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Staying Healthy in the Backcountry

Garbage in the backcountry

Garbage can bring in many types of germs. Deal with garbage properly to keep yourself and the environment safe and healthy.

  • Carry out everything that you brought into the backcountry (“pack it in, pack it out”), except fish guts (entrails). Fish guts have a strong smell and can attract animals. The best place to put fish guts is back in the water where you caught the fish.
  • Plan your menu carefully so you don’t have leftovers.
  • Pack and carry out any scraps of food that you have left over. Don’t burn or bury food scraps. Burning or burying leaves behind food that can rot and attract animals.
  • Pick up garbage as you go, even if it's not yours.
  • You’ll often find garbage bins at the start of a trail (trailhead). Throw out all of the garbage you packed out in those bins. If these garbage bins are full and cannot be closed properly, look for another bin or bring your garbage home.
  • Learn more about handling human waste, including toilet paper, in the backcountry.

Current as of: January 12, 2022

Author: Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services