Packing out human waste^

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Ray
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Packing out human waste^

Post by Ray » Thu Feb 06, 2003 11:45 pm

"Natalie Springuel is a registered sea kayak guide in Penobscot Bay. A few years back, she took a couple on a three-day trip to Hell's Half Acre, a small, undeveloped island off Stonington. The woman had never camped before, and she was stunned to learn that today's island ethics include packing out human waste in a plastic container."

We all know its good practice for us outdoors types to leave the environment pristine. But do any of us actually do this?

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Mark R
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Re: Packing out human waste

Post by Mark R » Fri Feb 07, 2003 12:45 am

I feel that a little fertiliser helps the surrounding ecosystem; as long as it isn't accompanied by shreds of pink paper.

I have however had the pleasure of digging endless toilet pits on Nepali beaches(you too can work for a raft company!!) looking in vain for an 'unused' spot. I guess whether or not we should be 'packing out' our poo is relative to the number of folk using a spot.


-----------Mark Rainsley

Ray
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Packing out poo

Post by Ray » Fri Feb 07, 2003 2:13 am

If you don't pack it out, you should bury your poo about eight inches deep at least 60m(200ft)from a watercourse.

On the sea shore you can supposedly just bury it below the high water mark although I don't think that would be too popular on a bathing beach.




Beardy
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Packing out poo

Post by Beardy » Fri Feb 07, 2003 2:27 am

I just shit my wetsuit. Doesn't everybody?

Mike B
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Packing out poo

Post by Mike B » Fri Feb 07, 2003 10:05 am

Certainly the "carry out" philospohy is gaining in the popular wilderness areas (now there's an oxymoron!) and judging from commment in the US paddling mags and my limited experience on a trip to Canada, the sheer volumn of usage makes the practise essential.

Indeed, one or two wilderness campsites had some variety of dry toilet installed! One beach we camped on had something in excess of 24 kayakers on it. Other more remote areas were clearly receiving relativly heavy usage,

Having said all that, I've never had an unpleasant surprise in Scotland - yet!

As to deep burying, there is a strong school of thought which says that doing so is not best practise as the macro (or is it micro?) biotic thingies that destroy the stuff are not present much below a few cms.

That suggests that the "smearing" technique is the one to use but I do rather think that while it may be ecologically sound, it won't work in a practical sense, except in very lightly used areas.

Shallow burying is probably the best way - a "cat trench". Toilet paper should be burned and adding a small container of meths and a lighter to your toilet kit achieves this easily! I'd suggest marking the ground with two crossed sticks, or stones or something. (THis is a Scouting practise - if it was more commonly adopted it would maybe be a good idea).

As to burying below high water, (using the intertidal zone), this is probably also a good practise, again provided the paper is burnt. Sea water is so corrosive that the material is eventually destroyed and the various beasties in sand/gravel and under sea weed would enjoy their snack no doubt.

The concern re bathing beaches is valid, but then you're probably not going to be using a bathing beach as your intertidal zone anyway.

Certainly I would hope that any form of toileting takes account of water sources - apparantly a lot of the New Zealand areas now have serious gardia contamination.

Probably there is no best/ideal method - each situation may need a different solution and being aware of those solutions is part of the answer. I do think that burning paper is igood practise in any of those solutions though.

A judicious search of some of the online US paddling mags reveals an extraordinary wealth (if thats the word) of info - clearly they have a problem over there. Heres one interesting gem www.wavelengthmagazine.co...95what.php


Mike J Kelly
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Carry out?

Post by Mike J Kelly » Fri Feb 07, 2003 2:07 pm

'do outdoor types carry out?'

Cavers carry out after every overnight trip - bats don't though!
Isn't it written into the expected code of practice for paddling the Colorado?
Of course in France they have no such concerns.

Mike

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Jim
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Re: Packing out human waste

Post by Jim » Fri Feb 07, 2003 3:51 pm

I've never done it.

I usually just use a shallow trench (dug with my heel) based on information received many years ago that the bacteria that will dispose of it only live in the first few inches of topsoil (8" might be too deep). I also hadn't considered separate paper disposal and usually bury that too as it is biodegradable - I think I'll try burning the paper in future so as not to risk leaving a mess.

I think it all depends on how much a spot is used, cows shit in fields and the mess disappears within a few weeks, lots of people leaving marks where they camp is quite different, presumably the difference in our diet also provides issues, as does the risk of disease.

As for packing it out, how does one actually acheive the collection? I haven't seen too many kayaks with space for a porta potti! The idea of "evacuating" into a BDH or plastic bag after I've managed to poison myself with some half baked, half cooked meal that I attempted to heat unsuccessfully whilst weathering a storm, does less than appeal to me!

JIM

Mike B
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Packing out!

Post by Mike B » Fri Feb 07, 2003 4:00 pm

Well, sad though it is, I've found more wisdom here www.wavelengthmagazine.co...97much.php - elsewhere there is a suggestion of having some sort of "potti" contraption which would be used as required and then some unfortunate souls would be expected to carry the full container out to deep water and do a minature version of the Edinburgh Honey-Boat trick!

Nice.

Certainly I do rather think there is much to be said for a group designating a section of beach as the intertidal zone, if common practise was to use extreme ends then one would hope that one would be safe enough bathing / washing dishes in the middle - - - -

Certainly it would be helpful if more folk learned & used the "crossed sticks" (fouled ground) sign. Jim mentioned using his heel to dig the cat trench he uses, and a sturdy stick can serve the same purpose. It and another one can then become the marker after the toilet paper has been burned.

Mike.

Ray
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Packing out human waste

Post by Ray » Fri Feb 07, 2003 4:10 pm

Anybody done a dump when actually on the sea? I don't think I could handle that.

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MatSav
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Re: Packing out human waste

Post by MatSav » Fri Feb 07, 2003 5:27 pm

"Anybody done a dump when actually on the sea? I don't think I could handle that."

You're not supposed to "handle" it :\

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Mark R
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Re: Packing out human waste

Post by Mark R » Fri Feb 07, 2003 5:51 pm

I've done what needed to be done from an open canoe before now, some miles offshore on a Maine lake.

Solo paddling in a lightweight canoe....needed some serious thinking.


-----------Mark Rainsley
Edited by: guidebook at: 2/7/03 7:36:40 pm

Steve B
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Re: Packing out human waste

Post by Steve B » Fri Feb 07, 2003 6:52 pm

Thank goodness you were solo, that's all I can say.

SB.

Mike B
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Cow s**t

Post by Mike B » Fri Feb 07, 2003 7:45 pm

Jim said"cows shit in fields and the mess disappears within a few weeks" - indeed - but I dont know if you remember the very serious outbreak of something extremely nasty at a Scout Camp a year or so back?

Traced back to animal (sheep?) droppings! SA now makes some recommendations as to how long a field can have lain free from animal occupation before being used by for camping.

Human waste is potentially VERY nasty stuff indeed - lots of bugs and pathogens present.

Incidentally, if you enjoy eating those freebie snacks like bowls of nuts, sweeties and the like that you get in pubs and bars - think about the fact that far too many people dont apparantly wash their hands after visiting the loo - - - - - - - :eek :eek

As to Marks tale - the man must have amazing balance! I hope you washed your hands afterwards :D Never done it meself like, but I hear tell of a certain group where someone had to do the deed hanging off the back of a raft somewhere in the Pacific.

Anyway - moving rapidly on . . . . . . . .

How do people indicate that the "forest", "sea-shore", "whatever" is Occupied? Nothing like someone strolling past as one is otherwise engaged in contemplating the scenery and communing with nature.

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Mark R
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Number two's from an open canoe

Post by Mark R » Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:21 pm

Attempt #1 involved wiggling bum over side of boat.
Attempt #2 involved shimmying up to the stern of the boat bum-first.
Attempt #3 (successful) involved using a paddle blade...


-----------Mark Rainsley
Edited by: guidebook at: 2/7/03 8:22:57 pm

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Re: Packing out human waste

Post by Aled » Sat Feb 08, 2003 12:38 pm

lol @ Jim! What about a large funnel above the BDH?

I assisted with one such opperation while at sea, the paddler in question lay on their back across the front decks of the two kayaks and aimed down. Legs and arms keep the boats slightly apart. Rear decks were too low and the water was too cold. I had plenty of time to giggle at the distant horizons...

Alan M
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Re: Packing out human waste

Post by Alan M » Sat Feb 08, 2003 5:27 pm

Cavers used to use plastic bags inside ammo boxes.
All you need is good aim!

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Cornholio
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Post by Cornholio » Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:06 pm

Carrying it out is totally ridiculous! To take it away, paper and all(?) then do what? Put the crap down a toilet thus placing more strain on our sewerage systems with a long journey to a waste water treatment works with primary,secondary and tertiary treatment before discharging the (hopefully) required quality of effluent back to the river>sea.
What do you carry it in? Can't put a plastic bag down the bog, and even paper is advised against the same -both blockage risks would then be primary screened, removed from the waste stream and end up in landfill/incinerated, so just cut out the extra journey and put it directly in your bin! Or use a re-usable container then? And then what? wash it with good clean potable water(total waste) which has taken a fair bit of energy to get to your taps? what about the now polluted washing water? down the bog with that too?Would be such a pleasant job to look forward to for the Gillian McKeiths of the kayak world...
Just smear it, shallow bury it, do what ever but don't let it ruin your trip if the bag home bursts...
I think the whole attitude is daft anyway- how many irresponsible dog owners let their hounds crap in the intertidal zone on blue flag beaches(like St Andrews) and little is said or done. Fine for their mutts "kiddie blinding daily dose" to utterly ruin human efforts at reducing faecal coliforms offshore- but not for us to carefully dispose of a tiny amount, occasionally, somewhere pretty damn remote?!!!
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

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steve-m
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Post by steve-m » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:21 pm

What a fascinating thread! Very British, a whole discussion about going to the loo. I cannot let the opportunity pass without adding my pennyworth.
I find you have to manage your system in line with the tides and do what has to be done ideally partway into the flood tide. I find the best technique is to shift a big rock use the resulting hole for what has to be done and then put the rock back just as the incoming tide washes over and the teeming fauna of the foreshore can do the rest.

I have never had any problems with finding that others have been there before me so either the foreshore is very good at waste digestion or the pressure of use around British coasts is not unduly high. Either way, to my mind, as things stand, I am not pressurising the coastline environment too much by the disposal method i use.

If you breakfast on high fibre muesli and oat bran washed down with 2 pints of steaming tea you can usually generate the required rumblings in the focsle. When i am sea kayaking, apart from any fish we might catch, my diet is vegetarian which I think may make for more easy and rapid waste digestion in the environment.

However, the biggest problem i have had with all this has been that when I am in the vunerable position you have to adopt on these occassions, that is just when I get attacked by the local insect life! I have picked up ticks whilst otherwise thus pre-occupied and so often you only have to drop your breeks for half the midges in Scotland to zoom in and get their breakfast.
Steve-M Shropshire

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James F
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Post by James F » Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:32 am

On a recent sea kayaking trip to Sardinia I took a shit on an island with a big sign saying, 'no camping - nature reserve'.

I did the right thing and burnt my toilet roll, which instantly set fire to the undergrowth and spread to the neighbouring shrubbery within seconds. I spent a frantic hour beating it out with my flip-flop, finishing hot and eyebrowless to survey an area roughly the size of a badminton court burnt to a crisp.

Which just goes to show.

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Post by Dave Thomas » Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:47 am

Being inflammatory again, James!
Dave Thomas

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runswick2000
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Post by runswick2000 » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:04 pm

I just use local vegetation for the clean-up operation, does that require burning?
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Dave Thomas
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Post by Dave Thomas » Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:48 pm

Nettles?
Dave Thomas

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runswick2000
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Post by runswick2000 » Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:16 pm

Whatever pops your pistons!
Perhaps the greatest flaw in democracy is the idea that, if a majority of the population believes arrant nonsense, it somehow makes the nonsense true.

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James F
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Post by James F » Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:18 pm

That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England...

Image

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NeilG
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Post by NeilG » Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:27 pm

runswick2000 wrote:I just use local vegetation for the clean-up operation, does that require burning?
I always find that the bits of nature that get left behind chafe rather throughout the day leaving an unbearable itch, so much so that I need to find something else to tend to the itch with!
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ian the badger
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why use paper

Post by ian the badger » Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:14 pm

paper, never use the stuff, hand full of sea water or two, your arse is as sweet as a nut. No paper waste all done and dusted.....forgive the pun....job done.

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runswick2000
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Post by runswick2000 » Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:15 pm

I guess it all depends what material you have to hand and how enthusiastic you are in applying it.........moss is nice!
Perhaps the greatest flaw in democracy is the idea that, if a majority of the population believes arrant nonsense, it somehow makes the nonsense true.

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NeilG
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Post by NeilG » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:41 pm

Yes, in deed, Orthotrichum anomalum is quite nice. However, I find that if nature calls, by the time I am ashore, sufficient clothing removed to carry out the necessary task, I find that I have little time for moss hunting. I have to settle for the close relative, Orthotrichum Andrexeus.

Now we are really talking a load of.....
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The Shark
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Post by The Shark » Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:40 pm

I agree with earlier comment, no bog paper required. If you squat properly it wont touch the sides and just splash your arse with some water but dont forget to rinse your hands. Taught this in the desert during war and it worked a treat. Still do it now!!

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adrian j pullin
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Post by adrian j pullin » Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:12 pm

There are a number of approaches discussed in "How to Shit in the Woods" by Kathleen Meyer.

See:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Shit-Woods- ... 243&sr=8-1

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