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Links for newbs? Backpacking Etiquette
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put put
(putput) - F

Locale: Hawaiian Islands
Links for newbs? Backpacking Etiquette on 08/01/2011 19:22:10 MDT Print View

I will be going on a 7 day trip with a group of 8 people. 4 of the people have never backpacked before and while they are very excited about trip and eager to learn, I am realizing how much info there is to explain to them. Most of their questions have been gear/meal related, but after a few discussions I realized that the are also quite unaware of backcountry basics such as how to pooop (ha..this was detected by the profanity filter)in the woods, campsite selection, bathing, noise and proximity to other campers, etc.

I have been searching for a pretty comprehensive list/blog post or site about the basics of backpacking etiquette and have found many that touch on a few things here and there, but are not very thorough. The LNT principals will be shared with them, but it also lacks a lot of the aspects that I feel are also very important. I don't really follow blogs or anything, but I was wondering if anyone had a link(s) that they feel would greatly benefit new backpackers.

Links to sites or blogs are preferred over forum threads because the conflicting info that threads provide can be confusing since we always have a hard time convincing others that our way is far superior to theirs. HYOK.

Much appreciated

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
bump on 08/03/2011 16:34:56 MDT Print View

bumping this b/c I'd love to read something like this too.

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Backpacking Etiqutte on 08/04/2011 21:10:16 MDT Print View

This might help. Plus its actually hilarious.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Backpacking Etiquette on 08/04/2011 21:55:53 MDT Print View

RULE #10 Do not get killed.

The worst thing to have on your outdoor resume is the list of the possible locations of your body.


Joseph R
(Dianoda) - MLife

Locale: Chicago, IL
Backpacker's Field Manual on 08/05/2011 11:36:18 MDT Print View

Sorry, I don't have any links worth sharing for their humor, but... When I started out backpacking I read through the The Backpacker's Field Manual by Rick Curtis - it has a good sections on LNT, hygiene, etc. - all the basics are covered. If your friends have access to a library it would be a worthwhile check-out. Maybe not the most interesting read, but a great source of information if you have the time to digest it.

Additionally, the website is pretty good, too. Not overwhelming and a quick study:

I'm curious to see what others have to share...

Edit - Jace: I really enjoyed that link, thanks for the share

Edited by Dianoda on 08/05/2011 11:39:21 MDT.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
"Some people wake up perky and happy as fluffy bunny rabbits. " on 08/05/2011 12:08:35 MDT Print View

That would be me. I've learned to channel it into less-annoying behaviors. Unless I *want* to annoy someone. Then, all bets are off. ;)

Ryan Krause

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Mike Clelland vid on 08/25/2011 00:39:21 MDT Print View

How to p00p with Mike Clelland! and Scott Christi -

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Mike Clelland vid on 08/29/2011 17:28:52 MDT Print View

I was going to post the poo poo clinic, too. If anything, it'll make it okay to talk about such things.

I think that Paul Mags wrote a good beginner backpacking article. Not so much etiquette, but just a good getting started primer.

You could just point them to a basic ethics page like one of these. You can find others on the web. Not all places have the same rules. As you can see from the 2nd link, the San Gorgonio wilderness requires you have a trowel and that you pack out your TP. Mt. Whitney requires using a wag-bag now. So you might want to research the area you are going just in case.

David Vo
Re: Re: Mike Clelland vid on 08/29/2011 18:34:42 MDT Print View

Beginner question - what is the purpose of packing out TP? Why can't you just bury it in the same hole with your waste? I know paper doesn't biodegrade as fast as organic material but it is probably close. It's really thing paper and will just absorb into the ground, won't it? I've also heard of people advising burning your TP. Is that ok too?

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Packing out TP on 08/29/2011 20:41:06 MDT Print View

Often the waste gets dug up by critters and the paper (which, as you point out, degrades more slowly) is exposed to the air. In dry weather, the paper takes a really long time to degrade. In popular places, there is just too much being buried! I have buried TP on rare occasions, but only if I can dig an extra deep hole, pour in water and stir the hole contents thoroughly for several minutes to make a soup. This will speed up the process. I personally use paper towel squares (more absorbent) and moist towelettes (due to a medical condition). The towelettes, of course, don't degrade. 99% of the time I pack everything out. There is no way with my problems that I could get by with natural materials, and I certainly don't want to be pulling up vegetation in sensitive alpine areas.

Burning TP has started forest fires in a number of places. All it takes is dry conditions and a sudden gust of wind at the wrong time!

Edited by hikinggranny on 08/29/2011 20:43:31 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Backpacking Etiquette on 08/29/2011 20:47:55 MDT Print View

The point is that every backpacking area has its own rules and regulations and guidelines. It is the responsibility of the backpacker to know those rules. In some cases, you have to sign a wilderness permit that states that you agree to those rules.

Some areas are very sensitive about forest fires, so burning up TP is not recommended. Some areas have sensitive soils that can't sustain a zillion cat holes per day, so nothing is to be buried at all. The Mount Whitney Zone users are issued waste pack-out bags.


Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
RE: "Links for newbs? Backpacking Etiquette" on 08/29/2011 21:17:11 MDT Print View

Very funny!

And, Mike Clelland's and Scott Christie's video was hysterical! Thanks, Ryan.

Edited by socalpacker on 08/29/2011 21:41:51 MDT.

Eli .
(Feileung) - F
Sierra Specific on 09/04/2011 08:54:46 MDT Print View

The author of this page explains a lot of basics (in basic language). Not my favorite writing style but decent nonetheless.