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I hesitate to start this, but MB is likely to be the only place where people have direct experience.

I own a 20mm rocketbox based eco-safe toilet system I have used for close to 20 years. It does its thing, and generally pretty well. It is, however, heavy, and when you do a sanitary job with the seat, involves two rocket boxes, that must be hauled, and strapped, and stored, and dumped, etc. I have thought that one of these little wag bag systems might be a lighter, lower profile alternative.

Enter the BLM. On pretty much every river info site I look at, the BLM seems to look dimly on that option. I know day trippers that swear they can take theirs anywhere, dispose of the poo easily, and that it's all blessed by the feds. My reading is that is not so.

So with what is probably naive optimism, I seek the prevailing wisdom on packing a load, particularly with the new baggy type systems.
 

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BLM on Rogue River allows them, as long as you put used Wag Bags into a hard sided, waterproof, gasket lid container.
I have heard similar on the Main Salmon, but this was second hand info, so can't confirm. I used them on a recent 4 day Southfork Snake trip for the first time. My feelings on them are mixed. I think they are great for short trips, but I doubt I'd use them on a weeklong trip. They do an ok job with odor control, but not great. They don't pack down very small. We were a group of 4, 2 adults and 2 kids. We used a new bag each day. Since I was the one who wanted to try them out, I was on groover duty each day. Getting one days worth of "stuff" tightly compacted and into the large sturdy zip lock bag wasn't easy. I'd almost go with two bags per day, and more depending on group size. That would get pricey and take up a lot of room in whatever container you are transporting them in. You definitely want the used bags in a sturdy container. On the positive side, it was nice to put them in the dumpster at the takeout, instead of playing the 4 inch RV dump station game. I will use them for short trips, with a small group, and no scat machine.
 

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Something that often gets left out of this conversation:

Wag bags do two things that I don't find optimal.

1. They basically encourage the use of the portable waste system to handle urine, which can increase the volume of waste you are packing by a huge factor. Particularly if you have a lot of ladies on your trip as they seem to tend to have a harder time...shall we say....differentiating their waste processes. Leaving your pee in the wilderness isn't optimal, but as a water scientist I know that the "solution to pollution is dilution" is a mantra for good reason. Pee is a very small impact - and in most cases a reasonable trade-off for allowing use in sensitive areas.

2. Wag bags are meant to enter the landfill, whereas your current ecosafe system puts the waste "where it belongs" in the wastewater system where it can be treated. yes I know there are other bad things in the landfill...but adding to the problem is not a solution. Again, my background in the water sciences informs this opinion. Poo is a biohazard, and having it enter the groundwater in a landfill when there is another solution that avoids this completely seems....foolish.

I own ecosafe, and recently used the cleanwaste system (Wag bags). It was convenient, but I also note that we packed out a lot more waste than we would have with the ecosafe system for the same group.

Also, you have to put the used bags somewhere, I assume many folks use a gamma seal bucket or similar - but the bucket (or whatever) combined with the cleanwaste toilet system itself will not be much of a space savings on a boat. The cleanwaste toilet is pretty well made, but certainly isn't going to take the abuse that a rocket box will...
 

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GoBro
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You aren't supposed to pee in the wag bags. I used them in my kayak without the stand and it worked alright. If carrying a rocket box was an option I would easily do that instead.
 

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sweet, another buzz poo thread...:shock:;)

fwiw, I've used them on 3 person or less ~week long fishing type trips on MFS, Hells Canyon, Selway, ect without issue from rangers or use. Just call/email the rangers and ask for the bottom line if it is legal or not before any permit trip. If it's not a permit trip, I wouldn't even ask. You are packing it out and it's legit. Now if you show up with one 5 gallon gamma lid bucket, 15 people and 100 wag bags this will probably play out abit different with a ranger from my impressions for obvious reasons.

With these small groups, we don't even share a poo bag. Everybody gets enough for the week. One poop, one bag. No starring at someone else's last nights taco bell damage. People on my small trips like it anyway. Less gross, no fuss or muss. Dump it in the hotel dumpster at the end of the trip. Done. Fuck it. Next.
 

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Guppy Captain
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I actually prefer them. You aren't hovering over 25 stinky loads stewin' on a hot day... More like 4 or five. The odor control is a huge factor. They take up about the same amount of space. As for the cost, Walmart sells thicker bags with more capacity and better zippers for 1/3 of the price. Just look for them in the camping section.
 

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Outdoor Recreation
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It is highly recommended to pack out all solid human and pet waste from the river corridor along BLM public lands.

Please set up an approved portable toilet as soon as practical upon arriving at the campsite. The toilet system should be adequate for the size of the group and the length of the trip. Using approved toilets and bags will reduce the risk of spills if in a leak-proof, animal-proof, hard-sided container with a screw-on or ratchet-locking lid.

Approved Portable Toilet Definition: Any non-biodegradable, durable container designed to receive and hold human waste in any container position without leaking, equipped with a dumping system that allows the container to be emptied into a stander receiving or dump system designed for that purpose (such as a SCAT machine or recreational vehicle dump station) in a sanitary manner, without spills, seepage, or human exposure to human waste or any approved biodegradable landfill-approved bag system designed for landfill disposal (such as a “WAG” bag).

Please call the BLM - Colorado River Valley Field Office at (970) 876-9000 if you have any additional questions. Thank you.
 

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In Westwater Canyon, the 'Daily' section of the Colorado River as well as along the lower Dolores (Gateway to Dewey Bridge) and Labyrinth Canyon of the Green River 'Wag bags' are a viable option. It is critical to note that once the bag is used they must be contained within a washable, re-usable, leak proof container (not a dry bag).

Previous posts make good points about the odor control and landfill reality that should be considered when choosing which type of containment system to use: a 'bag' type system versus a rocket box type system. I encourage you to consider the group size and the length of the trip when rigging for your future river trips.
 

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Boy Howdy!
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I've used both and prefer the ecosafe, everyone shits and it does'nt go in the landfill. Lots of products and ways to keep the smell tolerable. I reccommend the rhino buster. It has'nt let me down yet.
 

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don't bogart that
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So, old wag bags?

We carry the coyote grovers on all raft trips but on kayak trips we use wag bags in 6 inch pvc with a glue end and a threaded cap end, except for the Chama! My buddy got his out of his gear room after storing for what we think was two years and guess what? He had forgot to empty it, wag bag totally digested everything and with a slight wash out good as new. Wag bags work and decompose.
 

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Wag bags have there place on solo or small trips. I've used the pett system on several solo westwater and cat trips, as well as small trips with only a few peeps.

I would not package them in ziplocks prior to disposal as this defeats the purpose of biodegrading them safely.


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
 

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Wag bags have there place on solo or small trips. I've used the pett system on several solo westwater and cat trips, as well as small trips with only a few peeps.

I would not package them in ziplocks prior to disposal as this defeats the purpose of biodegrading them safely.


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They come with their own biodegradable zip lock. That's what you put the main wag bag in after you use it. But it's not easy if you let the wag bag get too full.

I agree.....useful for some trips. I wouldn't use them on a weeklong. I'm getting into kayak touring, and the 6 inch pvc pipe/wag bag system sounds interesting for that purpose. Someone mentioned the bags from Walmart. Are they biodegradable like the wag bags? I've also heard of something called a "green bag" that backpackers use, and they bury it in a cat hole to decompose.
 

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Yes, the Walmart bags are the equivalent of Wag brand bags, but significantly less expensive. I have a 4" pvc tube I use with them for multi day trips.
Thanks. I'd love to do some multi-day touring down at Lake Powell, and they require a system of some sort. Pvc set-up seems compact & easy to make.
 

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1. The landfill issue is bogus. We landfill 10s of millions of disposable diapers a year. Not sure that the septic systems serving many scat machines are better than modern landfills at protecting water quality.

2. If there are squeamish people along, the bags get better utilization. If people are too grossed out they WILL sneak off and dig a cathole.
 
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