Camping with Less Waste
September 01, 2022

Camping with Less Waste


credit: Brooks Rice

Ah, summer in Oregon! It's hard to say goodbye. Our family just returned from our last camping trip of the season. We camped in the high desert, at the coast, in the forest and in the dunes. What a beautiful state we live in. 

I was thinking about ways to camp (or picnic) a little more sustainably. This isn’t a critique of how anyone else chooses to play in nature. But for us, we like to be in the beautiful outdoors, eating well and being comfortable—and not making a lot of trash. Hauling out bags of gross garbage is a bummer. And, if you prep a low-waste camping/picnicking kit, it makes heading out into the wilds simpler each time!

ABOVE, clockwise: Cloth napkins and dish towels (Yes, really!—not having paper napkins flying away in the wind is worth it alone.); Homemade granola and hot cocoa mix in reusable jars; Thrifted enamel dishware; Dedicated camping knives and a large linen throw to use as a tablecloth on the picnic table. Or as a towel or blanket if the nights are cool.

ABOVE, clockwise: Reusable thermos for coffee/cocoa on the go; Bluetooth speaker for camp tunes; Homemade chex-mix in a Stasher bag; Saskatoon from Portland's For Bitter For Worse (zero proof, just as complex and nuanced as wine + no tent hangover 🙌🏽); Steel glasses; Large linen throw for tables, camp curtain, fireside snuggles, etc!

To the above goodies, we also like to pack a tackle box full of thrifted silverware, bottled hot sauces, cooking oils, seasonings and other essentials. If delicious food in the wild is also your game, check out these two books: The Campout Cookbook: Inspired Recipes for Cooking Around the Fire and Under the Stars and The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket. Next level grub ideas.

credit: Tegan Mierle
I hope your summer was filled with plenty of moments under the stars and the swaying trees. I'm already planning for next time.