If you love outdoor adventures, you likely understand the need to protect our environment. Leave No Trace principles, education about not feeding wildlife and volunteer trail clean-ups are important, worthwhile initiatives.
What about your gear?
Unfortunately, single-use products litter the backcountry (has anyone else noticed an increase in disposable face masks floating in waterways and caught on road-side trees?). Recycling, donating, sharing and properly disposing of outdoor adventure gear helps decrease waste in the great outdoors. Another way to be a more sustainable explorer is to choose eco-friendly brands and reusable gear.
Here are 5 environmentally conscious gear items for 2020:
1. Cotopaxi Half-Zip Windbreaker
Cotopaxi | Mat Kestle
I’ll admit it: the bright, boxy, 80s design of this windbreaker drew me in. But what made me press “purchase” is the weather-resistant, repurposed materials. This extremely lightweight layer features a kangaroo pocket, a flap pocket and an internal phone pocket that doubles as a stuff sack. Elastics bindings at the cuffs, hood and hem help fight breezes on summits. It has a 600mm PU backer and DWR finish to protect against light rain, making it ideal for shoulder-season trail runs, short canoe trips and anyone keen to sport bold colours in the outdoors.
2. Hydro Flask
Alison Karlene Hodgins
Hikers, campers and paddlers should carry reusable bottles and hydration bladders on adventures. If you’re looking to upgrade, choose a high-quality, stainless steel bottle that will last.
Hydro Flask offers several sizes, cap styles and models (including tumblers for wine, growlers for beer and mugs for coffee) so you can find your perfect fit. The bottles are double-walled vacuum insulated, made of 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel and come with a lifetime warranty. Though you may never need it—I’ve been using my Hydro Flask for over two years and am happy to report zero smell, taste or damage.
3. Tentree Hoodie
Alison Karlene Hodgins
I’m not exaggerating when I say I lived in this hoodie while camping in Tofino. I love the design, especially because the constellations glow in the dark—without the use of harmful chemicals.
Tentree is well-known for planting ten trees for every product sold. The company also strives to use environmentally friendly materials such as recycled polyester, organic cotton, hemp and TENCEL™, which also happens to be the softest fabric I’ve ever touched. Tentree’s hoodies are certified organic, ethically sourced and vegan-friendly.
4. Avventura Outdoors Picnic Kit
courtesy of Janet Beyea Desrosiers
Whether it’s a picnic on the beach or a snack at the summit, packing in (and out) your food doesn’t just save on waste—it saves you money.
I love that this camping kit comes with two bowls (and lids), a cutting board, spork and even a spice container. It stacks and stows easily in a container that doubles as a plate. This picnic kit is a staple on camping trips, as it equips me to cook more creative meals in the outdoors. Who said eating around the campfire has to be plain and boring?
5. Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
Camp dishes - courtesy of Janet Beyea Desrosiers
Another Certified B Corp brand, this natural, fair trade, vegan, biodegradable soap is my one-stop-shop for outdoor adventures. Distill it for whatever you need to wash, including your body, hands, vegetables and camp dishes.
Please note that in sensitive areas where soap is not recommended, Dr. Bonner’s is still not appropriate to use. However, if there is on-site plumbing, this is my favourite way to get clean and refreshed. Choose the unscented option to avoid attracting bears and other wildlife.
More from bloggers living the adventure (sustainably):
Shop organic, eco-friendly products at MEC:
Want to learn more about living a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle?
Did you know your laundry could be contributing to the problem?