Hot answers tagged

43

It's true that paper tissues biodegrade relatively quickly: this U.S. Bureau of Land Management page estimates 2-4 weeks. However, as the same page notes, Though most trash and litter in the backcountry is not significant in terms of the long term ecological health of an area, it does rank high as a problem in the minds of many backcountry visitors. ...


22

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). It's naturally occurring, and to get a level of toxicity to animals you would need to get to 450mg per liter. Unless you're operating a mine or using literally tons of the stuff, it's quite safe and you'll never get near that. From a 2008 USGS study: Chronic toxicity was observed at concentrations that ranged from 450 ...


20

There are no exceptions to leave no trace. Either you leave a trace, or you do not, the whole point of leave no trace ethics is to make as small an impact on the environment as possible, this means visually as well as ecologically. Tissues break down, but the proper method of disposing them would be to bury them in a fox hole. however, if you're digging a ...


19

When it's unsuitable for removal by your group, contact the relevant authority for that land and let them know the type of litter and its location (pictures and GPS coordinates are helpful). For example, in cases of extreme littering, U.S. federal land management agencies will sometimes organize major cleanup efforts to pack out trash with mules or even a ...


17

Even for "multi-week" trips, brushing with water alone is not going to compromise your tooth health. The abrasive action of the brush does most of the work, and missing the flouride hit for a few days won't affect your teeth in the least. Plus, it saves weight. So, the best LNT option: don't use it. If you MUST use toothpaste (or an alternative), try a few ...


15

This is what I do: I always have extra carry-bags to keep the trash in. Depending upon what my plans is, suppose if I am coming around the same way back home, I usually pickup everything which shouldn't be out there and place the bag at place wherein it possibly will not be fiddled with. On my way back home, when I know I don't have an extra bag to ...


13

If the item is small enough to move, but too large to easily carry out. Organize the junk so that it is stacked as inoffensively as practical, but remains easily accessible. Don't hide it or drop it into a ravine, you want to make it easier to remove not harder. Contact the landowner or manager. This might be a park ranger, corporation or private land ...


7

You can also use Miswak, then you don't need to cary a tooth paste along but still have medicinal benefits, instead of having to use just a toothbrush with only water (although there is no harm in that either). The miswak (miswaak, siwak, sewak, Arabic: سواك‎ or مسواك) is a teeth cleaning twig made from the Salvadora persica tree (known as arak in Arabic)...


6

Doctrine and strict rules create resentment. Children are a prime example of this, but most adults are sadly not immune either. The importance of Leave No Trace is coupled to a place. Yes, ideally we would all try to minimize our impact on this planet, but some places are more fragile than others and one individual can have a much more lasting impact on an ...


6

Brush without paste. You do not need toothpaste. You get the minty freshness, you get fluoride, you get additional abrasion, but none of those things are essential. Brushing is far more important than the toothpaste. I've been told by multiple dentists that although toothpaste can be helpful, it is completely unnecessary (you can get the fluoride from other ...


5

There are some alternatives of toothpaste in ancient India as a part of YOGA. Try Teeth cleaning twig : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teeth_cleaning_twig DANTA MOOLA DHAUTI The Sanskrit word danta means ‘teeth’, dhauti means ‘wash’ and moola means ‘root’. Therefore this practice is concerned with cleaning the teeth and gums. Utensils In India ...


5

This is country specific - but yours may have some automated way of reporting this. My own little homeland made me proud when they rolled out a smartphone app for hikers that allows to report any kind of environmental damage (along with GPS data and possibly pictures) directly to the authorities. They are usually pretty quick to investigate such things.


5

If it is a more polluted area, try the method suggested by WedaPashi (cleanup activity with friends), or take a look at Let's Do It - a worldwide trash-collecting/volunteering action; find your country and contact the local organization. This also puts the issue in an other light (and on the world map), and it might get bigger media attention too, spread the ...


5

The answer is the same for burying toilet paper as it is for burying poop: see: When is it not OK to leave feces behind? Burying toilet paper with your poop is acceptable in areas where it can break down and decompose. If you are in arid dirt that doesn't get much moisture, or in rocks or sand, then it is not acceptable to bury toilet paper. Paper is ...


4

Contact USFS via their website and let them know the location and description of the item. They have a 'Contact Us' link in the About the Agency drop-down menu.


4

Don't talk about "The Rules" rules are made to control people, they create resentment and tend to be broken.... Don't try to teach 'rules', teach the concepts behind the rules. Get the person to buy into the concept and need for leaving no trace, then introduce them to things gradually. Don't give them rules, give them solutions to problems, then show them ...


3

You could use "toothy tabs" tablets, sold by lush. The tablets are solid toothpaste. They consist chiefly of kaolinite, baking soda, and essential oils. Besides being non-toxic and biodegradable, they are also lightweight, small, and the packaging is plastic-free. If you want to be 100% certain, you could just use baking soda or make your own tooth powder. ...


3

I prepare my toothpaste using this recipe, main ingredients here being baking soda and coconut oil. Positive parts: it works just as well as "classical" toothpaste, it is safer to swallow, ingredients are natural. Negative parts: it has a more fluid consistence, needs a somewhat heavier container to carry it around.


3

First, don't be holier than though. People resent that. Be realistic. Push for what matters in the area you're in. Hard and strict rules without regard to the situation are just religion. People will see them as such, think the whole thing is silly, and tune out anything else you say. Realize that the only true way to leave no trace is to not go there ...


3

As others have commented, I would focus on practicality and then start bringing up the LNT doctrine. I have two little kids I go backpacking with. The last time out I explained that if we walked ~50 steps from the trail to take a whizz that it created a much bigger area of potential whizz sites than if we only walked ~20 steps. For trash, I just point out ...


2

Stefansson proved once and for all that diet affects teeth more than brushing. His experiences with the Arctic Inuit were published in Harper's Magazine in 1935, but are also available here in three parts: I, II, III. It's arguably the upside-down food pyramid that is responsible for lining dentists' pockets today. Starch gunks up one's teeth and gets ...


2

I would look into OraWellness. It's a mix of essential oils that comes in a very small bottle, so it's nice and compact. You also only need 2-3 drops per use and works so well I can sometimes skip a cleaning or just use water as needed. The "fuzz" or plaque we accumulate on our teeth is delayed when using this. I tried this almost 1.5 years ago and it has ...


2

Floss. If you brush with water only and then floss, your teeth and gums will be OK for even a multi-week trip. Pack out your floss! Maybe add a pack of peppermints for a cleaner feel.


2

I agree mostly with LBell's answer: just using water to dislodge food debris is enough! However, I felt I should write against Dilute it - in some areas, the recommended method is to spit normally, then urinate on it so there is not a large gobble-worthy glob for some critter to munch on. Mammals, especially deer and goats, seek out the smell of ...


2

Because Toothpaste is nothing else than some kind of polish, you could use precipitate chalk. Or just brush with water. For the fresh feeling just chew some spearmint leaves.


2

Most comments here suggest that campfires are a back country tradition when in fact they are mostly in densely populated camping areas in parks. They are rarely used for cooking. Most of the noxious smoke blows right into the next campsite and the owners of the campfire sit comfortably upwind of the fire. It appears that NPS has no policy on this except to ...


2

Marine grade TP is a good choice for hiking. It is made to dissolve in water rapidly and contains little or no chemicals. Bury in soil and water if possible with stream water... this will also help keep from being tracked by predatory animals.


2

If you cut it up, then many hikers could each take out a piece and eventually the job would be done. Just leave it better than you found it.


1

I agree with the answers that recommend notifying the managers of the land. In addition, if the area is served by a packer, I would notify the packer. The packer might be able to take the trash out in a return trip when his mules were lightly loaded. As James Jenkins said in his answer, organize the junk and put it in an easily accessible place. Packers ...


1

If you can leave your crap there, you can leave the toilet paper too. Both will degrade fairly rapidly. Much of this is aesthetics rather than impact. No one wants to find tufts of toilet paper scattered about a portage landing, but the presence of the paper will have minimal impact on the local life forms. Crap: Depending on where you are, there are ...



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