Memorial Day Fun

Camping without a bonfire is not camping at all!
Camping without a bonfire is not camping at all!

The three-day weekend is coming to an end, but it was one great weekend! We bought a new car, spent time with both sides of our family, ate some really good food, and watched the new Star Trek movie! I have been smelling bbq all weekend long and it is still going!

The one thing we did not do this weekend was go camping! Every year during a three-day weekend, we usually go on a camping trip with all my cousins and my uncle. My uncle loves to camp, so we always end up doing a family camping trip with him being the only older adult. This year, we had everything all set to go camping this weekend, but two months before, we received a notice that our reserved campsite had been flooded! Being Memorial Day weekend, all good campsites had been booked already so we had to delay our camping plans until Labor Day weekend.

All of us were sad that we had to delay our trip. We all look forward to being able to spend time together away from the rest of our crazy huge family. Some cousins and uncle time. No matter what though, we always make sure to clean up after ourselves, leave nothing behind, recycle what we can, and try to still be as friendly to the environment as possible. Since camping is roughing it out in the outdoors, then we should do our best to take care of it. I have to admit that our camping is not in the middle of the wilderness with bears roaming on the fringes. We go for the campsites with hot showers, working restrooms, and within driving distance to supplies.

So here is a few things we do to take care of the environment while we camp.

Clean up after ourselves and leave nothing behind

Most campsites do offer trash and recycling. We make sure to separate those out so they go to their proper location. One year, we did not have recycling, but we tried to put as much as possible in garbage bags to haul it home to make sure it got recycled. After everything is packed away at the end of our trip, we also do a last run through to make sure there is no trash left on the campsite. We pick up whatever is in our vicinity.

Use durable reusable plates and silverware

Instead of using disposable plates and cutlery, we bring sturdy melamine plates and bowls, and real silverware and knives. We just bring a small bottle of dish-washing soap and a sponge to wash after each meal. Less waste and the plates are unbreakable! After last year though, we need to pack our sponge away after use, it was stolen one night!

Propane over charcoal

Lucky for us, my uncle owns a truck and can bring a grill along. We always use propane when grilling and that definitely is better for the environment than charcoal. Less cleanup and ashes flying in the air too! I do miss the sight of glowing coals, but it is one thing I can give up.

Reusable water bottles

Everybody brings their own water bottle for water. We do bring other drinks, but for water we bring along one of those huge jugs of water that you put on a water cooler. Then we do not have to worry about plastic bottles or the price of them.

Minimal electricity use

This is a basic for camping! You barely use any electricity because there is so much to do outside! Light is from battery powered lanterns, flashlights, or the bonfire. We do have our cell phones, but we do not stay on them for very long. Our time is spent gathered around a campfire, hiking, cooking meals together, and exploring the area. The one thing we could do to use even less electricity is go to a campground without restrooms and showers. That is one thing I am not willing to do though!

What do you do when camping? Have any tips to further save the environment?

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