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Poop box? For river trips...

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  • Poop box? For river trips...

    I am hesitant to even share this, but has anyone ever heard of a sh*t box. Literally, that is the name of it. Made of cardboard and uses disposable biodegradable bags for the poop. I thought I had heard of it all. Till now. Link below...
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  • #2
    Problems with this-

    Hi Dan,

    There are lots of ways of handling this issue on river trips. The most common is the "rocket box". The problem I have with this cardboard version is that the moist air in a river environment and from weather issues is going to make this thing a prime candidate for collapse while a person is in the act. Not a pleasant prospect. It also appears to be somewhat bulky compared to other alternatives.

    Michael Strahan
    Site Owner
    Alaska Hunt Consultant
    1 (406) 662-1791


    • #3
      Thanks. It does seem to be a growing issue on float trips. Especially more visited rivers. The Alagnak comes to mind. At 300 lbs, I will not be sitting on a cardboard box full of poo But I did wonder if anyone had seen this. Innovative, yet odd type of product.
      The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


      • #4
        Think you can buy a bucket with a lid like a toilet lid and use bags (recommend a good bag then bagging those bags in a trash compactor bag) something like this <;jsessionid=MJ2EK5GSX5RFVLAQBBKSCOFMCAEFAI WE?id=0009518514868a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm _ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=0470303&cm_it e=0009518514868a&_requestid=542> . I have not used my tiolet seat with bags but it works and is a great comfort on trips. <>


        • #5
          Hey, Little Jack!

          The Brown Corporation?
          After I clicked on the link, well it got more entertaining. Interesting but odd like you said, Dan. Boy you discover so many interesting possible solutions to float trip problems. We're lucky that you share the info with us.

          Waste handling in general: Groovers/rocket boxes work and are esp easy to use on the Gulkana, where BLM has fitted the pit toilets with dumping stations - but their weight becomes an issue for trips involving air charters for sure. I've been wondering about a groover for our Goodnews R float trip. The best argument for them was stated in an older thread about waste probs (http://www.forums.outdoorsdirectory....d.php?p=88811# post88811), on the ?Kisaralik R, and by Mike actually (post #11).

          As for the "S**t Box", what a surprise it would be to find cardboard fragments so labelled on some future river trip:eek:. Waste disposal generally bears some thought and discussion too though. I remember reading about waste and other probs along the Gulkana resulting from high seasonal use ( I also remember how much toilet paper was around along stream edges. Still, the (Upper) Gulkana remains scenic in my two (only) June floats, but I understand BLM cleans it up each Spring. Reading about the probs and management along the Gulkana R strikes me as a model for things we could see elsewhere. We're a long way from use permits and other restrictions, but for situational awareness and education there's no time like the present - and an informed proactive AK fishing/hunting/floating culture would be better positioned to manage.

          Thanks for another idea worth reading.
          Oh yeah, this too: "The Brown Corporation... a solid company"

          No habitat, no hunter.


          • #6
            **** scientist

            I have used quite a few methods down in the lower 48. My current and preferred and cheapest method is to use a 5 gallon bucket with a gama seal lid. (roughly $15), which if you don't want to wash it out and save after every trip is a pretty cheap dissposable trip cost (and recyclable). 5 gallons is a lot of poo (really only about 3 gallons usable though). Don't pee in the bucket. whipe it down with some crisco or cooking oil, will make the goodies come out a lot easier if you end up cleaning it. Adding a little water the morning of the day you plan on cleaning it out will also help with disposal.

            I made a seat using a regular toilet seet, and bolted 2 brackets underneath, one on the front and one on the back. The bucket sits on a piece of plywood that is somewhat bigger than the base of the bucket. I routered out a couple channels in the front and back of the plywood so you can run a 3 foot cam strap through the plywood then up to the brackets under the seat. A strap on the front and back compresses the seat on the bucket and onto the plywood platform, keeping it all together. A couple of small blocks under the seat also keep it from shifting on the bucket too.

            You can buy some commercially available groover treatments to add to the contents to keep the smell down.

            some rubber gloves and a scuba mask help with assembly and breakdown at each camp.

            if you do need to use a groover, you need to buy this book, it is hilarious


            • #7
              I have the ECO-Safe system and used it on the Gulkana last year with good results. The tank fits in one rocket box and the lid/supplys in another. Like Shapp posted, a treatment powder or liquid keeps the odor down and the BLM's cleanout station at Sourdough makes cleanup easy. However, I'd be hard pressed on a fly-out trip to substitute this for a case of beer if it came down to a weight choice. Butt, it's sure nice having a seat and greatly appreciated by the ladys.


              • #8
                This turd post has turned fruitful. Great ideas guys. With some rivers in Alaska being overused and with so many of the rivers going by native villages that use the water, a more dilligent approach to waste removal is needed. While the "sh*t box" may not be it, I am glad that it spurred some other thoughts. As we continue to use these rivers, I feel this will become mandatory float trip equipment for all of us in the near future. That is already the case on some rivers with the "carry it out" rule. None of us want to pull up on a gravel bar and see catholes all over the place. Surely, there is a better way to do things. Keep the ideas coming.
                The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


                • #9
                  Many options.

                  I looked into this a while ago and found there are quite a few options out there. For a couple hundred bucks you can get a system complete with toilet, bags and a tent to give you some privacy. Here's a link to one version:

                  There are lots of them out there. The most appealing to me were the ones with disposable bags and chemicals that render the waste safe to deposit in any dumpster at the end of your trip. The bags already have the chemicals in them and at less than $5.00/ bag, it seems like a no brainer to me. You chuck the bag in the trash at the end of your trip and your five gallon bucket is already clean and ready to use on the next trip. I do think a guy could easily build his own bucket commode for much less than the one's on the above link. Cabelas had a seat designed for a bucket that was pretty inexpensive too, if I remember correctly.

                  Anyway, I agree with all of you that although it's not mandatory yet, it's a good practice anyway and there are lots of products out there that make it easy.

                  I just remembered the name of another system that looked interesting. Here's the link:


                  • #10
                    not legal down here

                    Please note that most of the plastic bag type groovers are not legal on mandatory waste removal rivers in the lower 48, and judging by the fact that it is the same agencies down here that would regulate up there, the same thing might eventualy apply in AK. If you endup using a plastic bucket try a gamma seal lid, they kick butt (no pun intended)


                    • #11
                      Please explain.

                      How do you mean "not legal?" I've never floated down there so I have never even looked at the regs. Do they say you can't use them to collect your waste and haul it down river? I can't see how it would be an issue to use the bag to collect your waste, then seal it, throw it in the bottom of the bucket, throw another liner over it for the next use, repeat. I'm just confused as to how they could not allow these if you're just using them to contain the waste inside the bucket the whole time. Maybe it's the disposal of the bags at the take-out that's the issue?

                      Hmmm. I'm not arguing with you as I don't have any experience to back it up and I know you do, this just seems strange to me.

                      The "Restop" system claims "Approved for disposal in any trash container and are approved for use on Federal Lands by the Park Service, BLM and Forest Service."

                      Thanks for the info.


                      • #12
                        Sad, ultimately the issue is lazyness. If people would carry a trenching tool and hike 100yds from the river then bury their pile all would be well. It seems more reasonable to make a no poo coridor and mandatory burrial rather than make people haul out the additional "load".


                        • #13
                          Not True

                          Originally posted by LuJon View Post
                          Sad, ultimately the issue is lazyness. If people would carry a trenching tool and hike 100yds from the river then bury their pile all would be well. It seems more reasonable to make a no poo coridor and mandatory burrial rather than make people haul out the additional "load".
                          I know this sounds absurd, but even buried 100 yards doesn't work with a high traffic area. A regular use camping site will see a new group almost every day, and a raft group usually consist of at 4-10 people. So, we will put this at 6 per day on average. There are probably 90 days in the rafting season, so lets say a high use camp site is visited 70 days in a season. Lets say that each person uses the woods once on their stay, this wouldn't be far fetched. So, that's 420 fecal deposits per season, at about 1/4 lb per deposit. In other words, that's 100lbs of sh*t per campsite per year, and even with soil filtration, IT DOES end up in measurable levels in the river, IT WILL get dug up by animals, and the campsite and 100 yards from the campsite WILL eventually smell like SH*T. That is why we carry it out.



                          • #14
                            Fly-out reality...and finding a fix

                            Originally posted by LuJon View Post
                            "... a trenching tool and hike ... It seems more reasonable to make a no poo coridor and mandatory burrial rather than make people haul out the additional "load".
                            What Lujon described is the reality though - I mean most who care would employ a shovel and a hike, which work out much better (weight/bulk and that dark tradeoff for a case of beer mentioned) than say 15 pounds of "waste and waste handling gear".

                            Until we have better options that people will use, I'd submit that an educated hole dug the best interim fix. If we could at least know the basics for best use of a dug latrine, we'd arguably have the best current fix for a problem that still wants a better long-term solution (borrowing from Lujon in another thread).

                            From a Public Health/Sanitation perspective, pit toilets can be safely established following simple guidelines. It's not as simple in the wild, where animals might dig up waste... but some guidelines would be better than no guidelines...

                            Actually, Lujon do you have regular contact with Public Health experts at your deployed location/s who might have input?

                            The system on the Gulkana that Birdstrike mentioned is really excellent for that river. If you float local rivers often, investing in the gear solves the waste problem with minimal hassle. My North Pole buddy brought an EcoSafe and rocket box setup for our September trip to Salchaket Slough. With a tarp, it was very simple.

                            Good thread.

                            Maybe 6 more weeks til rivers open...
                            No habitat, no hunter.


                            • #15
                              Scat machine


                              Mostly I think the bag system is not legal because a lot of the rivers down in the lower 48 have scat machines, which is a device that you load a 5 gallon bucket or ecosafe tank into that actually cleans and sanitizes it for $1 to $2 at takeouts. I think the bags, even the biodegradable ones clog the machine. Any, even where there aren't scat machines, the regular cheap plastic bag system (i.e. stansport etc.) are not allowed. The regs on most of these rivers require a human waste system (non-plastic bag type) and a fire pan, and some require other stuff. As long as you don't get checked at the putin it isn't a problem, but I have been checked lots of times at various river putins for the mandatory equipment.

                              On another note, just using the 5 gallon bucket and gamma seal lid deal is pretty easy and not much hassle. I know it is apples and oranges comparing AK to Oregon or Idaho, but I started floating a lot of rivers in Oregon before it was mandatory to carry out human waste. This one single regulation has improved the floating experience more than any other. Before the rule, you would go 50 yards inot the woods and there would be turds and TP everywhere under every log and rock etc. Note that due to steep cayons hiking farther is usually not an option. After the rule was implemented, the waste was all but eliminated in a few years. The camps are so much cleaner now, it is night and day. For the little bit of hassle it has made a huge improvment in quality camp life.

                              The specific rivers that I have actually obsered such a change in clude the John Day and Grande Ronde in Oregon.


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