One of the things a thru-hiker hates is trash. Following the leave no trace policy, one must pack out what they pack in, so that means carrying your wrappers and bags etc. You want to make sure you eat all your food so you don’t have to pack that out too. Thankfully you don’t have to pack out your toilet paper. 🙂 Over the course of 4-5 days you can accumulate over a gallon ziplock full of trash. It’s not a lot of weight, but it is bulky. Nearly the first thing to do in a town is get rid of trash.
Sometimes you will meet a section hiker that asks if they can take your trash out. This is music to a thru-hiker’s ears and most will jump all over it. This is true trail magic. In VA we found we were excited to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway and see if we could find a coveted litter can. In the Shenandoah National Park we were able to dump trash at the picnic areas and waysides.
If you section hike, do the thru-hiker’s a favor and ask to take their trash out. You will definitely make fast friends!