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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 06-27-2014, 01:16 PM   #41
yellowcanoe
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i'd like pockets that notify me of trash in them.. Nothing like finding wrappers from a trip three years ago...
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:32 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by yellowcanoe View Post
i'd like pockets that notify me of trash in them.. Nothing like finding wrappers from a trip three years ago...
Have you considered setting them afire?
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:50 PM   #43
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I posted early in this discussion and in spite of the somewhat heated comments that followed, nothing has changed my mind about burning modest amounts of incidental paper or plastic in a good fire. Don't forget, paper is wood, so unless you are against any fire (and some are for sure) I don't see how you can be against burning paper. Apparently the LNT folks don't object to wood fires (limited to dead & down per DEC of course).

The reference to "burning all household trash is illegal" was in answer to a specific question on the DEC web site. I don't believe it is applicable to this topic. Important to consider the context & quantities in this discussion too.

I also do not believe any ranger would either ticket or warn campers not to burning small items as being against the regulations (especially food contaminated as is the case for me if I ever burn plastic). Bringing the trash home isn't a big deal but it will end up either in a landfill being burned (with better pollution controls than a campfire I agree). But - we're only talking a few ounces here if that.

I'd appreciate any authoritative confirmation about this being illegal if it exists.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:58 PM   #44
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Have you considered setting them afire?
I've always been advised against setting my pockets afire, especially when I am wearing them.
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:25 PM   #45
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Have you considered setting them afire?
No need to. It's already been done. You can buy "Hot Pockets" at your local grocery store.
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:30 PM   #46
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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.
OK wait. You're pointing a finger at people burning plastic, but you pour gasoline on the wood to start a fire? How environmently safe is that? And the odor of gasoline is as acrid, if not more so, then the plastic fumes.
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:01 PM   #47
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OK wait. You're pointing a finger at people burning plastic, but you pour gasoline on the wood to start a fire? How environmently safe is that? And the odor of gasoline is as acrid, if not more so, then the plastic fumes.
Reductio Ad Absurdum:

showing that your opponent's argument leads to some absurd conclusion.
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:29 PM   #48
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OK wait. You're pointing a finger at people burning plastic, but you pour gasoline on the wood to start a fire? How environmently safe is that? And the odor of gasoline is as acrid, if not more so, then the plastic fumes.
That was sarcasm, in case you couldn't tell. It was a spin-off of the original post for this poll, and the comparisons made earlier in the thread between burning your trash while camping vs. omissions from gasoline while driving to the trailhead. Rest assured I always use natural tinder when starting a campfire, which I usually keep fairly small when I'm by myself.

However, in light of the majority ruling here, starting this weekend I think that I will get a good roaring campfire going, and start burning my trash instead of doing the right thing and carrying it out. It does seem easier and I'm starting to get a little lazy as I get a bit older. Stay tuned for the photos.

(More sarcasm, in case you couldn't tell...but yes I will be camping this weekend, and not burning any trash.)

Have a good weekend everybody.
Be safe, and don't do anything I wouldn't do.

Last edited by Justin; 06-30-2014 at 11:17 PM.. Reason: still annoyed by this thread
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:56 AM   #49
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Camp as you please.
It's ok if we disagree.
that's it that's all.
These are words of wisdom! Why cant people deal with it?

I don't have anything else to add to this thread without starting more "debates" but I do burn my trash
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:42 PM   #50
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All plastics, whether I brought them or not, are packed out, sorry- I berate people who burn plastic, if you wouldn't cook over whatever is burning, then you know it isn't good. Same with metal or glass- which don't burn- so its littering.

Paper, wood, tiny scraps of food are burned. Humans have been breathing the "toxins" in burning wood since before cave man TV was invented. Oxygen is a trace element from living things, I don't pretend to be able to "leave no trace", nor do I intend to try, nor can anybody alive. I do intend to live up to the basic intent of that statement. Anybody would be pleased to move in after I have camped or visited a location, it may not be perfect, but it will be better then how I found it- depends on how much I found. I will leave it tidy, without graffiti or stumps.

Open fires are prohibited in NY, cooking fires are not. I believe it is a law that allows the officials to judge and be able to legally challenge an open fire that is out of hand, or burning leaves choking an entire town, or a house sized bon-fire, or house hold trash, etc, as I have never head of anyone getting in trouble over a small camp fire.

Last edited by RichieC; 03-18-2016 at 04:48 PM..
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:29 PM   #51
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All plastics, whether I brought them or not, are packed out, sorry- I berate people who do, if you wouldn't cook over whatever is burning, then you know it isn't good. Same with metal or glass.
I completely agree.
That's exactly what I was taught at an early age on proper backwoods etiquette.
If you carry it in, carry it out, be considerate of others, hang your food and garbage, keep your campfire small, leave the site better than you found it, and pack out any other trash if you can.

Never once was I taught to "burn my gooey trash instead of carrying it out", as was mentioned in the original post for this poll. Big deal or not. I know some old timers use to do it, as well as bury their trash, but I was hoping we've moved on from doing those sort of things.

And just for the record, the campfire that was enjoyed with a few buddies this past weekend was started with the birch bark that I occasionally collect off the ground along the trail, none of our trash was burned, we left some extra firewood, and we packed out other garbage as well as our own.
An easy fun trip, just like when I was younger. However, the negative impacts of others tend to seem to be a bit worse sometimes since those days, which is why I now usually choose to camp where others do not.

I think I'm burned out on this discussion. It has contaminated my thoughts for far too long.

Last edited by Justin; 06-30-2014 at 11:46 PM.. Reason: im a horrible typer
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Old 12-05-2014, 02:48 AM   #52
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Why would anyone burn plastic in a campfire? Even "little bits." It's just a little bit, so pack it out.
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:03 PM   #53
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My rule of thumb is that if it's a petroleum byproduct such as any plastic or something metallic I pack it out. The rest gets incinerated. Plastic never fully incinerates and it also spews out toxic fumes that you do not want to breathe in.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:35 PM   #54
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All types of plastic are not equal. I've been told that PET burns clean giving off only water carbon and oxygen. While PVC when burnt at low temp gives off dioxin. Fortunately they mark these things on the bottom if you can not tell for yourself.

Now care must be given if you think non plastics are safe to burn because many many non plastic items are lined with a form of plastic lincluding nearly ALL metal cans and some paper wrappers and ever foil packs.

Btw I tend to carry them all out myself.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:54 PM   #55
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If it can be recycled, surely don't burn it... paper aside.

I'm not sure if releasing some toxic chemicals or letting it sit in the bottom of the ocean is worse...
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:02 PM   #56
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Oh great, this discussion again...
I'll share my thoughts again...People should be carring out their trash, not burning it, no matter what the trash is!
Again, this thread sends a wrong message imho, especially with so many new members asking common newbie questions.
If you carry it in, carry it out. Pure and simple!
It's easy, and the regulation!
Let's do the right thing, and not suggest that doing the wrong thing is ok to do.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:58 PM   #57
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So how is burning paper products any worse than burning downed wood?

Rulz is rulz right Justin? But it's OK to break them in other areas as long as you carry out all your trash

I think a little common courtesy and judgement goes a long way here.

Bury your ****... and your paper
Don't leave stuff in lean-tos.
Don't build illegal structures and trails
If it's recyclable or not completely combustible, carry it out with you.

Oh and camp 150' from trails and water when not otherwise designated...

Follow the signs otherwise. Seems pretty easy to me.

People that willfully litter and otherwise trash the wild aren't usually doing it because they don't know any better... they just don't care. Everyone who did care just a little would probably have a little better understanding of what may be acceptable to burn and what is maybe littering.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:39 AM   #58
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Here is what the regs have to say about garbage:

Quote:
190.3 Camping sites

a. Areas used for temporary camping and adjacent lands under the jurisdiction of the department must be kept in a neat, clean and sanitary condition. Garbage and refuse must either be deposited in receptacles provided, or removed.
So it is pretty clear that burning garbage is a violation of the regulations, as you are not removing it. I don't think any ranger would have an issue with groups burning paper, as long as it is incidental- using newspaper to start the fire, etc. If you carried all of your paper waste onto state land to burn, then there would certainly be an issue.

Many rangers will take issue with groups burning plastic and metal, though- even small quantities of it. Environmental concerns aside, the problem is that a lot groups don't take the time to ensure that these have fully been consumed before departing the site. Plastic can leave behind sticky residues coating the fire pit that make a huge mess and are a pain to clean up, and we've all seen the remnants of burnt cans left behind.

The same is true of food waste- I've frequently found remnants of marshmallows, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc., left behind in fire pits to smolder. Obviously, this can attract animals. Even if the food waste is being fully consumed, adding it to the fire can cause the smell of the food to be spread more fully over a wider area, which can also attract wildlife.

Given the propensity of many members of the outdoor recreating public to not do things properly, or even just considering the large numbers of people who recreate in the Adirondack backcountry (and who come to these forums for advice and information about how to behave while hiking and camping), do we really want to be publicly advocating an ethic that encourages everyone to burn their trash on state land?
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:18 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
So how is burning paper products any worse than burning downed wood?

Rulz is rulz right Justin?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
Here is what the regs have to say about garbage:


Quote:
190.3 Camping sites

a. Areas used for temporary camping and adjacent lands under the jurisdiction of the department must be kept in a neat, clean and sanitary condition. Garbage and refuse must either be deposited in receptacles provided, or removed.



So it is pretty clear that burning garbage is a violation of the regulations, as you are not removing it.
...
Given the propensity of many members of the outdoor recreating public to not do things properly, or even just considering the large numbers of people who recreate in the Adirondack backcountry (and who come to these forums for advice and information about how to behave while hiking and camping), do we really want to be publicly advocating an ethic that encourages everyone to burn their trash on state land?
Well said D, thanks for chiming in.
Bottom line, the fire-pit is not a trash receptacle, even if it's only a paper towel!


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Old 07-13-2015, 12:03 PM   #60
montcalm
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So it is pretty clear that burning garbage is a violation of the regulations, as you are not removing it. I don't think any ranger would have an issue with groups burning paper, as long as it is incidental- using newspaper to start the fire, etc. If you carried all of your paper waste onto state land to burn, then there would certainly be an issue.
I don't think many people carry paper waste to purposely burn it, but I could be wrong...

Point is really whether or not it is consumed by the fire.

I personally hate food waste in a fire pit for the same reasons you stated and why recyclables should not be burned... it leaves residuals in most cases. If you need to dispose of food that cannot be carried out I would think burying out away from designated areas would be the best alternative just as you would do with feces. If done properly and spread out it's not any different than compost.

I think the issue here and what may strike a nerve with some is those who leave waste behind in the fire pit expecting it to be consumed by the next user. This isn't ignorance, it's as I said before: lack of any regard for the people who share the land. It's not their problem anymore.

You can post as many pictures as you like and complain about it here, but I don't think it will change the situation. Like it or not public land is shared, and some people will not respect it as they should even if they do know the regulations or have some thought of what may impact the environment or future users. The areas are too big to enforce and most rangers aren't out looking to give tickets for people burning trash. Luckily the violation is pretty minor, albeit annoying, in the grand scheme of things. If you look hard enough you can find a million old dumps of trash and relics on the Preserve from former camps and operations that are now historic 'artifacts'. If you see a candy wrapper or a plastic bag in a fire pit and it bothers you, pick it up.

Until you can teach people how to care about these things, I think your effort on here is wasted.
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