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Old 07-29-2005   #1
pbowman's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 245
Make your own Groover

i have seen posts before about making a 1-2 day groover out of PVC pipe, but my search on the site does not turn anything up. given that the rangers are stepping up enforcement on this item for unimproved campsites along the ark, can someone re-post the link that gives the material list and instructions to make a PVC pipe groover.

i would like to make a cheap one for use around the numbers campsites, given that there is actually a bathroom nearby at RR Bridge for daily pit stops. also, any ideas for a cheap home made fire pan to satisfy the requirements of these campsites as well?

thanks in advance. later.

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Old 07-29-2005   #2
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
You can make a groover out of just about any airtight container- and ammo can (most sizes), or a plastic container. Things you'll need:

1. Two lids for whatever container you decide to use- one for a transport /on-river lid and another to install a flush valve and exit hose.

2. Go to and RV supply store and find the waste section. The large RV store in Denver has these items
3. Find a flush valve like this: and install it on one side of your lid. Use liberal amounts of a silicone sealant. Install a PVC pipe for an waste tube and secure it with a hose clamp. Again, use lots of silicone for all the spots you've drilled in your lid. The lid doesn't have to travel on the river, but it had better be pretty sealed up, or you might get the dreaded shit shower.

As for a cheap and very packable firepan, call up JJ at Raftin Styles in Salt Lake and have him sell you a 4'x4' welding blanket - I think they're about $40, and you can build a fire right on top.

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Old 07-29-2005   #3
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 254
home made shit tube

last time i was on the colorado, i got busted for my homemade PVC shit tube - it is simply a 4" pvc container, with glued cap on one end and screw cap on the other. the ranger said that in order to make it OK per the regulations, i would need to add some kind of powder that chemically reacts with the crap to make it inoccuous and able to be thrown in the trash. he said you could get it at most of teh river outfitting shops.

anyways, i never got the powder, but if you are looking to have the shit tube for a more disposable option that is cheaper and satisifes the rangers, this will be easier.

however, i remember a few years ago that the westwater rangers had groovers for kayaks that was only an airtight container, no powder. . ..

go figure.

anyone know what the powder is?
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Old 07-29-2005   #4
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,911
Why not just spend a few bucks on a WAG bag?
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 07-29-2005   #5
Caspian's Avatar
Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 882
Westy and the Ark are under different jurisdiction and therefore different groover rules. You can just go to a surplus store and get an ammo can, then if you want to avoid the grooves, cut sections of PVC pipe so you can slide them onto the rim. Cost is probably $5-10 and you can just dump it into the vault at the RR bridge. This is what I've used for the required day groover at WW and it's simple to pack and no leakage (!!!). Also a screwtop food-service container coupled with newspaper for making shit burritos works well, but is not as friendly for disposal at the end of the day.
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Old 07-29-2005   #6
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 84
I'm with Andy H.. No reason for a home made deal, just spend $3 on a WAG bag (good for three people/per night). And a $5 ammo can, (the true groover). Place in ammo can when done, and throw in trash after trip. No disgusting cleaning. Enviro correct, and the cheapest.
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Old 07-29-2005   #7
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
The welding blanket, while probably a better actual solution, will not pass many regulations. I believe westwater requires your firepan to have 3" sides. A metal oil pan does meet and works well with hibachi style grate for cooking. They do not support a "white man's fire", but are just fine if you are keeping it low key or just trying to be legal.
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Old 07-29-2005   #8
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 16
Wag Bags work great.

I've gotten by on Westwater with a metal trash can lid before but I don't know if that still flies. I think you also need as ash can (ammo can). On the Ark, the existing fire rings are still OK.
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Old 07-29-2005   #9
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
wag bag and pvc seems to be the best option for kayaks. as far as the firepan, the $40 blnket seems pricey and as dave said will not pass. there are some cheapo firepans out there. i got one for minimalist trips for 4 bucks at safeway. 12" across and 3" sides. there was an 18 incher with 3 in sides for 6. also comes with grill and legs i was sketch at first but it has held strong for a half dozen all night fires, the paint just flakes off.
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Old 07-29-2005   #10
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 245
we used a 55 gallon drum bottom for our middle fork trip. cut it off with a sawzall about an inch taller than you want and we used pliers and a hammer to crimp the top edge around for safety. couple of holes for biners and it passed the muster just fine!

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