CFI’s New Human Waste Pack-Out Ethic

With more people climbing the 14ers every year, how hikers handle human waste disposal in the alpine regions is crucial to preserving these fragile areas. This video explains why CFI is promoting a new "pack-out" ethic for human waste when climbing the Fourteeners.

The extreme cold and lack of organisms in the soil in the alpine mean that digging "cat holes" is not an effective way of disposing of human waste. The waste will not biodegrade in the same way it does at lower altitudes in the forest. Thus, new hikers find the unsightly and unsanitary remains of previous hikers who had to heed the call of nature while out on the trail.

Increasingly CFI is recommending that people use pack-out bags to remove their human waste and toilet paper from the mountains. This removes the waste entirely from the mountain and ensures future visitors have a more pristine experience. That's something we all can support. via CO14ersInitiative

With more people climbing the 14ers every year, how hikers handle human waste disposal in the alpine regions is.. CFI's New Human Waste Pack-Out Ethic