When you think of the OG overland accessories, what usually comes to mind? ARB awnings, jerry cans, bumpers of course, and if you’ve been around overlanding in the last 20 years the Trasharoo hanging off the back of those bumpers.
So what is it that makes this piece of kit so legendary? At first glance there really isn’t anything interesting about the Trasharoo, it’s literally just a big canvas bag that attaches to the outside of your vehicle after all. The utility comes from the fact that many of us travel with wagons, not pickups and as such have a sparsity of open-air cargo capacity.
I'm writing this from my campsite in the Island of the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park which, along with it's two other 2 districts, help illustrate a key benefit of a trash management product like the Trasharoo – pack it in, pack it out. That means all your trash and anything dirty like used cooking coals must leave the park with you. Here on the White Rim there is an excellent network of pit toilets so you don't have to worry about packing it ALL out.
This isn’t the case to the southwest of me in the Maze district, where all camping is primitive. That means you will be carrying out all your trash and cooking mess as well as any human waste. When I have gone to the Maze, I usually have friends with me with pickups, and lucky them, they take turns carrying the stinky sack. Were I on my own, I would have to put that bag inside my vehicle or find some other way to keep that shi... stuff... out.
This is the genius of the Trasharoo – it gives the wagon owner, or even the pickup truck owner, a place to store things they just don’t want inside. It's not just waste either. In Canyonlands, wood fires aren’t allowed, but they are almost every other place I travel. Keeping firewood, axes, cooking grates, etc outside in the Trasharoo means not having to worry about that stuff abusing your interior, and makes access easy.
The Trasharoo works best with an externally mounted spare tire, which I don’t have and as it stands right now, my trash will be traveling in style inside the cruiser back to civilization. That being said, it can work in many situations without a space such as hanging from the back of a roof rack, on a tailgate or a number of other places I’ve seen personally.
The longer I do this the more I realize why this kind of gear is important.
It’s not as glamorous as lighting or armor, but the essence of gear like this is to simplify your life at camp so you spend less of your time fiddling with gear and more of your time with the places and people you are out here to enjoy. The Trasharoo takes a simple but important task off your plate… and out of your car.
How do you manage your trash situation when you're exploring out in the wilds? Any clever Leave No Trace hacks to share? Let us know down in the comments.
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