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Towing Out Trash

What's your method for storing and hauling your trash on a multi-day trip? I usually just use plastic bags but there's got to be a more packable way.


What’s your method for storing and hauling your trash on a multi-day trip? I usually just use plastic bags but there’s got to be a more packable way.

Submitted by - Dave, Portland, OR


I have yet to find a better trash vessel than the classic zip-top baggie.  Just be sure you get gallon-size, freezer-weight bags (they’re stronger and won’t puncture, spewing your toilet paper throughout your pack).

If you’re diligent about de-packaging all your food in the first place (ditch any excess paper, cardboard, and wrappings) you should be able to go up to a week for two people. If you’ve got a fire going, by all means burn any paper or cardboard you’ve accumulated. Just be sure it burns completely, and whatever you do, don’t put anything with foil in the fire. (It’s a personal pet peeve: Finding aluminum foil in the fire ring bugs the crap out of me.)

I like to designate a lightweight stuffsack to trash duty, as well. That way I don’t have to angst about really cramming my trash into my pack, and I can keep multiple, trash-filled zip-tops corralled in one messy place.

And, we all know that we should grab any trail trash we find in our travels. Here’s a cool little product, called the Piopod that you can clip onto your pack hipbelt, to hold all little bits of paper and other “microtrash.”

I guarantee if you have this thing handy you’ll start seeing all sorts of things to pick up. —Kristin

1 Comment

  1. FredT4

    During my 2011 AT Thru-hike I especially enjoyed pointing out to the Ridge runners and Park Rangers that encountered that I wasn’t like some of the other hikers that were leaving their trash in the fire pit. I would tell them that I understood the pack it in method. I would explain how I would pack the trash into an old tree stump so as to maintain the beauty of the trail. It was amazing how often they wanted to know exactly which tree stump I had packed the trash into. I would reasure them not to worry as I had chosen a tree stump facing away from the trail so no one would ever see it. After a few additional questions of increasing desperation usually followed by laughter from others nearby, they would realize that I understood that not much is beyond some campers.

    Sometimes I had to point out the ziplock bag I kept in one of the outside pockets of my backpack for easy disposal upon reaching a garbage can at a road crossing.

    MySkylla Blog

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