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Camping By the River - LNT Toilet


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#1 robhixkg

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 03:22 PM

Hey all,

 

Our troop is going on a camping trip where we are pitching tents by a river.  Leave No Trace guidelines say waste disposal should be 200 ft away from the river and out of the floodplain, neither of which can be met at our camping location.  So, we have to go to the pack-it out method.

 

I want to fix up a nice bucket toilet kit for the troop so we can take this elsewhere when needed.  I am currently reading "How to #$%# in the Woods".  It has a lot of great information in it, but I wanted to poll others to see what there experience or suggestion would be.

 

First, should I use a two-bucket system with urine only in one and solid and liquid waste in the other or should we only use one bucket for everything.

 

Second, what would you put in the bucket after the job is done.  Obviously I would be looking for something to cover the excrement so flies would potentially not carry disease back to the camp kitchen (which will be FAR away, but still).  I would also like something to dry out the liquids in the waste so that I can dispose of it easier.

 

Any ideas, especially those gained from experience, would be greatly appreciated.  I think this is something our troop will use regularly and enjoy for years to come, so I want to set it up nicely.

 

Thanks in advance.


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#2 Col. Flagg

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 04:07 PM

You can't abide by the 200ft from the flood plain for urine? I am a flat-lander and even we can do that. It's a hike, but we can do it.

 

Curious, how many folks are we talking about here? If you are following strict LNT they'd suggest you go in crews no bigger than 12 to minimize overall impact.


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#3 DuctTape

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 07:59 PM

clumping cat litter makes a decent dessicant. I would also suggest that the crew not just keep filling the bucket. have one which is used for the business at hand, with a plastic bag. Into the bag goes some kitty litter, seal that bag and it goes into a storage bucket.
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#4 Hedgehog

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:35 PM

I'm curious, where is the flood plain rule?  I've never heard of that one and it isn't on the LNT website that I could find.

 

The plastic bag, kitty litter and white PVC Tube with endcaps works well.


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#5 robhixkg

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 09:26 PM

First off, Hedgehog, let's remember that LNT is not a list of rules, but rather an ethic to use when making decisions about our impact.

In my LNT trainer class they suggested the book "How to $!@& in the Woods" as a reference on this subject. The author mentions the goal is to keep from contaminating waterways, period. Thus the attempt to keep out of flood plains.

Col. Flagg, if I recall correctly, the 12 person maximum is for backcountry. This is NOT backcountry and with the old Road Bed on the site, we can easily minimize impact. Total for the trip is around 18 or 20 though. As for the urine, we are between a creek and a river thay are not quite 400 feet apart. So, we cannot strictly follow thay rule. Getting out of the floodplain is not possible as the surrounding property is all privately owned.

I do like the one use bag idea. That would certainly be more sanitary in the end.

Thanks for the input, all.
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#6 Back Pack

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 06:26 AM

Well if you can't camp outside the flood plain you better hope for no rain and have more than one evac route.
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#7 perdidochas

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:33 AM

Hey all,

 

Our troop is going on a camping trip where we are pitching tents by a river.  Leave No Trace guidelines say waste disposal should be 200 ft away from the river and out of the floodplain, neither of which can be met at our camping location.  So, we have to go to the pack-it out method.

 

I want to fix up a nice bucket toilet kit for the troop so we can take this elsewhere when needed.  I am currently reading "How to #$%# in the Woods".  It has a lot of great information in it, but I wanted to poll others to see what there experience or suggestion would be.

 

First, should I use a two-bucket system with urine only in one and solid and liquid waste in the other or should we only use one bucket for everything.

 

Second, what would you put in the bucket after the job is done.  Obviously I would be looking for something to cover the excrement so flies would potentially not carry disease back to the camp kitchen (which will be FAR away, but still).  I would also like something to dry out the liquids in the waste so that I can dispose of it easier.

 

Any ideas, especially those gained from experience, would be greatly appreciated.  I think this is something our troop will use regularly and enjoy for years to come, so I want to set it up nicely.

 

Thanks in advance.

Well, not speaking about the technicalities of LNT,  but practically speaking, I wouldn't worry about the urine.  The NPS suggests that people in Zion National Park urinate in the river at the "Narrows" area (and pack out any solids).  I'd use a  bucket for solid waste primarily.  Maybe something like this.

 

http://www.academy.c...7653-adType^PLA

 

And use some of the "blue stuff" which is some kind of chemical used in RVs. 


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#8 perdidochas

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:33 AM

You can't abide by the 200ft from the flood plain for urine? I am a flat-lander and even we can do that. It's a hike, but we can do it.

 

Curious, how many folks are we talking about here? If you are following strict LNT they'd suggest you go in crews no bigger than 12 to minimize overall impact.

When you are camping in a flood plain, and the flood plain is over 200 feet wide, it can be a pain. 


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#9 qwazse

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 09:28 AM

... This is NOT backcountry and with the old Road Bed on the site, we can easily minimize impact. ...

Cross the road bed, up hill about 50 ft, dig.

 

The bed itself should have enough rock to filter seepage from thousands of cat holes for centuries.

 

Of course, in some parts getting that far up hill could be a very long walk.


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#10 Col. Flagg

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 09:29 AM

When you are camping in a flood plain, and the flood plain is over 200 feet wide, it can be a pain. 

 

Yes, but as noted above, one should not really be camping in a flood plain. ;) And lets face it, if the reasoning for camping in the flood plain is that "It only ever gets so high" then the reasoning for not urinating in the flood plain is gone. If the water only gets so high except on really, really rare occasions, then urine will make its way through the system before any "flood" can cause it to be intermingled with fresh water.

 

Feces is another matter. Kitty litter being the best option.


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#11 The Blancmange

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:17 AM

Yes, but as noted above, one should not really be camping in a flood plain..

 

 

Nor should people comment on subjects about which they are not informed. 


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#12 Stosh

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:36 AM

I, too, have read the book "How to $hit in the Woods".  Go to the chapter on backpacking toilets and one will find the solution there.  4" PVC of various lengths (depending on the length of the trek) and solid cap one end and screw cap the other end. Then put in about 1/3rd full of kitty litter.  Use the softer stuff, not the clay (too heavy).  It should work for your needs.

 

According to the book, the urine is to be put into the river to dissipate.  Liquid waste not in the river produces a concentrate that will attract unwanted critters. Only solid waste is to be packed out.  In some places this is specifically identified as the proper procedure.

 

I too, would avoid the flood plain areas unless it is like the Colorado where escape routes are mandatory in the magnitude of the flash floods that occur at every rain.

 

The 200' away from water sources is due to the nitrate pollution that can occur to "fertilize" the algae problem in the lakes of the area.  This is for the solid waste problem as well as the disposal of phosphate soaps for wash water.


Edited by Stosh, 19 April 2017 - 11:38 AM.

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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#13 blw2

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:41 AM

I would wonder if this is car camping, canoe camping, or backpacking.

If car, or maybe canoe, and if a once off not to be a frequent thing....

I might consider this store-bought option.  They work well

https://relianceprod...tation/191.html

 

or as an alternative, for short trips or where you might have an option to dump regularly... 

see if anyone in the unit has a boat or small camper and might have one of these

http://www.thetford....rta-potti-260b/


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#14 Col. Flagg

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 01:28 PM

Nor should people comment on subjects about which they are not informed. 

 

Really? Tell that to the crew from CA that lost one of their Scouts a few years back camping inside the Ponil Creek "flood plain". Might want to re-think before hitting that "post" button. Geesh.


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#15 The Blancmange

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 01:45 PM

Really? Tell that to the crew from CA that lost one of their Scouts a few years back camping inside the Ponil Creek "flood plain". Might want to re-think before hitting that "post" button. Geesh.

 

Here in the upper Mississippi valley, a good percentage of public campgrounds are within the floodplain of the Mississippi and its tributaries.  The reason for that is simple - these are areas that are not suitable for building or other development, but they are beautiful areas. There wouldn't be much camping around here if it wasn't for floodplains.  Here is one of the best examples:

 

http://dnr.wi.gov/to...lowerwisconsin/

 

 

The rivers here rise predictably in response to rain events.   Might want to consider that well informed, conscientious folks familiar with local conditions are in the best position to judge this, rather than paint with too broad a brush.   I have no idea where the OP is located, but I suspect he has a pretty good idea whether his trip idea is safe.   


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#16 Col. Flagg

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:09 PM

I have no idea where the OP is located, but I suspect he has a pretty good idea whether his trip idea is safe.   

 

That's what the crew thought about the staff at Ponil Creek. They were wrong. Hence my response.


Edited by Col. Flagg, 19 April 2017 - 02:10 PM.

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#17 The Blancmange

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:31 PM

That's what the crew thought about the staff at Ponil Creek. They were wrong. Hence my response.


So you extrapolate from that tragic, freak event that there are no circumstances, anywhere, where scouts can responsibly camp near a river?

There was a tragic accident in the Boundary Waters last year where 2 were killed when a storm brought down a tree. Should Northern Tier be closed?
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#18 John-in-KC

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:56 PM

Camp on the far shore of the river, or the far shore of the creek.

 

Multiple problems all solved at one fell swoop.


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#19 Col. Flagg

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:59 PM

So you extrapolate from that tragic, freak event that there are no circumstances, anywhere, where scouts can responsibly camp near a river?

There was a tragic accident in the Boundary Waters last year where 2 were killed when a storm brought down a tree. Should Northern Tier be closed?

 

I was merely noting for him, in case he had not fully thought through the scenarios, about the dangers of camping in a flood plain.

 

Second, what happened at Philmont was not a "freak" event. It was a flash flood, the group was camped by the river and was below the evident high water mark left by a previous flash flood not 4 weeks earlier. When you live in this part of the country you learn to recognize the signs of flash floods...even in a clear sky.

 

Lastly, what happened in NT *was* a freak event. You are the one that said close NT, not me.


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#20 Tatung42

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 06:59 PM

When in doubt, ask the local land manager how they would like you to dispose of waste.


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