Plastic-Free Lightweight Backpacking

While out on a hike, I was enjoying drinking crystal clear river water from my plastic Smart water bottle. Then it hit me. I’m a hypocrite. Back at home I avoid single-use plastic water bottles. Are Smart water bottles even BPA free? Nope. What’s the point of drinking filtered water from the mountain tops if it’s going to be stored in a plastic water bottle that’s known to cause cancer and throw off your hormonal balance? There has to be another option.

Come to think of it, in order to cut weight, I use a lot of plastic. I use ziplocks of all sizes. And single-use food packets. My backpack, tent and sleeping bag are made from synthetics. Hmmm. Is it possible to be environmentally friendly and a lightweight backpacker? Is this an untapped niche? Or am I obsessing too much about my health and the planet?

I am obsessive and I’m going for it! Challenge accepted! I’m exploring options on how to use less plastic in my life, at home, while traveling, camping and backpacking. I did some research and I discovered that Fiji and Eternal water bottles are BPA free. I’ve switched to those two brands. I’ll also be sure to replace them often as the chemicals break down faster when the bottles are exposed to heat and UV light.

And I’ll continue my plastic-free quest. How did the nomadic Native American tribes handle the issue of weight? They weren’t using plastic or synthetic materials, so what did they use? What about other nomadic people, pioneers or travelers?

It is a big mental shift going to a plastic-free lifestyle, so I’m going to break it into steps. First challenge is to review my toiletries and see what plastic-free options are out there. Any suggestions?


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