A winding path

Day 2 of Hawaii week! A lovely winding path across the cinder with Maunakea in the distance. It’s also Leave No Trace Tuesday and I just want to say please don’t leave your TP behind, especially in areas such as this where there is nowhere to hide anything. Keep a zip-lock bag in your pack for carrying it out.

The route to the summit of Mauna Loa is marked by lava cairns, though, unfortunately, these cairns are interspersed with tiny white blobs of old toilet paper. At this high altitude they will take years to decompose, and in the meantime will remain an eyesore for other hikers. And don’t think that it’s okay just because others have done it! Do your bit to Leave No Trace anyway – it’s worth it šŸ™‚ Mahalo!

Day 2 of Hawaii week! A lovely winding path across the cinder with Maunakea in the distance. It's also #LeaveNoTraceTuesday and I just want to say please don't leave your TP behind, especially in areas such as this where there is nowhere to hide anything. Keep a zip-lock bag in your pack for carrying it out. The route to the summit of Mauna Loa is marked by lava cairns, though, unfortunately, these cairns are interspersed with tiny white blobs of old toilet paper. At this high altitude they will take years to decompose, and in the meantime will remain an eyesore for other hikers. And don't think that it's okay just because others have done it! Do your bit to #LeaveNoTrace anyway – it's worth it šŸ™‚ Mahalo! #maunaloa #maunakea #hiking #hawaii #hawaiivolcanoesnationalpark #lnt #nps #explorehawaii #hikehawaii #aloha #ifttt

A post shared by Andy Gibb (@_andy_gibb_) on

My impression is that people are so grossed out by all things toilet-based that they simply refuse to think about ways to deal with it. Suggest a zip-lock bag? People react to the fact you can still see into it. Well, how about you wrap the TP in clean TP? Or bring an old chip/crisp-packet and hide it in there first? So easy to deal with. “Yeah, but then I don’t want it in my pack.” Put in an outside (mesh) pocket, or bring an old plastic carrier bag and tie to the outside. Or put it into your take-out coffee cup. Or bring a few dog-poop bags. See? Easy. The hardest part in all of this is planning ahead. And that takes practice. Plus I suspect that behind the reactions of disgust is the fact that people know they did something wrong and are looking for ways to excuse themselves (no pun intended). After all, people don’t like their faults being pointed out to them.

The hike up to Mauna Loa summit has no outhouse, save for a single open-air throne perched precariously over a huge crack in the lava. Cue jokes about the bowels of the Earth…

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