Zip Lock Trash Bag

We believe in packing it out. We store our daily food in a zip lock bag – gallon size – breakfast, lunch, dinner. Then into our food sack / bear bag.

When we start off our day - all that days trash goes into this gallon size bag. By the end of our trip we have 3 to four bags with our trash nicely contained in it – easy to discard when you are done and we haven’t left any behind. Also, storing trash on a multi-day trip is more compact then a trash bag that we found would tear easy.

What do you do?

Sometimes that if its a short trip
Burn it on longer trips( in the boreal forest)…yes plastic does burn if the fire is hot enough and well established and there is suitable rock and fuel.

After four weeks I wouldnt want day ones garbage…it starts to ferment.

Any discussion has to include the enviromnent you are tripping in and for how long the trip is… the above method would be careless in the desert just as pooping and leaving it would be.

Becca, where do you do your trips?

… this is for short trips and items I can’t burn. Also, there are times in Florida we have burn bans – so that’s not an option. I’m not recommending carrying trash for weeks, but a 3/4 day trip, which most take is easy.

I’m also not a fan of burning plastic - that’s just me.

Yes – I do burn when I can – just wanted to give another option for carrying out trash that was simple and convenient.

We see a lot of trash left behind anymore - makes me ill.

Trips are all Florida areas Ocala National Forest, Little Big Econ, Wekiva, Out of state: AT - done GA, NC section - Virginia is next, Everglades - this is the best trip to date. We’ll be on Suwannee over Thanksgiving.

After Everglades … we are thinking of getting cold with a snow trip - yikes – not sure this Southern gal can take it.

plastic fumes
I usually burn also and pack out the remainders in ziplock bags, as described. Lately, though, I’ve been wondering about something - what about the nasty fumes plastic makes when it burns? Should we be concerned about that?

I use beccka’s method for trash collection for trips of as long as two weeks. Even here in the northern tier, summer and fall temps are routinely as high as 90F, but we don’t have problems with smelly trash, as long as we properly rinse the packaging.

Sure, plastics can be burned in a campfire, but one should realize that dangerous toxins are released during burning. And even if one avoids directly inhaling the fumes, those particulates still contaminate the environment. The fact that they appear to merely drift away on the wind is no more environmentally benign than pouring your old motor oil down the storm drain:

“Backyard trash burning is especially harmful because it releases chemicals that are persistent in the environment, polluting our air, food, lakes and streams. A recent study found that residential trash burning from a single home could release more dioxin into the air than an industrial incinerator.”

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

One way to minimize your environmental impact is to simply use less plastic. Paper can simply and harmlessly be burned, and metal cans can be recycled at home. Many campers advocate the use of the new foil pouches commonly used to package food like tuna, chicken, shrimp, etc., I suppose because they are flexible and can be flattened after use:

But besides being grossly overpriced, ounce for ounce, over canned tuna, these foil pouches are in fact made of several layers of various metals and plastics, and therefore cannot be recycled. The same is true of most popular prepackaged backpacker meals.

In general, I prefer to keep it simple, low-impact, and recycleable.