Environmentally Friendly Backcountry Camping Tips

Backcountry Camping Tips for Minimal Impact

If you love camping, then looking after the environment, just makes good sense…

Backcountry HikingCamping is really a wonderful way to experience nature. And backcountry camping is about as close to nature as you can get. However, as humans we tend to have a profound impact on the space we visit.

Needless to say, this impact isn’t always good. In fact, our presence in the backcountry can alter a place for ever, and not in a good way!

Whether we are out on a day hike, or whether we are setting up camp, it is always a good idea to be aware of the sort of impact we are having on the surrounding environment.

This is why it’s important to practice minimal impact or no trace backcountry ethics and try to ensure that your visit leaves as little or no residual or harmful effect on the environment or the native inhabitants.

Check out Amazon’s Range of Quality Lightweight Hiking Tents!

Here are 10 minimal impact backcountry camping tips:

Camp Fire1. Pay attention to the rules and regulations about fires. In some backcountry areas fires are prohibited. Never leave a campsite burning. Do not build new fire pits. Consider using a backpacking stove to prepare meals. It takes less time and has less impact on the environment than building a campfire.

2. Do not use lake or river water to clean dishes or yourself. Instead, cart water to dry land and dispose of dishwater in the forest well back from the campsite.

3. Avoid cooking more food than you will consume. Pack out what you do not eat. Burying food will attract animals and get them used to humans.

4. Avoid excessive garbage by packing food in re-usable containers. Never take glass bottles into the backcountry and always pack out everything that you pack in, including all your garbage.

5. Human waste must be buried. Choose an area at least 50 meters away from water sources. Look for a spot with an inland slope to prevent it from draining into natural water sources and dig a hole that is at least eight inches deep.

Mix soil with the waste and bury. Do not bury toilet paper of feminine hygiene products. You can burn your toilet paper at the campsite and use biodegradable feminine hygiene products or pack them out.

6. Stay on designated trails and walk in single file in the center of the path to avoid trampling plants and altering the environment.

Camp Site7. When camping, if possible choose an established site. If not possible, choose an area where you will have minimal impact. Do not clear an area to create a campsite. Don’t cut things down or dig trenches.

8. Before leaving your campsite, check to make sure you have taken everything with you that you brought. Leave the campsite as you found it.

9. Don’t bring your dog with you. Most parks don’t allow dogs off leash and dogs don’t generally belong in the wild.

(The only exception for this rule might be if the dog is extremely well trained for this type of activity, and you are able to deal with their droppings the same way you deal with your own waste… A dog should never be allowed to chase or impact on the environment and wildlife).

10. Leave nature as you found it, or better. There’s a saying, “take only pictures, leave only footprints.” Follow this saying. Don’t pick up rocks or plants and if you encounter garbage along the way, pick it up and take it with you.

Check out the National Park Service for more information about Backcountry Camping advice…

The more we can leave nature undisturbed, the longer it will be around for us, our children and their children to enjoy. Take care of the land when you camp and go backcountry hiking so others may enjoy it too. Our wilderness is a priceless asset that once gone cannot be replaced.

Note:

For a great Instant Tent that suits hiking and backpacking check out my review on the Wind Ridge Instant Tent

Waterproof Your Tent Just Like a Pro

Tips for How to Waterproof your Tent for Camping

Some practical tips and suggestions for avoiding leaks and keeping dry in your Tent…

Waterproof Your TentIf you need a good reason to actually go to the trouble to waterproof your tent and other camping gear, then just think about going camping, and having your tent and  camp site all set up… everyone is having fun…  then downpour of rain turns up out of the blue. There is not much that is more inconvenient and uncomfortable, especially in the middle of the night, to have dripping water coming through your tent, or to find your airbed floating on a pool of water or just getting saturated bedding from a leaking tent!

Yes… it will make for a great ‘camping adventure’ tale some time down the track…. but I think that might be one ‘adventure story’ you might prefer to pass on…

Most decent priced tents come with a fly just for this purpose, although some may still not achieve their ultimate goal… keeping you comfy and dry. While having a rain fly is important factor in keeping you dry, it is still a really good idea to waterproof your tent using some of the excellent products available…  and I can guarantee if you are camping and it starts to rain you will be so thankful you did!

Really, making sure your tent is waterproof needs to start when possible while you are buying your tent.  While there is really no total guarantees when it comes to this, some Companies like Coleman have gone to elaborate lengths to achieve a standard where they do actually offer one.

So it is not so much about choosing the ‘perfect’ tent, as it is about choosing the best tent to suit your needs and make sure you are able to carry out your own ‘waterproof your tent‘ regime before taking it out in the field. This is one reason it is good to check out reviews of tents before you purchase, just to get a good idea of what is on offer.

If you already have purchased your tent then it’s still not too late to waterproof your tent…. especially if you have already had an unpleasant ‘tent leakage’ experience… then don’t give up.  All hope is not lost…. By applying these tips you should be able to do a lot to make sure you waterproof your tent and you don’t have ongoing repeat episodes of your previous camping disaster. Oh… and don’t forget to waterproof your other camping gear as well… sleeping bags, boots, backpacks, tarps etc.

Some Tips to help Keep you Dry on your Next Camping Trip

  • Waterproof your tent – Pick a nice warm and sunny day if possible, or do it under cover if possible… it needs to be dry to do this.  You are going to apply seam sealer to all the seams on  your tent. This will work to repel any leakage, so make sure you take your time and do a very particular job… don’t rush it. Plus you will want to make sure the floor of your tent is sealed to prevent moisture seepage through the tent material.  Obviously you will need to purchase enough sealer prior to embarking on this important step. You can choose from a selection over here at Amazon at super discounted prices. Repeat this each year as a part of your tent maintenance.
  • Purchase a fly – if your tent did not come with one, or use tarps to make your own extra cover in place of a fly.  You might want to have a couple of extra tarps as well if you want to put one down under your tent, and perhaps as an awning for outside as well.  Obviously choose the best sizes to suit your size tent and what you want to achieve with your campsite and don’t forget extra ropes and solid stakes.
  • Check the weather forecast for where you are intending to go camping, prior to heading off – You may even choose a different location if you find that there are any bad storms expected where you might have intended to go camping.
  • Choose your camp site with care – Don’t set up your tent in a spot that could be subject to flash flooding, and keep water runoff in your thoughts as you decide on the best spot to put up your tent.
  • Look for Hazards – Also consider trees and the possibility of branches falling on your tent. While not directly related to getting wet, certainly if a sharp branch pierces your tent and puts a hole in it, then water will follow!
  • One last tip when you are putting up your tent – Make sure that the tent, the rain fly and any tarps are nice and taut.  If you make them loose at all, then they are going to be more subject to water pooling that could lead to leakage.  Making things nice and tight will help water to run off and not seep through seams or even the tent material.

Coleman Instant Tent 8 RainflyThe Coleman Instant Tent 8 is one of my favorite larger camping tents and even though it has a ‘keep you dry’ guarantee, despite this I would still waterproof your tent, even thought the newer versions have the ability to add a fly, which is a great extra feature, and certainly some cheap insurance to help keep you dry in wet weather.

Check Out The Coleman Instant Tent 8 Rainfly Here

A tent is not meant to be permanent accommodation, however, there are still a lot of things you can do to make it way more comfortable for the time that you are wanting to or even needing to use it.

While not as roomy as the Coleman range, the Wind Ridge Instant Tent does come with the rain fly included… And the newer models of the Coleman Instant Tent have also got a rain fly as standard.

Regardless of what you choose I would always make sure you waterproof your tent and probably repeat the exercise at least once a year.

Waterproofing the Floor of your Tent

One sealer that I can suggest you check out is the Gear Aid Tent Sure Floor Sealant with a built-in foam brush. The foam brush makes it very easy to apply to your gear or to the floor on the inside of your tent.  Of course you will need to make sure that your tent is erected in a dry place where it won’t get wet during your maintenance session, or at least you can access easily the whole of the inside of your tent floor.

Obviously, you can also use other types of waterproofing products as well, and I have added a few more down below…

Take a look at the video below where you can see a demonstration of how to apply a waterproofing over the floor of your tent, as a part of your annual maintenance.

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbs3R0-mIOQ[/embedyt]

 

Waterproofing your Whole Tent

Starbrite WaterproofingNow this sounds worse than it needs to be in practice, and by going this extra mile, especially when you don’t have a tent that is made from a waterproof material, then it is going to be essential. Obviously you are going to need a larger quantity of water proofing substance when you are actually coating your whole tent. One brand that comes in larger bottles and has an excellent customer rating is the Starbrite Waterproofing with PTEF.

This is just another ‘insurance policy’ that will help make your camping trip a success, and is well worth the relatively small expense and the time it takes, especially if it happens to ‘bucket down’ rain on your next camping trip!

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qeMUe4iNE8[/embedyt]

 

Another Option for Waterproofing Camping Gear

Kiwi Camp Dry Water RepellentThe Kiwi Camp Dry Water Repellent forms a silicone bond with both fabric and leather, so this will also be great not only to waterproof your tent, tarps or other camping gear, but for clothing, boots, backpacks and even your fabric covered outdoor furniture.

This one has a 4.4 out of 5 star rating with 509 customer reviews as I am writing this…

Click Here for the Latest Price on Kiwi Camp Dry

Comfortable Camping Tips

Some Tips Showing for Comfortable Camping

If you venture out in cold weather, then comfortable camping is what you want to aim for…

Comfortable CampingEveryone is likely to have some different ideas about what makes for comfortable camping. Many love their creature comforts, so for many, camping in good weather is what they would choose.

On the other hand, there are also many who enjoy a challenge, they love the crisp clean air and choose to put themselves against the elements.

Whichever type of camper you are, most of us don’t like to get cold, especially while we are trying to sleep, and we like to be as comfy, as possible while camping. Even if you enjoy roughing it, you might still find some interesting points in the following video that I found.

You Can Check Out the Range of 3 and 4 Season Tents Here!

One thing is sure, if you are heading out camping in cold weather you want to make sure you have a way to keep warm, aside from comfort, your life might depend on it!

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sJfLzX94Ys[/embedyt]

A-Z Bushcraft with Presenter Andrew Price

Andrew Price is not only an experienced ‘bushcraft’ and ‘survival’ expert, he is also an author and a teacher of these skills. On the A-Z Bushcraft website, you can find a whole range of instruction videos, literally laid out from A to Z. He also has a degree in Media and Theater studies, so no doubt this ‘adds’ to his video presentation style.

In the above review, Andrew goes through some helpful tips which might give you some ideas for warm and comfortable camping, especially if you could possibly hit a cold snap in the weather.

It is always a good idea to check weather forecasts before setting out on any trip, however, even with the best forecasters, there is absolutely no guarantees for their accuracy. With this in mind, it is always a good idea to be prepared for any and all potential circumstances, at least as much as humanly possible…

Andrew shows how a tee-pee tent with a wood heater inside, provides ultimate warmth and comfort for the colder weather. He also goes through a range of insulating materials, such as animal skins that provide excellent insulation against the cold ground.

He also covers self-inflatable, roll up sleeping pads that provide some insulation as well as a small amount of ‘padding’, and of course, he talks about the importance of having the right level sleeping bag. They are made for 1-4 seasons, rated just like tents, and the last thing you want to do is be too cold to actually sleep properly while camping.

One thing that is important to a lot of campers, is having enough room in our tent, and certainly having a tent that is straight forward to assemble. This is one reason why the Coleman Instant Tent is so popular; it goes up in almost no time, and while you can’t have a ‘wood stove’ inside, it is made in such a way, as to withstand extreme weather conditions.

Providing you have the appropriate clothing and sleeping equipment, you are bound to stay warm and dry, even in cold weather. In order to ensure ‘comfortable camping‘, the one addition I would suggest is to get a fly. Even though it is claimed to be not necessary, it is safe to say there are enough customers who have reported problems, to justify taking extra precautions.  Other than the potential for some leaking, and I should stress, this was not the case with all reports, most people were exceptionally happy with their purchase.

See Amazon for the Best Prices in Extreme Weather Tents

Basically, if you are wanting to camp in extreme weather you need to make sure you get a tent that is made for this purpose. There is a range of 3 and 4 season tents that you can choose from that will not only help to keep you warm and comfy while camping and hiking, but they will stand up to some rather rugged weather conditions as well.

Tips for Buying An Instant Tent

Tips for Buying An Instant Tent

What things you need to know before you buy an Instant Tent…

Tips for Instant TentsWhen you are planning on buying an Instant Tent, you will want to have some research under your belt before you purchase.  Of course you can go out and buy the first tent you see and like… and you might just be lucky, but it is much better to have a good idea of what you are looking for and the pros and cons of different types of tents, and hopefully not end up with something you wish you had not bought!

Check out Amazon’s Range of Instant Tents!

When you are thinking of an instant tent, then often it is about smaller pop-up type tents which are great for what they are made for, however, with some of the advancements in manufacturing, you can now take advantage of easy-up tents that are very large, catering for a full on camping adventure.

What do you need to look for?

So, if you are looking for a tent then I am thinking you already know how many people you want to accommodate and what weather conditions you are going to want to cater for.

One thing I will say, and if you have ever gone camping in a tent, then you might already agree with me, if you want to house 3 people you will likely need a tent bigger than one advertised as a 3-person tent. This is because when they calculate the size of the tent like this, they are using side-by-side snug fit, people lined up like in a sardine can…

So unless snug is your preference, then you might want to say go a 4-person for 3 or even bigger, depending on the sort of camping trip you are taking.

With and ‘Instant’ tent then you can get a large tent like the Coleman instant Tent 8 which is a very roomy tent, and while officially it is an 8 person, I would still think it is way more comfortable for 4 or 5 depending on whether you are catering for adults and children and the numbers of each.

These larger tents, even though they are quick to set up, are still quite heavy and so you would only use them if you transporting your camping gear with a vehicle.  For people who want to go on a cycling or motor bike camping trip then you will want to look at the Wind Ridge Instant Tent range.

They have a 3 and 4 person instant tent, which have been very well designed and although smaller than the Coleman with no standing room, they are still very roomy and very well designed. These tents are perfect if you only have a small distance to carry your camping gear to set up camp, or if you traveling by bicycle or a motor bike.

Instant tents are perfect for anyone on a road trip where they want to save money on accommodation and don’t want to spend a lot of time setting up a camping site just to sleep for the night, and depending on your preferences and again, how many people you are catering for, then either the Coleman or the Wind Ridge range should suit the purpose well.

When it comes to catering for weather conditions you will need to give this some thought. The classification of tents is spoken of in the number of seasons.

Generally an all-round seasonal tent (there are some exceptions), are not made for severe weather of any kind; in windy, stormy and severe cold and snow, these tents will not do very well.  These are more for the temperate climate and quick camp out where you know weather will not be an issue.

3 season tents are just that much better where they are made to stand up to more severe weather conditions, however, if you know that snow is a possibility where you are camping, or you can foresee going camping in snowy conditions then this will not be your best choice.

A 4 season tent is the highest rating and is the toughest tent you can get, because they are made to withstand extreme weather conditions. If there is any possibility or likelihood of freezing winds, snow and rain then this is the best tent choice for you.

Really if you are a serious camper, backpacker or hiker then getting a 4 season tent is probably your best option. The one thing about these tents, though, is sometimes the ventilation is not as good, so you want to choose the design carefully and make sure you have a way to improve airflow through the tent in warmer weather conditions.

Click Here for more Tips for Buying an Instant Tent!

Sometimes with Instant Tents there have been issues with water leakage, in particular with the Coleman range, however, they seem to be addressing this more with the newer models.

You can always adapt the tent by adding your own fly using a tart set up and many people have done this.  There are also many people who have used their tents in bad weather without a fly, and not had any water leaking issues.  For me, I would certainly make sure any seams are sealed with a waterproof seam sealer, and I would have a fly or two at hand just to be sure. If you are looking at the Wind Ridge instant tents then you will find they come with a fly already, so there shouldn’t be any issues.

One of the best tips for buying an instant tent, is check out different reviews and think of ways you might be able to counteract any potential negatives as well as aiming to cater for the type of tent that will suit your needs.