You might occasionally ignore a no-trespassing sign or climb a rock you probably shouldn’t. However, there is one rule you should never ignore when you’re hitting the trails, and that is leaving no trace. Disposing of waste properly is one of the most important things you need to do when enjoying the great outdoors. Whether it’s garbage, WAG Bags, or human waste, you need to understand how to get rid of it properly. Here are all the hiking tips you need on waste disposal.

Food Waste

It’s a good idea to reduce waste potential from the get-go and package your food in reusable containers. Remember the golden rule: pack it in, pack it out. If you bring it, you must take it back with you. Food leftovers can harm animals, so eat what you have or put it back in your container and save it for later. Any garbage? Back in the pack it goes until it can properly be thrown away. Recycle what needs to be recycled and throw away the rest.

Human Waste

Take notice that we saved this little gem for number two. Urinating around a trail isn’t generally frowned upon, just go where there is mineral soil or rock so the vegetation isn’t messed with. However, if you need to go number two, head out at least 200 feet away and dig yourself a cat-hole — a hole in the ground for you to do your business. Afterward, carefully replace the soil and vegetation. Pay careful attention to where you are because depending on the area, rules may differ and it may be required of you to pack it out. In that case, grab a pack-out kit for waste such as a WAG Bag, for example, or make your own so you truly leave no trace.

Menstrual Products

This one is often overlooked. If you bring pads or tampons with you on the trail you can easily store them in a double bagged ziplock. If you want more privacy, line the inside of the bag with cloth or aluminum foil. You won’t have to worry about any wildlife being attracted to these products if they’re sealed-away properly.

If we decide to enjoy what nature has to offer us, we are responsible for maintaining it. Always remember what you read here and, above all, leave no trace! Visit Where is Simon for more outdoor tips and guides.

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