Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Rob Rich
Swan Valley Connections 

Talkin' trash: Making an impact with Leave No Trace


August 12, 2021

Swan Valley Connections

Holland Lake and other nearby public campgrounds maintained by the U.S. Forest Service have bear-resistant trash containers and food storage boxes that campers are required to use. If you're camping in the backcountry you should always hang food and other animal attractants 10 feet up and 4 feet out from a tree, always adhering to that other great riff on Leave No Trace: If you pack it in, pack it out.

Twelve years ago, while backpacking in broad daylight, I came around a shady bend in the trail, only to find a full moon beaming against a tree. "Oh, I'm sorry," the woman exclaimed, shuffling up her pants and waddling into the brush. "I'm sorry too," I replied, and not merely for the awkward encounter or the unmistakably human stench. Her business was clearly not done, and her side-eyed grimace urged me on. But as I think back on it now, I'm sorry I never circled back to talk about $#!&ing in the woods. 

I didn't have to shame her into realizing that 200 feet – not two feet – is an i...

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