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Way back in time before the onset of adulthood I enjoyed countless days heading into the hills of Yorkshire with nothing more than a squashed sandwich & youthful sense for adventure! Despite long past youthful and work commitments keeping me in the city, the sense of adventure and love for the outdoors never left me. After digging my boots out and returning to the hills I attended a number of courses to improve my hill knowledge and skill base, during one of these courses it was suggested I join the Mountain Leader Training scheme and was delighted go on to gain the MOUNTAIN LEADER Award in April 2012. As well as spending time on the hills and mountains of the UK I have also enjoyed trips to the Nepalese Himalaya, Swiss & French Alps, Mallorca’s Tramuntana, Andorran & French Pyrenees, Morocco’s High Atlas, Tanzania’s Mt Meru & Kilimanjaro, Argentinian & Chilean Patagonia and winter expeditions to Norway’s Hardangervidda. Since gaining the ML I have also gained the SINGLE PITCH AWARD, INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD and the WINTER MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD. I am now enjoying working in a freelance role whilst trying to get out climbing as much as possible.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Do Bears Sh*t In The Woods?

Do bears sh*t in the woods?
 Obviously the answer is yes, furthermore they 'go' not only in the woods but in the mountains, valleys and where ever they may roam.

 Like the bears, if you spend any length time in the outdoors weather it be for mountaineering, walking,camping, cycling, running etc its highly likely your going to need to answer the call of nature at some time!

 Unlike the bears roaming the wilderness, whilst we are following our chosen activity in the outdoors there is a good chance of us seeing another person or coming across evidence that other people have been around. In the UK especially there are very few area's in the great outdoors that are not chris-crossed by paths and tracks which are used to access the mountains, fells & remote area's - the last thing we want is to be stepping in other peoples business or drinking from contaminated streams and rivers. Gut pathogens such as E coli and Cryptosporidium can be picked up by drinking contaminated water.

 So what do we do? -
 For both N°1's & 2's ensure a minimum distance of 200ft/60m from any stream, river, 'boggy' area, track, path or wild camping site. The more distance the better especially from a wild camping site as your less likely to find a 'surprise' left by any one else!

 For N°2's there are a number of options to consider -
A) Take it home-
1, This would be the best option for the environment and easily done by placing your hand in a suitable plastic bag such as a baby's nappy bag and retrieving the N°2 before turning the bag back on itself. Then placing any toilet tissue in the bag also before tying the bag up then placing it in a further plastic bag or container to ensure against spillage.
B) Dig A Hole-
1, After finding a suitable site you should dig a hole 6-8inches down keeping the removed soil close to refill the hole.
2, After doing 'what you had to' refill the hole and place a stone on top to prevent any animal digging the 'business' up again.

 Toilet Tissue - takes a very long time to biodegrade so after 'answering natures call' there is a decision to made on how to dispose of the toilet tissue -
   a) burn the tissue with a lighter ensuring that there are no embers left alight.
   b) take the used tissue with you in an appropriate container or bag.
   c) use moss instead of toilet tissue, it is usually abundantly available in the outdoors and works perfectly well.
N.B Sanitary towels or tampons should be taken home in a polythene bag or nappy bag to avoid being dug up by animals.

Equipment To Be Carried -
a) A small garden trowel to dig a hole 6-8inches deep.
b) Toilet tissue for the obvious or use moss which saves carrying the toilet tissue and can be disposed of easily without concern.
c) Lighter to burn any used toilet tissue.
d) Baby's nappy bags to put any 'business' or toilet tissue in.
e) Further plastic bag or container to ensure against leakage from nappy bag.
f) Anti-bacterial hand cleanser.
Although there a few items this collection can be easily stored and carried in a rucksack.
Lighter, Nappy Bags, Toilet Tissue, Sealable Plastic Bag,Hand Cleanser,Trowel.

Enjoy the great outdoors but don't leave a mess!



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