Chemical Free Camping Tents: Healthier and Eco-Friendly

 In Camp Notes

Flame Retardant-Free Camping Tent

Why Going Toxin-Free is Healthier, More Eco-Friendly, and Still Safe

Many of us go camping, in part, to breathe in the fresh forest air and experience the sort of quiet renewal that can only be found in nature.

So you may be surprised to learn that those tents or shelters you’re spending your nature nights in are more than likely harming you and the environment. In fact, due to antiquated tent safety standards, most camping tents on the market today are coated with chemicals and made with additives that can have potentially negative effects on human health and the environment. 

A lot of people are searching for chemical-free camping tents for their family. Fortunately, the industry is changing. Diamond Brand Gear is proud to be one of the pioneers offering fire retardant-free camping tents and non-toxic camping gear.

Fire-Retardant Chemicals in Tents: A History

The majority of toxic chemicals found in camping tents are flame retardants. In fact, almost all tents in North America contain flame retardant chemicals in order to meet fire-retardant specifications and flammability standards that were initially set by the federal government in 1976. Although the standards were revised in 1995, they are still years behind the game and greatly in need of another revision. 

During the 1970s, tents were frequently made with highly flammable paraffin-coated materials, much different from the far less flammable synthetic materials of today. However, even as materials changed, flammability standards did not. The flammability standards that were at one time necessary for protecting unwitting campers from losing their shelters to a stray spark, are now long outdated, even unnecessary. So what does this mean for you today?

Although your tent with fire-retardant chemicals will still be less likely to go up in smoke if you pitch it a bit too close to the flames, we now know that this extra protection comes at a risk. In fact, flame-retardant chemicals have been linked to several negative health effects.

Environmental and Health Implications

According to a recent study from Duke University, exposure to high levels of organophosphate flame retardants through inhalation occurs during setup, break down, and use of tents. This means that the fresh air you came to the woods in search of, might not be so fresh after all.

According to the CDC, these organophosphate flame retardants pose serious health risks. Symptoms range from headaches, dizziness, and nausea to seizures, slow pulse, and difficulty breathing, even coma. Long-term exposure can lead to muscle weakness, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet.

But the adverse effects go beyond human health. According to the NCBI, brominated flame retardants also pose serious environmental risks. These chemicals can linger in the environment for years, bioaccumulating in plants, soil, animals, and even humans, with untold consequences.

Non-Toxic Camping Gear Options

Diamond Brand Gear, along with several other leaders in the outdoor industry, is making big moves to use current knowledge and updated fabrics to build eco-friendly tents without the use of any flame-retardant chemicals. 

Our two-person Freedome 2 ½ is made without flame retardants or other toxins. This roomy dome tent is built with plenty of space, and uses eco-friendly materials, DAC poles and micro-innovations (like light-diffusing pockets) to put a modern twist on this classic dome tent. This makes the Freedome 2 ½ the go-to for car campers who are looking for a Made in the USA tent that will last decades. 

Diamond Brand is committed to cultivating legendary camping experiences for individuals and families. This is why we continually strive to improve our canvas and other raw materials so that you can enjoy the freshness of nature without chemical interference.