The Best Ways To Store Waste When Boondocking

Boondocking is one of the easiest ways to get away from civilization and experience the wilderness’s quiet, peaceful, raw beauty. As a rule, you should take everything you brought into the wilderness away with you when you leave. This poses a challenge for the waste you produce while boondocking. What are the best ways to store your waste while you are boondocking?

Waste generated when boondocking can be securely stored in trash bags and kept out of reach of animals in a lockable container in your truck or your RV. Organic kitchen waste can be composted in a kitchen composter, burned, or placed in trash bags. Minimize waste storage by minimizing the waste

Boondocking implies a responsible attitude to preserving the wilderness for others to enjoy and minimizing your impact on the environment. Part of this responsibility includes safely storing your waste for you and the environment until it can be disposed of properly. The best way is to categorize your waste and minimize your waste generation.

How To Store Food Scrap Waste When Boondocking

Food scraps pose somewhat of a dilemma for some people when boondocking. Should they toss the scraps out in the wilderness for animals to eat or to rot, or should they store them to take away when they leave?

Scraps from your meal leftovers or waste products from food preparation, such as skins from fruit and vegetables, are generally bio-degradable but can pose a danger to local wildlife. When wild animals eat food that is not part of their natural diet, it can cause them to become ill.

Throwing scraps out can also attract animals to your campsite, posing safety problems to you or campers who come after you.

It is also unsightly to see scraps of food lying around a site, so you should always leave a boondocking site in a condition that you would like to find it.

So how do you store your food scrap waste when boondocking?

The best option is a heavy-duty trash bag for any meat waste, such as bones and scraps of meat. The trash bag can then be stored in a locking bin in your truck, RV, or camper. For other organic plant matter, you have some options.

  • Place the plant scraps in the same trash bag as the meat products.
  • Burn the organic vegetable wase in your campfire. Even though there is moisture in the plant waste, it will dry out in the fire and burn up.
  • Use a countertop composter. Many compact countertop composting bins are available for use to turn your organic kitchen waste into usable compost. These bins are compact and odor-free. Size your composter for the number of days that you generally are out boondocking. 

How To Store Wrapper And Container Waste When Boondocking

The wrappers that store-bought food is wrapped in helps to protect and preserve the food item, but the majority of these wrappers are harmful to the environment.

Plastic and polystyrene are the most common materials used to wrap supermarket food. If ingested, these materials pose a danger to wildlife, are unsightly when discarded, and take a long time to decompose.

Disposing of these items in your fire is not recommended since toxic fumes and byproducts are produced when these materials are burned.

The best way to store these waste products is in the same heavy-duty trash bag where you store the meat waste. Then place this bag in a storage compartment in your RV or truck.

Paper And Cardboard Waste While Boondocking

Paper and cardboard waste is probably one of the easiest camping waste materials to deal with when boondocking. Most of these materials are made of natural plant material.

This means the easiest way to dispose of this waste is to burn it in your campfire. Paper and cardboard can be useful fire starters for getting your fire going, so you could store this waste in your RV to be used for this purpose.

Folding the materials flat will reduce the among of space they take up in your RV. However, if you have too much paper or cardboard waste to burn or use as tinder material, you will need to store it for later disposal.

If you have a kitchen composter, you can dispose of paper and cardboard waste in the composter, and it will decompose with your organic kitchen waste.

The alternative method is to place it in the heavy-duty trash bag, stored in the lockable container in your RV.

How To Store Human Waste And Waste Water When Boondocking

Human waste, black water, and greywater are often the most problematic waste materials to store when boondocking.

If you have a fully self contained RV, much of this storage problem is taken care of for you. Most RVs have a black water tank that will store all human excrement waste. A grey water tank is also provided for storing shower and sink water.

If your camping vehicle has limited facilities, there are many modern methods for packing out your poop such as a waste tote. We have this model and it has saved us many times going to the RV dump.

Minimize Your Waste When Boondocking

The best method to minimize the complication of storing waste while boondocking is to reduce the amount of material your take into the wilderness.

Simple changes to the way your plan and prepare and your habits while boondocking can significantly reduce the amount of trash you need to store for later disposal.

Here are some ideas on how to reduce your waste while boondocking.

  • Avoid using disposable plates, cups, and cutlery. Use reusable plates and utensils that can be washed and reused.
  • Remove the wrappings from store-bought food. When you buy your food for the trip, remove the packaging from the food that will become waste on the trip. Store the food in reusable, resealable plastic containers that you can fit in the refrigerator. 
  • Wrap your meat in butcher paper rather than plastic. Take your meat out of the store plastic wrap and use brown butcher paper to wrap the meat, or store it in a sealable, reusable plastic container.
  • Pre-prepare meals and freeze them. Cooking meals at home in preparation for the trip and placing them in reusable containers will reduce the waste generated by preparing meals when in the wilderness.

When you need to get rid of waste when boondocking, read our favorite tips in this article.

These tips can help reduce the waste generated by cooking meals and taking food along, but what about wastewater?

Practicing water conservation is the best way to reduce your greywater, but what do you do for black water if your RV is not fitted with toilet facilities?

Many dry toilet models are available or use a composting toilet, which has surprisingly little smell associated with it.

If you intend to use the wilderness as your toilet, the USDA has some guidelines on doing this correctly in the wilderness.


Boondocking is becoming a popular method to have a secluded, private camping experience, but it poses some waste management challenges when camping.

The golden rule is to take out whatever you bring in, including any waste generated during your camping trip. Storing your waste when boondocking is not as difficult or as challenging as it sounds, and with a little planning, it is easily achievable.

Always leave your wilderness boondocking site in the condition that you would like to find it when you arrive!

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