Unwritten rules of camping/backpacking: Trash pickup, washing and proper pooing

Wednesday , July 26, 2017 - 5:00 AM4 comments

ANNE CHRISTNOVICH, Standard-Examiner staff

The unofficial creed of the outdoor enthusiast goes something like this: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.”

Obviously not everyone follows that rule. And some offenders are worse than others. 

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources shocked Facebook users earlier in July with a photo gallery showing some of the trash and its effects on wildlife left behind by people who don’t quite have the hang of “pack it in, pack it out.”

The post was shared more than 200 times.

Most commenters were appalled by the photos. Even forestland rodents grasped the takeaway.

“Come one everyone, if the chipmunk can pack out his trash so can you,” one commenters said, referring to a DWR photo.

For nature novices or people unfamiliar with the "take out the trash you bring in" social rule, here are some helpful articles to introduce you to proper outdoors etiquette:

Camping tips for parents: Cut down on juice boxes by bringing water bottles and powder drink mixes, get awesome ideas for make-ahead camping meals and remember that noise can be pollution too — observe quiet hours between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. (Source: Today’s Parent

Camping tips from the Boy Scouts of America: No one is more prepared than a Boy Scout. So if anyone should know the best tips and tricks for packing in and packing out, it’s these guys. Tips include: planning ahead to minimize trash, leaving what you find, respecting wildlife and respecting fellow humans. 

Washing up: The Center for Outdoors Ethics suggests taking your dishwater 200 feet from water, camp and trails. That goes for water used to bathe too. 

The No. 1 solution to No. 2: Everybody poops. But think about it: Utah is home to some of the most popular national parks in the country — hundreds of thousands of visitors (and their butts) go through every year. If we all just go where we want, we’ll end up knee-high in a very stinky situation. Here’s tips for doing the doo outside, from Men’s Journal (but the advice applies to everyone).

And here’s some helpful hints on how to strike the right pose to get the job done, brought to you by Backpacker Magazine.

What pro-tips do you have for fellow campers? What’s your best way to pack out trash if you’re backpacking?

Sign up for e-mail news updates.