Leave No Trace: The Logic Behind Some of the Rules

Leave No Trace is a shockingly controversial topic. Since 1994, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has been the defacto guideline for how to behave when recreating outdoors.

I recently saw an Instagram photo were the user was obviously violating LNT principles to set up a beautiful camp photo.

Leave No Trace

All photos by Will Rochfort

My first reaction was to get steamed. Why do people do this? Is it simply for the sake of a pretty photo?! I was debating saying something, but it’s not my style to be confrontational  in the comments of somebody’s Facebook photo. And then I saw that I didn’t need to; others had already noticed the obvious problem.

“That doesn’t look like 100 feet from the water.”

“Technically you’re not supposed to camp that close to the lake. Just saying…”

But here is the kicker: instead of apologizing or acknowledging that he had done something incorrect, this guy instead said these three seemingly innocuous words: “OMG you people!” You know, like they were in the wrong.

I got irritated. It’s one thing to document your lack of knowledge; everyone makes mistakes. But to turn the tables and blame your followers– the ones who you are trying to impress–for being petty or ridiculous? That’s just silly.

Leave No Trace

I didn’t say anything and moved on with my life. You know, that whole wedding planning thing?! But I couldn’t let the stupid photo go. It bothered me. His reaction bothered me.

Why Do We Follow Leave No Trace Principles?

And then I came to the realization: perhaps people just don’t understand the logic behind Leave No Trace principles. I mean, think of it this way: when you were a kid and your mom told you to lay off the breakfast pancakes, you probably ignored her. But when you were puking all over the floor from eating yourself sick, you kinda understood her logic.

Amiright?

Maybe people just need to better understand the WHY of Leave No Trace to better follow it?

I’m no pro, but Will and I follow LNT policies to the best of our abilities. I’ll wager that we’re stricter in our adherence than 90% of our friends and relatives, if that gives you an idea. Sometimes we’re annoying but at the end of the tent-filled day, we just have Mother Nature’s best interests at heart!

Policy: No camping within 200 feet of a lake or stream

Naturally, I had to start with this one. Look, I get it: camping next to a lake is beautiful. You wake up to the shimmering water with birds skimming the surface and towering peaks reflecting in the pristine reflection. I’d love to camp right next to that too…if I wasn’t ruining it.

Leave No Trace

When you camp on riparian areas {near the river/lake banks} you are doing a serious number on the environment. Not only can you damage the delicate soils, but there is also a great chance that you will pollute the water supply with foreign substances. Who knows what plants and/or animals survive on that water supply; do you want to be the one to throw the ecosystem out of whack?

Policy: No fires in the backcountry

A few years back, we took two friends semi-winter backpacking down in the Sangres. It was cold, it was snowy and evening temps hovered around 20 degrees. When we told our friends that a fire wasn’t an option, they about threw us in the {frozen} lake!

Leave No Trace

But here’s the deal: fires do a lot of harm in the backcountry, regardless of how warm and cozy they feel at the time. If you’re on a five-night trip and you build a fire every night, you’ve just torched and scarred five different patches of earth. The damage caused to that particular plot of land will take a long time to recover. And if you’re camping at high altitudes where there is less resources and oxygen? It’ll take even longer that it would down in the trees.

That said, it can be okay to have a fire when you’re camping! If you’re camping at a designated site where a fire ring exists, have at it. Roast those s’mores, baby!

Policy: Pack it in, pack it out

In my experience, this one always seems like common sense to people until they realize how far it goes.

Imagine this scene: you’re all sitting around the camping lantern {because you don’t have a fire!}, enjoying conversation while munching on your dehydrated meal in a bag. You’ve eaten everything of substance from the bag: no more noodles, veggies or chunks of protein. All you have left is that super concentrated liquid that gathers at the bottom. Gross and nasty, you go to throw the liquid into the woods behind you…

Leave No Trace

….except that’s against LNT rules. You packed it in, right? Now you’ve got to pack that liquid right back out!

If you were to throw that liquid behind you, there is a good chance a critter would smell it and come sauntering over to investigate. If it’s a squirrel, you likely won’t notice him, but there is still a good chance your human food could damage his internal system. Or, if too many people scattered that soup, he could become reliant on it and start begging for more.

If it’s a larger animal, all of the above applies…except you’ll likely be terrified because you just drew a bear into your campsite!

There are a couple ways to get rid of that leftover soup that will comply with LNT rules: drink it or seal the bag shut and hope that it doesn’t burst open in your pack. In bear country, we tend to drink it, gagging all the while. This prevents odors from escaping the bag and attracting large animals.

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ETA: I’ve received quite a bit of feedback on this post. Most of it is positive although some is negative. There are a few things I’d like to clarify. First of all, as a reader suggested in the comments below, these are not the ONLY reasons for these rules. For example, she mentioned that there are a myriad of other reasons not to have a backcountry fire, aside from those that I listed. She is right. There is more logic behind these policies; for more info, please go to the Leave No Trace website.

Secondly, a few vocal people obviously disagree with LNT and believe that I am “self righteous” and “arrogant” in telling people what to do. Guys, I didn’t create the idea of LNT; I just follow it. One reader went so far as to cull through old outdoor photos of me, trying to identify specific instances where I didn’t follow LNT myself. The bottom line is this: LNT is tricky but the main takeaway is to leave as minimal trace as possible. These policies help most people do that, but don’t always apply. As I discussed in a comment below, outdoors people may have to choose between two terrible options and certain areas may have their own specific set of rules {i.e. in Gates of the Arctic, we were asked to camp right on the river because it was stone, rather than the soft, mushy tundra area.} To me, it’s not about being a “visitor at a museum” versus a “participant in nature.” It’s about ensuring nature is there for future generations, even in the most well-populated areas. 

Lastly, let’s not call people names. I don’t censor comments or block comments {although it may take awhile for yours to appear if you are a new commenter as I have to “approve” names who haven’t  commented before}, but I’d appreciate it if people could disagree in a civil manner. We all have different opinions; that’s what makes the world go ’round. But mocking and disrespecting people is just not cool. Thanks!

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42 Comments

  • Reply misszippy at

    Great post, Heather, and one that people need to read, learn from, and then execute!

    • Reply heather at

      Thanks Amanda!

  • Reply Ryan Carter at

    For the record, I still want to throw you and Will in the lake 😉

    • Reply heather at

      Hahahaha I won’t name any names but…. 🙂

  • Reply Amanda S at

    I love this post. I admit that sometimes when I’m in the backcountry where fires are permitted, I will sometimes make a small fire if I can find an established site with a fire ring. I have a friend who does not adhere even to the rules of in areas where fires are strictly prohibited because “it’s what camping is about” and “she’s going with former boyscouts, so she’s not worried.” I’ve told her my views on that, but she still holds firm. I can make a safe fire as well, even though I wasn’t a boyscout! It has nothing to do with boyscouts. Arg.

    • Reply heather at

      I’ve heard those EXACT same lines! And truthfully, I’ve run into similar situations with Boy Scouts. I imagine the newer generations are taught Leave No Trace policies, but I suspect older generations were simply taught survival skills. Naturally, if you’re in a near-death experience, build yourself that fire! But, if you’re out for pure enjoyment, that’s not survival– follow the damn rules! 🙂

  • Reply Emmy at

    Thanks for this post! What makes me the most FURIOUS is when we find a great dispersed camping site and there’s toilet paper all over the place. UGH! What are people thinking?! Why can’t they just take their used toilet paper and place it in their trash? So disgusting!!! It makes me want to become a spy in the forest so I can catch the people that actually do this. Not that I want to watch them go to the bathroom, but it will never stop because people keep getting away with it.

    • Reply heather at

      That one is pretty disgusting 🙁 I know the older policies taught people to burn TP and I’ve had to explain to newer generations that it is no longer burying or burning it: gotta pack it. Sure, it’s gross to pack out but it’s WAY more disgusting to stumble upon it in the woods!

      • Reply Nina at

        No, actually, I’m pretty sure most people would be more grossed out to have to carry around their used toilet paper for a week than to find it on the ground. Granted they should have buried it. (Even the LNT website says it’s fine to bury it so I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that it’s not.)

        • Reply heather at

          Nina– To your point, you are right in that it says it’s fine to bury it in some environments. It suggests to pack it out in arid desert environments. Additionally, it only suggests to bury it IF you have plain, white, non-perfumed TP. A lot of people grab their TP from their house which means it may not fall into this category. (https://lnt.org/learn/principle-3)

  • Reply Beth at

    I get SO RANTY about trash in the woods. GAH. (Also, once? When Sprocket was really little? Yeah, he found some “human waste” that someone didn’t bother to bury in a cat hole. Straight up GROSS.)

    I’m not perfect with LNT, but I’d say I’m better than 80% of people? I do have a question though. I know what photo you’re referring to with the lake and totally agree that’s too close, but what about very clearly established campsites that are less than 200 ft from lakes and streams? I’ve been pleased to see that several wilderness areas I’ve visited this year have prohibited camping within a 1/4 mile of lakes to combat the problem but I remember a backpacking trip I did in the Cabinet Wilderness of Montana. My destination was a high elevation lake (without camping restrictions) and my choices were virgin tundra above the lake or well established sites near the lake. I chose the sites near the lake and did my human business up away from the water. Was that right? It seemed like the better choice at the time?

    • Reply heather at

      Ughhhhhh I hate the ones where clearly there is NO good option! If given the two options you mentioned, I’d probably do the same as you, with the logic that it is already established and therefor, doing less damage than the pristine one up above. It’s so hard when it turns into a serious mental dilemma!

  • Reply Andy at

    Great article! We do our best to adhere to LNT principles and it’s a constant source of irritation to watch others disregard them. Usually out of ignorance, but I’ve learned that people think you’re just out to spoil their fun if you point out where they could do better.

    Argh – campfires! People are so entrenched in the “I’m camping so I must have a fire” mindset it drives me nuts. What makes it worse is people not re-using an existing fire scar/ring. Or cutting down and trying to burn krummholz. Or trying to burn their garbage…

    Ah yes, the TP issue. It’s funny how many people won’t pack it out. And packing out your own waste? Good luck with that one. Yet I’m sure many of these folks have dogs they pick up after. One of the worst trails I’ve seen for TP is the Observatory Trail to Mauna Loa – sadly you could almost hike the trail just following the TP and not the cairns 🙁

    • Reply heather at

      Oh my. That trails sounds awful 🙁 I’ve never been anywhere quite that bad but I do know they had to really crack down on the canyons in Utah. Since they’re so narrow, little sunshine reaches the ground so nothing decomposes and they’ve gotten really strict on packing EVERYTHING out. Here’s to hoping people follow the rules!

  • Reply Amanda at

    I really enjoy your blog, especially because you bring up topics like this! Along the same lines, I always see pictures of people feeding wildlife intentionally- usually the smaller critters like birds, ground squirrels, etc. Often these are accompanied by pictures of the signs that state “Please Help Protect Wildlife. Do Not Feed Wildlife.” They are posted as if the people are ‘sticking it to the man’ or something… I don’t know. They don’t seem to know or care that even by feeding just the little birds and squirrels they are not only harming the wildlife, but making them more aggressive and obnoxious toward everyone else. The coolest pictures are not worth diminishing or losing the integrity and character (not to mention beauty) of our outdoor places. Thanks for these posts that promote stewardship and responsible use of our beautiful wild spaces!

    • Reply heather at

      Photos like this drive me CRAZY! If you search #HangingLake on Instagram, you’ll see tons of people snapping photos on this log next to the sign that says “Please do not walk on the log.” What is that about?! Proof that you can document your idiocy?! Argh.

  • Reply Crista at

    well said! thanks for the enlightenment!

  • Reply Michelle Wright at

    This is perfect! The part about the fires adding up over the course of many nights. It’s the same with anything. For every person who says “It’s just this one time” they have to realize there are other people saying the exact same thing, and it all adds up.

    Totally sharing this with the entire world.

  • Reply Marc at

    Great information, Heather. So do these leave no trace rules apply to all backcountry areas OR do national parks, national forests, etc have different sets of rules??

    • Reply heather at

      Hey Marc! LNT principles apply across the board, regardless of where you are. Some areas have different rules (i.e. most places it’s ok to bury poop in a cat hole but some places– like slot canyons or heavily trafficked trails– law enforcement dictates that you pack it out.) but the idea is always to leave as minimal of impact as you can.

  • Reply Maureen at

    Heather, thanks for the info. I’m new to your site and new to Colorado. I’m a middle aged person with old school information about how to handle waste, fires, campsites, etc. and as I’m trying to re-introduce myself to the wonderful wilderness – I find the new rules can be a bit confusing and lacking in definition and explanation, not only of the why’s but also in the how to execute! A quick google search lead to several different ideas of LNT – with many being pretty vague as to the “how” to handle the situation – ie; what method is used to carry out used TP, or how to hang a bear bag (height, placement, etc). Do you know of a good resource where a person who wants to learn the correct methods can go? Not only the rules but how to execute the methods properly? Thanks!

    • Reply heather at

      Hi Maureen! You bring up a great point. Truthfully, I can’t think of a site that explains how to execute the methods. I’ll poke around on the internet and see if I can find one. If not, you just gave me a great idea for a future post because you’re right– it can be intimidating to figure it all out as a beginner!

      • Reply heather at

        Oh! If you look a few comments below, a reader left a link to a great site that will walk you through human waste disposal techniques; that’s a good place to start.

  • Reply Whitney Vestal at

    Thanks for writing this!!!! I recently went backpacking up to conundrum hot springs and was shocked by the amount of people not following the “rules.” There was tons of trash left that my boyfriend and I packed out, people brought their dogs up (they’re aren’t allowed on that trail), the people that set up camp next to us were eating INSIDE their tent in bear country, and to top it all off, my boyfriend witness someone defecating right next to the river! <- first off, GROSS. But second, there was signs everywhere saying pack in and pack out, even your poop! AND the rangers even had provided, for free, WAG bags for people to take up there! Harrumph!

  • Reply Patrik at

    This is a great article on this topic . Everyone, IMHO, should read up on it before going backpacking or hiking!

    http://www.trailspace.com/articles/backcountry-waste-disposal.html

  • Reply Megan at

    Good post and great point about people not understanding why we have to abide by LNT. The rules aren’t there to ruin anybody’s fun; just to ensure that we can always have amazing outdoor experiences. Regarding fires, I’ve heard of a supposed “LNT fire” for backcountry camping where you build a fire in a tin (like a disposable pie tin). Have you heard of this and do you know if that really is an LNT way of having a backcountry fire? The fire wouldn’t really be touching the ground, so it doesn’t see damaging like building your own fire ring.

  • Reply Shaun McIntire at

    Wow, you would absolutely hate camping with us. We go back country, hike straight up the streams, find a place to camp usually 10-20′ from the water, use axes and saws to clear an area of quick to grow back vegetation and collect dead fall for a fire. Once we realized there was a hornet’s nest near a place we had just set up camp. So I shot it out of the tree with my shotgun. If I don’t finish a meal I’ll throw what’s left of it in the lake or the fire. Why? Because there’s these things called bottom feeders (sucker fish, crayfish, etc.) that absolutely love eating our scraps and do it very efficiently.

    Now you might be thinking that I’m an uneducated hillbilly redneck, but in reality I’m incredibly progressive compared to most of the people around here.

    So while you might get frustrated camping with us, most people would absolutely hate camping with you. When we go out into the woods we are a part of nature. We make sure that every animal in the area knows that humans are to be feared as that is the best way to ensure both ours and their safety. We pack away all of our garbage and leave only a footprint of where we set up camp. Undergrowth will be quick to fill in all of our damage and in a year or two you’d never know we were there.

    Nature is incredibly resilient and can handle us making a little 20 square foot place for ourselves in thousands of square kilometers of wilderness. If you’re so afraid of hurting it, maybe you should just stay indoors.

    • Reply heather at

      Out of curiosity, how are you “a part of nature” while making “sure that every animal in the area knows that humans are to be feared”? I’m not sure if you wrote this comment to provoke or if you really meant it, but I see quite a few discrepancies in it. You say you “pack out all of your garbage” yet you throw leftover food in the lake? Doesn’t that mean you DON’T pack out garbage? And yes, I realize that bottom feeders exist, but your food isn’t part of their natural diet….so that’s definitely not acting as “a part of nature” like you claim.

      Perhaps people do hate camping with me for my adherence to LNT. But you know, I can handle that. In fact, if it ensures that our earth stays cleaner just a bit longer, people can hate on me all they want. You may assume that I’m a tree-hugging hippy for my beliefs, and there is a large part of you that would be right. But in reality — to use your own words — I’m just an educated progressive who is using science and facts to back up my actions and beliefs. If you’re as UNAFRAID of hurting nature as you seem, I’d suggest you stay indoors as well.

      Have a great weekend ~Heather

      • Reply Shaun McIntire at

        If you’d actually like to have this discussion, I’d like to continue under your post on FB. It’s a much better format and I don’t have to wait for you to approve each comment. I will keep it civil and will not use bad language.

      • Reply Nina at

        Nature has a pecking order. When you go into the woods you have three options: you can try to establish yourself at (or near) the top, you can let the chips fall where they may (dangerous for both you and the animals), or you can spend the entire time trying to hide from the animals. You are probably option 3 but not everyone is.

        The difference between you and Shaun is that when he is in the woods, he is actually a participant. You are a visitor to a museum. For some reason, you believe that “the environment” is something that only exists in these pristine little bubbles that you camp in. The less tourist-friendly, less pretty areas of the world are somehow more acceptable to trash. (Is it because you don’t see the effects yourself, and can therefore deny them more easily?)

        So you “pack in” your high-tech camping gear, made with expensive, modern plastics that required a ton of resources and pollution to create and will take forever to degrade. You ride most of the way out to your destination in a car, plane, or bus, consuming unnecessary resources. You “pack out” your garbage and toilet paper — and where does it go after that, into the ether? Where I live, if I flush it, it goes straight out into the ocean with no filtering. If I throw it away, it will go to the landfill and get dumped on top, where the bald eagles will peck at it because their environment has been so decimated by humanity that their best chance at food is now to pick at trash. I have never seen so many eagles as when I’ve visited the town dump. Pretty sure it’d be better for the environment to dig a pit and leave the TP there. (TBH I don’t bother to bring TP, leaves are good enough for me. But that’s not really the point.)

        You cannot live on this earth and “leave no trace”, nothing can. Just because you have more successfully abstracted out the damage you cause doesn’t mean it’s not there. Instead of trying to limit WHERE you cause damage, why not try to limit HOW MUCH you’re causing instead?! You do so much travelling and aspire to so much more. Do you not realize how awful THAT is for the environment? You could throw your dinner scraps into a thousand firepits and it would still not be as bad for the environment as a single intercontinental flight.

  • Reply jdwinty at

    Bonkers!

    1. Many of the recommendations are impractical.
    2. Many do no harm even when you claim they do.
    3. The potential for harm is not the same as actually harming, there is always potential no matter what you do.
    (take for instance the potential you could contaminate the water by camping so close to it….well you could do that just by walking over and sitting next the lake).
    4. This sort of zeal for LNT takes the fun out of camping/hiking/exploring
    5. Nature is far more resilient than you give it credit for. (make a campfire, extinguish – doesn’t take long for nature to consume that area with growth)
    6. The whole leftover soup….that’s the first instance the word “bonkers” came to mind.

  • Reply mike at

    You are a dumb ass and a waste of a human being

    • Reply Debra at

      Kudos to her for approving such a useless comment. Congrats on attempting to insult someone from behind your keyboard. As If sitting around online spreading negativity is so productive and helpful to the world.

  • Reply Caitlin at

    I think your post was well intentioned and I was looking forward to reading it. But overall, your logic behind the few “policies” you decided to describe were a bit weak. For example, you only touched on one reason (scarring fire pits) as why it is important to not have fires in the backcountry. How about the risk of inexperienced campers causing forest fires in hard to reach areas due to inappropriately constructed pits etc. Or the rapid loss of dead fall in an area where people are frequently building fires, which then leads some to start cutting down live growth for fuel, because they weren’t prepared to cook on a stove or to layer up to keep warm. I also think there is an inflexibility in your explanations – sometimes moving a few stones from a sandy lake or river side will create a much smaller footprint than pounding down the brush beyond. And just cause you are camped at the waterside, doesn’t mean you can’t walk your 200 ft away to do your polluting business like tooth brushing etc. Overall, good on you for being concerned, especially as many people do spend more time outdoors and minimizing impact, including for others (I definitely get irked by the blatant white blazes of TP…) ensures that time outside feels special and is something we can access forever.

    • Reply heather at

      Hey Caitlin! Thanks for commenting. You know, one thing I should go back an add to this post is that the overall idea behind LNT is to leave as minimal impact as possible, regardless of the LNT policies. That came up on my FB thread and I’ve been dealing with this wedding so I haven’t had time to edit this 🙂 But in that vein, I do agree with what you said about moving stones at a lake vs tromping down pristine environment (similar to what Beth and I above were discussing in the comments.) Sometimes both options suck and you just have to identify the best of two evils. I was merely trying to set a baseline for people who are unfamiliar with LNT and want to know a general “why” behind the concepts set forth. But you are right– there are many other reasons behind the LNT lists, aside from the logic I describe above!

  • Reply 5 Tips to Plan a Backpacking Trip at

    […] You might also want to check out Heather’s (Just a Colorado Gal) post on leave no trace.  […]

  • Reply Andre at

    Great post! Examples were useful and relevant. Obviously incomplete but who wants to be a force fed a rule book when they can google it as needed? And as for Mr. shoot-it-with-a-shotgun … Ignorance is a weird disease, it makes everybody sick but the one who has it.

    “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.”

  • Reply Meg at

    Heather, I was wondering what is protocol for alerting rangers and helping them communicate leave no trace, even in campgrounds. While it wasn’t backcountry, we spent last weekend in the Laramie Ranger District at the Vedauwoo Campground. We talked with one Ranger about how they were making an effort to protect the grasses and to only pitch tents and park your vehicles in designated areas. After a gorgeous Sunday morning hike, we walked back through a semi desolate campground area and found that some uncaring stewards had not only left their camp strewn with a lot of beer cans, a smashed pumpkin, but also a fire – yes a FIRE… one that had collapsed out of the ring and was burning under trees. It’s fall, it’s dry, there is beetle-kill…. and that’s just plain irresponsible and stupid. We quickly cleaned up the space and used what water we had left to put out the fire…. but is that all we can do? I took pictures and even found a Walmart receipt…. but to tattle – that didn’t seem to be the best solution…. It all infuriated me on so many levels. Thoughts?

    • Reply heather at

      Agh! The fire would be the scary part! That could’ve been so bad if y’all hadn’t come around!! For something like that, I probably would’ve told a ranger/nearby forest service office/whatever. I wouldn’t do that for the trash or whatnot, but for a loose fire? That’s entirely different. They could hurt a lot of people and animals, and may be as simple as giving them a heads up. No one wants to be THAT person, but I imagine they don’t want to be known as the people who started a forest fire!

  • Reply jDOgg at

    I am all for LNT. they are finely refined guidelines, have been scrutinized by outdoors community and occasionally change to better apply to environment (e.g. – climate, soil types, and frequency of use by others). Following any guidelines blindly will keep you and the forest out of trouble, but, being in nature as a strict algorithm follower may be unnecessary and in some cases even dangerous.
    I’ve been a backpacking guide for the past four years and drill LNT into participants very diligently, explaining restrictions and why they are set. But after going through the 7 rules, I like to close of the talk with a general blanket rule– and that is to have acute awareness of your environment, to learn how your impact propagates through the surrounding area, and what would happen if more people perform the action you are performing, and how many people are likely to pass through the area in any given time range.

    I’ve camped plenty of times next to rivers within 200 feet because camping anywhere else would involve more environmental disturbance. Everyone took shits in dispersed locations over 200 feet away from the river and in soil which was moist and high in organics. I’ve build fires, as have many people who are still very environmentally benevolent hikers. But before fire was made, fire restrictions were obeyed, the foot traffic of the area was considered, and the suitable safe environment to create a fire pit was made. Simply following an algorithm and not understanding the causality of the guidelines can and do sometimes cause more environmental damage. For a novice hiker who chooses to strictly follow the rules while not being aware of their environment can walk 100 feet off trail to take a piss, crush a mycelial matt in the process, and then have to scramble up a steep traverse causing erosion and rockfall… hell they can get injured. So long as those guys in the picture that pissed OP off were not pissing or dumping any runoff or food scraps in the river/lake, and were not wearing down a perennial environment for the convenience being next to water, then there is nothing wrong with that. I agree with LNT, and learning it rather algorithmically for the beginner, but if the teacher does not back it up with causality and reinforcing it with teachable moments which build understanding of ecosystem/environment, and instead has an absolutist approach to it like you are conveying, I disagree with that and believe you are missing the point. You personally probably do a very good job at preserving the environment. Guess what though, if you were to conduct a life cycle assessment of your soup residue with option 1 being to mix it into fertile unfrozen soil, just like you do with your feces, versus option 2: dumping it into trash or depositing it down your sink for the wastewater treatment plant to process, you may find that the overall impact is more negative in terms of energy to treat that waste, C02 or methane emitted into atmosphere, than if you were to simply deposit it on site. Of course, that’s where awareness comes in– if you’re at a highly used campsite, better to not deposit soup residues. Don’t be an absolutist, it makes you look elitist and uninformed. I hope you agree with me.

  • Reply jDOgg at

    p.s.- cute pup

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