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Don’t be a Jerk, get a Toilet

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  • Don’t be a Jerk, get a Toilet

    I have not posted on this site for a while, but I have become increasingly perturbed by Alaskan boaters crap. On numerous occasions over the last couple of years our family has been grossed out by campsites littered with gnarly toilet paper hiding a disgusting package underneath, pitched a tent on shallowly dug holes that started to secrete their smell in the middle of the night, and on one occasion had to wipe human feces off of my niece’s back.

    We have all seen Alaskan white roses scattered on the Kenai, Gulkana, 6 Mile, and nearly every pull-out in Alaska. People seem to think it is ok to take a crap and throw toilet paper on top of it. While scouting the 3rd Canyon on 6 Mile, I stepped on an Alaskan white rose and nearly barfed. A couple of years ago, I camped at Super Hole on the Middle Kenai with some buddies. As soon as you strayed away from camp, the place had a field of Alaskan white roses. Disgusting. I am sure a lot of you have had similar experiences as me when floating the Gulkana. Even though there has been a push to use toilets, I still see large groups floating sans toilet. I feel so sorry for the BLM crews who clean up after these pigs.

    Then there are those who think digging a shallow hole is being a good river steward. A few years ago my wife, kids, and I were floating Lake Creek. The water spiked, it was dumping rain, and we had to camp on higher ground. We found a nice spot in the trees to put our tent. For those of you that float with kids, you know it can be a little chaotic when you get to camp. I quickly pitched our tent, and we all hunkered down as a family. Late in the night my wife said she smelled crap. The next morning I realized somebody had dug a super shallow hole and buried their dung directly under my beautiful wife’s sleeping pad.

    The straw that broke my back was when we were camping and kayak fishing at Whiskey Gulch last summer. My cute seven-year-old niece and daughter were playing in the woods by the beach when my niece came back with human excrement on her back. Now I am a peaceful hippy-like dude, but I wanted to put my fist through someone’s skull at that point.

    I will confess that years ago I used to be dig a deep hole and burn the TP kind of guy. Now I always travel with a toilet. We usually use a PETT foldable toilet (about $100) and a toilet tent if we are traveling with ladies and kids. On just dude trips, we set up the toilet with the best view. The PETT system uses WAG Bags. After a few dumps, I will then seal up the bag and put it in an ammo box. I carry a separate ammo box just in case. The foldable toilet ammo can system works well in AK because you can put it all in the floats of a plane.

    The last few years I have been going rafting in Idaho, and the beaches on these rivers are sublime. You will not find micro trash, Alaskan white roses, or cat holes. You are required to pack out your turds. It is nice to be able to walk out on a trail and not have to worry about stepping on human crap. On these trips I have used a myriad of toilets. Selway Fabrication makes the Riverbank; super solid, almost like home ($370). The Joh-ny Partner is another solid toilet, yet more expensive ($600). These expensive groovers are nice because it contains the smell for the most part. Last week I was carrying a Riverbank (one of three toilets for a group of 19) on the Middle Fork of the Salmon, and it never bothered me. You will actually enjoy taking a dump in the woods if you purchase one of these bad boys.

    Regardless of how you float down a river, please help keep Alaska pristine, and poop in a bag, bucket, or some fancy groover. Oh, and you light-weight packrafter people, you need to do your part too.

    Thanks for reading my rant.

    Here is the music video “I Poop in a Bucket” with some mild language and great rafting footage:


  • #2
    Went camping last weekend on a friends mining claim on canyon creek.
    Since we were truck camping I brought up a 1 man iceshanty and my chemical toilet for a makeshift outhouse that worked pretty good.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"


    • #3
      Excellent post! I really try to promote Leave-No-Trace principles, but have not done much in this area of packing out poop. It's time to re-think that, and your message is timely. Great ideas, and some good, practical solutions here.
      Michael Strahan
      Site Owner
      Alaska Hunt Consultant
      1 (907) 229-4501


      • #4
        Great post. I hope some folks take heed. I've been surprised at how nonchalantly my friends will head into the woods at a busy put-in without even a shovel. It seams like every other time I put in on the Sixmile I step in poop, drag my boat through poop, or have to go around poop.

        For very remote rivers, a good hole and a lighter are fine, but for most of the road accessible rivers, packing it out is the best motto. Some of the road accessible rivers can seem remote and not very busy, but there are usually limited good camp sites, so the use is concentrated. This makes for some disgusting camp sites.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Heg View Post
          A couple of years ago, I camped at Super Hole on the Middle Kenai with some buddies
          That is a great camp site at super hole. Too bad it is a popular guide boat potty stop as well...

          Great post and well timed as the FWS is proposing to close the Kenai River within the refuge to camping.
          "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"


          • #6
            Long lake mile 86 Glenn pullout....nasty as it gets.....

            Release Lake Trout


            • #7
              I'll say it....Alaskans are pigs when it come to cleaning up after themselves in the outdoors. Not all of course, but more than most places I have visited. And we can't blame it on the visitors.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Birdstrike View Post
                I'll say it....Alaskans are pigs when it come to cleaning up after themselves in the outdoors. Not all of course, but more than most places I have visited. And we can't blame it on the visitors.
                Ill second that. I can't believe folks leave their crap above ground AND leave white butt wipes laying everywhere. Totally disgusting. How hard is it to grab a stick and scratch a hole? I wouldn't go near a pull off along any hiway around here.


                • #9
                  Everytime I stop along a road I am amazed at the amount of TP left. Really in South Central you shouldn't have to poop along a roadside, it's not that far between real toilets.

                  My wife had the misfortune of hiking Bird Ridge the day after the Boyscout campout and climb, crap and TP everywhere along the whole trail up, really disappointing. Surprise Cove out of Whittier was the worst, looked like a whole group designated one spot at the head of a tiny slough as an outhouse.

                  If you are going to bury and burn, take a walk far away from the river, campsite, trail, road, etc. But if at popular spots pack it out.


                  • #10
                    Well written Josh! Sorry you've had such crappy (meh meh) experiences with the ever present Alaskan white rose. It's not just happening on the rivers. The Haul Road is getting bad as well.


                    • #11
                      I participated in the Denali Highway cleanup two years ago. Fully 50% of the garbage I picked up (not volume, but pieces I picked up with my grabber) was toilet paper. HUNDREDS of small toilet paper piles. Of those hundred plus, maybe only a half dozen were accompanied by a poop.... so it was the ladies that were the major contributors. Since my teenage daughter was with me at the time, she decided that packing along a 5 gallon sealed bucket in the back of the truck to deposit her toilet paper was a great idea.
                      Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AKDoug View Post
                        Of those hundred plus, maybe only a half dozen were accompanied by a poop.... so it was the ladies that were the major contributors.
                        That or people's dogs (or other critters) cleaned up the piles. When I bring the pups up on the highway I rarely use the pullouts for fear of them either rolling in it or eating it. It gets worse every year.
                        sigpicSpending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.


                        • #13
                          I just hunt and camp where turds are a good sign.
                          Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you


                          • #14
                            Even here in the Yukon with only 35,000 people and a lot of land area toilet paper can be a pretty big problem. Lot's of folks have no idea what they are doing out there!


                            • #15
                              “Move that fat ass Henry!”
                              “Don’t swing your balls or you’ll swamp the boat!"


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