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Just a heads up for anyone planning on hitting the Upper Colorado this weekend.... this will be posted in some newspapers. Teri, Recreation Assistant at BLM Kremmling
Free WAG Bags offered for river campers Saturday


KREMMLING, Colo. — "WAG Bags" may not currently be on the equipment lists of many river rafters, but the Bureau of Land Management in Kremmling and several partners will be working to change that this summer by offering free bags on specific days, including this Saturday.

"Simply put," says Kremmling Outdoor Recreation Planner Andy Windsor, "WAG Bags will make a river trip more enjoyable for you, and the people who follow you."

The Waste Alleviation and Gelling Bags are biodegradable bag systems that are designed to be used as a portable toilet system for packing out solid human waste to protect campsites. Otherwise, river campsites, which are limited in number and occupied many times during the summer, can become unpleasant fairly quickly.

"It’s not the kind of thing everyone wants to talk about," Windsor says, "But when you consider that we have up to 20 boater camps on the river each summer weekend on the Colorado River between Pumphouse and Rancho del Rio, and that most campsites do not have pit privies, you can get the picture."

The first free WAG Bag day will be Saturday, Aug. 14 at the Pumphouse Recreation Site on the Colorado River near Kremmling. BLM, American Whitewater and the river equipment company NRS are teaming to hand out free WAG Bags to overnight campers in an effort to promote sustainable river recreation.

Currently on this stretch of the Colorado River the only overnight campers that are required to carry and use portable toilet systems are commercial outfitters. Most of the overnight use on the river, however, is from private boaters.

"WAG Bags are used throughout the West at popular river destinations and other sensitive areas," says Nathan Fey, Director of the Colorado Stewardship Program for American Whitewater. "With more and more people enjoying these areas each year, these WAG Bags are one easy but important way to minimize impacts."

Each bag contains enough gelling powder for three to four uses and is approved for disposal in any garbage can. This powder neutralizes the odors, and starts the decaying process of waste. All of the WAG Bags that are being handed out have been donated by the American Whitewater and NRS.
 

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To use the WAG bag "system," what else is required? Obviously TP and hand sanitizer... what about a rocket box? Anything else?
 

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We use 'em with the PETT foldup plastic toilet, but the black bag is pretty big and if you rolled up the edges and set it on the ground, you'd have a 12-18" target. Pee somewhere else. After use you unfurl the edges, squish the air out and fold it all up and put it in the little white ziplock bag. If it were going in my pack or boat I'd probably double bag it. With the toilet we get 4-8 usages.

It's a lot bigger than the 'blue bags' they make you carry in parts of the North Cascades!
 

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To use the WAG bag "system," what else is required? Obviously TP and hand sanitizer... what about a rocket box? Anything else?
A small folding shove and a good sturdy tree are helpful. Face and grab onto the tree while squatting ( this is so you do not fall backwards into your own poop) when done, pick poop up with shovel and place in bag. This works good if you do not have some type of seat arrangement or good aim . PS. a strong bush will work in place of a tree.
 

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Just pack a groover, folks! Common sense for all overnight trips. I'm sure AW has better places to spend their money in this state. Are there really that many who still just dig a hole, if that? Who are these boaters?
 

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I'm not going to play the "holier than thou" route of 'ol rivermanryan, I just wanted to give 'em a big thumbs up for their efforts. I was up there this week and the tp blossoms are everywhere. I for one would put in a strong vote for requiring some kind of toilet system (firepans wouldn't be a bad idea either).
 

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I'm not going to play the "holier than thou" route of 'ol rivermanryan, I just wanted to give 'em a big thumbs up for their efforts. I was up there this week and the tp blossoms are everywhere. I for one would put in a strong vote for requiring some kind of toilet system (firepans wouldn't be a bad idea either).
Sorry if I came across that way, not my intention. My point is that I am kind of shocked that there is a need for such a program. Maybe I am naive, but every boater I have ever run with always cared to keep a clean camp and always carry groovers on overnighters. Are these really boaters, or is the problem with joe schmo's running walmart rafts and not having any river etiquette?
 

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Sorry if I came across that way, not my intention. My point is that I am kind of shocked that there is a need for such a program. Maybe I am naive, but every boater I have ever run with always cared to keep a clean camp and always carry groovers on overnighters. Are these really boaters, or is the problem with joe schmo's running walmart rafts and not having any river etiquette?
Upper Colorado is very much a beginner river, so yes, it does have its share of vinyl inflatables.
In the old days the idea of a fire pan, groover or even carrying out your trash was laughable (burn it, bury it, or sink it). Over time, as rafting has become more popular, the impact has increased significantly. Upper Colorado has been a un-permitted bastion for years and now it's time to tighten things up a bit.
If you haven't run the Upper C, you should check it out. Difficulty wise, it's on par (if not a tad easier) than the Lower Animas and is a nice place to spend the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The BLM Kremmling is working on Supplemental Rules that will require a firepan and portable toilet for all overnight trips on the river. We have been informing river campers about this and had hoped it would be in place for this summer. I was informed that it got delayed because now it might become a STATEWIDE rule. "Wag Bag Day" is another step to try to encourage LEAVE NO TRACE.
 
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