Managing poop can be dirty business. How can we make it cleaner and greener?
As one who spends half the year working in the wood alone, I spend a great deal of my time thinking about things some might consider odd. Like the future of re-purposed plastics. Like biodegradable or compost-able plastic products. Like the validity of the composting and bio-degrading claims. Like the big-picture impact our recreating has on our immediate and greater environs. And even about poop. The business of managing poop is a tricky icky sticky one. Especially at the crag or on a wall.
Fortunately there are many ways to deal with the problem, but what if one cares to dispose in a way that doesn't contribute more waste (so to speak) to our already over-burgeoning land fills?
One great way is to tote around some thing like the Metolius Waste case (http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/waste_case.html) which is bomber, reusable and cleanable. But realistically, most of we day-trippers are not going to be prone to toting this about the crag, though I would recommend it for the road tripper who may find himself in "positions" in which waste disposal is cruxy!
There are also the options of Rest Stop Bags (the suggested tactic in Indian Creek: http://www.survivalcenter.com/Emergency%20Toilet%20Supplies.html) or WAG bags which solidify and contain human waste so effectively, at least in the Rest Stop system, that one can carry the "spoils" around all day (and in some unfortunate and unintentional cases, weeks—full disclosure: not me!!! ;-))
But the bio-degradable nature, or lack thereof, of such systems leaves MUCH to be desired. In a quest to find other options, I've stumbled across a couple interesting options.
The PeePoo bag—if for no other reason than the name, I am interested in these little bags as they are built to compost human remains. Currently, it seems they are being used in countries or areas where sanitation is super dicey. It is a single use system and thus, toting it about the crag could be, er, stinky … I am still looking for retail availability in the US. Anyone?
Since we are not the only ones who poo at the crag, I looked at some of the options for our four-legged friends and of course, why can't we use "their" bags? Again, not as tidy as the aforementioned self-contained systems, but for the person concerned with the bigger picture, using Rufus' bio-degradable poo bag might be a viable option for Rufus' mom as well. Check these beauties out.
http://greenbiodegradable.blogspot.com/2010/04/inside-design-man-behind-poopbags.html (I posted an interview as it had some cool beta on the project as well as just about the bags and also has a link to the bags in-situ.)
So as you set out to the summer crags, please consider all your option before randomly dropping a deuce!
(Photo: the pooper at Ibex after "we", meaning Kennan, did some refurbishing)