It’s happening everywhere due to cost cutting measures, safety, and abusive dumping: parks, cities, and even businesses are removing trash cans for public use.  The Boscobel landing is a perfect example. It was roughly 2014 when the city decided it would no longer provide trash cans at the boat landing. If you do any camping, hiking, or paddling on state or federal land you’re familiar with “pack in/pack out,” and it’s understood that you’ll adhere to “Leave No Trace” principles and take out what you brought in. “Take only pictures and leave only footprints.”

So, the decision has been made, there are no trash cans at the landing. Here’s how you can reduce the volume of trash that you need to pack out:

  • PLEASE, recycle what you can!
  • If you’re passing the Muscoda landing – it still provides trash cans. Lighten your load along the way; ditch what you’ve got there.
  • Packaging
    • We see it all the time, a customer shows up with their brand-new do-hickie, and it’s still in the retail packaging. Recycle the packaging at home, otherwise you just added to the amount of trash you’re hauling around.
    • If it came in a cardboard box…burn it as fire starter on your trip. PLEASE don’t burn plastic packaging – you will be ticketed for burning trash/littering if the DNR rolls up on your campsite and finds residue in your fire.
    • Water bottles – Don’t buy the 24 pack of individual water bottles, buy two 1-gallon jugs. Better yet, the ultimate recycle/reuse, buy a Jerry Can and fill it up and dispense into smaller individual bottles like a Nalgene. WRO also rents Jerry Cans.
  • Food Prep
    • We’re big believers in preparing meals at home and simply warming them up on the river – this will eliminate a HUGE amount of trash by not going through the prep process while on the river.
    • Avoid individually wrapped food/snacks inside a box…and bringing the box on the trip. Not only does it take up space at the start of your trip, you also end up adding to your trash heap at the end of your trip.
  • Adult Beverages – NOTE: we’re not advocating alcohol consumption on the river, but we’re not naïve enough to think it doesn’t happen or suggest you stop doing it – so here’s some practical suggestions.
    • Create a recycling bag of JUST aluminum – there are several organizations within Boscobel that would love to have them.
    • We HIGHLY recommend using a growler that has been filled at your local brewery…or perhaps a local Wisconsin brewer.
    • Reduce the volume you bring on the river in the first place – your objective should not be about getting PLOWED, it’s unsafe. Our opinion? It should be about a wee buzz. Remember: you’re on a moving river!
    • Consider liquor instead of the volume of space needed for beer (this will save cooler space as well as trash). Remember – NO GLASS!
  • Final tip – bring a high-quality trash bag! Generally, an inexpensive trash bag means thin plastic that can easily be punctured. A punctured bag is a leaky bag!  If you can, go with a heavy-duty contractor 3 mil bag and you won’t be dripping all over the place.

Take some time and prepare for how you’re going to reduce the volume of trash you bring off the river. Just like our philosophy regarding the gear you bring – you’re only out there for a short period of time, it should be about what you can live without, pack light! It will be easier to drop off that small bag of trash at a gas station on the way home than a HUGE trash bag you can’t even fit in your car.