Skills & Techniques

What to Do With Toilet Paper in the Outdoors

Leave No Trace - July 22, 2018

Mount Shasta, CA: Toilet paper on the sides of trails or in camp areas can certainly ruin your day. Visitors often recreate to experience an aloneness in the outdoors and nothing ruins that feeling of being away from others quite like seeing the evidence of someone’s human waste. Besides toilet paper polluting our favorite places, it can also pose a threat to wildlife who may dig up or eat toilet paper while seeking the salts in our urine.

The most Leave No Trace thing you can do is to pack out your toilet paper, we are seeing this become a requirement in many areas. We always Plan Ahead & Prepare by covering a ziploc bag with duct tape to pack out toilet paper in. Alternatives to wiping are using a soft leaf or rock or shaking dry, if you choose to wipe with toilet paper please remember to pack it out.

There are areas where burying toilet paper is acceptable when digging a cathole. The most important thing to remember is that when leaving toilet paper, you’ll want to get it all the way to the bottom of the hole to prevent weather and erosion from unearthing dirty toilet paper. To do this, grab a nearby stick and push the toilet paper down to the bottom of the hole.

Thanks for Leaving No Trace!

Enjoy Your World. Leave No Trace.

Leave No Trace’s Donielle Stevens and Aaron Hussmann are part of the 2018 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Deuter, Thule, Taxa, and Klean Kanteen. 

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

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