Composting on the Appalachian Trail

One of my goals may be unreasonable because it requires that I carry extra weight. I want to compost any food scraps that I have while hiking on the trail, and unload the compost on beneficiaries who would appreciate it. How could I do this? The answer is Bokashi composting.

Bokashi composting is an anaerobic form of composting by which food is decomposed rapidly by wheat bran that has been inoculated with fungal spores and bacteria. If I purchase fresh fruits when I stop in towns to collect my food boxes, I will have peels, seeds, pits, etc. to deal with. Throwing them on the trail is not an option. Sure they will decompose, but they will attract animals that don’t need to be on the trail, such as the black bear. Also, hikers follow the “Leave No Trace” policy and responsibly pack out what they pack in. I don’t want to carry stinking and rotting banana peels with me for two weeks before I can deposit them in a trash can, but I can carry a plastic jar with a tight-fitting lid, and throw some Bokashi bran in to rapidly decompose the waste and not produce a foul odor.

If I make a bottle cover, I can hang the bottle with my bear bags at night. By the time I reach the next town, perhaps there would be a gardener, or worm enthusiast who would appreciate my Bokashi compost.

What do my readers think? Too much for the trail, or just the right solution to a problem.


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