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#1
Old 06-07-2011, 11:20 AM
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What are some good ways to dispose of bacon grease when camping?

Yep - planning the menu to include a breakfast and don't plan on keeping the grease in a can for several days. I want to dispose of it when that meal is done. Bury it? Throw it deep into the woods? Mix it with detergent and then throw it in the woods/bury it? What's the current thinking on this?
#2
Old 06-07-2011, 11:22 AM
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Soak it up with paper towels. Use them to start your campfire or charcoal grill.
#3
Old 06-07-2011, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by california jobcase View Post
Soak it up with paper towels. Use them to start your campfire or charcoal grill.

That is a brilliant idea. It is a natural, organic product that will break down over time so I would bury it if you choose not to burn it.
#4
Old 06-07-2011, 11:39 AM
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Burning it is best, but if you choose to bury it be sure to be far far away from any campsites, and detergent wont help anything. The rule of thumb I follow is burn it or take it with you. Don't leave anything behind. By leaving it there is the possibility of attracting animals that can come dependent on camping scraps. Which often times means death for the animal. Also nothing bothers me more than seeing trash that somebody else left behind.

On a safety note, that stuff will attract animals, and not necessarily ones you want hanging around your tent while you sleep.
#5
Old 06-07-2011, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by california jobcase View Post
Soak it up with paper towels. Use them to start your campfire or charcoal grill.
Yes, this. Stick the soaked paper towels in a ziploc bag until you start your next fire. If it's the last fire of your trip, then you can just take the ziploc with you and dispose of it when you return to civilization.
#6
Old 06-07-2011, 12:10 PM
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You could also use a glass jar with a lid like a jelly jar.
#7
Old 06-07-2011, 12:17 PM
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Bacon grease is some serious bear bait and I wouldn't want to be carrying it around with me.
#8
Old 06-07-2011, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
You could also use a glass jar with a lid like a jelly jar.
I wouldn't. Glass around a campfire is generally a bad idea, and if they're backpacking, heavy. Even if they're car camping, pouring hot bacon grease into a jar without a flat, level countertop to set the jar on is likely to end badly.

Go on, ask me how I know.
#9
Old 06-07-2011, 12:33 PM
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My family would pour bacon grease onto ant hills as a very effective way of making sure the ants were occupied with eating the grease, repairing their tunnels, etc. - things other than the rest of our food. I'm sure this is not the environmentally responsible solution, but it has meant we never needed to worry about ants.

Soaking paper towels in grease and using them for fire starting is another option I've used.
#10
Old 06-07-2011, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
Bacon grease is some serious bear bait and I wouldn't want to be carrying it around with me.
If you are going into bear country with bacon you have to make some choices. Burying it or pouring it out are really bad options, so you're left with burning it or carrying it. My first choice would be to not carry bacon or other difficult to dispose of foods.
#11
Old 06-07-2011, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
Bacon grease is some serious bear bait and I wouldn't want to be carrying it around with me.
Take note of this. Are there bears where you'll be camping? I've had enough encounters with bears in the wild that I would be hesitant to carry bacon grease around with me. They love the shit.
#12
Old 06-07-2011, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
If you are going into bear country with bacon you have to make some choices. Burying it or pouring it out are really bad options...
People bring food into their campsites which may attract bears, whether there's bacon involved or not. If you're willing to spend a night in the woods with a sack of food hanging from a tree right there near your tent, how could it be worse to have some grease in a hole in the ground much farther away?
#13
Old 06-07-2011, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
People bring food into their campsites which may attract bears, whether there's bacon involved or not. If you're willing to spend a night in the woods with a sack of food hanging from a tree right there near your tent, how could it be worse to have some grease in a hole in the ground much farther away?
Some foodstuffs are more attractive to bears, racoons, etc. than others. Also, odors cling. Sealed in a container or not, the delectable odor of that bacon grease will cling to you, your clothing, and anything you had in the pack.
#14
Old 06-07-2011, 01:51 PM
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Bet someone $20 they won't drink it. Problem solved!
#15
Old 06-07-2011, 02:03 PM
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You don't hang food near your tent. In many places, you don't even cook near your tent. It's better to cook and eat away from your tent and then hang your food or put it in a bear canister, including the clothes you cooked in. You don't want bears attracted to odors from food or from clothes that came in contact with food near your tent.

Burying or pouring out bacon grease is a separate problem. That is feeding bears, attracting them to areas with human smells and leading to aggressive bear behavior. You shouldn't be feeding bears anything and burying or pouring out grease is doing just that. It may not be an issue for you on this trip if it's far enough away but it will be an issue down the road. Leave no trace.

In bear country it is advisable to not carry anything with strong odors. Bacon would be pretty low on my list of food to bring.

In NH, where I hike most often I would be OK with carrying bacon grease for a few days as long as I hung the food properly at night. Bears are rarely a problem here. In the Adirondacks I wouldn't dream of carrying something like bacon as the bears are much more of a problem. Since you are now required to use a bear canister in the high peaks region storage space becomes the big issue.
#16
Old 06-07-2011, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
Some foodstuffs are more attractive to bears, racoons, etc. than others.
Isn't the standard camping assumption that bears, racoons, etc. will be interested in your food? That nothing be left accessible to them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
Also, odors cling. Sealed in a container or not, the delectable odor of that bacon grease will cling to you, your clothing, and anything you had in the pack.
So that's a reason to not pack out. As you said earlier. I'm questioning Telemark's suggestion that packing out is better than burial.
#17
Old 06-07-2011, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
You don't hang food near your tent. In many places, you don't even cook near your tent.
Either we are using different understandings of "near" here or I don't know what you're talking about.
#18
Old 06-07-2011, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
So that's a reason to not pack out. As you said earlier. I'm questioning Telemark's suggestion that packing out is better than burial.
I'd say it is an altogether better idea to not bring any bacon with you and avoid the problem of the grease entirely.
#19
Old 06-07-2011, 02:23 PM
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Also, where are you going? Burying it would be illegal in any National Park. If an animal digs it up and starts feasting on it, the standard fine is $50.
#20
Old 06-07-2011, 02:38 PM
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I'm going to a state park in mid-northern Wisconsin. Drive in campsites. I think I'd use the method of soaking up the grease with an old paperback book and put it in a plastic bag overnight. In the trunk. Use it to start the fire the next day. Maybe clean the pan with paper towels and burn those before the fire is gone. Never had any trouble with bears in the past. Not looking to, either.
#21
Old 06-07-2011, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
I'd say it is an altogether better idea to not bring any bacon with you and avoid the problem of the grease entirely.
Now that's just crazy talk.

Another possibility is to bake it into a pie in case someone gets hungry in the middle of the night.
#22
Old 06-07-2011, 02:59 PM
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Oh, you're car camping? Then just put it in a jar and store it in your trunk double bagged in plastic. You can do the soak in paper and burn it as well. I thought you were talking about backpacking. With a car nearby most of these concerns are not an issue as you're storing the rest of your food in the car already.

As to spark240's question, burying grease is essentially feeding the animals, which in most places is strictly forbidden. It's also against LNT guidelines, although those aren't enforced anywhere that I know of. But except for poop the general rule should be carry in carry out. In some places poop is included.

I hang food usually 100 feet from my tent, more in serious bear country. Out west I cook at least 100 feet from my campsite as well when in bear country. In the Tetons we cooked closer to 1/4 mile from the tent but that also gave us a great place to watch sunset. Back east it's not as big of a concern, so I might take advantage of well placed trees if they are closer.
#23
Old 06-07-2011, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Oh, you're car camping? Then just put it in a jar and store it in your trunk double bagged in plastic. You can do the soak in paper and burn it as well. I thought you were talking about backpacking. With a car nearby most of these concerns are not an issue as you're storing the rest of your food in the car already.
Maybe the bears are strong in Yosemite, but you'd never leave food in your car over night at a campground there. The bears can sometimes rip your car apart, or at least do some significant damage trying to.
#24
Old 06-07-2011, 03:57 PM
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Yeah, bear awareness at Yosemite is a major issue.

Visitors are handed a warning pamphlet when they drive in. Videos of bears breaking into cars are played in continuous loops on monitors where tourists check in for lodging and camping. Once they learn that cars are easy to break into, they don't need to see any food; just the smell is enough, be it bacon grease or even toothpaste. Once they've associated an area with food, that's where they're going to hang out. Heck, we've had juvenile bears approach us on the trail when they've sniffed our sandwiches.
#25
Old 06-07-2011, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
Yes, this. Stick the soaked paper towels in a ziploc bag until you start your next fire. If it's the last fire of your trip, then you can just take the ziploc with you and dispose of it when you return to civilization.
Yes, then eat the ziplock bag.
#26
Old 06-07-2011, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by blondebear View Post
... Once they learn that cars are easy to break into, they don't need to see any food; just the smell is enough, be it bacon grease or even toothpaste...
Many, MANY years ago, my dad and I were canoeing through the boundary waters and we made camp out on a little-used site. But just to be safe, we hung our food - with some other stuff, including toothpaste - from a rope, high in a tree. The next morning, the bag was gone, clearly dragged into the woods. We laughed because we knew from then on that the bears in Canada always brush after every meal.
#27
Old 06-07-2011, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Maybe the bears are strong in Yosemite, but you'd never leave food in your car over night at a campground there.
Yes, Yosemite is the exception to the rule. I don't know of anywhere else that cars aren't acceptable to store food although there may be places where the bears are as experienced as Yosemite. Yosemite offers bear lockers that bears haven't yet figured out (although I thought a read an article about a Yosemite bear figuring out how break in.)

In the Adirondacks the bears had figured out all hanging methods and were constantly getting hikers' food. The rules now require all backcountry campers in the High Peaks area to use an approved bear canister. The bears in the Dacks (one called Yellow-yellow in particular) figured out how to break in to one type of canister and that model is no longer approved.

Most other areas, putting food and other items with strong odors in your car is acceptable. I would guess that this includes Wisconsin.
#28
Old 06-07-2011, 07:53 PM
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Couldn't you simply burn it in the fire?
#29
Old 06-08-2011, 10:19 AM
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Why throw away the bacon fat? Fry some bread to use it up. Delicious!
#30
Old 06-08-2011, 01:10 PM
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Most Wisconsin State Parks (that have car camping) have a trailer dump site - probably OK to put bacon grease there as well.

Brian
#31
Old 06-08-2011, 02:56 PM
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Bacon grease candles.
#32
Old 06-08-2011, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
Some foodstuffs are more attractive to bears, racoons, etc. than others. Also, odors cling. Sealed in a container or not, the delectable odor of that bacon grease will cling to you, your clothing, and anything you had in the pack.
Ain't this the truth, and it's not just bacon. On one camping trip, a person in the next spot over had their tent broken into by a bear. The only thing it ate: a cardboard box that had been used to transport peaches before being repurposed to hold firewood. The bear ignored the real food that was close by.
#33
Old 06-09-2011, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Bet someone $20 they won't drink it. Problem solved!
I drank it on a school trip for free. Bacon grease is goood!
#34
Old 06-14-2011, 07:25 PM
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Use that to start a morning fire. When we camp we always save a little wood from the night before. We call that the 'morning wood'.
#35
Old 06-14-2011, 07:57 PM
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If you're car camping in a state park, there should be someplace appropriate to dispose of it. Having said that, even if you do everything right, there's no guarantee that the people camping a few yards from you will, so just make sure you keep your tent zipped and your food somewhere safe. Black bears are marauding thieves, but only in a couple of places are they actually breaking into cars, so you're probably going to be OK putting stuff in the car, as long as it's not a convertible. Many state parks/national parks keep an eye on bears that get too familiar with camping areas and relocate them.
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