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May 2005

Trail Cooking: The Low-Impact Kitchen

9 tips for Leave No Trace dining


» Use a stove instead of a campfire; stoves don’t leave ashes, soot, and black scars.

» Minimize waste by paying attention to portion size. Cook only what you can eat. If there are leftovers, reheat them at the next meal. And monitor your cooking carefully so you don’t burn dinner-and thus want to toss it.

» Use your cooking water to rinse dishes, fill a bottle to heat up your sleeping bag, or if you’re brave, make a carb-rich cup of hot chocolate.

Cleaning up

» Wash dishes away from streams and ponds–by at least 200 feet.

» Scatter fish bones and skin, cooking water, and dishwater away from camp. Pack out food scraps and other trash in double freezer-weight zipper-lock bags.

» Use a sponge or snow to scour pots. Only really greasy meals or long trips require soap; boiling water is enough to disinfect. If soap is absolutely necessary, always use a biodegradable type, and then just a drop.

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