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19

Throwing a dead body down a ravine in a rugged mountain area is a morally blameless act, much like throwing your biodegradable orange peel into a bush. Crows and coyotes will rapidly take care of it, leaving only disassembled bones, which they'll scatter. Just make sure to remove all the nonbiodegradable stuff, like clothing, credit cards, and so on. This ...


14

Without knowing the numbers using it, the signs are absolutely acceptable. The forest floor is very fragile, and although one foot print might not make a noticeable difference to most people (Having tracking training for SAR, I see the damage one person makes), 10 people will leave obvious damage, and 50 a trail. The problem is people walk off the main trail ...


13

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 ...


12

You can just leave whatever parts you don't eat for the scavengers. Seriously, this is the outdoors, not Disney: critters have died, from time to time, and worms have eaten them* - which is why the woods are not cluttered with corpses. "...we fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but ...


12

I think this largely depends on the specific area you are traveling in. My approach is to always minimize campfires in the backcountry as a general rule. That being said, if I am in an abundant backcountry environment, where there is an already well made fire ring, I have no qualms making an occasional fire from dead, down, dry, and less than wrist size ...


11

Like most activities, campfires aren't simply ethical or unethical. There are only a few things in this world that are always ethical or always unethical. Rather, there are ethical and unethical ways to behave. I don't expect a campsite to look exactly like the land around it - I understand there will be artificial clearings in the trees, perhaps a sign ...


9

I think you have the right idea. Leave No Trace principles (and wilderness permit regulations in many areas) dictate that washing be done at least 100 feet from camp, trail, or stream. If there's some soil nearby that would be the best spot, because there'll be higher activity from decomposing organisms there which will break down any tiny bits of food you ...


9

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 ...


8

I've hiked all over the USA and the general rule is that on public land, you can hike anywhere you want, unless there are specific rules for a given sensitive area. Generally these rules are posted at least at the trailhead or in any wilderness permit you get. The one place where there aren't posted signs, but that you should "STAY ON THE TRAIL" is making ...


8

Burn it. True, campfires are not really a perfect example of leave no trace. But what you can do: Carry the carcass far above the treeline, where there is no vegetation Carry firewood to the same location (of course, only already dead branches and gathered from a sufficiently large area to be not suspicious) Burn! Whatever is left, carry out. If you can ...


7

According to my wife, who is an experienced backpacker, it’s insufficient to merely leave the carcass to scavengers. You also need to leave a Snickers, to attract bears.


6

According to the Centre of Outdoor Ethics, which runs the most widely accepted ethics program used on private lands for outdoor recreation, there are seven principles to leaving no trace: Plan Ahead and Prepare Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Dispose of Waste Properly Leave What You Find Minimize Campfire Impacts Respect Wildlife Be Considerate of ...


6

Avoiding the word 'ethical', I'll ask: Is it good for the forest to stop all fires, and let fuel accumulate? In North America this has led to many very destructive fires that kill every tree in the forest. Lot's of money and time is being spent to clear out the excess fuel with controlled burns before it is too late. So in these areas, I'd say go ahead, ...


5

Leave No Trace I grew up in a place that was surrounded by open wilderness. There are no, "stay on the trail rules" there. After spending a lot of time in Parks, where there are a lot of rules, and comparing them to growing up in the lawless wilderness, I have to admit that the Parks are a lot prettier. Visiting the wild trails and campgrounds from my youth ...


4

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 ...


4

Following strict leave no trace principles, you're already doing a pretty good job. Where you can improve is to use no soap, small amounts of biodegradable soap are acceptable, but you can clean you dishes with just hot water. When you're done scrubbing, it's best to strain your scraps out of the water and pack them out with the rest of your garbage, then ...


4

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 ...


4

the correct way to dispose of...er-hem,(ex-living tissue !),is to dissect it into smaller,manageable pieces,(portions ?),and bury them in the ground,not together,but separately.Make sure that when you bury them,there is at least 30 cm's of space above the meat,you need to add a capstone to every piece buried,and then compact the soil above that. Cover your ...


3

There are several aspects to take under consideration: Group holes are not a good practice because your deposits can't be buried too deep. The soil needs enough organic material to eliminate your deposits. But, if the upper layers of the soil are big enough, you could make your hole bigger (so making it appropriate for larger groups). The type of group who ...


2

I have found that digging a deep group latrine works far better when taking youth and other folks who are hesitant about the whole "pooping in the woods" idea. I make it one of the task as we set up camp, one group cooks, one group sets up tents, one group get water then digs the latrine. I oversee that the hole is deep enough to accommodate the group for ...


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

Depends on where you are. Near Las Vegas, there are plenty of abandoned mines where a body will almost certainly remain undiscovered for years. Talk to the local mob for specifics.


2

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. ...


2

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 ...


1

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 ...


1

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 ...


1

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 are known to often dig up and lick our pee spots to ...


1

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.


1

Let me turn the question around: Is it ethical to use a portable stove to burn irreplaceable fossil fuels? Is it ethical to carry that fossil fuel in a pressurised can (for gas fuel stoves) or metal bottle (for liquid fuel stoves) that can't be easily recycled and so ends up in landfill? However, note Shem's comment below - Aluminium bottles are almost ...



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