How Camping Can Fit Into A Permaculture Lifestyle

It is very important for the future of humanity that we all learn to live in a sustainable way, working with nature rather than fighting against it. Sustainability has become a buzz word for those with an ear to the ground and more and more, people are realising that we all need to transition to a more ethical, eco-friendly way of life – one that can cater to all our needs now and in the future.

Permaculture (a portmanteau term combining the words 'permanent' and 'agriculture' or 'culture') is a design system and movement that offers a pathway for this more sustainable future. While it originated as an agricultural system, today it is used to show a sensible and practical approach to all different facets of life. Living a permaculture lifestyle is synonymous with the idea of living sustainably. Camping can fit in very well with a permaculture lifestyle and taking camping holidays is very much in keeping with the principles of permaculture.

While most people talking about permaculture will focus on gardening, or farming, lifestyle choices such as how and where to holiday can also be made by taking permaculture principles into account. There are twelve principles in permaculture, set out by one of the founding fathers of the design system.

The first principle is 'Observe and Interact' – it describes the importance of being aware of and engaging in one's surroundings. Observation and interaction with the natural world are key to all our efforts to preserve it. Camping holidays offer the chance to view different natural environments and to learn from them.

Another principle is 'obtain a yield'. Though usually applied in reference to food and other crops, it is important to realise that intangible 'yields' such as happiness, relaxation time, or any element of physical or mental well-being can also be classified as a 'yield' – and camping can definitely deliver these yields. More literally, camping might also provide the opportunity for a foraging trip for foods of the wilds or hedgerows.

Permaculture also tells us to use small and slow solutions. In today's world, people are too often in a rush. Camping holidays, especially when they including hiking, biking or kayaking adventures, allow us to slow down and really think about the little things. A camping trip can help us to put things in perspective and learn that each small step we can take towards sustainability is a step in the right direction, and we do not have to do everything overnight to make a positive difference.