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Toilet Paper
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John S.
(jshann) - F
Rabbits foot on 04/26/2009 05:21:55 MDT Print View

Dude, you left out using your trusty Rabbits foot ; )

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Toilet Paper on 02/03/2014 12:14:14 MST Print View

I'm reviving this TP thread, in a different direction.

If you don't use TP, move along, there's nothing to see, keep driving.

For the TP users ONLY, I was thinking about those fast food starbuck brown napkins, you know the ones that have printed on them "Made from 100% recycled paper"

I used them with reasonable success. The napkin is fairly large, so I can usually make 1 napkin last for 2 to 3 applications.

I'm guessing here, the starbucks napkin will decompose better or the same as white TP.

If an animal dug it up, the color of the brown napkin does not stand out as much as the bleached white TP.


Time warp history:
When TP was first factory mass produced during the industrial revolution, the paper color was newspaper greyish brown. The consumers were partially interested because it didn't convey the clean image. The marketing guys added bleach to the paper pulp for that bright white look. TP Consumers loved the bright white color even though the added bleach was an irritant. Now the paper bleaching is minimized and irritation is negligeable.

Now on the forum we are not so prima donna, and somewhat adventurous with testing. I suggest giving fast food / Starbucks napkins a try.

If someone does a biodegradable decomposition test, tell us about it, with no pictures.

Recycled Napkin Starbucks

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Toilet Paper on 02/03/2014 13:40:43 MST Print View

Roger, I really like your French tip manicured nails in the above picture. How do you keep them so nice while backpacking?

Maybe you can dig a hole in your back yard and put some regular TP in with some of SB napkins and wait three months and should us the results (unused of course).

Edited by bestbuilder on 02/03/2014 13:41:24 MST.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: Toilet Paper on 02/03/2014 13:46:48 MST Print View

Having done some plumbing jobs and been around plumbers a fair amount, my understanding is that toilet paper is designed to melt/disintegrate in water. The reason for that being so it does not clog sewer/septic systems.

So I would think that if you use it and then bury it in soil in a wet climate that it will disappear after a while. Or if you burn it and then bury it, the unburnt parts will disintegrate and disappear even sooner.

Napkins are generally NOT designed to melt/disintegrate in water; rather they are designed to hold up somewhat better in water because their purpose is to wipe and clean up wet things. So I'm thinking that using napkins or paper towels and not packing them out would leave more of a problem out in the wilds...

Billy

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Re: Re: Toilet Paper on 02/03/2014 13:47:56 MST Print View

Tad :)

I can't bury napkins in the backyard, the dog will dig it up.

Any volunteers ?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Toilet Paper on 02/03/2014 13:50:11 MST Print View

Tad,

The answers are Here.


WAGs are interesting, but nothing beats science.

Edited by greg23 on 02/03/2014 13:52:33 MST.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Toilet Paper on 02/03/2014 14:36:32 MST Print View

I think cat-holes have been covered but I just wanted to throw another variable into the equation… pit toilets. Hiking in areas like the enchantments, N. Cascades, or on trails around Rainier, pit toilets are plentiful and should be used to the best extent possible to prevent the rest of the park from turning into a cesspool. (yeah yeah yeah… “I avoid those areas, too many people, NPs are the devil, blah blah blah”).

In these areas, I like to use biodegradable baby wipes for a couple reasons: 1) don't want to (and shouldn't) throw used rocks into the toilet or disperse them into the woods. Also don't want to pick leaves or other fauna for TP in a high traffic area 2) takes fewer baby wipes to polish off the undercarriage than it does to do the same job with TP. I find one sheet ripped in half to be sufficient for the job.

Yokes grocery store will carry biodegradable wipes from time to time and you can find them online also. I'll lay them out at home to dry them out and then pour a little water on them right before I use them.

Packing them out is never a bad idea but even towards the end of season, I didn't find any volcano pit toilets on the Wonderland and think throwing them (biodegradable ones) into the composting pit toilet is perfectly fine despite the fact I risk a visit from the BPL inquisition for saying so.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 02/03/2014 14:37:52 MST.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Re: Re: Re: Toilet Paper on 02/03/2014 14:43:18 MST Print View

Greg,
Thanks for the link. Very interesting.


"Discussion and conclusions

Unbleached toilet paper does break down faster than bleached toilet paper and tissues."

Brian Crain
(brcrain)

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Toilet Paper on 02/03/2014 14:55:48 MST Print View

"...and think throwing them (biodegradable ones) into the composting pit toilet is perfectly fine despite the fact I risk a visit from the BPL inquisition for saying so."

Urinating in a composting toilet is much much worse than throwing biodegradeable wipes into them...

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Toilet Paper on 02/03/2014 15:14:10 MST Print View

"Urinating in a composting toilet is much much worse than throwing biodegradeable wipes into them..."

Good to know. I've never seen one with a diverter in it in the NP and it is well beyond my ability to separate those two transactions 100% when it comes time to make my deposit.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Toilet Paper on 02/03/2014 15:19:03 MST Print View

Composting toilet in Grand Valley, Olympic National Park, says not to urinate in toilet

This topic is now degenerating : ) - I can usually urinate next to it (on rock so goats don't detroy what I'm urinating on) then #2 in toilet

When not composting toilet, it's good to combine - the fertilizers are complementary

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Toilet Paper on 02/03/2014 15:22:58 MST Print View

> Urinating in a composting toilet is much much worse than throwing biodegradeable wipes into them...

Do you have any scientific proof of that, or is it urban myth?

Cheers

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
scientific proof on 02/03/2014 15:35:31 MST Print View

+1 thank you Roger, I was thinking the very same thing. Biogradeable wipe vs urine- my bet is that urine is a better long term, earth healthy option.

Sorry for the thread drift-

Tad

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Toilet Paper on 02/03/2014 15:42:50 MST Print View

"Composting toilet in Grand Valley, Olympic National Park, says not to urinate in toilet"

Some of the toilets I encountered at Rainier were just simple pit toilets. My understanding from talking to a ranger is that the digested bounty is removed at the end of the year even though some composting does occur. Not sure where it's disposed of after that. Of the true composting toilets I saw (N. Puyallup for example), I don't recall seeing a request to not urinate in there.

I admit I'm not wise in the ways of the composting pooh and will consult Master Po for guidance.

Edit "my bet is that urine is a better long term, earth healthy option."

From my past Google Fu, I've seen people use a urine diverter with their urban composting toilets. I realize that diluted urine makes for a good fertilizer and is generally sterile (assuming the donor is healthy) but do the extra fluids hamper the composting process?

Edited by IDBLOOM on 02/03/2014 15:49:14 MST.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Little Yosemite Valley on 02/03/2014 15:45:41 MST Print View

The composting toilet in LYV has no such warning. They do warn about throwing plastic, etc., but nothing about urine.

Brian Crain
(brcrain)

Locale: So Cal
Re: scientific proof on 02/03/2014 16:02:19 MST Print View

Urine contains more nitrogen than poo and works against the mold and bacteria that compost and breakdown the solids, including the biodegradeable wipes. The majority of nasty composting toilets you come across will smell of ammonia which is from the urine - as opposed to the anaerobic digestion of the composter which needs to be aerated.

Barring health issues, urine is nearly sterile and is perfectly fine on a rock or some DG. Long term, urine will kill the composting toilet long before IDB's handiwipes through reduced effectiveness.

There is a sh^t ton (pun intended) of crapper data out there about composting toilets and urine, just google it. Every one will discuss urine and separation from poo - and most kits available provide urine diversion - none discuss not tossing in biodegradeable wipes.

...lol@ f e c e s hitting the profanity filter :)

David Olsen
(bivysack.com) - F - M

Locale: Channeled Scablands
cob on 02/03/2014 16:42:03 MST Print View

Use the red cob first, then the white cob. The white cob will tell you if you need another red cob.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
wipes on 02/03/2014 16:49:50 MST Print View

All the mouldering privys Ive used say dont pee in them too.

And the volunteers that clean them out, say dont put trash or wipes in them.

TP biodegrades much faster than wipes. Someone ends up picking that stuff out with their (gloved) hands when the privy is full or moved. Yep, they get full. People crapping and throwing in handfulls of woodchips many times a day builds up. Into compost yes, but compost with debris in it usually.

Edited by livingontheroad on 02/03/2014 16:51:11 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: scientific proof on 02/03/2014 16:58:01 MST Print View

The National Park people put the sign up saying not to urinate in it, so I don't think it's urban myth.

It's just a sealed container, so if you put urine in, it will fill up faster.

In pit toilets, liquids drain out of it over time, totally different chemistry.

Maybe some composting toilets are different than other ones.

Brian Crain
(brcrain)

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: scientific proof on 02/03/2014 17:34:30 MST Print View

Some are different - active and inactive. Active are at more front country settings and will usually have some powered (solar) aeration or ventilation. For the most part though, composting is composting - which is much different than a septic system.

Pits in remote and underutilized areas aren't affected as much by peeing in them - they do need moisture to work and if they are overly dry from lack of use or maintenance this is just absorbed and the PH balances back out before destroying the process. But a little goes a long way... which is what happens to most higher use areas - too much urine and instead of a composting toilet you end up with a nonfunctioning septic holding tank - with no active bacteria or agents working to break down the excrement. These have to be serviced too frequently and are not effective - which is a big factor as to why many are disappearing from the backcountry: failure to use them properly = more maintenance/pumping/waste removal = increased cost = ....you get the rest.