Dispose of Waste Properly
Pack Out Human Waste
When cat holes are not possible, packing out human waste might be required. This is probably the yuchiest Leave No Trace topic, but important in high use areas.
Participants will be understand how to make Pack Out kits for human waste.
10 minutes for session.
- understand what a Pack Out kit is and how to make one
- Identify situations when cat holes would not be appropriate
- Plastic bag
- Paper bag
- Kitty litter
- Toilet paper
- By knowing how to manage waste properly you are able to explore more areas.
- Being prepared for more situations increases the probability you will make ethical decisions.
- Start by asking what participants would do before leaving the trailhead on a weekend backpacking trek. Guide them around to the topic of using the bathroom before they hit the trail. By 'planning ahead' there is a good chance they won't even need to do any more than pee for the entire short trip.
- But, on longer trips, the call of nature will require relief. Normally, depositing poop in a cat hole is accepted, but there are some places where either regulations or the environment require packing out human waste. Above treeline, rocky terrain, and very high use areas are all examples where cat holes may not be possible.
- Packing out poop sounds messy, smelly, and gross. But, there are products available just for this. Display some products if you have them to share.
- Home-made Pack Out kits are easy and do a good job. Demonstrate how to make a kit:
- Put kitty litter in paper bag and roll the top down.
- Place the paper bag inside a zip-loc baggie.
- Put some toilet paper in the baggie.
- Put 3 or 4 of these inside a heavy-duty zip-loc bag.
- A lottery may be required each day to determine who gets to carry the 'Poop Bag'. :-)
- What do you do with the waste when you reach civilization? (do not just toss it all in the garbage! The paper bags can go into RV waste stations or outhouses. The plastic bags into the garbage.)
- When would Pack Out kits be needed? (regulations require them in high use areas, rocky terrain, desert, or any time and place)
- Do cat holes or Pack Out kits have a bigger environmental impact? (the only waste from cat holes is poop and TP. Pack Out kits have plastic, kitty litter, paper, TP, and poop. The difference is where the impact occurs.)