Disposing of Human Waste on Glaciers - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: May 2015
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Default Disposing of Human Waste on Glaciers

Hi everyone, I am wondering what people do with their human waste up on the Columbia Icefields (or any other glacier) when they are winter camping. I contacted Parks Canada and got the following response:

"We don't have any specific rules for the glacier travel in any of our binders. I think it's the same as summer/winter/bivy rules. Dig a small excavated hole and burry it after. If around a rocky terrain, place a rock on the top. They should burn the TP or put it in a zip-log bag to minimise non-human waste pollution."

This seems a bit odd, since it could lead to a lot of unpleasant piles.

Thanks!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 07:54 PM
Dru
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you toss it into a crevasse
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 11:24 PM
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"WAG" bags are easy to use and not that inconvenient unless you have some sort of bowel issue.

https://www.amazon.com/RESTOP-Wilder.../dp/B002BG3LN4

https://www.rei.com/product/662978/c...-package-of-12

Last edited by alpalmer; 03-26-2018 at 11:30 PM.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by alpalmer View Post
"WAG" bags are easy to use and not that inconvenient unless you have some sort of bowel issue.
Interesting, I was given one of these last spring when registering for backpack into Coyote Gulch in Escalante. (Not sure I would have figured how to use it, or pack properly afterwards - but luckily it remained unused). They do it presumably because human waste is huge problem in Coyote, but to my amazement I didn't see single human scat in 2 days I spent in the Gulch, so it is probably working.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-30-2018, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
Interesting, I was given one of these last spring when registering for backpack into Coyote Gulch in Escalante. (Not sure I would have figured how to use it, or pack properly afterwards - but luckily it remained unused). They do it presumably because human waste is huge problem in Coyote, but to my amazement I didn't see single human scat in 2 days I spent in the Gulch, so it is probably working.
Human waste breaks down very slowly in the desert environment, unlike in our west coast rain forest. The smell of human urine can also be a problem. That's why we were told to urinate in the river on our Grand Canyon dorry trip.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-30-2018, 02:01 PM
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Re Grand Canyon -- I did a backpack down Hermit Trail & spent 2 nights in the Canyon last December. This is toilet at Monument Campground on Tonto Trail.

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The stench was so bad, even with lid closed on at least 10m radius. It took real effort to open the lid and use toilet as opposed to doing my business behind the rock (which would have been terrible thing to do).
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 05:30 PM
Scaling New Heights
 
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You bring doggy poo bags and carry it out/to a bear proof *garbage* bin. Sounds gross? Sure. But that's part of it
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 02:16 PM
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Dealing with your own poo is a subject that people seem to avoid, as in "out of sight, out of mind". Everybody is into "leave no trace" and "leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures", but nobody mentions poop. On different outdoor forums there can be pages devoted to no bolting, no flagging tape, or no trail trimming, but nothing on leaving a turd behind.

I've noticed that very popular trails like to the Golden Hinde or heavily used camping spots like the Frog Pond near Comox Glacier have become pretty crappy. Parks doesn't have the funds to put in outhouses, or to fly the poop out, so they just turn a blind eye.

Beach hiking can be, just poop below the current high tide line and let the incoming waves deal with it, but on very popular routes like the West Coast Trail or the Nootka Island Trail you might find a bit of toilet paper between your toes after wadding barefoot in the ocean.

The Broken Group has composting toilets that seem to be working OK, but they're the exception. Some other beach destinations, like Vargus Island or Flores Island have outhouses dug in above the winter high tide line.

Camping on snow or glaciers is a bit problematic. We've dug pits in the snow in winter, then wonder where all the crap came from in the summer melt. Dropping your poop down a crevasse works, but it all eventually flows downhill. Not a problem on less visited glaciers, but in popular places can become a real mess. On Mt Baker and other popular mountains, you are required tp pack your poop out. We found that putting on 5 day mountaineering courses on Mt Baker, there was no problem packing our poop out. Just triple bag it and get over the "gross" factor.

A friend went on a Colorado River rafting trip. They used metal ammo boxes that sealed up real tight. He said that by the end of the trip, in the hot sun, the sealed boxes sides bulged and looked explosive.

I hear some big wall climbers use "poop tubes", 6 inch diameter PVC pipes, with a glued cap on one end and a screw cap on the other.

I don't really have the answer for taking a dump in the backcountry, but we should all be aware of where our shit ends up, including our every day deposits.
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