• Image of mountains and river

    Gates Of The Arctic

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Human Waste

Nothing ruins a camping experience like stumbling across someone's "bathroom." In the wilderness it can be especially jarring. Likewise, human feces carry harmful micro-organisms that easily contaminate water sources. When you are in the park

  • Go at least 200 feet from all potential water sources.
  • Choose a site in organic soil to promote decomposition.
  • Dig a small hole 6 to 8 inches deep.
  • After use, bury completely and replace the tundra.
  • All paper products, including feminine hygiene products, should be packed out or burned. If you burn your toilet paper, be careful not to ignite any wildfires.
  • Alternatively, leaves and snow make for natural toilet paper.
 
Series depicting a proper cathole.
A cat-hole before and after.
NPS Photo

Did You Know?

Historic photo of a Native Alaskan woman with a dog team in the winter snow

Humans have lived on and off the land in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve for more than 12,500 years.