It’s no fun to camp deep in the woods or desert and have several bags of trash accumulating. All that trash attracts raccoons, mice, bears, flies, wasps, and ants. And it’s smells pretty bad too.
How to Minimize Trash Accumulation While Boondocking
Burn Your Trash
If you’re camped in an area where campfires are allowed, then burn your trash. This includes paper plates, boxes, paper towels, even toilet paper. If you don’t mind burning plastics, consider burning smaller items like plastic cups, plastic forks and spoons, food packaging. You can also burn those styrofoam trays that steaks and meats are packaged on. Cloth items, such as a rag that becomes too dirty to clean, can be tossed into a campfire.
Also burn scraps of food. Burn left over food that’s gone bad. Burn banana peels, orange peels, etc. If you have any left over grease from cooking bacon, ground beef, or slow-cooking a roast, dump that into a campfire too.
Never dump food, grease, or liquids on the ground because they attract animals.
Buy Products Packaged in Paper
It’s easy to burn paper-based packaging than plastic, glass, or metal…
- Buy milk and fruit juices in a paper carton instead of a plastic carton.
- Buy eggs packed in a paper-based crate instead of plastic or Styrofoam.
- Buy sticks of butter packaged in cardboard instead of margarine packaged in plastic tubs.
- Buy dry rice packaged in paper sacks instead of plastic containers.
Avoid Glass Containers and Metal Containers
When buying groceries, try not to buy food that comes packaged in glass or metal containers. Instead, look for paper or plastic containers so that they can be burned in a campfire, or be easily crushed.
- You can now buy soups that come in plastic and even paper containers, and not have to buy them in tin cans.
- Instead of buying canned vegetables, buy frozen vegetables and burn the bags they come in.
- Buy peanuts and other snacks packaged in plastic bags instead of glass jars or tin cans.
- Instead of buying fruit juice in glass bottles, buy them in those single-use, paper-boxes.
Buy Canned Beer, Not Bottled Beer
Buy them in aluminum cans instead of glass bottles so that you can crush the cans and reduce trash space. Try rinsing out the cans before crushing them so that a bag full of crushed cans doesn’t attract insects and critters.
Keep a “Burn Pile” on Hand
Get a large cardboard box and keep it inside your RV for anything that can be burned later on. Put all paper items in there. Put plastic trash in there if you don’t mind burning plastic. Put old food in there. Put moldy fruit and vegetables in there. Having a separate place for burnables will encourage you minimize trash.
Instead of throwing away a glass jar of jelly, clean it and use for food storage. Glass jars are excellent food storage containers. You can also use them to store used cooking oil.
Reuse your paper plates, paper bowls, plastic cups, and plastic forks, spoons, and knives. There’s no reason to limit these items to single-use. You don’t have to wash a paper plate under water, you can wipe them clean with a paper towel. Any left over food residue on a plate or fork does not automatically become poisonous after 8 hours. You can safely eat off these things many times over.