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Toilet Paper
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Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Toilet Paper" on 02/03/2014 18:57:36 MST Print View

Interesting comments. I particularly have no experience with composting toilets and as a woman (maybe this isn't normal? I dunno) I tend to do a #1 and #2 simultaneously and don't know exactly if I'd be able to separate it out if I had to. I've never had to.

I'm a TP packer but I pack it out. I cannot *stand* to see piles of TP laying around. I don't mind if people bury or burn, but I pack mine out. I've started carrying the little bags in with me that I use for my dog on our walks- they're lightweight black bags so not see-through which I think is better. Plus they are a lighter material than ziplock bags so when ounces count these are better.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
combined on 02/03/2014 19:45:33 MST Print View

You do the #1 on a rock before you go to do the #2 in the privy, greatly reduces any mistakes. A clean mouldering privy has virtually no smell, ones people have peed in smell like youd expect a cesspool to smell.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: combined on 02/03/2014 20:43:52 MST Print View

> ones people have peed in smell like youd expect a cesspool to smell.
Um ???

We have a lot of 'biodynamic self-composting' loos in our National Parks. Can't say I have smelt them - unless someone has piddled all over the floor.

Cheers

David Olsen
(bivysack.com) - F - M

Locale: Channeled Scablands
grand canyon on 02/03/2014 20:53:42 MST Print View

The rocket boxes one takes floating the Grand Canyon would fill up and make a huge mess with urine, so everyone first pee's in the river (urine on the shore would build up and smell) then uses the rocket box for number 2. A bit of a challenge for all, but hey, you get used to it.

. Kirby
(Kirby805)
RE: Toilet Paper on 02/04/2014 08:49:19 MST Print View

Being extremely reactive to poison oak, I refuse to use plants to wipe my undercarriage. I can contract a poison oak rash just by touching plants in the vicinity of a poison oak bush, which is basically every plant in my local backcountry (SoCal). And I'm sorry, but I am not packing out my poo paper. It's getting burned or buried.

Edited by Kirby805 on 02/04/2014 11:32:38 MST.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: RE: Toilet Paper on 02/04/2014 09:15:56 MST Print View

THIS is the best toilet paper and Hendrik does a great review in this video ;)

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Re: RE: Toilet Paper : Best Link Ever! on 02/04/2014 10:02:30 MST Print View

Still laughing, tooo difficult to type

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: RE: Toilet Paper on 02/14/2014 13:33:05 MST Print View

>> And I'm sorry, but I am not packing out my poo paper. It's getting burned or buried.

Excludes you from hiking some great areas, like the Grand Canyon and Zion.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: RE: Toilet Paper on 02/14/2014 14:15:51 MST Print View

" And I'm sorry, but I am not packing out my poo paper. It's getting burned or buried."

Bad Kitty!

But really? The "poo paper" is just too gross for you, but you find it is fine to leave it in the wilderness you are supposed to care about?

I've been doing this for 20 years, all trips, regardless. Use one or more special ziplocks for the used TP. Press the air out of the bag when closing. It doesn't smell but if you like you have an option to put certain chemical items in the bag to reduce what little smell there is. It goes in the very bottom of the bag, and causes no issues, inconveniences or smells at all.

So my reaction is a bit more strident than Sumi's - not to pack it out it is just flat out ignorance, and possibly squeamishness that is highly unbecoming and unmanly for a backpacker. Maybe the Hello Kitty TP really would be right for you! ;-)

I'm with you on the poison oak, however. Fortunately I am not very very sensitive, but we had a visiting Swedish scientist working at Los Alamos one time that literally used poison oak to wipe on a backpacking trip in the Jemez mountains - and spent a while in the hospital. I think the psychological damage must have been longer lasting as he unfortunately became known around the lab, in spite of his brilliance, as "that guy who wiped his ass with poison oak".

Edited by millonas on 02/14/2014 14:41:59 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: RE: Toilet Paper on 02/14/2014 17:00:36 MST Print View

"but you find it is fine to leave it in the wilderness you are supposed to care about?"

Could you explain to us why burning TP in the cat hole or in the depression beneath a good sized boulder constitutes a crime against the wilderness, assuming there is no fire danger? The same question applies to well buried TP in a well selected site highly unlikely to be visited by humans.

Edited: TP disposal has been the subject of considerable, at times heated, debate here down thru the years, with no clear consensus ever having been arrived at. I can assure you that there are a number of backpackers on BPL, no less manly nor more ignorant than you, who would take issue with your words. There are many valid approaches, depending on conditions, administrative edicts, and personal taste, so why not just WYOA and let others do the same without the condescending insults? At the very least, append an IMO to the end of your sentence to make it clear that you are expressing just that, an opinion, neither more nor less valid than anyone else's.

Edited by ouzel on 02/14/2014 18:01:39 MST.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
What Chemicals? on 02/14/2014 17:28:57 MST Print View

Hmmmm, I've been packing out my toilet paper for years (and hating the smell), but I've never heard of putting chemicals in the baggie to reduce the odor...what do you use, and in what quantities? I'd be interested in that...

And if you think packing out the paper is nasty, try packing out your actual poo, which is required in delicate areas like Aravaipa Canyon, Whitney (now), etc. Thank god for those mylar bags they give you...

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: What Chemicals? on 02/15/2014 00:55:13 MST Print View

I can't think of the chemical name, but it exists. On Mount Whitney, when the Forest Service issues each individual a WAG bag, it has some dry chemical in it. Any liquid in the human waste activates this chemical, and it gells within the plastic bag. So, there isn't much mess to carry out.

However ( ! ), there is a catch. If you have one WAG bag, and then if you need to go a second time, it can be difficult to get a second use out of the kit.

--B.G.--

William F
(wkf) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: RE: Toilet Paper on 02/15/2014 01:28:38 MST Print View

What is an "unmanly" backpacker?

Like Tom I'd also like to know what harm comes from burning TP in a cat hole? I think there are far worse things we do to the environment that we could focus on for starters. Certain high use areas can get disgusting and so I agree with the parks asking you to pack it out in those situations, but there are many places that I and other people on this forum go to which are pretty remote. Or in some cases so close to other sources of pollution that the harm from burning TP or burying it deep and underneath a rock would not be logical in the grand scheme of things.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Toilet Paper on 02/15/2014 02:13:22 MST Print View

It was a joke - the little winkey smiley should have given it away to most people. The obvious silliness should have given it away as well. Anyway, I just ignore overreactions of this type as they are entirely out of my control, and there are always going to be a few.

I'm sure you guys do in fact burn it well, and/or bury it correctly. But I'm equally sure that the people responsible for all the TP I see above ground along high traffic routes use *exactly* the same reasoning. I don't say the reasoning is wrong at all - but unfortunately for a lot of people the execution, apparently, sucks.

As far as chemicals, I know there are some chemicals they use in porto-potties, but that wasn't what I was thinking of. Along the green river corridor (Utah, very dry, stuff will last forever, etc.) they have some very strict rules. If you rent a canoe and go down stillwater and labyrinth canyons (about 100 miles) they make you take a metal box, basically an UL porto-potty (box with a toilet seat on top, and also with a closeable lid). Think of it as a wag-bag designed to last up to a couple of weeks. They also provide a bag of powdery stuff - don't remember exactly what it is. If you throw sprinkle some of that on top every day or so it stops a lot of the smell. I'd have to do some research to figure out what it was - but I assume a similar strategy would work in your TP bag if smaller quantities, if you have an extra sensitivity with regards the smell. Since the smell comes from the biological breakdown of nutrients, I suppose anything that slowed this would help. I think the powdery stuff was biodegradable at some level because my understanding was you could dispose of the final stuff in a septic system.

Anyway, if it ever feels like it smells too much I seal the bag for the last time and start a new one. I usually double bag those. Except with putting stuff in there, there is no smell involved. You just have to plan for it.

Edited by millonas on 02/15/2014 02:29:45 MST.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: RE: Toilet Paper on 02/15/2014 02:21:13 MST Print View

"but you find it is fine to leave it in the wilderness you are supposed to care about?"

Yes, as long as I can reasonably expect no other humans to somehow stumble upon and witness my TP.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: RE: Toilet Paper on 02/15/2014 17:10:22 MST Print View

"But really? The "poo paper" is just too gross for you, but you find it is fine to leave it in the wilderness you are supposed to care about?"

This is the part of your post that set me off, Mark, and pretty much cancelled out the smiley face at the end of the paragraph I responded to. I should have emphasized it at the time. My question to you is: Why do you assume that if TP is not packed out it will be carelessly scattered across the landscape? This is probably the most common argument people make for packing out used TP, and it just doesn't apply to many, many responsible backpackers, who carefully select their poo sites and very carefully dispose of their TP, either by burying, or burning and burying, it well, depending on conditions and personal preference. As for those benighted souls who do scatter their TP across the landscape, they should feel the full force of administrative law and the wrath of their fellow backpackers in cases where they are caught red, or should I say brown, handed. In this you have my full support. Just don't tar all backpackers with the same brush.

I'm not looking for a flame war and have pretty much said my piece, so this will be my last comment on the subject.

Edited by ouzel on 02/15/2014 17:13:27 MST.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Toilet Paper" on 02/15/2014 18:33:55 MST Print View

"Yes, as long as I can reasonably expect no other humans to somehow stumble upon and witness my TP."
----------
Justin- that sounds suspiciously like you leave your paper sitting on the ground. Say it ain't so. Please.

There is no place that is so remote that no one else will go there. I go places that feel pretty remote and yet still find trash and TP from thoughtless people who were there before me. I have no problem with people that burn or bury, but I have a real problem with people who just leave that mess there for me to see/smell or for my dog to go roll in.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: "Toilet Paper" on 02/15/2014 20:42:45 MST Print View

I don't use TP.

I didn't mean that I would let it sit out in the open because I figured nobody would see it, I mean that if I bury it properly (or burn or whatever method works best) then I could reasonably expect no humans to stumble upon it, because it's buried/concealed.

If it was an extremely overused used campsite then there would be a chance of somebody stumbling upon it... especially if its a very dry or deserty area where things don't decompose. In some areas you could not reasonably that someone would not stumble upon it, like in a scree field or 10 feet of snow.

I can see how that statement would have been misinterpreted.

Edited by justin_baker on 02/15/2014 20:44:05 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: "Toilet Paper" on 02/15/2014 21:01:30 MST Print View

"If it was an extremely overused used campsite then there would be a chance of somebody stumbling upon it..."

TP or not, when you finish your bury, especially in a busy area, mark it with two small sticks crossed to make an "X".

The next person through will quietly thank you.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: "Toilet Paper" on 02/16/2014 10:56:03 MST Print View

@Tom My issue with the post I was (I thought gently) mocking was the attitude that "it is so gross that forget about me packing it". I feel that this is frankly incorrect factually, but the part I especially objected to was the irony that "is is so gross, therefor I'm leaving it in the wilderness". Too gross for my pack, but just fine to leave.

I agree that in the end, IF buried or burned CORRECTLY, there is a GOOD argument, especially if the traffic in an area is low the net impact is LESS, not more. After all the stuff goes somewhere in the end.

But apparently a lot of people don't do it right, and I suspect people who find the whole issue gross and distasteful are going to have a tendency truncate this process. Do they bury it deep enough, or just fake it because it is "gross". Do they stand around an make sure it burned safely and completely, or do they just fake it. Or leave half burned TP in existing fire rings where it blow off in the wind an hour later. All present company excluded of course ;-). A lot of the time I feel like it would be better for everyone to pack it out, but then even if there was a rule the usual suspects would still do the same.

Anyway, next time I go on a trip in the sierra and I DON'T see TP I'll eat my words. Why do I assume TP will be scattered about? Because I SEE it all the time. This is not the same as assuming YOU will do the same.

@Greg The X idea is a good one I never heard before - provided people understand what it means and don't think it marks buried treasure. I may try that. I have always obsessively covered my sites to make it unlikely someone will chose that spot again soon - after all I thought it was *perfect* the first time for some reason. This has included rocks and good sized logs, and always leaves or pine needles. I also do the dirt inoculation and stick stir thing. :-)

Edited by millonas on 02/16/2014 11:15:23 MST.