Congrats to the 2017 Campsite Challenge co-winners: Camp Hideout and Camp DukTape!

Campsite Challenge

2017 winners: Camp Hideout
2017 co-winners: Camp Hideout

To extend the spirit of Sustainable Festivation into the campgrounds, Planet Bluegrass encourages you to enter the 9th Annual How Green is your Grass? Campsite Challenge.

Coordinated by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and Planet Bluegrass, the contest encourages all of us to raise the bar for sustainable and creative camping. All entrants are eligible for random daily prizes, while campsites that excel in achieving the highest levels of the Leave No Trace philosophy could win camping and 4-day passes for the 2018 festival.

2017 Winners

Festivarian campers impressed us so much this year, we couldn't choose just 1 camp! Congratulations to the 2017 Telluride Bluegrass Campsite Challenge co-winners: Warner Field campsite Camp Hideout (from Lafayette, CO) and the Town Park campsite Camp DukTape (from Albuquerque, NM). For their efforts, each camp will receive a pair of 4-day passes and camping for the 2018 Telluride Bluegrass. Congratulations also to this year's honorable mentions: Camp Hippie Hat Trick, Camp Blow It Out, Camp Crossroads.

Camp Hideout

Camp Hideout
Warner Field Campground
This camp from Lafayette, CO inspired us by their multiple generations of passionate sustainable Festivarians! They kept a very clean camp (with a meticulous attention to microtrash); employed solar power for their ovens, lighting and charging stations; repurposed wooden plates from home for their reusable dinnerware; and even offered to deliver ice so other camps would have more time to spend on cleanup. Their passion for leave no trace camping lasts beyond the festival and throughout their year of planning.

"Camp Hideout has been in existence for the last three years. It is made up of four adults and three kids--all lovers of music! We believe that it is important to model environmentally friendly camping to the greatest extent possible. Our youngest camp member, Molly (age 9), was focused on learning as much as possible about Leave No Trace as soon as she learned about the Campsite Challenge in 2016.  On the last day of the 2016 TBF, Molly drew up a list of sustainable responsibilities for each person in our camp for the 2017 festival. Some, like Hydropower, were not possible as we were in Warner Field, but the other goals that were laid out were executed. We all love the festival as it truly does feel like home, a family reunion, and a celebration of life all bundled into one. We love meeting new campers each year and visiting with our friends we have met over the years. It is such a special experience and we love being part of keeping it sustainable. We love people who support the mission of the festival and have so many people to thank that created a visionary plan to have a sustainable festival. "
- Bevin Gumm, Camp Hideout

Camp Hideout's advice for fellow Festivarians campers: "Our main 2018 goal is for 95% of food to be prepacked or compostable!"
Camp DukTape

Camp DukTape
Town Park Campground
This 55-person camp from Albuquerque, NM inspired us by their spirit of communal living (serving large communal meals for dozens including their crawfish boil!), their use of compostable materials and solar power, their clean organized kitchen areas, and the creativity of their DukTape art (made from re-purposed cardboard) -- and of course their mascot DukTape Man!

"As Festivarians who return to the same campsite every year, Kamp DukTape feels that Town Park is our festival home every June and also a representative slice of the larger environment that sustains us.  We think the Festivation that brings us together should not compromise the ability of future generations to festivate.  By minimizing our impact through reducing, reusing, recycling and taking care of our home and environment in Town Park, we hope to spread the joy and community of Telluride Bluegrass Festival.  Incorporating sustainable living practices into our festival life helps to reinforce awareness of the pressing need to take care of our world all year long. "
- Bevin Owens, Camp DukTape

Camp DukTake tips for fellow Festivarian campers: "Never ever buy single-use items such as bottled water!"
Thanks to these and the many many other thoughtful, creative, sustainable campers at the 2017 Festival - including honorable mentions Camp Crossroads, Camp Blow It Out, and Camp Hippie Hat Trick. Congratulations to everyone who helped make this possible. Give them a virtual pat on the back over at the Festivarian Forum.

How Do I Enter?

The contest is open to all campers in any of the Planet Bluegrass-managed campgrounds. To nominate your own campsite or one of your neighbors:

  1. Leave No TraceComplete the 1-page campsite entry form at the Leave No Trace booth inside the festival. (Download a PDF of the entry form now.)
  2. Stop by the Leave No Trace booth each day to view all the campsite entries. Each day we select 2 winners (one chosen by our staff, one chosen at random) for daily prizes.
  3. Planet Bluegrass will select the grand prize winner after the campground pack-out is complete on Monday. The grand prize winner will receive camping and 4-day passes for the 2018 Telluride Bluegrass.

How Do I Win?

We will be judging on three simple criteria:

  1. Cleanliness. Are you repackaging the food you bring? Are you keeping a tidy campsite? Are items secure and not susceptible to wind gusts? Are you safely disposing of cigarette butts?
  2. 2017 co-winners: Camp DukTape
    2017 co-winners: Camp DukTape
    Sustainability. Are you separating your recyclables, compostables, and then placing them in the correct bins at the campsite waste stations? Are you reusing products (cups, utensils, water bottles, bags) instead of trashing them? Are you using any alternative energy sources to power your campsite? Did you bike or carpool to the festival; are you offsetting carbon emissions using wind credits or carbon offsets? Will you pack out as much as possible when leaving? Did you do anything to reduce your homes’ energy while attending the festival?
  3. Creativity. Does your campsite have a theme? Did you decorate your campsite with lights, flags, or banners?Are you utilizing any unique and innovative camping techniques? Are you cooking any creative camping recipes? Are you upcycling any items from home?

What Do I Win?

Random winners will be chosen each day to win: New Belgium beer, Kelty gear, Klean Kanteen products, Forty Years of Festivation books, and other fun stuff from Planet Bluegrass.

One grand prize winner will be selected after the campground pack-out on Monday. This grand prize winner will receive a pair of 4-day passes and camping (in the campground of your choice) for the 2018 Festival!!

Some Tips from Leave No Trace

  1. Voting at the LNT booth
    Bigfoot at Telluride Bluegrass
    Before you arrive, repackage food into reusable containers. This will limit how much waste you bring to the fest and keep your camp that much cleaner.
  2. Re-use is the name of the game. Bring re-usable cups, plates, napkins, etc. This will reduce the amount of trash you generate.
  3. Good campsites are found, not made. Bring folding tables, chairs, or other amenities to make a comfortable camp. Remember to take everything you brought with you, and leave the area better than you found it.
  4. Establish a clean and green camping community. Work together with other nearby campers to share your resources and strive to Leave No Trace in a fun and festive manner.
  5. Secure your food. Human food is unhealthy for wildlife. Protect the locals and your food by storing all your food, trash, and compost securely in your camp.

For More Information

Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people, worldwide. Visit at or call 1-800-332-4100