The Grocery Bag Challenge

Just waiting to catch a sea turtle

Here in the outskirts of Seattlepolis it’s starting to feel a lot like spring.

Daffodils and crocus have erupted from the winter mud and I’ve already got a few rows of snow peas in.

All this pre spring goodness gave me a good idea:

Inside the belly of the beast

The Grocery Bag Challenge!

The concept is simple, get yourself a grocery bag, bring it on your next hike or walk this spring, and fill it up!

It won’t take long, hell, at some trails you won’t even have to leave the parking lot.

When your bag is full, take a pic, post it on a local hiking forum and see if you can get the ball rolling.

If you want you can even send your pictures and stories to me, I’ll post them as a future article. (

If you are a outdoor blogger, maybe you could try starting a Grocery Bag Challenge in your neck of the woods.

Use just once and destroy


While everyone will have their own PPE/clean up comfort level, I suggest you at least bring gloves.

Urban parks and trails are more likely to hold dangers like syringes and encampments. Be aware.

An old encampment


Be exceedingly wary of encampments.

I’m not going to get into the politics of homelessness except to say that : It sucks that people are homeless, but there are options other than living in the park.

In my experience, encampments are frequently areas of illegal activity.

Many of the camps I’ve seen show evidence of copper wire being stripped, scattered stolen mail and lots of bikes, bike parts and other “suspicious” debris.

Normally I don’t like to get Johnny Law involved, but if you see evidence of illegal activity, you should contact the authorities.

If possible work with someone else, safety in numbers!

Five minutes of my time


  • Gloves
  • Trash picking apparatus
  • Long pants, long sleeves
  • Eye protection
  • Camera (documentation)
  • First aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Extra bags
“We’re gonna need a bigger bag”


Anyone can be an armchair activist in this day and age, it’s easy to copy and paste articles and such on the Facebook, but…

You know that “American Pride” thing people are always going on about? I’ll tell you something about it.

“American Pride” isn’t the clean trail, it’s the citizen who cleans up the trail.

Food for thought anyway, it’s your world, make it the one you want to live in.

Happy Trails!

Don’t let this happen to our trails!










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