Alyssa Broussard | Mar 27, 2024

11 Zero-Waste Camping Tips and Activities

If you’ve been on a pre-camping shopping trip lately, you’ve probably faced a cart filled with paper plates, plastic utensils, and the latest and greatest camping gear you didn’t know you needed.

While this may seem like a necessary step, it’s also a huge creator of waste. And no matter how well you clean up your campsite afterward, we hate to break it to ya’, but you’ve left a negative mark in your wake.

If you’re ready to cut the waste on your next camping adventure, this guide is for you. We’ve compiled a list of our top zero-waste camping tips so you can focus more on nature and less on disposal.

Zero-Waste Food & Beverage Tips

Packing snacks and meals for camping is one of the worst parts of the entire trip, are we right? Luckily, there are simple ways to cut the waste and focus in.

  1. Bring Travel Dinnerware Sets

Instead of relying on single-use plates and utensils, pack a set of travel dinnerware for every person in your group. It’s also a great way to keep everyone accountable for their dish cleanup.

  1. Create a Simple Meal Plan

Cooking away from home is a common invitation to overdo it. Instead of planning extravagant meals that require various ingredients, try to keep meals simple. Stretch ingredients across recipes and avoid additional wrappers and containers where possible. Except, of course, for s’mores. There’s no cutting those out!

  1. Fill a Cooler With Ice
    Skip unnecessary plastic and pack ice from home straight into a cooler. Just make sure it will keep your ice frozen.

With 7+ days of ice retention, the BrüTank will help keep your focus on the quality time of your adventure, instead of when you have to replace the half-melting bag of ice. With a 35qt option for shorter trips, and 55qt for longer hauls, there’s a size to fit your trip itinerary. The puncture resistant, all-terrain wheels make the BrüTank easy to transport through any terrain, so you can travel more and worry less.

Need inspiration? Watch our team pack a BrüTank for a camping trip!

  1. Bring Pots and Pans

Those handy aluminum trays are great for no-cleanup but terrible for the environment. Did you know it takes 200-500 years for them to decompose? Save the planet unnecessary work, opt for a campfire or camping stove-friendly pots and pans instead!

  1. Bring a Backpack Cooler

While a large hard cooler is a perfect choice for the campsite, it’s fair to say you might not want to bring it along with you on hikes. Backpack coolers, like the MagPack, are designed for ultimate portability. Keep your favorite drinks cold and ready to sip on a moment’s notice.

Zero-Waste Activity Tips

You’ve probably heard the phrase “leave no trace”. Going on hikes, swims, and other outdoor adventures are perfect examples of zero-waste camping activities. Be sure to leave everything where and how you found it.

  1. Buy What You Need

It’s easy to want to buy all the camping things. Especially when they look as cool as they do. Instead of buying the newest gear, take an inventory of the things you have and shop only for what you need. Once you have your list, consider opting for a local outdoor consignment or resale store rather than buying new.

  1. Pack Your Favorite Tumbler

Instead of bringing single-use water bottles that have the potential of being left by the water or on a trail, bring your trusty leakproof tumbler. The perfect tumbler is leakproof, triple-insulated for maximum ice retention, and has a straw that tucks away when not in use. Travel hack? Fill your BrüTank drink tank up with water so you can refill your tumbler all adventure long.

The Rotera checks all the boxes. The twist-to-sip technology helps avoid touching the straw completely for sanitary sips, and the triple-insulated + leakproof lid will keep your drink spill-free and at the perfect temp in every sip. With multiple sizes to choose from – you can take your pick.

Want to see the Rotera in action? Check out our team’s Reel to see its versatile features.

  1. Rent or Borrow Whatever You Can

Did you know you can rent camping gear? Instead of buying things you may not use more than one or two times, opt for rentals for your next trip. If possible, you can even ask to borrow gear from the camping enthusiasts in your life, or join social media forums to find like-minded individuals willing to sell and share gear at discounted prices.

  1. Reuse Large Plastic Bags

If ice bags are necessary on your trip don’t toss the bag – reuse it. Store your recyclables, compost, or even dirty clothes in the bag, and take it with you when you are ready to head home.

  1. Pack Board Games

For those nights you’re just chilling at the campsite, board games are the perfect pastime. And it gives you a chance to dust off those games you’ve been storing in a closet. Just be sure you take all the pieces back home with you!

  1. Learn to Start Fires Without Store-Bought Starter

Say goodbye to bottles and bags of fire starter and the trash that comes with it. Head to reputable camping sites and learn how to start a fire with kindling and matches instead. Pro tip: Your s’mores will taste just as good – if not better!

Sip and Hang Sustainably With BrüMate

Well, think you’re ready to tackle your next adventure. We hope you’ve got what you need to head out more sustainably. Whether you’re looking for the perfect tumbler to use + reuse on your hikes or a cooler to keep all your goods, BruMate has you covered. Check out our best-selling drinkware or feature-packed coolers to enhance your next adventure.