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View Poll Results: Do you ever burn waste in a campfire?
No, never! 28 30.77%
Yeah, if I can incinerate it to nonexistence! 63 69.23%
Voters: 91. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-25-2014, 08:48 AM   #21
Justin
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Originally Posted by forest dweller View Post
For those of you that don't, would you be strict LNT snobs that looked at anybody who did this in a "repulsed" way?!
I would simply say what I usually do...Give it to me, and my dog and I will pack your trash out for you. If that's considered being a snob, then so be it.

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Old 06-25-2014, 09:50 AM   #22
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I'm not choosing sides here or pointing fingers at anybody but something that should be taken into consideration in a discussion of this nature is the quantity of pollutants released into the atmosphere by one's campfire. Wood smoke contains thousands of very dubious chemicals and micro-particles, irritants for the linings of the lungs and air passages etc. etc. Camp fires always involve smoldering and low oxygen hence partial combustion which is particularly rich in pollutants. Burning one's plastic and paper trash certainly has an impact on the atmosphere but I'd be interested in comparing quantities.
Obviously, having no fire renders the impact down to one's vehicle's emissions in getting to the trail and home again.

Then of course there are emissions from coal burning power plants that are required to maintain this particular thread.
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:58 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Rickie Little View Post
Big illeagle or little illeaagle?

How much trash is being burned while camping VS the polution generated by other actions of daily living?

Are we talking about burning a few food wrappers and paper products or am I missing something?

I don't think your missing anything. Burning a small amount of paper or an empty food pouch contributes nothing compared to the gas people use getting to and from places. That stuff winds up in an incinerator or landfill anyway which is no less harmful. Lets keep perspective, we're not talking about burning tires. If you want to debate having a fire in the first place that topic has already been addressed on this forum. As far as despoiling the Adirondacks this is pretty low on the list of infractions, IMO.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:13 PM   #24
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We spent a whole lot of time in DEC and designated spots that are somewhat easy to get to in the past when we brought the grandchildren (2 girls) ...and later, when we had a total of five or six girls. That required 2 or more boats, so the reasons to do campgrounds handy to packing STUFF. We never let them burn paper products. When it was wet or damp, I used a ball of newspaper to get fires started, but enjoyed the tinder only technique otherwise. What in heavens name would be the reason to burn trash when a truck(or car) was nearby and handy to "carry out"? When we do paddle or hike in, we carry mess kits and metal utensils and wash- eliminating stuff to carry in -and out. It's not real difficult or complicated...unless you are like my firebug son-in-law.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:19 PM   #25
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If I remember correctly the original poster (is that OP? I really don't know all the shorthand that's typically used.) mentioned LNT. In all the LNT programs I've ever been a part of there is NO mandate not to have fires in the principles espoused by the program. What is mentioned is the reduction of impact by those fires. I have no problem burning small bits of paper or other burnables if the opportunity presents itself. If it doesn't, I'll carry ALL my garbage, and what I may find of other's, when I leave. It's really that simple.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...Be well.

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Old 06-25-2014, 04:45 PM   #26
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I suppose you could take it even further and consider the emissions required to make one's gear and vehicle. Then there's the fact that most of us who hike and paddle and stuff use bigger, heavier vehicles whose construction and gas consumption result in more emissions than say those little lightweight cars that get 40-50 mpg.

In any case, carry in carry out is a good rule although sometimes burning is a good way to eliminate certain bear attractant odors.

I have started many a campfire with birch bark and holy smokes, you should see the black smoke that belches off of that stuff!
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:48 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Neil View Post

I have started many a campfire with birch bark and holy smokes, you should see the black smoke that belches off of that stuff!

IIRC, the oil in the birch bark which is burning black is called betulin. I am not a chemist so I don't understand the molecular structure and how it relates/compares to other oils.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:57 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by snapper View Post
If I remember correctly the original poster (is that OP? I really don't know all the shorthand that's typically used.) mentioned LNT. In all the LNT programs I've ever been a part of there is NO mandate not to have fires in the principles espoused by the program. What is mentioned is the reduction of impact by those fires. I have no problem burning small bits of paper or other burnables if the opportunity presents itself. If it doesn't, I'll carry ALL my garbage, and what I may find of other's, when I leave. It's really that simple.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...Be well.

snapper
I agree with the wise turtle.

I never burn plastic and I don't care for it when it's left in the fire pits.

I also don't like when 'gooey' food is left in there, because it rarely burns to 'non-existence'.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:55 PM   #29
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I suppose you could take it even further and consider the emissions required to make one's gear and vehicle. Then there's the fact that most of us who hike and paddle and stuff use bigger, heavier vehicles whose construction and gas consumption result in more emissions than say those little lightweight cars that get 40-50 mpg.
This is part of the reason why I ride my bicycle on my yearly trip to the Adirondacks, although it also is cheaper and more fun than renting a car for a week. Even bicycles are far from pure, however, and all of the food I eat in order to have the energy to ride is brought in by oil from the four corners of the earth. In my Adirondack salad days I did sin by burying banana peels under rocks on some occasions but now I pack them out too. I recently have been re-reading The Adirondack Reader and on page 111 of the paperback edition I came across a piece by George Marshall called Approach To The Mountains about the benefits derived by walking to the mountains they intended to climb since they did not have a car. Much of what he says is true for my experience of biking to the mountains rather than driving. It provides a mental transition space for me between "normal" life and being in the woods, both coming and going. I'm sorry about the thread drift, I fear this is not on topic.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:26 PM   #30
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I usually start my campfires with gasoline instead of paper plates, newspaper, or birch bark, but I always follow LNT and leave a campsite better than I found it.
Curious who else does....
Maybe I'll start a poll.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:55 PM   #31
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Justin, with the exception of perhaps a temporary odor when I happen to throw something on the fire...a day later you would pass by my fire pit and not know what was burned there because the same thing is left no matter if it was just firewood or if it was tea packet wrappers: carbon ashes.

I started this thread and poll because I was curious about how each individual felt about this, by what percentages...and how passionate each individual is about it, one way or the other.

You are obviously passionately against it.

I, personally, think the impact is minimal, especially considering everything else going on in the world, and I leave no traces of anything there.

I'll tell you how crazy I am when it comes to trash in the Adirondacks:

If I have trash in my car, in the Adirondacks, I WILL NOT throw it out in the Adirondacks for fear of growing a landfill inside the Adirondacks - I bring it back to Westchester, which is already screwed in a way!

And a case could be made, is it better to burn a little bit of trash in a campfire over the course of days, or bring it home, doubled up in bags of plastic so it's not oozing, to be added to humongous landfills, or dumped 50 miles out at sea or whatever?
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:09 PM   #32
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If it makes you feel good, burn it up brother.
Camp as you please.
It's ok if we disagree.
The Adirondacks are one of the purist places on earth that people who live nearby can go to fairly regularly, to get away from other negative things that go on day to day through out this crazy world.
We should keep it that way. Burning your trash while camping is not a great message to send. That's it, thats all.

Last edited by Neil; 06-26-2014 at 06:51 AM..
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:44 PM   #33
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I usually start my campfires with gasoline
Do you use gas with 10% ethanol?
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:44 PM   #34
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I agree with you about how "sacred" the Adirondacks are - believe me - I love the Adirondacks (and defend the area) no less than you do. It PISSES me off to see litter that I think makes a difference to be left behind or thrown out of a car window on to the street. I wish the DEC had the money and the resources to get rid of a million 50 gallon drums, rusting cars, decaying logging equipment, etc.

It PISSES me off when knuckleheads camp at popular sites and there is no firewood so they tear off branches and cut down nearby trees.

If you can convince me I'm screwing up big time by burning a little trash on a campfire I would never do it again. I just think the impact is minimal, as apparently the majority does.

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Old 06-26-2014, 08:16 AM   #35
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Carry in , carry out , Yes
Leave the site better than entering a site, Yes
Cleaning up after others if necessary, Yes
Having a fire for warmth and cooking, Yes
However...burning an occasional plastic that contained a meat item, like chicken or bison so as not to attract a meat seeking animal to our garbage bag, Yes
General burning of plastics to reduce one's carry out obligation, Absolutely not!
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:18 AM   #36
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I've burned paper products(ie. oatmeal packets, etc), tissue etc.

Back in the days I used to burn other food packets as well, I haven't done that in 15 or more years though. Got a little more environmentally conscious as I grew up...

I feel paper products are fine though. An oatmeal packet stuffed with natural tinder makes a great fire starter btw...
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:40 PM   #37
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Carry in , carry out , Yes
However...burning an occasional plastic that contained a meat item, like chicken or bison so as not to attract a meat seeking animal to our garbage bag, Yes
Over 30 years of hiking and camping in Adks fairly regularly and often grilling meat (marinated or raw), never ever once did I (we) have any problems not burning the plastic Ziplock bag it was packed in.
If you keep your camp clean and hang a proper bear bag (or use a canister), there's no need to burn things you shouldn't.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:12 PM   #38
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I know there are a few BSA members & leaders that are also members of this forum. I'm curious how they feel about this subject. Perhaps some of them who have viewed the thread simply chose to ignore it. Maybe we should start teaching folks that occasionally burning their garbage instead of carrying it out is the proper thing to do, since I'm in the minority.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:44 PM   #39
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To tell you the truth I have never given this topic much thought. I have always brought a couple of gallon size zip lock bags with me and placed all trash in them and carry it out. I never have paper products like plates or cups so that is never an issue. But if I did have a paper towel or paper plate I don't think burning that would be a big problem. I just don't get why the trash would need to be burned......if it was brought in it certainly could be carried out and disposed of properly.

As far as burning food like meat to get rid of the smell so it doesn't attract wildlife doesn't work. Although it may seem to have "disappeared" the odor is still there.........rodents and bears can still be attracted to it. Better off bagging it and hanging it with the remainder of your unused food.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:33 AM   #40
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People do what they do-sometimes without giving it much thought. The great thing about THIS place of ours is that we share our experience, thoughts and hopes. I certainly do a lot of things differently in action(or inaction) and thought as a result of reading and sharing stuff here. Are some members a little more blunt than others...yes. I have at times gotten a little bent out of shape about stuff I read here-in the end it teaches me something. It's all good. The important part is to be a participant. I'll try t remember that.
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