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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Disposing Of Human Waste

Well folks, I’ll try this post again.  Having spent a couple hours on the post and saving it any number of times, when I released it the title was all that showed up.  Now i know I posted it correctly so I believe it is a Google Blogspot issue.  As in the past, I’ll try again until the post takes.

Now to the story;

I said to myself that more detail on the subject of vandwelling and human waste disposal has been written and posted.  I even posted on the subject once before.

What is different this time is that I have updates/new to me Informaiton and wish to pass it on to you.

In the first picture above many will recognize the pit toilet house That the Federal Government uses at many of its campgrounds and trailheads.  Nothing new here.

Even the picture above (right side) the embedded in the wall explaining that you shouldn’t throw objects in the toilet is in every one of the pit toilets I’ve ever been in.

What is new is the added signage in seeing in the picture above (left).

Yes that is an instruction sheet on how to use toilet.  I can only guess that this was necessary because of the many foreign cultures that now visit our Nation’s Treasures.

I forgot to capture this sign but it says Do not dump chemical toilet waste in this toilet. (Or something close to that.). The sign went on to explain how the chemicals in the port-a-potty destroys the pit toilet chemical process.  It also stated that enzymes are added to break down the waste and the chemicals in port-a-potties stops that process.

Another sign I’ve seen in these pit toilets is close top cover when done as this helps the process of breaking down the waste and reduces smell.

There is a whole education in these pit toilets but not all have the extra signage.

Ok, I’ve lived many weeks without flush toilets to have seen so many pit toilets.

I would guess that most vandwellers prefer flush toilets.  The month I spent in Utah this year, I was happy to use the flush toilets at visitor centers and ranger stations.  I was also fine in using the government maintained pit toilets in the first picture above, although cold to use that time of year, they don’t smell if they are maintained.

Many times I’m disbursed camping and miles from a toulet so I bag or dig a cat hole for my solid waste.  Oh, there has been controversy about such things as bagging.  Below we finally have acceptance of sorts.

I’m not going to take you through the Leave No Trace principles as I have written about this before.  Here I focus on solid human waste disposal as a vandweller.

I got this brochure in the rack at a national site.

I carry a collapsible stainless steel trowel in my biker backpack to dig cat holes.  It’s acceptable practice forvhikers and campers away from toilets.

Enter the bagged human waste disposal recepticle!

Yes fellow vandwellers we that bag our human waste have formal acceptance of our practice.  This here human waste disposal recepticle was at the trailhead in the Needles section of Canyonlands National Park.

I can only assume that they want you to bag your human waste or you have a choice of cathole or bag.

Finally, our government has weighed in on bagging of human waste and have made a recepticle for us.

Well, our society bags dog poo and puts it in the trash. Diapers, baby and adult go in trash too. It’s acceptable practice, but obviously not preferred.

This trailhead requires only small vehicles to get there and there is no way to get a composting toilet there and maintain it.  This is a logical solution also as there is little to no dirt on this trail to dig your 6-8” hole.  People have to go when nature calls so there neededvto be a solution.

Bagging human waste requires some common sense too.  The bagged human waste systems that are meant to accumulate waste over a period of days and cumbersome.  The bags are big!  I use small bags sized for a single use.  I twist twice and roll the bag and place in a 1 quart ziploc bag.  I can put a few in the 1 quart bag.

Then I dispose of the ziploc bag.

Why this ask?  Recycling!

Some places have employees separate trash to recycle. Homeless rummage through trash for cans and bottles to recycle for money. Many trash companies have households combine recycle and trash and separate later.  In fact there are centers where trash is dumped and humans assist conveyors to separate trash from recycling.  Think about this.  You don’t need your Human waste bag opening up.  If it’s sealed in a quality ziploc bag there is very little chance of it opening.  This is my logic.

Back to pit toilet signage.  Apparently it’s necessary as I still see cans and other items tossed in with the mix.

Therefore, there must be people that stand on the seat to go too.



  1. This is pretty hilarious, and serious at the same time. Can I share it on my blog as a guest post? If not, may I steal your idea. Its very clever. Love it.

    1. Roxy,

      Thank you.

      You are most welcome to use as a guest post