_Garbage DO's And DON'T's

Serves: 5



Most authors wouldn't even think of including a section on garbage when writing a cookbook but I believe it appropriate in a book for camp cooks! After preparing a meal at home, clean up is a breeze. Wet garbage, i.e. vegetable peelings, etc., go into the disposal or the compost pile, re-cyclables go into the appropriate card board box, and the rest goes into the trash to be placed curbside on garbage day. The camp cook most likely will not have all of these options.

When camping in developed sites with garbage service not much changes from cooking at home but there are still things to consider. During peak use times garbage pickup schedules may be such the cans overflow creating an unsightly and unhealthy situation. So whether camping in a developed site with garbage services or an undeveloped site where 'Pack It In & Pack It Out' regulations apply, keeping trash to a minimum makes life easier for all.

Despite education and enforcement efforts there are those who think littering is acceptable behavior. As a conservation officer my fellow officers and I spent a lot of time enforcing littering laws and educating the camping public. One particular incident comes to mind. One day while on routine patrol I saw an airborne white flash through a screen of trees adjacent to a streamside campsite. As I pulled into the camp a fellow was getting ready to heave a second white garbage bag as far as he could out into the Salmon River. He set the sack down and got a surprised look on his face when I bailed out and quickly opened the tailgate on my truck. Surprise turned to chagrin when one command sent my Black Lab 'Snoose' after the evidence! The lesson this fella learned that day is it's much cheaper to haul it than heave it!

Years ago folks would burn everything they could and bury the rest. Just last week while moose hunting with a friend we camped at a site, which has been used for forty years at the end of an old, two rut road. Walking out in the timber behind camp I found numerous old cans and bottles once buried but now littering the forest floor. My guess is they were originally unearthed by a black bear in search of grub. Almost any wild critter will dig if it smells food and most folks won't be able to dig a hole deep enough to discourage a bear! Garbage gravesites aka backcountry landfills are no longer appropriate or legal.

In my camp I separate garbage into wet and dry items. Any paper products I can burn I will. DON'T however, throw a wad of wet paper towels and paper plates into the fire and expect them to completely burn. If you can see something won't burn just put it in a sack for transport home. DON'T throw candy or granola bar wrappers coated with aluminum foil into the fire. Yes, I know a hot enough fire will burn even aluminum beverage cans but after years of digging through other campers' fire pits and packing out partially burned cans and wads of foil, I advise against placing non-organic material in a campfire. DON'T attempt to burn cantaloupe rinds, potato peelings and the like. DON'T tempt critters into coming into camp at night or while your out fishing by placing yesterday's garbage behind the tent. DO put it in the truck, an empty cooler, which is strapped shut or hang it in a tree. DO as much kitchen prep at home ahead of time as possible. Trim or peel vegetables and pack them in re-sealable plastic bags. DO reuse these same bags for leftovers or throw away scraps. DON'T use any more glass containers than absolutely necessary! Re-pack liquid items such as vinegar, whiskey, etc., in plastic containers. DO crush metal cans and plastic containers, as they will take up less room. DON'T forget the micro-trash! Cigarette butts, gum wrappers, and bottle camps though individually small will still aggravate those who use the same site after you! DO spend as much time planning on how to deal with camp refuse as you do in planning your menu's! DO follow the 'Golden Rule' and leave your campsite as you would expect to find a campsite.

Spiced with More Tall Tales - Introduction

This _Garbage DO's And DON'T's recipe is from the Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin' Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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