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Delmar's Poll
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Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Delmar's Poll on 07/09/2014 17:11:56 MDT Print View

> There is nothing in here about the number of people on a typical trip, but I imagine
> there is a correspondence there as well. [re canister stoves]
That is a very good point.

There would seem to be some cultural factors here as well. It seems, although without a survey to get real figures, that a lot of American walkers sleep solo. That makes solo cooking a bit more logical. My experience in Australia/NZ and Europe is that there are a lot more small groups (2+) and more shared tents there, so there is more shared cooking. But that is just my impression: I might be wrong. Yup, data needed.

Cheers

Peter S (masc. über linear logical club)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Dirty TP on 07/09/2014 17:31:47 MDT Print View

Roger wrote: "...in my opinion is the potential health hazard created by possible contamination on your hands when you don't use TP..."

This is wrong, it's the other way around. You need to use many (approximately 20) layers of TP to be sure that no bacteria gets through. A nice rock or a stick is a 100% closed barrier.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Delmar's Poll on 07/09/2014 18:24:40 MDT Print View

Wow -- great data. I need to get cracking this year, I am way to the left on the days out this year.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Dirty TP on 07/09/2014 19:22:25 MDT Print View

wow! Do you really want to go there? : )

It depends on how wet it is how many sheets of TP are required. And how long from contact to releasing it.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Delmar's Poll on 07/09/2014 22:32:55 MDT Print View

Funny, but even with considerable meniscal damage in both knees, I still prefer just one pole, so long as it is a sturdy one that can support a lot of weight. A second one would just be a nuisance getting in the way.

The "wheels" may refer to those two-wheeled carts that some pull on long trips. Australia's John Muir used one in the movie about his S-N trip across Oz.

Could see the TP thing ending up with hundreds of posts like the Faux-Dini.
Whatever you might think about China, the barefoot doctor period where the highly educated young were sent into the boonies to live and work with the peasantry had its points. Once in Colorado, I had just finished packing up, and was resting with the pooches a spell before beginning the day's trek, when this guy comes along with his cronies and walks all over the place in my vicinity with his nose about ten inches from the ground. Completely ignored me, no hello or nuttin'. Seemed like not finding anything almost ruined his day. These people drive me right up the wall, so I've had to develop numerous techniques to avoid them at all costs. A shame when I've met so many good folks on the trail.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Dirty TP on 07/10/2014 00:27:46 MDT Print View

> You need to use many (approximately 20) layers of TP to be sure that no bacteria gets through.
Please tell me this is a joke?

Cheers

Peter S (masc. über linear logical club)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Re: Re: Dirty TP on 07/10/2014 01:11:03 MDT Print View

Why?

Paul Mountford
(Sparticus) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic Canada
Re: Re: Dirty TP on 07/10/2014 10:25:35 MDT Print View

>>You need to use many (approximately 20) layers of TP to be sure that no bacteria gets through.

>Please tell me this is a joke?

I suspect that it was just hyperbole to make the point that regardless if you use rocks, moss or TP, you still need to wash your hands.

+1 to your sentiment though. The idea that packing out your TP is the only ethical way to deal with it seems overly dogmatic.

M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: Delmar's Poll on 07/10/2014 10:36:15 MDT Print View

"Once in Colorado, I had just finished packing up, and was resting with the pooches a spell before beginning the day's trek, when this guy comes along with his cronies and walks all over the place in my vicinity with his nose about ten inches from the ground. Completely ignored me, no hello or nuttin'. Seemed like not finding anything almost ruined his day. These people drive me right up the wall, so I've had to develop numerous techniques to avoid them at all costs. A shame when I've met so many good folks on the trail."

Was this a ranger or just some random coprophiliac?

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Delmar's Poll on 07/10/2014 11:24:09 MDT Print View

"Was this a ranger or just some random coprophiliac?"

I was amazed to find that coprophiliac is actually a real word! Check it out on Wiktionary, if you dare...

Ped Estrian
(Pedestrian) - MLife
Re: Re: Delmar's Poll on 07/10/2014 11:35:36 MDT Print View

> In addition, what is the environmental cost of burying TP? I (strongly) suggest the cost
> is zero. TP is designed to break down quickly, so it will be gone soon enough - just like > bits of leaf mulch and twigs rot away. The bacteria and fungii in the ground just do
> their thing. Again, I suggest that the do-not-bury thing is a bit of political ideology
> rather than having any solid environmental logic behind it.

I invite you to visit some of the more popular trails in the Sierra some time. It's not uncommon to find toilet paper "gardens" close to the busier backcountry campsites. Whether the toilet paper was not buried in the first place or was dug up by animals later, it can be an unsightly mess.

The rocky terrain with limited amounts of organic matter also prevents the breakdown of both the human waste and toilet paper. The reason you dig a cat hole is to get to the bio active organic matter that will help break down the poo and the paper. It is the microbes that help break things down. In the dry high alpine environments there is minimal organic matter. The dry air and ultraviolet radiation helps with breaking down the human waste but it does not break down the toilet paper easily. Ever tried digging a cat hole above 11000 ft in the Sierra? All you hit is inorganic gravel and dirt; that is if you can even can dig without breaking your trowel.

We can't reasonably pack out the waste but it's not significantly burdensome to pack out the toilet paper. Once you plan for it and get into the habit of doing it, it's not that much of a hassle. In much of the Sierra where I hike I'm almost always carrying a bear canister anyway. It's just a matter of reserving space in the canister for trash and toilet paper. If you're out several days, I assume you are packing out all trash you generate. The toilet paper just is part of the trash you pack out.

Of course HYOH, as long as you don't litter the backcountry with your junk!

And use the minimal amount of toilet paper; wash yourself first with water. Carry something like this in your pack. NOTE: This is NOT an endorsement just an example.

http://www.amazon.com/Boulder-Bidet-Portable-Travel-Backpacking/dp/B005ONIO1A

Polly Strahan
(pollystrahan) - M

Locale: mostly Cal & Oregon
toilet paper on 07/10/2014 11:43:01 MDT Print View

I believe there is a gender difference in use of tp. Women use much more paper than men because we wipe after urinating and pooping, and men only when pooping. When I hike in the Great Basin of the U.S., the soil is often not soft enough to bury the toilet paper. I have started bringing a plastic bag to pack out the paper, and in fact, since most of my trips are 3 nights or less, I bring wipes instead of toilet paper and pack them out. I see toilet paper often when I hike on well used trails, and I bet most of it is from women who do not bury it deep enough.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Delmar's Poll on 07/10/2014 13:23:46 MDT Print View

I always use nature to get most of the wiping done, then just 1 or 2 TP wipes.

As far as the TP on the surface goes, that is usually from an animal digging it up.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Delmar's Poll on 07/10/2014 13:59:04 MDT Print View

In the Sierras or on some peaks in the West where there is little organic matter but just rocks, and lots of people, then probably burying your TP isn't so good.

I don't have that much experience in the Sierras, but I think even there, there are lots of groves of trees and such where there is some organic soil that will decompose TP.

I see TP "gardens" every once in a while and it appears to be on the surface, no evidence of hole that was dug up by some animal.

I know cats and dogs sometimes eat poop (which is very disgusting) so I could imagine wild animals digging up human poop.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
ESBIT at altitude on 07/10/2014 13:59:47 MDT Print View

"..and an ESBIT stove at 9,000 ft. in the shoulder season somehow lacks appeal."

Well ESBIT stoves at 9,000 ft. in the shoulder season MAY lack appeal if you are not using a Caldera Cone stove with its great wind protection and heat concentration.

If you are using ESBIT with a Caldera Cone (and maybe a modified Gram Cracker tab holder) then you'll have no problems. I use my CC Sidewinder on day hikes in the nearby Spring Mountains for hot soup at lunch. Fast and simple.

Thanks Delmar for this interesting survey. I wish I'd have asked for a question on clothing material - synthetic v.s. natural fibers.


The WPB jacket popularity does not surprise me since it can be a lifesaver at times. I consider my eVent parka a safety item.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Delmar's Poll on 07/15/2014 07:03:33 MDT Print View

Thanks, Delmar!

Roger wrote: "...in my opinion is the potential health hazard created by possible contamination on your hands when you don't use TP..."

Well, if you are a healthy person, you cannot catch something from yourself or excrement. Urine is sterile. Poop has your own bodies bacteria which you accomodate, anyway. Getting clean is a matter of avoiding crotch rot more than anything. As far as ingesting a few bacteria, it isn't a problem. Anyway, intimate partners are generally immune to each-other, too. Unless you have a tape worm, ring worm, or other pathogen/disease, this is mostly a social issue. But, I did say "healthy person."

Here in the NE of the USA, TP is not a problem. Generally, we get rain or heavy dew most days. In the Siera's, I would not burry toilet paper, but pack it out. This is very much determined by the environment you hike in. You really cannot just categorize it independently.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: BPL's 78th Thread on TP on 07/15/2014 08:29:00 MDT Print View

Sure, I'll trot out this old horse again ...


The decomposition of TP


For those who are not prone to actually reading, it states, among other things, "...Indeed the two sites that exhibited little decay after 24 months (montane moorland and western alpine) had organic soil profiles..."

Edited by greg23 on 07/15/2014 08:29:40 MDT.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: BPL's 78th Thread on TP on 07/15/2014 15:39:54 MDT Print View

I realize that this can be a sensitive subject in a high-risk fire area. However, I have always found it effective to dig the proverbial cat hole, fill it, and burn the used TP in the hole. After filling in the hole with dirt, you urinate over the area. That way, there won't be any ground fire started. The TP is nothing more than ash, so there really isn't anything left to decompose, and there is nothing to be carried out.

Mark me as old school.

--B.G.--

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: BPL's 78th Thread on TP on 07/15/2014 16:08:08 MDT Print View

Just be careful if it's windy and there's a bunch of dry grass in the area.

Don't ask why I mention this ....

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Re: Re: Re: BPL's 78th Thread on TP on 07/15/2014 16:33:30 MDT Print View

Yes been there, seen the fires caused by burning TP, it was enough to make me start packing it out. Really easy, no fuss, no weight disadvantage.