Poop Alert

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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mrphil
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Re: Poop Alert

Post by mrphil » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:57 pm

I'm wondering how successful regulations regarding hiking out your waste are? I get the feeling that most people are going to not hike out their sh*t, even if required to. Then you also take the typical cat hole at the recommended 6", and either the amount of people, the depth of the hole being ineffective, or animals digging it up, and those seem problematic, too. What about a liner for that cat hole that's treated with anaerobic bacteria that not only masks the odor, but bio-degrades quickly itself, and accelerates decomposition. A few lightweight bags per person, per trip, really no bigger deal than when the adjustment went from hanging food to canisters, and certainly less weight and bulk for the trade offs.








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creekfeet
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Re: Poop Alert

Post by creekfeet » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:25 pm

First off, I'm calling BS on this article, specifically the dude at the beginning who claims to have found five piles of the ever-elusive human scat at one campsite. Either this guy is a total liar or the poop whisperer, but all I know is that you have better odds of finding a wolverine in the Sierra than finding that much feces in one place.

Regarding etiquette in these matters, it's pretty much impossible to dig a six inch hole in the Sierra. I've always been a fan of the strategy of flipping over a large rock, digging a deeper hole under that, filling it in, then putting the rock back. As for toilet paper, if you don't want to pack it out, corn lily leaves are a helluva lot nicer than the sandpaper they stock your typical pit toilet with.

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Poop Alert

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:30 pm

I do agree, five piles of poop is hard to believe. I have seen bear poop that looks a lot like human poop; possible misidentification?? As for poop under a rock, OK with me BUT NOT in or near the campsite. I do not know if the problem is overblown or not since I do not hike many of the heavily used trails. If you were the park service and cleaning it all up, perhaps you would see it differently.

Personally, I have not seen anything like that. What I have seen most is TP off the trail behind rocks and Kleenex dropped on the side of the trail. Quite a bit of dog poop where dog use is heavy. My most gross experience was camping at the standard site near Muir Ranch resupply point for the PCT. I walked off to dig my cat hole; tons of obviously fresh cat holes to the point where I was afraid to dig anywhere. That place needs an outhouse!

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AlmostThere
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Re: Poop Alert

Post by AlmostThere » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:00 am

I found human poop in a well used campsite at Lake Aloha.

I have picked up an acre of TP and buried numerous piles of poo that were left sitting on top of the ground, while on trail crew in Dinkey Wilderness.

Then there was the campground at Cascade Creek on the 108. We parked, got out, walked around the campsite. Someone left a huge pile of crap on the ground behind a tree not three paces out of the main campsite, and dabbed a dainty wad of TP on top for good measure. The pit toilet was just up the hill. We left.

I believe the guy.

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Re: Poop Alert

Post by SSSdave » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:47 pm

This is another Lowest Common Denominator behavior issue in our culture. As a photographer looking for subjects, regularly roaming a bit off trails where campsites do not exist, and where other visitors have little reason to venture off so, I do see quite a lot of human excrement improperly buried. In our culture there have simply always been significant numbers of people that do such things when they expect no others will see them. There have been studies of bathroom behaviors in public restrooms that show significant numbers of users only wash their hands if other people are in a restroom.

https://www.cleaninginstitute.org/asset ... ndings.pdf

In general it is a male issue as females tend to be more clean oriented and not surprisingly is worst among drinkers. So when people with such behavior are out in the backcountry, it is little wonder they carelessly, inconsiderately, do likewise.

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longri
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Re: Poop Alert

Post by longri » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:58 pm

Yes, of course that's true.

But does that translate into the what the headline and sub-headline claim? That human feces is now the number one problem our National Parks are facing? That it is ruining the parks?

I think not.

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Re: Poop Alert

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:28 pm

Over-use (in part due to uneven use with way too much in some parks and little in others) is the more major problem; poop simply comes with the territory of more people. Even if you properly burry it, at some point, it becomes quite probable that someone will unintentionally dig into old poop. More use, less funding is a formula for problems. One consequence could be cries to privatize the parks. One thing sort of leads to another. It all ties together, so hard to put any one factor as the "number one" problem. (Poop is the "#2" problem, :D ha ha!)

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longri
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Re: Poop Alert

Post by longri » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:20 pm

That makes sense, Daisy.

To say that our National Parks are being ruined is such a sweeping statement. Most people visit the front country parts of parks where there are facilities. The next big segment are day hikers who are unschooled and/or unprepared and leave tissue and poo in the bush next to the trail. Then there are the first tier backpackers who don't venture far and stick to popular routes where there are either backcountry toilets, regulation requiring carry-out, or sometimes there's a problem. Then there's the harder core that gets further off the beaten track.

I still glance at the yahoo JMT postings from time to time. There's a thread right now about poop at an overused camping area on the way up the north side of Forester Pass. Too many first tier backpackers on one route. It's unfortunate and a hard problem to solve equitably. But it's a far cry from ruining SEKI.

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Re: Poop Alert

Post by SSSdave » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:24 pm

longri, indeed that headline is overstated,much like many media headlines in this era that click bait. IMO worst problem was, is, and will be the many that inconsiderately build fires in areas campfires are banned despite well presented reasons for not doing so. And the second is too simplistic camp siting policies that continue to be ignored, providing examples to many quick to ignore policies they don't agree with.

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Harlen
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Re: Poop Alert

Post by Harlen » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:42 pm

Creekfeet wrote:
corn lily leaves are a helluva lot nicer than the sandpaper they stock your typical pit toilet with.
Not bad, but I swear by Mule ears- the leaves that is, to use a real Mule that way is asking for an ass-kicking!

Andrew Skurka has an elegant short "how to poop in the woods" video, (attached below) where he advocates using all manner of natural items to perform the deed, and then finishes with a single piece of tp. Check it out- he even describes the "back country bidet" technique.
I can do without any tp., and have developed a real "hard ass."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2x-G7sXVs4

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