The environment needs our protection now more than ever, and there’s no better way to celebrate Earth Day (or any day) than by spending time outdoors.
Through no trace camping—also known as “pack it in, pack it out,”—you can appreciate the earth and work to preserve it simultaneously.
Start by making ecologically conscious decisions ahead of your trip. To cut down on pollution, pick a nearby destination, and if you don’t already have your own camping gear, consider buying or borrowing used equipment. Pack your own (non-disposable) dishes and eco-friendly toiletries as well as some extra garbage bags to prevent litter.
Once you’re in the wild, respect boundaries in preserves and on trails—those limits are in place to protect wildlife. Additionally, conserve your resources (such as water from a spicket) and keep fires minimal and contained. Make sure to burn your fire down to ash before putting it out completely.
Now, on to the excitement—flip through the gallery above for seven getaway suggestions courtesy of Thousand Trails and Encore, or plan a visit to a nearby park.
Lake Conroe photo by Katie Haughland Bowen, CC BY 2.0. Sturgeon bay photo by Jim Bauer, CC BY-ND 2.0. Lake George photo by bobistraveling, CC BY 2.0
Sarra Sedghi is the assistant editor of Paste’s food and science sections.