Poop on the trail – special from our friends at Camp California

Group of full dog waste bags
Poop happens – pack it out. Photo by Brian Yurasits.

Pets and outdoor adventures were practically made for one another. Every day, millions of us venture outdoors to take advantage of all that California has to offer. Whether it’s a day hiking, a picnic in the park, or a weekend in a campground, we love being outside, and love having our furry family members join us. But even with the best of intentions we sometimes need additional tips to responsible recreation with our pets.

You let your dog out a dozen times before hitting the road, yet, the minute their paws hit the trail they need to go. However, pet waste can be a serious problem in the outdoors and a hazardous environmental impact. It is estimated that 10.6 million tons of dog waste is produced every year. That’s a lot of poop. So, what do we do with the occasional trail poop?

Even the hardiest of outdoor recreators wouldn’t even consider leaving a pile of human waste on the trail yet we apply different principles to our pet’s waste. Camp California recommends the following principles when it comes to poop on the trail.

  1. Even with the best of intentions (like coming back later to get it), don’t leave your baggies on the trail. This changes the experience for everyone who comes behind you. And not everyone enjoys seeing the trail dotted with baggies.
  2. Bring along a stink free container that will allow you to safely pack out your pet’s waste in your own backpack. While not ideal, it prevents poop from being left behind.
  3. However, if putting warm squishy poop in your backpack is too much to consider (we understand), have your pet carry their own waste out with a pet pack.
  4. Keep an eye out for a vault or composting toilet in a nearby campground to dispose of the waste.

Cleaning up after your pet helps protect water resources, plant life and habitat for native animals; not to mention leaving the trail untouched for the next visitor. We can all work to keep the environment and the trail safe for all.

Thanks to Dyana Kelley from Camp California for this helpful story.

Posted on: July 27, 2022

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