carrying out your waste

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RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
84
Ahhh, everyone's favorite topic... carrying out your poop. I have an upcoming trip in the Needles district, where they now require you to carry out your waste in certain camping areas. I am in favor of such requirements when necessary, but I am a little worried that it might be daunting for the group I am going with (in particular, one person in the group has never been backpacking before). Most of my backpacking has been in the mountains, where burying your stuff is acceptable, so I have a few questions:

1. WAG bags---does anyone have a favorite brand? Do these stink? We will have 5 peoples' worth for several days, so I want to minimize the stench if possible. Also, if any brands make it easier to get everything into the bag, that is of course preferred as well.

2. Hauling out the WAG bags---what method works best, both to minimize the smell and to minimize the chance of disaster? I'm guessing people just put the WAG bags in a strong outer bag and tie it to the outside of their pack? I can't really envision what would work best here. I've read of climbers using a pvc pipe contraption but didn't know if backpackers use such approaches.

3. On a tangent, I will be hiking Lower Death Hollow (BMT to HWY12 bridge) in May, and was wondering if I should plan on packing out my poop there too. As far as I know it's not officially required, but I don't know if there are good opportunities to bury your waste near the campsites in the canyon or not (since I've never been there before), so I want to do what's right here (even though my group of four on that trip will include some new people as well). Any feedback is appreciated (although I may have to later start a new thread about this if the Death Hollow experts don't notice this thread).

Thanks in advance for your tips on this exciting topic!
 
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Janice

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Dec 5, 2017
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In June 2014, we did an amazing backpacking trip in Paria Canyon, but packing out poop definitely made some people in our group (ages 15-55) uptight. In addition to lots of pre-trip jokes and funny demonstrations, there was also a lot of uncertainty. Would it be gross? Would it smell? It turned out to be much less of a big deal than we were afraid it was going to be. Sure, at the end of the trip we were happy to throw our bags in the dumpster, but it really wasn't too bad. The BLM issued us - one per person - a yellow mesh bag with 5 Restop2 bags (https://restop.com/product/wilderness-waste-containment-pouch/) and this worked fine. Maybe there's something better on the market now, but we were quite satisfied with this. Since our trip was only 5 days and we each had 5 bags, we didn't need to reopen and reuse bags - I think that would have been gross, but maybe others would say it's fine. The bags were quite big, and it worked quite well to just poop into the bag. Ok, the first time was a bit nerve-wracking, since you didn't know what to expect, but then you got the hang of it and it was ok. It actually was quite entertaining to have the first bag users come back and give a report. We had 5 teenagers (4 male, 1 female) and they tolerated this! Anyway, we just put the used bag back in the yellow mesh bag and used carabiners to attach the yellow mesh bag to the outside of the pack. By the end of the 5th day, it smelled a little bit, but really not too bad.

Related to Lower Death Hollow, last April my husband and I loved our 3-night trip on the BMT & Escalante River (but different from your route) we went BLM down Death Hollow (it was scary for us, but we did it!) and then back up to continue BMT to the Escalante River then along the river (camping by the confluence with Death Hollow) to the Hwy 12 bridge. It was fabulous! Since we didn't do the Lower Death Hollow part through the water that you'll be doing, I don't know for sure about needing a bag for that. We did not have bags and it wasn't a problem for us at all along our route. The rangers in Escalante had told us ahead of time that we did not need them. If you haven't tried talking to them yet, I highly recommend giving them a call. I bugged them with a million questions before our trip and was really glad I did!
 

Michael

Alien from over the pond...
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Sep 5, 2012
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1. Restop2.
We used this brand during a backpacking trip in Lower Paria River Gorge.

2. Hauling outside on the backpacks. That will works great. Put the WAG bags in a extra durable plastic bag. Close them with a knot and fix it right on the outside of your backpack. No bad-smelling, etc. Desaster? Have an eye on it during bushwhacking. That’s all.

3. Campsites in LDW are very limited. It isn’t a fun if you find “things of others” during setup camp. Some popular places are mutated to a minefield.

Just my 2 cents.

Enjoy your trips. Both areas are beautiful. :)


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Rockskipper

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A tip from those with rigs (RVs) with composting toilets: don't pee in the bag, as it's the mixing in of the urine that creates the majority of the bad odor. Bushes and such aren't harmed by urine, AFAIK.
 
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Nick

Spiral out.
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This reminds me I have two boxes of poop to clean out today from rafting and truck camping. :(

x2 on not peeing in the bag. Even if it didn't stink, then you'd be carrying pee that you don't need to! I've always put them on the outside of pack, lightly strapped or otherwise not under much pressure. A small lightweight dry bag would be a nice addition to hold the wag bag(s) if you don't mind giving it up to the cause of poop as the smell does find it's way out somehow.
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
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Mar 1, 2015
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84
Thanks everyone! I learned a tip or two here that I hadn't considered. Also, I'm thinking if things do start stinking, it'll be towards the end of our trip, and at that point we'll have some free opsaks (odor-proof bags that I store food in) to use if needed (since the food will mostly be eaten by then)
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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They will start stinking as soon as they are used.
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
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Mar 1, 2015
Messages
84
Yeah, I was referring to the overall bag full of the wag bags. I assume that a single wag bag inside a strong garbage bag strapped to the outside of the pack won't be too bothersome (maybe I'm wrong), but once you have 8 wag bags in there...
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
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This reminds me I have two boxes of poop to clean out today from rafting and truck camping. :(

x2 on not peeing in the bag. Even if it didn't stink, then you'd be carrying pee that you don't need to! I've always put them on the outside of pack, lightly strapped or otherwise not under much pressure. A small lightweight dry bag would be a nice addition to hold the wag bag(s) if you don't mind giving it up to the cause of poop as the smell does find it's way out somehow.
Get a opsack bag to put it in... Pretty air tight.
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,198
Yeah, I was referring to the overall bag full of the wag bags. I assume that a single wag bag inside a strong garbage bag strapped to the outside of the pack won't be too bothersome (maybe I'm wrong), but once you have 8 wag bags in there...
Just don't set your pack down on it.....
 

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