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Eco-friendly Backpacking: A Guide to Sustainable Camping Gear

Packing light and right is essential for your eco-friendly trip. Learn here about an eco-friendly backpacker’s essentials.


A growing trend in the outdoor community is the shift towards eco-friendly backpacking. This practice combines the love of nature exploration with the dedication to sustainable living. Thus, it involves the use of sustainable camping gear, which is designed to reduce our carbon footprint and minimize plastic consumption.

Choosing the right equipment is vital for an enjoyable and responsible backpacking trip. From sleeping bags and sleeping pads to cookware sets and hydration systems like the Klean Kanteen insulated bottles, eco-friendly camping gear ensures a guilt-free adventure. Brands like North Face Eco Trail, BioLite CampStove 2, and GSI Outdoors are leading the way in producing sustainable camping gear using sustainable materials, contributing to the sustainable jungle of eco-friendly camping options.

Criteria for Choosing Sustainable Camping Gear

When selecting eco-friendly camping gear, it’s important to consider the sustainability of the manufacturing practices and the supply chain involved. The best sustainable camping gear is produced ethically and sustainably, with transparent supply chains that avoid child labor and ensure fair compensation for workers. Prioritizing gear companies that adhere to sustainable outdoor practices and offer eco-friendly outdoor essentials is a key step towards sustainable backpacking. Fair Trade Certified products and eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic are good starting points. Ultimately, your eco-friendly camping gear should reflect your commitment to sustainable brands and sustainable living.

Certificates and Labels to Consider

As you shop for sustainable camping gear, several certifications and labels can guide your choices. One of these is the BLUESIGN label, which guarantees that the outdoor gear is produced using high environmental standards and sustainable materials. The Fair Wear label is another reliable indicator, assuring that workers’ rights are protected during the manufacturing process.

Other important labels to look out for include PFC Free, indicating that harmful Poly Fluorinated Chemicals were not used in the production, and REPREVE, signaling the use of recycled plastic bottles in the material. These certificates and labels provide a level of assurance that your eco-friendly camping gear aligns with your values of sustainable living.

Tips for Selecting Eco-friendly Camping Materials

When it comes to eco-friendly camping gear, the choice of materials matters significantly. Sleeping bags and sleeping pads made from organic or recycled materials make a significant difference. The North Face Eco Trail and BioLite CampStove 2, for example, are known for their commitment to using sustainable materials. A good rule of thumb is to opt for gear that combines durability with minimal environmental impact.

Reusable hydration solutions like the Klean Kanteen insulated bottles can significantly reduce your plastic consumption while out in the wild. Additionally, consider sustainable backpacks as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional backpacks. These subtle changes can turn your backpacking trip into a sustainable jungle adventure.

Top Picks for Eco-friendly Camping Gear

With the emergence of numerous sustainable camping gear brands, eco-friendly camping has never been easier. Whether it’s sleeping bags, sleeping pads, or other camping essentials, many top picks offer a perfect blend of functionality and sustainability. Your journey to eco-friendly backpacking starts with choosing the right gear.

1. Nemo Equipment Dagger Osmo Tent 2p/3p

For eco-friendly camping, the Nemo Equipment Dagger Osmo Tent 2p/3p stands out. This lightweight and well-designed tent is perfect for accommodating two eco-conscious campers. It’s built for three-season use, providing comfort and protection against weather conditions. What sets this tent apart is its construction from Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certified yarns.

Not only are the fabrics free of PFC and PFAS, but they are not treated with fire-retardant chemicals, further enhancing their eco-friendliness. The tent’s pole bag is made from 100% recycled REPREVE, replacing disposable packaging and contributing to Nemo’s 100K Polybag Elimination Project. This top-notch tent can be found at retailers like REI, a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts.

2. The North Face Eco Trail 2p

The North Face Eco Trail 2p is another excellent option for those planning camping trips with sustainability in mind. This synthetic mummy-style sleeping bag is designed for three-season use and is highly compressible, making it easy to carry on backpacking adventures. With a temperature rating of 20ºF / -6ºC, it’s versatile enough for year-round use in various locations.

Most notably, this sleeping bag is filled with 100% recycled polyester insulation. The shell and lining are also recycled, making it an eco-friendly choice for backpacking gear. Apart from the zipper teeth, the entire sleeping bag is made of recycled materials, which will please any eco-conscious camper.

3. BioLite CampStove 2: Efficient and Environmentally Friendly

In the outdoor industry, sustainability is a growing concern, and the BioLite CampStove 2 is an eco-friendly solution. This efficient and environmentally friendly camping gear challenges the notion that ultralight equipment is always the most sustainable. The BioLite CampStove 2 stands out as it doesn’t rely on gas cartridges, known for being non-recyclable.

Instead, it promotes more sustainable choices, like using a bamboo toothbrush, a biodegradable alternative to plastic. This stove is not only efficient but also helps reduce waste in the outdoor environment, making it a top pick for eco-friendly backpackers.

4. Mountain Hardwear Lamina Eco Af Sleeping Bag

A sustainable sleeping bag is a must-have for eco-friendly backpacking, and the Mountain Hardwear Lamina Eco Af Sleeping Bag is a top choice. Unlike traditional sleeping bags made with synthetic materials or non-responsibly sourced down feathers, this one stands out with its eco-friendly features. It’s a product of a certified B Corp company, which further assures its sustainability.

The company is carbon-neutral and gives back to various social organizations. The Lamina Eco Af Sleeping Bag is made from repurposed fabric and filled with recycled polyester. Its commitment to sustainability extends to its recyclable packaging, lifetime warranty, and repair service. This bag is not just suitable for car camping but also for any eco-friendly backpacking adventure.

5. Klean Kanteen’s Insulated Bottles For Hydration

Hydration is essential during backpacking trips, and Klean Kanteen’s Insulated Bottles offer an eco-friendly solution. These bottles, part of Klean Kanteen’s 2022 range, are made from recycled stainless steel, demonstrating the company’s commitment to sustainability. Not only does this make them a better alternative to plastic water bottles, but they also keep drinks at their optimum temperature for longer periods.

Klean Kanteen’s pledges to sustainability don’t end with the bottles themselves. The company is also committed to reducing waste and promoting recycling. So, when you choose Klean Kanteen’s insulated bottles for hydration, you’re not just taking care of your hydration needs; you’re also contributing to the well-being of the environment.

Enhance Your Backpacking Experience With Eco-friendly Accessories

Enhancing your backpacking experience is not just about adding more gear; it’s about choosing the right accessories that are sustainable and eco-friendly. These accessories, from hiking packs to soap, not only provide practical benefits for your camping adventures, but they also reduce your environmental footprint, making your outdoor expeditions more conscious and responsible. Let’s dive into some top picks that combine functionality and eco-friendly backpacking principles.

Patagonia Altvia Pack 36l: A Responsible Choice for Hiking

The Patagonia Altvia Pack 36l is a stellar example of eco-friendly backpacking essentials. Made from a combination of recycled and high-tenacity fabric, this backpack is a responsible choice for those who care about the environment. Its large carrying capacity makes it ideal for longer hikes, with plenty of room to carry meals and snacks, sleeping bags, and other necessary gear.

Biolite Headlamp 330 for Eco-friendly Illumination

When it comes to eco-friendly camping, every detail, including illumination, matters. The Biolite Headlamp 330 is a perfect example of an accessory combining sustainability and practicality. This headlamp provides efficient lighting for your camping needs, whether setting up your tent, cooking dinner, or navigating trails after dusk.

Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 Castile Soap for Minimal Impact

Even personal hygiene can be eco-friendly during your camping trips. Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 Castile Soap is a versatile product that minimizes your environmental impact. It’s made from organic and all-natural ingredients, making it safe for you and the environment. It can clean your clothes, body, and hair, eliminating the need to carry multiple products for different uses.

Advantages of Opting for Used Eco-friendly Camping Gear

Opting for used eco-friendly camping gear presents numerous advantages. For one, second-hand gear reduces waste and is a practical way for outdoor enthusiasts to contribute to sustainability. An outdoors geek would appreciate the opportunity to reuse quality gear, such as sleeping pads and outdoor clothing, giving them a new lease of life. This not only serves the environment but also saves your wallet.

By purchasing used gear, you also support the circular economy, giving items a second life rather than contributing to the 40 million tons of waste produced annually. The market for used eco-friendly camping gear is growing, with many dedicated platforms where high-quality, pre-loved equipment can be found. This offers a win-win situation for the environment and the backpacker, who can find great deals on sustainable gear.

Wrapping up: The Future of Eco-friendly Backpacking

The future of eco-friendly backpacking looks promising with the increasing awareness about sustainability and a shift towards greener practices. The industry is moving towards post-consumer recycled and certified recycled materials like recycled nylon in outdoor clothing and sleeping pads. Furthermore, innovations such as rechargeable batteries and eco-friendly materials are set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As we continue our journey towards sustainable living, eco-friendly camping will become more than a trend – it will be the norm for every conscious camper and backpacker.

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