Minimal Impact Camping and Cycling Routes

It was officially Earth Day last Monday. Though I’m not usually a big fan of one-off name days, it was an important reminder to respect and appreciate our beautiful planet. Every day.

Camping earlier this year at Lake Albert in South Australia

To me camping is one of the best ways to do this. It’s a minimalist lifestyle, a fantastic way to travel and the perfect way to slow down, enjoy our beautiful world and the simple things in life.

This Easter we stayed with our daughter, in the Victorian High Country. We relaxed, walked, cycled (she rode her horse) and amid the backdrop of Mount Buffalo, life slowed down for a couple of days.

Cycling and horse riding in my daughter’s virtual backyard!

When we camp we’re mindful of what we take in and out. As the saying goes “take only memories, (and photos) leave only footprints”

Ways we can help the earth while travelling:

  • Pack light. We don’t need to take a mountain of stuff when we travel.
  • Support farmers that work the land for a living. Whenever we can we like to support local businesses by eating and drinking locally.
  • Go green and pack a reusable water bottle and reduce your plastic consumption. Conserve water, recycle and reuse, use a fire pit and always make sure it’s extinguished. Simple things make a difference.
  • Keep your travel time down. We don’t need to fly or drive thousands of kilometres for a getaway. With research and planning it’s easy to find top places close to home.
  • Walk as much as you can. Nothing beats feeling immersed in and exploring an area by foot.

Another way to feel immersed is to leave the car at home! Australia’s largest fully supported cycling event (and most unique camping/cycling holiday) is the Great Victorian Bike Ride.

Cycling the Great Ocean Road. Photo by Ian Muirhead

This November the ride starts in Robe, South Australia and travels along the Limestone Coast and the spectacular Great Ocean Road. Fellow blogger and real life friend Glenys Gelzinis recently wrote about her caravanning road trip along the Great Ocean Road but imagine doing it on a bike.

Think of the exhilaration.Riding the Great Vic in cartoon fashion

What a way to experience this spectacular coastline, with all the sights and sounds gloriously in your face. The ride in 2019 will encompass the beautiful coastal and forest landscapes along the Limestone Coast, the Great Ocean Road and through the Otway National Park.

Ten days. More than 600kms of cycling. Sound daunting? There are five day options as well for those who prefer a shorter ride.

With all the logistics of camping taken care for you by the team at Bicycle Network, you don’t have to cook or carry your gear. What you need is the will, the fitness and, oh yes, the stamina.

‘Footprints in the sand’. Cyclists taking a rest near the Twelve Apostles. Photo by Ian Muirhead

The Great Victorian Bike Ride is a huge event and the logistics of moving the equivalent of an entire town every day is a phenomenal effort by the organisers Bicycle Network. They do it and leave a minimal imprint on the environment.

But life is about more than simply travelling minimally. The imprint we leave behind, both in a physical and emotional way, is a legacy to the life we’ve lead.

The way we travel, live and interact with others, the way our thoughts and beliefs impact our actions, all leaves an impression. Do you leave a positive or negative vibe in your wake?

We live in cycles and everything has a way of coming back to us. If we’re generous, kind and compassionate it will be reflected.

Here’s to making a positive difference and our own unique mark on the world we live in.

Wishing you light and love as we continue the journey.


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Individually we are one drop. Together we are an ocean.  Ryunosuke Satoro

Snoopy Be Kind quote


A huge thank you to all of you who voted for OutanAbout in the Bloggers Bash Awards held in London in June. I’m so grateful for all of the support and feel honoured to be nominated amongst some of my favourite bloggers.

Annual Bloggers Bash Awards Nominee Best Lifestyle Blog


 

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“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play with your hair.” Khalil Gibran

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91 thoughts on “Minimal Impact Camping and Cycling Routes

  1. Lovely post Miriam. Cycling is in our family’s blood but I need Abit of a shove to get out. I used to cycle years ago & when I retired at 55 in 2010 my 3 B objectives were:- bike, brain and boundaries. I am sorry to say the bike objective has not been realised although I have had the bike serviced twice. One for my to do list.
    My brother is an avid cyclist and has cycled in many parts of the world. I have cycled in England, Ireland and a small bit of Martha’s Vineyard u.s.a.
    Although I travel regularly to the flat country of The Gambia I have not ventured out there. Even though I have not cycled I hope I have left a physical and emotional legacy behind. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. From what you’ve said Margaret it sounds like you’ve definitely left a physical and emotional legacy behind. And you know what they say, it’s never too late to do what you love. You’ve obviously got some wonderful memories and it’s never too late to create new ones. My Great Uncle was still snow skiing in Italy at Age 92. Enjoy it all, however you like to explore. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this, very inspiring. I don’t think I have the stamina to cycle the Great Ocean Road though! We lived in Apollo Bay for a year so I have driven and been on the bus along it many times. And it’s so true that our impact is about more than what we do to the environment, but also how we behave to each other. A good thing to reflect on 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Sarah, I have to admit that even though cycling the Great Ocean Rd sounds fantastic in theory, another car trip down that way also sounds appealing. Love that stretch of road. Thanks for your comment. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bella, yeah it’s good to honour and acknowledge certain days and sacrifices (like ANZAC day yesterday) but I honestly believe when it comes to environment issues like this we should be mindful every day.
      Exciting? Well, not always but I do like to seek out the joys and fun. 😊 Hope you’re doing well. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad to hear the vertigo is gone not a pleasant thing to experience!! Your tips are spot on and we loved camping. Well, motorhoming if you can call that “camping”. We certainly only left tire and foot imprints. With a certain amount of rubbish collection left by others. Being aware of our impact on earth is a big issue and if we all do our part it has to help to keep our individual paradises more healthier.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It certainly is a big issue Suzanne and obviously it’s not limited to camping but every day life. And yeah, I’d call caravanning a type of camping. You’re still living an outdoor life. Wish everyone thought like you. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This sounds great Miriam and what a beautiful part of the country Myrtleford is! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed some family time and getting back on the bike is good news. The Great Victorian Bike Ride is tempting!!! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and information, always fab to hear from you x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deb and I know you know the area well. It’s a beautiful place to cycle isn’t it? I have many happy memories of riding with my kids from Bright to Porepunkah when they were toddlers. As for the Great Vic Bike Ride, I reckon you’d love it! 😊 x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jo. You’d love this area. There’s actually a designated Great Ocean Walk for hikers that takes in the incredible scenery of this coastline. One day I’ll write a post and I’ll tag you. 😊 xx

      Like

  5. I really liked your first line, Miriam. I’m not for one-off days either. I appreciate your post because it gives simple ideas to sustainable travel. The nomads of Mongolia have mastered the art of leaving barely any trace of their presence after they pack their gers. We’ve got so much to learn from them. Plastic is such a killer. It’s everywhere! I hope we can preserve our natural diversity for the next gen. We’re having gloomy days in Seoul. 😦 xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cheryl, yes, those nomads of Mongolia have got it right. We could learn a thing or two from them, without a doubt. There’s so much plastic in this world and I echo your sentiments, how important it is to preserve our natural diversity for our kids. Hugs from an also gloomy Autumn Friday in Melbourne. xx

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yep, it’s Autumn and though the colours on the trees are beautiful the days are getting greyer and shorter, which this summer girl ain’t thrilled about! 🤨 But that’s life hey. Big hugs xx

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful post and advice in it! Wouldn’t mind cycling a bit of that Great Ocean Road…
    We’ve done a few camping trips on bikes, and once you realize you don’t need that much stuff, life is pretty free and easy, and at a good pace too when you’re pedalling!
    Thanks, Miriam.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi PC, yeah I agree, I wouldn’t mind doing a bit of a ride on the Great Ocean Rd too, though I don’t think I’d have the stamina for a lot of those hilly parts. It’s easy from the car! 😄 Hope you’re well.

      Like

  7. Great post Miriam and a good plug for the ride .. I have ridden the Great Ocean Road and the weather was wet and miserable and we did carry all our gear eg tent, sleeping bag, camp stove, etc.

    I see the enticement of an organised ride n having all that done for you plus hopefully there would also be some traffic control … that’s a very narrow roadway and tourists are too engrossed in the view to notice two bikers … hopefully they’d be more considerate of a mob 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh absolutely, it’s all handled with precision with loads of traffic control and co-operation between police, emergency workers and local councils.
      I’m impressed that you’ve ridden the GOR Kate and carried all your own gear. That would have been quite a feat, especially in wet conditions. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Those are terrific tips on not only how to help our planet, but also how to more fully enjoy our vacations. When we protect the environment, we also slow down and have a more genuine experience. It’s a “win-win!” Thanks for this post, Miriam!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’ve been a lover of camping all my adult life, and agree, holidays close to home and out in nature are the most relaxing. I’m a bit over tenting it now though and like the comforts offered by the caravan. Not sure how I’d go towing the caravan by bike around the Great Ocean road – guess that counts that out for me for that ride this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. One of the things we love most about caravan travel is the minimalist lifestyle. We eat simple meals and need very little. We too try to support the local businesses in the small towns we visit. Your weekend away looks delightful.

    Like

  11. Hi Miriam, a great reminder to be more mindful of how we treat Mother Earth. I’m not a name day person either but sometimes it can help to highlight important issues. Your photos are just stunning and who wouldn’t want to protect this natural beauty. You have some sensible tips which we can all implement into our lives to keep our Earth beautiful and protected.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wonderful post Miriam. You already know my position regarding sustainable living so I can only agree with what you wrote. I can’t resist telling you (Even if you are not a big fan of one-off name days) that the month of May is Byke Day! Yep, just learn about that a few days ago. Great timing for your article and blog post. But you probably knew that already. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Miriam,
    This is so much more about life than just camping. Living minimally as much as possible reminds us of how much what we have/do are wants and not needs. It puts the focus on what is important. And, of course, it is much kinder to Mother Nature as we work to reduce our footprint.
    We’ve learned from sailing (and camping) that we need very little – and that being immersed in nature is good for the soul.

    Like

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