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Old 07-16-2016, 04:46 PM   #1
Hard Scrabble
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Where and how do you poop?

Kinda sensitive, but it has to be asked.
We're many of thousands using the park.
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Old 07-16-2016, 04:55 PM   #2
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You asked....

Wherever I am when I have to. Preferably behind a downed tree that hides me, and down hill of any water source. I carry one ply toilet paper that biodegrades almost as soon as water hits it, but if I have sufficient water, I'll just wash instead of wipe. Both my ass and my hand!
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:47 PM   #3
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This may be the most important post of the year! There has been growing concern about the many hikers who are as clueless when it comes to "doing their duty" in the woods. There are many reports from summit stewards of walking down at the end of the day and seeing numerous examples of toilet paper "flowers" on unburied poop - poop that wasn't there when they hiked up to their station on the summit in the morning.

Recent efforts have included the establishment of porta-potties at popular trailheads (ATIS has paid for three) as well as box privies at higher locations on Marcy, Algonquin and Cascade. ATIS will also install a box privy on Giant just above the junction of the Ridge and Roaring Brook trails.

Last fall, ATIS assisted DEC workers in getting the box privy "kits" as close to Panther Gorge and Four Corners as possible. I still will not drink unfiltered water below Four Corners, but the privy has hopefully mitigated the problem at that location.

When I have lectured teen-agers on this problem, I stress the importance of a proper burial at the proper depth. I finish by noting that poop not adequately buried will likely be dug up by the first domestic dog that comes along and that the "dog will then come and lick your face." That last line usually gets their attention.

Last edited by tgoodwin; 07-16-2016 at 06:49 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 07-16-2016, 07:10 PM   #4
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Holy crap.....
There is a recommended way to go about this. In certain cases where it in not possible to avoid affecting the water or in biologically sensitive areas, pack it out.
Otherwise the correct method is to dig a small hole approximately 6 to 8 inches deep and 4 or 5 inches in diameter. A trowel should be part of your gear (along with your carbon fiber spork). Your waste goes in the hole. TP should be single ply and bio-degradeable and may either be buried in the hole or packed out.
The hole should be dug a minimum of 200 feet from water and in an area where there is not likely to be run-off or standing water. The hole should be dug in loamy organic soil (if possible) and in an area exposed to sun. Both help speed decomposition. WRT to decomposition, waste does not decompose quickly and could be "active" for over a year after it is buried.
Always dig in areas where there is very low likelihood of human traffic and if you are in a group or spending a few days in an area, move your sites around. Above treeline if you are unable to properly bury your product, pack it out. In the Rockies or WR Range I have dug shallower holes and used rocks to cover the hole.
A bit more controversial is burning the TP. Obviously if there is any danger of fire don't but my hiking partners and I usually use a small butane lighter to burn up the TP before filling in the hole.
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Old 07-16-2016, 07:45 PM   #5
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I've found the heel of my shoe to be an effective digging tool. After making my deposit, I sweep the excavated soil back into the hole, cover it with leaf litter, and finally throw dead branches on it to make it unappealing for the next person looking for an ideal poop-spot. That's in case they beat the odds and find the very spot I picked many yards off-trail.

From what I've seen, most people just drop a pile of poo and paper and leave. They really need to emulate cats and stop $hitting like dogs.

Disgusting places I've seen include a few yards past the firetower on Mount Adams and the two short spur trails on Esther that lead to a "garden" of toilet-paper "flowers". There are other places but these stand out because hikers had plenty of opportunity to relieve themselves along the way to these summits but chose to do it on the very summit. Numbskulls.
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:03 PM   #6
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I've backpacked enough in the western states to get in the habit of what is expected and required there: dig a hole 6" deep, take care of business, fill in the hole, cover with a rock and pack out the paper.

Little bit of a hurdle to cross re carrying a bag of sh!tty tp, but you get used to it.

I've never been in area where you need to pack out all your waste, but I will one of these days...
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:45 PM   #7
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I always use my hands and/or a stick to dig. The good organic soil you want for defecating in is nice and soft anyway.

I like to use the stick to give everything a good stir and pack it down before I cover it over. Then I usually put something over said hole so someone won't easily want to dig int that exact location again or step on the hole - a log, rock, big sticks, etc...

I don't think it's all that hard. I can do all this as quick or quicker than I can use a public restroom. And you'd never even know I went there.
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:53 AM   #8
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I stopped hiking in the high peaks in 1993.
Considered it part of my duty.

Too much Doody.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:26 AM   #9
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I agree that this is one of the most important topics of discussion. I'll dig the standard 6x6 cathole, but I like to hold onto something (tree, log) so that I don't fall *into* my hole. I pack out my TP in a double zip loc. I also bring hand sanitizer wipes.
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Old 07-18-2016, 03:52 PM   #10
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This has to be addressed, "beaver fever" doesn't come from beavers.
Jim
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Old 07-18-2016, 04:35 PM   #11
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A small shovel is always part of my gear when canoe camping or tailgate camping, which also doubles as a handy campfire tool, among other uses. In the backcountry a trowel or sturdy stick does the trick when an outhouse or Thunderbox is unavailable. I also highly recommend a quick blast of some insect repellent before taking care of business...There's nothing worse than getting bit in the nuts by a mosquito!
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hard Scrabble View Post
This has to be addressed, "beaver fever" doesn't come from beavers.
Jim
YAAAY! No like button but when people blame the runs on giaridia.. its more likely from your hygiene than from the water.

Yes you can get giardia from humans. Thats why that little bottle of sanitizer is important.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:33 PM   #13
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The DEC, with assistance from the Summit Stewards, is also in the process of installing thunder boxes near treeline along popular trails (such as those up Mt. Marcy and Algonquin Pk.) in an effort to help clean up the alpine zone. I know that Indian Falls in the past has frequently smelled (and looked like) a toilet during the summer.

The town of Keene has also placed porta-potties at trailheads in the Keene area in an effort to cut down on human waste in the woods near trailheads.
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Old 07-19-2016, 03:54 PM   #14
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YAAAY! No like button but when people blame the runs on giaridia.. its more likely from your hygiene than from the water.

Yes you can get giardia from humans. Thats why that little bottle of sanitizer is important.
Thought that I said that.
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Old 07-19-2016, 04:43 PM   #15
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Someone posted on ADKHP that dogs may be symptom-free carriers of Giardia and as such, are a potential source of contamination. Anyone know more about that?

Always trim your fingernails before a backpacking trip. IIRC "a million Giardia organisms can hitch a ride under a single fingernail".
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Old 07-19-2016, 04:49 PM   #16
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And how about while winter camping?

I follow a similarly described practice of Calvin Rutstrumís Paradise Below Zero: Page 18 "... explaining how they might go about most comfortably performing their urgent body functions in sub-zero temperatures and snow that could be waist-deep. A square of turned-up birch bark is used as a receptacle, the function performed in it inside the warm tent, and immediate disposition made in the wood stove. The bark creates a quick hot flame, and with ventilation no factor in a tent, all is sans gene."

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Old 07-19-2016, 06:09 PM   #17
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Occasionally, I'll bring along this contraption ..


Last edited by Justin; 07-19-2016 at 09:04 PM.. Reason: Notice the creepy eyes...
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Old 07-19-2016, 09:49 PM   #18
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Where and how do you poop?

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Originally Posted by Justin View Post
Occasionally, I'll bring along this contraption ..

You should develop an ultralight model out of titanium and nylon with a collapsible bucket. You could call it the Backpacker Crapper and make a fortune.

Sent from my SM-S920L using Tapatalk
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Someone posted on ADKHP that dogs may be symptom-free carriers of Giardia and as such, are a potential source of contamination. Anyone know more about that?

Always trim your fingernails before a backpacking trip. IIRC "a million Giardia organisms can hitch a ride under a single fingernail".
Dogs can carry it without showing the major symptom of frequent diarrhea, and testing isn't always accurate. I've hiked in the Adirondacks with my dogs quite a lot. They got it this year after a weekend camping trip. It was painfully apparent, and not at all fun for anyone.
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Old 07-31-2016, 03:11 PM   #20
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As it appears many hikers are oblivious to the proper methods of pooping in the woods, maybe a poop information sign(s) at the trailhead would be a good start.
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