Youâ€™ve heard the old saying many times: Haul it in and haul it out. That generally applies to trash, but more places now require that visitors carry out their human waste as well. In some, you donâ€™t have any choice. In the Moab, UT area and on the Rubicon Trail, for example, the ground is so rocky that itâ€™s impossible to dig even a small hole.
4-wheelers for the most part are good about cleaning up after themselves, but some still need guidance regarding the sensitive topic of going to the bathroom.
This isnâ€™t the most pleasant topic to discuss in public, but it is necessary. Too many of our trails and camping areas have literally become open-air outhouses. Whatâ€™s really annoying is all the toilet paper lying around because the user didnâ€™t take the time to bury it or put it in a plastic bag for disposal.
Dealing with toilet time is challenging, no doubt about it. Some drivers have tried a portable toilet (often called a porta-potty). Those are fine if youâ€™re on a flat, level surface or in an RV. In addition to their size, these units use liquids to treat the waste, making them impractical for 4-wheelers.
A better option is the PETTÂ® toilet system. PETT uses a dry chemical, and provides plastic bags to catch and store the waste.
Itâ€™s a pretty nifty system. A small bag, which contains the chemical, is used during each trip to the toilet. That bag is sealed and dropped into a larger bag which is hung inside the toilet. At the end of your trip you simply dispose of all the bags in a trash receptacle. You can choose from 12-, 50- and 100-pack waste kits. All kits include toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
The PETT system is available at most camping-supply stores. For more information, check out the manufacturerâ€™s Web site at www.thepett.com.
Other options include the â€œpickle bucketâ€ or a large can used with kitty litter.
Start by pouring enough kitty litter into the container so itâ€™s at least an inch deep. After going to the toilet, cover all waste with at least a half-inch of kitty litter. Leave at least an inch of room at the top so you can apply a final layer of kitty litter.
Regardless of the container you use, make sure it has a tight-fitting lid. You donâ€™t want the contents spilling out while youâ€™re bouncing around the trails. Also, consider purchasing some pet deodorizer to apply after each trip to the toilet. A regular-size bottle or box should be sufficient for your needs. Check your favorite pet store or general merchandise store for options.
Of course, youâ€™ll need something to sit on, so pick up a toilet seat designed for outdoors use at any camping-supply store. Theyâ€™re relatively inexpensive and last a long time.
Whether you use the PETT system or some other method, make a point to properly take care of your human waste. Doing so will show others that we truly do care about protecting the environment.