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Thread: What to do with trash while in the field?

  1. #1
    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    Default What to do with trash while in the field?

    I'm doing my first hike/camp on the Haul Rd and wondered what do you do with your trash? Specifically Mountain House wrappers, candy wrappers etc. Do you pack it in/pack it out? burn it? Also, what about human waste (TP)? Same thing, burn it/bury it/pack it?

    If you bring it all out with you, how far from camp to do keep it? And how to keep the critters from getting in it? Sounds like a rookie question, but I did a quick search and didn't find the answer on 'best practices'.
    "What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk? --Jack Handy

  2. #2

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    Sheet in catholes and cover em' back up and pack out any trash you can't burn. Leave no trace.

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    Member hooternanny's Avatar
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    if you are worried about the enviroment and don't want to burn the combustible refuse don't worry, you can haul it out and pack it home and take it to the landfill where they will burn it for you. that really helps save the enviroment a ton. -- LOL

    much you can do prep wise to lessen what you bring in. check gear preping for sheep hunting, as sheep hunters tend to go in lighter than most. they'll be some good ideas in there.
    edit signature here

  4. #4
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I don't take anything I can't burn. Mtn House makes some fine fire starter by the way. For poop, bury it deep and far away from any water.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    I almost always burn my trash, but just keep an eye out for foil linings on things you burn and pic them out of the firepit after. They are a dead give away even years later.

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    Human scat and biodegradable Tissue isnt a matter unless its concentrated, like many folks over many days.

    I burn and pack, as well as other folks trash, 'cause leaving trash out where the food comes from aint right at all.......
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Don't dig latrines; they concentrate too much human waste in a small area. Use catholes instead, as others suggested. But go shallow, because most decomposition in Alaska happens in the topsoil; the first foot or two. Below that it is a slow process, depending on permafrost depth. In most cases we don't bury it at all; animals carry it off (disgusting to us, but true). The TP should be burned on site, but make sure it is all the way out before you walk away. Otherwise you could start a tundra fire.

    Get rid of all your excess trash before leaving for the field. Repack things like instant oatmeal packets into gallon-sized ziplock bags and toss the cardboard at home. That dramatically reduces your trash problem in the field, and it reduces weight and bulk.

    Avoid cans and jars. If you must use cans, burn them to remove food aromas, flatten them, and bag them.

    Dig through your fire pits to retrieve everything that doesn't burn. As was mentioned, Mountain House meal packets burn, but they leave behind a fine foil residue that should be packed out.

    Store your trash in a plastic trash compactor bag, in your kitchen area. If mice are a problem, hang the bag up. If you're hunting the haul road and are inside the corridor, store it in your vehicle.

    -Mike
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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    If you are floating any rivers out west, please bury your poop. It takes 2 minutes and saves a big eyesore. Plus, poop on crocs is NASTY!

    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

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    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

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    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
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    Make sure you burn your beer cans and smash your bottles on a rock so they can be less visible and then once your done leave your fire half smoldering with any remaining trash left in it so it can blow away after you leave . Then do you business in the trail cuz I wouldn't want anybody to have to walk very far. Obviously that's sarcastic although we've all seen it way too much. I would burn anything that will burn burry my turds and pack out what's left or don't bring it if you can't burn it.

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    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    I like to poop on rocks and other prominent points as to mark my territory

    Seriously, how far away from camp do you keep what you can't burn?
    "What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk? --Jack Handy

  11. #11
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    With your name I would think you know this!?
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  12. #12
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I burn TP flowers where they grow and bury the fertilizer...

    MH packages I rinse out with water well away from camp and double bag in freezer bags and store with my food. It doesn't have any more aroma than the food.

    I am experimenting with repacking MH in freezer bags and cooking them in a pouch made of reflectex...then just burn the freezer bag when you're finished. Any paper trash- candy wrappers, etc. I just burn.

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    I am glad you asked.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    In my experience it seems like most leave it for the greenies to pick up.

    Tim

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    If you run out of something to put small wrappers and such in a sock works pretty slick - best to use one of your buddies though if anything sticky is going in....
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  16. #16
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    4 of us just completed a 7 day float. We burned 1 day in the middle of the trip and only ended up with enough trash to pack compactly in a shoe box container. We challenge each other to see who can pack their trash the most compactly. If you fold, stuff, etc your trash bag will be pretty small.

    For remote trips we use the cat hole method for human waste. Most of our campsites are on riverside garvel bars. Each person digs a shallow hole in the rocks, does their business, and then covers everything with rocks. The next season of high water or ice during break-up will scour away anything that is left and disperse it over a wide area. For more popular rivers we carry a portable toilet system with tank and everything is disposed of in a dump station or toilet after the trip.

  17. #17

    Default Some reasons NOT to burn plastic!

    There are some good responses here but I strongly disagree with those who burn plastic waste. Garbage should be packed out to a landfill, even if it's inconvenient. Here are some of the reasons NOT to burn any plastic:

    Burning plastic (polymers) produces toxic byproducts, including trapped monomers, synthetic monomers, dioxins (polychlorinated dibenzodioxins), and the byproducts of all the plasticizers, colorants and inks added to the plastic.

    Many plastics melt and bubble but don't break down completely in a fire (incomplete combustion). The remaining residue can be difficult to retrieve (small globules, rather than chunks or foil-like sheets that are easier to retrieve from the ashes).

    To break down completely (compete combustion) requires controlled conditions (an industrial incinerator) that not only break the plastic down (into H2O and CO2 and byproducts) but which are also hot enough to break down the stable bonds of the dioxins (which are a major byproduct). This requires much greater heat and time than is generated by any outdoor fire.

    (Plastic is made from crude oil so it can become fuel again, but first it needs to be cleaned, sorted, and chemically converted back into liquid hydrocarbons, as is done at a few cement plants, but not at most waste to energy plants.)

    Many of the toxic byproducts are bioaccumulative (lipophilic), especially the dioxins. By burning plastics you are contaminating the food chain (and yourself) with poisons that concentrate in our game. (I don't think this serves us well as hunters!)

    Even under controlled conditions (complete combustion sufficient to break down the dioxins) many toxic byproducts remain in the air, water and soils. The ash and the exhaust precipitates from plastics incineration must be handled as toxic waste.

    Personally I hate landfills, but they really are (currently) the best solution for disposing of non-recyclable solid wastes, so please strongly consider packing your garbage out!

  18. #18
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Where's Greythorn3? We need him in here to post a witty-mulleted, Joe-dirtish reply to help justify burning plastics.


    Plus, landfills make good golf courses.

    Tim

  19. #19
    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    Take a gallon size ziplock bag w/you when you got to go. Put your used TP in bag, bury the human manure. When have a campfire burn bag and all. The campfire does get hot enough- for long enough - to complete incinerate the byproducts. Also a handfull of bags weigh almost nothing and other uses- put the heart or the meat items from your harvested animal in to keep your pack clean and odor free. Store unused TP to keep dry and handy. Temporary water bag, place to store those blueberries you found while lookinbg around. And the list gets longer and longer. Burn empty cans, let cool, smash and store in ziplock bag to haul out. I like to water the fire down good and cold, then bury partway with river silt/sand before replacing grass over fire pit. leaves a small "bump" but is totally level the next year.

    If you can't make it disappear; take it out with you. Leave the site cleaner than you found it, if possible.

    Chris

  20. #20
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    We don't burn anything, we pack it all out. We also use catholes over a large area. All human waste and TP is buried. We go over the camp area to insure we get everything. And yes, we have hauled out trash from other camps we have found. Got a nice big frying pan from one of them.

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