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Thread: NPS Leave No Trace article

  1. #1
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    NPS Leave No Trace article

    https://www.nps.gov/articles/leave-n...principles.htm

    The Nation Park Service sent out this link to their Facebook page last week. It's a good refresher.

    Brian

  2. #2
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I'm two out of five, lol.

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    I must admit I have never packed out my TP. No doubt in a desert environment or areas with no soil it makes sense but in New England, standard TP is gone in weeks in top soil.

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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I must admit I have never packed out my TP. No doubt in a desert environment or areas with no soil it makes sense but in New England, standard TP is gone in weeks in top soil.
    And yet I always do, because I try to leave no trace. I bring an old bread bag, it compacts down to nothing, and I toss it in the trash when I get home. Really quite easy.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    I burn mine in the cat hole.

    Problem is digging adequately deep holes in New England mountain soil is difficult!.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    I am always left to wonder - which is really worse?

    1. leaving poop (dog, people) or TP to decay naturally (not on the trail or near water!)
    2. putting in plastic, and burying it in a landfill

    I have gone to great personal lengths to avoid plastic bags in as many aspects of my life as I can. I argue with the checkout person every week. "No, I don't need my fish in a plastic bag. I already asked the fish counter not to plastic bag it." (It comes on a plastic sheet or two they place on the scale, and then wrapped 2 or 3 times around in paper that has one side waxed (making it non-recycleable.)) I recycle everything I can and I reuse plastic bags as much as possible.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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    If I don't burn my TP in the woods it's just going to be burned at Wheelabrator along with a plastic bag and whatever fuel it takes to get it there.

  8. #8
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    I am always left to wonder - which is really worse?

    1. leaving poop (dog, people) or TP to decay naturally (not on the trail or near water!)
    2. putting in plastic, and burying it in a landfill

    Tim

    In my view, we hold public lands in stewardship, that is, while we are to enjoy them today, we are responsible for preserving those lands for future generations. As a polity, we have assigned the role of determining what that means to our government, and we know exactly what those entrusted with preserving those lands think that entails. I see that as a floor, not a ceiling, by which I mean that I see the Leave No Trace expectations laid out in the link above to be the minimum I should be asking of myself when I go into the Whites.

    We have also determined that we have other places for leaving our waste, such as outhouses, sewer systems, and landfills.

    So with all due respect, I think the dichotomy Tim has laid out is not the correct one. The correct one is that we have been asked not to leave anything in our parks, from a dropped peanut or a tossed apple core, to toilet paper, to the cap of a beer bottle, and the only question is whether we will respect that request or not.

    I hope we all do!

    Why? Because when we toss the apple core or leave the toilet paper on the ground, we are introducing something to the system that isn't native to it.

    Brian

  9. #9
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    In my view, we hold public lands in stewardship, that is, while we are to enjoy them today, we are responsible for preserving those lands for future generations. As a polity, we have assigned the role of determining what that means to our government, and we know exactly what those entrusted with preserving those lands think that entails. I see that as a floor, not a ceiling, by which I mean that I see the Leave No Trace expectations laid out in the link above to be the minimum I should be asking of myself when I go into the Whites.

    We have also determined that we have other places for leaving our waste, such as outhouses, sewer systems, and landfills.

    So with all due respect, I think the dichotomy Tim has laid out is not the correct one. The correct one is that we have been asked not to leave anything in our parks, from a dropped peanut or a tossed apple core, to toilet paper, to the cap of a beer bottle, and the only question is whether we will respect that request or not.

    I hope we all do!

    Why? Because when we toss the apple core or leave the toilet paper on the ground, we are introducing something to the system that isn't native to it.

    Brian
    Do you crap in a bag then when you go to The Whites? Certain areas require that. While doing the Maine Island Trail was when I first was introduced to a plastic lined ammo can with kitty litter. Don't need no stinking Mud Sharks.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  10. #10
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Do you crap in a bag then when you go to The Whites?
    I did on Rainier and Denali.

    In the Whites, as the link requests, I dig a cathole and carry out the toilet paper. Mostly, though, I backpack at sites with outhouses and it isn't an issue.

    Brian

  11. #11
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    I did on Rainier and Denali.

    In the Whites, as the link requests, I dig a cathole and carry out the toilet paper. Mostly, though, I backpack at sites with outhouses and it isn't an issue.

    Brian
    Did you tow it out behind you on Denali? When I was actively climbing on Big Mac and the vicinity back in the 90's status quo I'm ashamed to say was to throw the bag in a crevasse. I hope it's better now.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  12. #12
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    There was a designated crevasse for disposing of the waste. Notably, the bags had to be biodegradable.

    I love mountaineering, and I enjoyed almost every minute on that magnificent mountain. The one exception was dealing with the waste bags. God, that was vile!

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    Like everything else about Leave No Trace, the answer to questions about packing out poop and TP that it depends. There are places where it is appropriate to bury both, and places to bury poop and pack out TP, and other places where it is appropriate to pack out both. Been there, done all of the above.

  14. #14
    Member briarpatch's Avatar
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    Maine Island Trail also introduced us to some interesting disposal methods. We pooped on puppy pads and then placed them in plastic freeze bags. There guideline to urinate below the high tide line is 180 degrees from the recommendations we use in the mountains. Understand the fresh water verses ocean or small island concept but it just felt wrong. Even through it correct method.

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