will start to smell and the smell might bring you some unwanted guests. Maybe a bear with a temper, which will completely ruin your vacation...
- Tin or aluminum cans. We chose them because we can compress them. So after you rinse them from their containment, leave them to dry and then just step on them. They are now ready to go into your rubbish compartment.
- Always make a full check after you are packed and ready to go home. Look close and try not to leave nothing behind.
Packing For Camping Tricks And Tips
- Pack everything that you can in paper bags. The good thing about them is that when you consume whatever you stored in them you can use that paper to feed the fire and therefore you won't leave anything behind. Paper bags are also good for drying other wastes under the sun before bagging them for good in your rubbish container.
- Meat and veggies should be stored in zip bags. Those zip bags could come in handy when you have to get rid of an organic waste afterward. Let’s say you have a bone left from your dinner. Wrap it in paper and bag it in the zip bag before putting it away in your rubbish container. The zip bag will keep smells inside.
- Remove all food packaging and put your groceries in grip sealed bags. This will leave you with less rubbish in the end. And you will need the zip lock bags to get rid of other waste.
- If you are bringing meat, prepare it for cooking at home. Remove all bones and fat. If you are not eating that, it is better to dispose of it at home and don’t think about it on the campsite. You can even flavour your meat with the herbs you like and pack it in ziplock bags.
Where And How to Position Your Rubbish Bin
If you are out in the wild and there are no official bins located nearby there are some things that you need to remember.
First and most important! Even if you can’t scent the smell of your rubbish it is most likely that animals can! So keep your rubbish away from the camp! To be exact a minimum of 300 ft. from your actual camp. Same goes for human waste, but as far as it goes for that type of wastes you can see more here.
Hang it high. Anything that has a scent of any sort should be hanged high in what it is known as a “bear hang”.
Reduce odors by the minimum. It is well known that baking soda is absolving odors, it is a trick we mentioned in our article for domestic bin smell remedies. Use that trick on your camping rubbish as well. You can also use special anti odor rubbish bags for camping. What is special about them is that they neutralize smells, without having a scent of their own! Keep in mind a simple rule “Wet Stinks - Dry Does Not”.
When you are outside deeply endorsed in natures beauty you may get carried on and forget your troubles. Which is the point of the journey but it might be a bit harder if "leftovers" of modern life hunt you from every corner. A plastic bag here an empty bottle there, so unpleasant. We need to be careful, preserve our resources and the stunning landscapes! So when you are in a place where Tom's Junk Collectors can't handle your rubbish removal, you would need to do it on your own. Well, at least we thought you how. Have fun out there and embrace the fresh air!