On many Outward Bound courses, toilet paper was left at home and local natural items substituted to cut down on backcountry environmental impact. In some desert environs, where the most popular substitutes of snow or vegetation weren’t available, toilet paper was carried and then burned or carried out. It should be obvious (but unfortunately not to all) that burning toilet paper is a great hazard in forest fire conditions, so carrying it out was then prefered.
In some damper times and places, burning works well. Here is what I like to bring (in addition to using snow and other substitutes). Weighs 23 grams and is enough for 2 weeks.
Tiny cuben fiber stuffsack lined with thin plastic for water tightness.
14 half sheets of paper towel (more durable than tp and burns readily)
7 feet of jute cord
I cut a 6″ section of the jute cord and fuzz it up and use it to catch a spark from a mish metal flint which then catches the paper towel and with care will burn the whole thing to ash.
I bought 4 MSR ground hog stakes for my family to use with a pyramid tarp.
This is a quick simple case you can make to protect the rest of your gear from the stake points.
No drawcord, just a bit of cordura with an opening partly down one side. With 50 feet of light nylon or polyester cord to tie around rocks, logs and trees, I have what I need to anchor the tent in heavy weather.
Counter Balance Food Hang
How to hang food using the counter balance with retrieval cord method.
Pick appropriate tree and branch. In bad bear areas a proper tree may dictate where you camp. As you near timber line there may not be tall enough trees, so you must plan ahead. The limb should be about 20+ feet from the ground. Higher is better as bears are less likely to jump off a limb onto the bags if they know they will take a long fall. The bags should hang about 10′ out from the tree. Where the rope goes over the limb, the diameter of the limb should be about the size of your wrist or smaller. Larger and they can climb out the limb, smaller and they can break or chew through the limb. Some bears can get any food hang too. Check with local authorities about food storage methods. Food hangs work best with wild bears that have some fear of humans.
Camping with groups, we had to hang as much as 200 lbs of food each evening. It can take several hours, and several trees, to do it right for that much food. A bear resistant canister may be a safer and easier choice for some folks.
Hear are some custom food hang bags by Oware. Ultralight silnylon and noseeum net made for BackpackingLight.com, and heavy Cordura ones made for various Outdoor Schools.
Note the bright orange throw sacks for holding a rock when setting up, and the cord when not in use. Orange is easier to find if you have a bad throw.
The heavy bags use a reflective loop on the bottom (for a retrieval cord) that can be quickly seen at night with a flashlight when checking for suspicious bear like sounds.
Pyramid, Stakes, Adjustable Pole
Zip and buckle bottom before staking out
Stake out the four corners. Use a small loop of replaceable cord so wear from rough stake edges will not damage the tent web tie outs.
Stake corners in a perfect square and slightly stretched. This prevents a diamond staking pattern which will cause one corner to be up in the air.
Doors can be tied back and pole inserted after the 4 corners are staked out
Additional tie outs can be staked around the hem and the upper center tie outs can be used to gain headroom in windy or heavy snow conditions.
A green branch can be used instead of a tent pole sometimes.
Two wooden poles can be lasted to hold the tarp up from outside.
“This bivy is great and just what I was looking for and affordable, water resistant yet breathable bivy that will work really well for my 3 season sleep system. After using it quite a bit I really have come to like the draw top closure and not having to worry about an ultra–light zipper snagging on the fabric. It is very simple and does exactly what I need it to do.”
Read more at
Now here. New bivy with side zip and room for a Neo Air pad along with a thick down bag and you.