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Submitted: 10-02-2009 by lackge
All river runners who make overnight trips where toilet facilities are not available should bring a waste management system with them to pack out human waste. There is nothing more disgusting and dangerous than the feces that irresponsible campers sometimes leave behind. The PETT Toilet System will make your campsite safe for yourselves as well as those who follow you. On many rivers the most popular campsites are occupied almost every night during the boating season. It only takes a couple of "cat holes" to ruin a campsite for a very long time. For health reasons, more and more river regulatory agencies such as BLM and NPS are requiring paddlers to bring a toilet system with them and to pack out all solid waste. The PETT is approved by most of those agencies. Before making a multi-day trip, however, you should check with the river agency to ascertain which systems are allowed.
The PETT toilet is lightweight, sturdy, compact, and easy to set up. It utilizes "WAG" (waste alleviation and gelling) Bags which can be legally and safely deposited in regular trash receptacles.
I have used my PETT system for four years on river trips involving as many as twelve people. If the WAG Bags have to be transported for more than a couple of days, you should bring a military rocket box or some other container that is absolutely airtight to transport the bags; otherwise, odors will almost certainly pass through the plastic bags. That is the only significant drawback that I have discovered.
Overall the PETT is more user-friendly than systems that have to be flushed out at dump stations. The PETT toilet and privacy tent are available at most river and camping retailers such as Northwest River Supplies, Campmor, and Cabelas. I found that prices vary a lot, so make comparisons before you buy.
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