The Complete Guide to having a fun yet sustainable camping experience.
Experiencing the outdoors should never be done at the expense of nature
It’s never been more imperative to leave our much in-demand camping sites the way we found them - pristine, safe, protected and ready for the next adventure seeker.
We want any traveller to experience the wild in the knowledge they’re protecting the great outdoors and we want any RV, travel or camping operator to pivot their camping services to protect their people and nature to the best of their ability. Till David Schaltegger is no stranger to the ins and outs of the RV and camping industry. He is the co-founder of Cheeky Campers, a Swiss startup that upcycles "pre-loved" vehicles with reused and recycled materials and transforms them into simple, unique and affordable campervans.
As we usher in the new year, here are some of the major tips to guarantee a new-age, sustainable camping experience from Schaltegger himself.
“We believe that camping should be a way to connect with nature, not harm it. That's why we used up and recycled materials whilst building our camping vans and implementing eco-friendly practices in all of our operations.”
Till David Schaltegger,
Co-founder of Cheeky Campers
Travel Sustainably and Conveniently
We’re acutely aware of how keen people are to deep-dive into a meaningful, valuable off-road adventure. People want to tune out and switch off from the world, and experience nature in all its rawness. Indeed, the rise of Slow Travel is in part a reaction to everything being always on and speeding up.
But a bit of tech, a bit of planning, and combining the digital with the physical can help keep your trip sustainable!
Adventure-seekers don’t have to compromise on hassle-free travel. In our niche of the travel market we know customer expectations run high, so we always urge both travel providers and travel customers to seek efficiencies which don’t impact the overall trip and help reduce administrative burdens - novel tech features like paperless booking systems,contactless vehicle rentals and keyless vehicle entry give customers and providers more speed and less fuss.
Keep It Simple!
This one is for camping operators!
One of the major pain points for any customer, no matter their journey, is navigating complex booking or payment systems, and when you’re looking at escaping to the country the last thing you want to do is be stuck faffing around online or with a broker trying to organise each element of your camping experience.
This extends even beyond what we do helping digitise car, RV and adventure vehicle rental operators to campsite booking and package deals.
Simple booking systems, simple pricing, no hidden fees and no opaque travel options - that’s our motto. You will lose customers and alienate keen campers if the admin is long-winded!
Go Local Where Possible
Again, this is one for camping operators and vehicle renters - stay as connected to your local community as possible, and advocate for local services, farmers, providers, tourist spots, restaurants, beaches, drinking holes and adventure areas.
In the back of beyond, you’ll find local businesses have multiple operations under one roof: like farmers who also have a small shop and offer camping space on spare land, for example!
Never forget the reason why your customer is going off the grid - they want to connect with your area, your community and nature. Let them do it by supporting your local.
Leave No Trace
Plastic is convenient, but it’s no longer sustainable nor tenable to head into the wilderness piled high with single-use plastics or non-biodegradable materials.
Coastr were partly founded on the premise that no one needs to take unnecessary journeys and that renting vehicles on demand is ostensibly better for the environment than adding new cars onto the roads. We echo this across our advice to travellers and adventure-obsessives . We know you love nature, and we want to protect it where we can, too. So be mindful of what you take with you.
There are sustainable variants for nearly everything you’d need on a camping trip: dog waste bags, human waste bags, compostable flatware and plates, detergent strips, phosphate-free toothpaste and even biodegradable toilet cleaner for RVs.
For instance, Cheeky Campers offer free biodegradable soap with every rented camping van. So where possible (and it’s very possible), take biodegradable materials into the wild with you.
Reuse and Reclaim for the Environment
There are a host of campaigns to reduce virgin material creation (from plastics to clothing), which we think should be firmly echoed across camping.
Before you jump on a purchasing spree for new gas cookers or tents, we urge you to look into reusing or reclaiming as many materials as possible for your camping trip. EBay, Gumtree, Facebook marketplace and even camping operators, all have options to re-buy pre-loved camping gear. It’s better for the environment and reduces unnecessary waste. Once you’re done with it, sell it onto the next keen camper and keep the sustainability going!
Travel More Efficiently
Do you know the most efficient speed to travel? Most people by now know the best tactics for “hypermilling” (IE. getting the most MPG from your car), but is this the same as driving efficiently?
In the main, yes! The less fuel you use the better for the environment. But it’s not always about using less fuel. Making sure your tires have good tread, reducing car idle time, not using air conditioning, avoiding short journeys and avoiding congestion are all equally as effective.
So if in doubt, take the road less travelled, avoid the potential for congestion on highways, and take in the sights.
Be Responsible with Campfires
We want anyone on any camping excursion to make the least amount of impact on the environment as possible. Be mindful of the journey, but also be vigilant when you get to your camping spot.
Untended fires are a massive risk. Often there are strict rules at campsites regarding open fires and for good reason, so make sure you check on the regulations ahead of striking your flint. The same counts for fires on beaches or areas away from campsites. All it takes is one tinder where it shouldn’t be and your trip is all but finished.
Camp Responsibly, But Have Fun!
Camping is so much more than simply getting off grid for a bit. It’s about connecting with nature, and leaving nature as you found it.
That’s the true magic of a camping adventure - and being a good steward of nature is the best way to do it.
“By choosing sustainable camping options like our sustainable RVs, campers can enjoy the great outdoors without leaving a negative footprint behind”.
Till David Schaltegger, Co-founder of Cheeky Campers.