Fresh Water 

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Proper sanitation is key to health and safety on highly traveled wilderness trails.

Thousands of hikers traversing a limited number of trails presents health risks if proper sanitation procedures aren't followed. When hiking the trails, there are plenty of wide open spaces for "cat holes" along the way but at the camp sites, where campers are concentrated, finding a suitable location can be problematic. At most campsites, Philmont provides a "red roof" which is a simple outhouse with a red roof. Just be sure to bring your own paper!

Since hundreds of meals are prepared in each campsite every week, proper disposal of KP water is important. For starters, "gray water" as it's called, could quickly attract flies and other nuisances, not to mention the fact that this could become a breeding ground for disease. There's another very important reason for proper disposal of kitchen clean up: If bears pick up the scent of food, they may be attracted to the camp site. The last thing you want to brag about in your camping adventure is being awakened by a bear digging through your tent or your pack.

To facilitate kitchen duty in a safe and sanitary manner, Philmont has installed kitchen sumps at every campsite. This system consists of a receptor with a filter which traps large food particles and a leech line which allows kitchen water to percolate into the soil below grade. Any food particles too large to get through the receptor screen must be packed out for proper disposal.  Below is a photo of the typical receptor. It should be noted that when properly done, kitchen clean up will have very few food particles because until soap is added, everything in the pot is edible and as such, should be eaten.




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