What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means to yo

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What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means to yo

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Mon 27 May, 2019 9:13 am

A few things have caused me to question my waste disposal ethics more recently. The approach of white season (in Vic) seeing more and more TP on tracks and high profile areas succumbing to significant tourist/user toxicity.
I myself have been particular in waste disposal during my outdoor activities for years - good mentors = good skills and drills. When back country skiing Ive always currently everything out, except wee (I was taught to dig down to dirt away from gullies, wee and cover up once everyome had a go - happy to hear others drills). However evidence is mounting that current 'dig appropriate hole and bury away from waterways' is i)not as biologically effective as previously undersrood ii) is insufficient in high trafficked areas iii) never a good option in snow, rocky areas or sensitive zones.
Rhings usually work top dowm from polocy markers or bottom up from users so;
Are we at the stage where land managers need to step up the required standard for human waste management in NPs?
Do Australians have the appetite to follow some best practice modelled elsewhere in the World?
Are you prepared to up your waste management game?
Do we have the tools to support changes in behaviours?
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Tortoise » Mon 27 May, 2019 10:31 am

I often camp in places where I think solid waste should not be buried, or it's not possible to do it properly. That has raised some problems for me. Without going into too much detail, it's not always solid! So the 'simple' method of pooing onto a paper towel and transferring it into a carton etc, is not always simple. Even if it is solid, it's heavier than the dehydrated food I brought in - something I didn't account for the first time I carried it out.

I realised that it would be easier to avoid the problem altogether if possible. Which I usually manage to do with antidiarrhoeals.
Warning: Check with your doctor before trying this in case it could cause complications for you! Any comments from doctors here would be welcome.

These meds slow movement through the gut, whether or not diarrhoea is an issue. It's a bit of trial and error, to avoid problems of getting too plugged up. But often I'm camping in places that aren't sensitive on the way in/out of alpine places, so manage to literally leave no trace in this regard.

I've wondered why this method is not more generally used, or if it is, why I've never heard of it. I guess nobody is going to spend money on a scientific study of the use of these drugs for this purpose, but I can imagine a lot of outdoor activities where it would be useful.

When I do have to dig a hole in a less than ideal place (e.g.not buried as deep as I want because of rock under the soil), I put a rock on it heavy enough not to be moved by animals, so it can't get dug up. Not ideal to move rocks, but the best choice in the circumstances, I think. Unless there's lots of organic matter (and thus easy to dig a deep hole, and plenty of organisms to break it down), I carry out all my used toilet paper.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby rcaffin » Mon 27 May, 2019 1:57 pm

Bit of a feel-good armchair exercise, if you ask me.
Meanwhile, hordes of animals and birds are pooing all over the place.

Cheers
Roger
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Biggles » Mon 27 May, 2019 3:29 pm

rcaffin wrote:Bit of a feel-good armchair exercise, if you ask me.
Meanwhile, hordes of animals and birds are pooing all over the place.
Cheers
Roger



Totally agree!
Never criticise somebody until you've walked a mile in their shoes.
That way, you're a mile away and you've got their shoes.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 27 May, 2019 3:40 pm

Those pesky fish poop right into the water too!

At least the animals don't leave toilet paper behind.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby slparker » Mon 27 May, 2019 3:55 pm

true, but animals and birds don't always (but sometimes do) defecate disease causing bacteria that are selected to reproduce in humans.


personally I shall continue to bury or use the nice loos provided by national parks.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Nuts » Mon 27 May, 2019 4:36 pm

That must be one messy armchair :lol: Can we all have a go?
The only thing offering these places a remote chance is holding back a *&%$#! attitude, one that we can and do apply to just so many lesser, less precious things and should be counteracted rather than encouraged. Personally it wouldn't matter if the setting is fragile or not, or what all the other animals were doing.

Thumbs up to those bold souls wanting to 'do good'.

That does sound a bit extreme Tortoise. You could just carry some cornstarch bags and take your cargo on to a less fragile/ easier digging place (or a toilet where available). They only weigh 2-300grams on average :)
"The guides are all complaining there's mobile reception and hot showers," Godfrey laughs.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Mon 27 May, 2019 4:51 pm

Thanks Tortise,your experiences open the door for further dialogue and discussion. Your interesting point Ive not considered - input vs output.
Ive dialled in my daily menu at 750g incl dehydrated dinners. I will go on record that Ive never weighed my waste though.
Not sure if an internet search or kitchen scales is best.
I have heard 400g per day, per person is a benchmark weight, which means a negative weight penalty by end of trip for me.

As for medications, I would agree that many people use/used meds/drugs to increase/supress bodily functions and cycles for a lifestyle choice. As you say - medical safety. Length of trip and effects would be considerations.
Many thanks for others input, discussing OP q's would be even better!
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Tortoise » Mon 27 May, 2019 4:59 pm

Nuts wrote:That does sound a bit extreme Tortoise. You could just carry some cornstarch bags and take your cargo on to a less fragile/ easier digging place (or a toilet where available). They only weigh 2-300grams on average :)

Interesting. I don't think a capsule or two for a couple of days is extreme. Think places like the Labyrinth or Shelf Camp at Mt Anne. Well used with rock or bog. Sometimes nowhere for a hole any vaguely decent distance from water sources for 300+m. I could avoid camping in those (magnificent) places, or do something simple to avoid leaving unpleasant traces that could contaminate the only water source for others. I choose to camp there. :D

Think raging storm. Tortoise lies cosily in her bed, while others brave the elements... Or she saves time in the morning (which she needs) while others go a long distance to dig a difficult hole.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Tortoise » Mon 27 May, 2019 5:27 pm

Heremeahappy1 wrote:As you say - medical safety. Length of trip and effects would be considerations.

Even on walks for a week or so in alpine places in Tassie (very sensitive and very difficult to dig any kind of hole, given the root systems of hardy plants), I usually manage very well, timing things so I can dig my hole on a day when we walk through less sensitive areas.

Recently, I camped in a gorgeous spot with 2 friends. One commented on how far they'd have to go to dig a hole in the morning. Steep++ sides around a lake, plus creeks, rock and bogs. I mentioned my approach, but recommended they discuss it with their GP. They both decided to risk trying it themselves, as both had used the medication in their first aid kits before, without side effects. And neither have gut problems. One friend took one tablet, the other took two - on the basis that her packet suggested starting with 2 for diarrhoea. No holes needed to be dug. No ill effects. Easy peasy. Cost: about 42c for me.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Tortoise » Mon 27 May, 2019 6:58 pm

What about places like Lake Rhona (before the fires :( ) that get disgusting long before they get a toilet? Basically too many people couldn't be bothered walking away from the lake and track, from what I gather. Most people have antidiarrhoeals in their first aid kit, and have used them before. No effort. Less poo and used toilet paper in a small area has got to be better. Maybe some people would use corn starch bags if provided?? I suspect those who leave a mess wouldn't bother with that either.

I realise my perspective relates primarily to where burying is not a good option.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Wed 29 May, 2019 10:08 am

Tortoise, thanks for a new perspective, I'll investigate and experiment.
For those not so bold, Ihave to say from my experience, seeing defrosting tur&s in the snow melt in spring is unhygenic, unsightly, unnecessary and, unfortunately represents everyone who enjoys the outdoors. Yep people cr@pping in the snow are ignorant or lazy or both. If you can pick up a dog poo in a park, is handling your own really that tough?
LNT practices incl. human waste management have been adopted in countries where pristine environments and people mix to ensure respect for area and others. Given Australia has some ripper NPs why can't we lead the way rather than dragged kicking and screaming from our armchairs?
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Nuts » Wed 29 May, 2019 10:11 am

I'd agree P&W could do more. Even a token effort to suggest that taking a bit of extra care is 'acceptable'..
"The guides are all complaining there's mobile reception and hot showers," Godfrey laughs.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Warin » Wed 29 May, 2019 12:16 pm

Raiding the local 'dog exercise area' for poo bags :twisted: ... getting some of my taxes back ... seams like a good idea. There may even be a 'dog exercise area' near a walks termination - so you might be able to deposit the result before heading home...
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby slparker » Wed 29 May, 2019 2:38 pm

Wag bags arent that expensive or difficult to use. If you have to leave absolutely no trace...
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby rcaffin » Wed 29 May, 2019 6:26 pm

personally I shall continue to bury or use the nice loos provided by national parks.

Don't get me wrong: I totally agree with this. And bury a bit out of the way too (far from water!).

Now in the snow - that's more difficult. We do try to pick a spot under snow gums where there will be bark and leaf litter, or over a bushy area. The latter requires some care so you don't sink through the snow!

As for taking anti-diarrhoeals - what a medically stupid idea if you are out for more than two days. I wonder what your guts (OK, bowels) would look like after a week? And how would you feel?

Cheers
Roger
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Tortoise » Wed 29 May, 2019 6:47 pm

rcaffin wrote:As for taking anti-diarrhoeals - what a medically stupid idea if you are out for more than two days. I wonder what your guts (OK, bowels) would look like after a week? And how would you feel?
Cheers
Roger

Fair enough to disagree, but I don't think it's stupid. Taken to extremes, stupid for sure. I might have given the wrong impression about what I do.

As I mentioned, the most sensitive areas I camp in are often not for the whole walk. I've been on many 7 - 21 day walks. Mainly up to 8 days now. I'll take a tablet or two to minimise (usually eliminate) the need to dig a hole in sensitive areas. It may mean 3 tablets in a week, just needing to dig holes in less sensitive areas. I began trialling it on overnight walks. The only thing I do when I get home is to make sure I have a bit more fibre than normal. I've been doing this for years with no adverse reactions. I discussed it with my GP, who didn't think it was stupid.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Orion » Wed 29 May, 2019 6:51 pm

I know someone who carries it out, even on long trips. He says the weight is about the same as the food so his pack remains the same throughout the trip. I'm impressed with his effort but I'm not going to do it. There are places where it is mandatory and I've used wag bags then. Wag bags aren't the best solution, particularly for longer trips. Other times in sensitive areas I've held it until I could get to a better place.

It's obviously situational.

I would never use an antidiarrhoeal. For shorter trips a pre-trip enema would work but I think I'd change to a different activity if that were required.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby slparker » Wed 29 May, 2019 7:18 pm

I agree with rcaffin on the antidiarrhoeals. Swapping inconvenience for the risk of constipation is a poor choice.
Maybe that explains the clawmarks on the loos at some huts.
If you must have low residue infrequent stools you could what the army used to do - subsist on a low fibre diet. That's how the old ration packs were designed. More nutritionally dense too

Antidiarrhoeals work well for those with irritable bowel syndrome, Crohns disease and the like, but purposefully taking them with normal bowel function....

I suppose the occasional one is low riskbut thd thought of bushwalking with a rigid pole of dried stool in my colon...
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Neo » Wed 29 May, 2019 11:00 pm

For some reason I often miss the regular mornin number 2 on the first morning of a bushwalk!

That said, I then catch up over a couple of days.

As for LNT, no food or litter left of course, avoid steping on the litte plants or breaking stuff when walking or pitching camp.

If there is a fireplace, I spit my tothpaste there.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby peregrinator » Thu 30 May, 2019 5:35 am

Neo wrote:
. . . If there is a fireplace, I spit my toothpaste there.


There is a connection between fireplaces and "leave no trace". Um, I can't quite recall it at the moment . . .

But nevertheless, this topic has raised (lowered?) some food for thought. Will ask my doctor for comment next time I visit.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Neo » Thu 30 May, 2019 11:39 am

It would be to use a d existing fireplace rather than creating another.

Or not having a fire.

Other methods are to dig (or not dig) a hole then scatter the cold ashes and repair the spot when you leave.

A giant tin can would make a nice light little firepit to carry around!
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Nuts » Fri 31 May, 2019 10:10 am

Warin wrote:Raiding the local 'dog exercise area' for poo bags :twisted: ... getting some of my taxes back ... seams like a good idea. There may even be a 'dog exercise area' near a walks termination - so you might be able to deposit the result before heading home...


I guess any bag would do for transporting waste to a better location but there's a big range of degradable ability. I must have had visions they'd be like parchment but even the market(ing) leaders bags take a long while to break down. I'd question the supermarket doggy bags too, been trialing some and even in the compost bin they look good as new. Even 'Bio-bags' took all summer (in the heat of compost).
"The guides are all complaining there's mobile reception and hot showers," Godfrey laughs.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Fri 31 May, 2019 12:58 pm

My perspective is the collective impact. As an I individual, I admit, it can be difficult to reconcile our impact is part of a larger picture. Is it fair to assume most toileting ocurs am and pm at camps? 100 ppl at a camp per year defecating and burying, waste takes 24 mths in average conditions to breakdown so it doesnt stick to your poo trowl or smell when you digvsomeonevelses up. This = 40kg of $hit, all buried, trusting that ppl practice recommendations, at 150mm depth 100m from camp.
Consider a colder climate and soil, ppl needing to go quickly and cant walk 100m through the wet pricky bush at night or in the rain, laying a cable in snow because its easier and the weather was poor. Not to mention medications and cutting tree roots.
Take only pictures and leave only footprints... this fails to capture the collective impacts we have and the subsequent issues.
Those that cr@p without a hole and leave tp might believe they are doing the right thing.
Lack of personal waste management is everyones concern, it's just the degree of education and application through personal discipline that varies. Set the expectation bar higher and drag the lowest common denominators up.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Petew » Fri 31 May, 2019 2:40 pm

I used to walk with a guy who would go well away from camp, clear an area, crap on the ground, burn tp, pee on the resulting mess then put back leaf litter etc. He thought it best practice.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Warin » Fri 31 May, 2019 3:50 pm

Petew wrote:I used to walk with a guy who would go well away from camp, clear an area, crap on the ground, burn tp, pee on the resulting mess then put back leaf litter etc. He thought it best practice.


It is not. Consider flies that land on that and then land on your face/hands/food.
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Neo » Fri 31 May, 2019 7:48 pm

I wonder what Indegenous toileting practices were, and in other countries prior to mass population and roaming outdoors became a specific pursuit..?
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby rcaffin » Fri 31 May, 2019 8:48 pm

> 100 ppl at a camp per year defecating and burying,
OK, that's a tourist camp site. Rules for such places have to be a bit different from places that might see one tent per year or less - wilderness walking. In recent years the NPWS has been putting in various sorts of toilets at such tourist places.

Cheers
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby myrtlegirl » Fri 31 May, 2019 10:15 pm

If there's not a designated dunny, ALWAYS take your toot paper out. Don't ever bury it, it takes sooo long to break down. A black doggie doo bag is great for carrying it out. Burning it - hmmmm - that would stink, plus it's probably a tad damp.....

Also, if burying the rest, don't bury it too deep. And the recipe in this thread is possibly the best I've seen:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1934
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Re: What Leave No Trace & minimal impact bushwalking means t

Postby Wollemi » Tue 04 Jun, 2019 11:41 am

So what did these smart Canadians do on Mt. Kenya? They smeared their crap on the rocks with the most sun exposure. A couple hours later, the remains were completely dried up. In several days, it was virtually gone.
http://www.climbing.co.za/2016/12/how-t ... the-hills/

This is the last resort. Smear your poop with a leaf, rock, or stick as thinly as possible onto another rock. Make sure the rock has exposure to direct sunlight, as UV radiation sterilizes the bacteria. If you have to do this, do it in a location where no one will come into contact with it.
https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitn ... -20150817/
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