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I am looking for sustainable alternatives for carrying out human waste. WAG bags, though convenient, sadly have to end up in land-fills. I am looking for a system where the non-biodegrading components can be reused hygienically, and the biodegrading substances can be disposed of in pit toilets or composting toilets. In addition to sustainability and hygiene, weight, bulk, convenience when used on multi-day trips, and longterm cost are also of concern. Poop tubes (either the PVC or dry-bag version) strike me as a good starting point. Sadly (possibly due to the sensitive nature of the topic) I found it difficult to find useful first-hand information on how to make that system work with the criteria stated above.

  • Uh, why? Every other critter out there leaves their scat wherever they go. You need to bury yours, but carrying it out is unnecessary. – Don Branson Jun 18 '13 at 19:26
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    Some very popular climbing destinations (Yosemite Valley, Mt Whitney) require people to carry out their waste because of the high volume of climbers. On multi-day rock climbs in Yosimite (for instance, El Capitan or Half Dome), climbers have to plan on carrying out multiple day's worth of waste. Its... actually the grossest part of that sort of climbing. :) – DavidR Jun 18 '13 at 20:16
  • Ah, okay. Makes sense. – Don Branson Jun 18 '13 at 20:17
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Use a biodegradable (e.g. cornstarch-based) bag to pick up waste and then pack it in a airtight container. For obvious reasons the container should only be used for that purpose and disinfected when you return home ready to be reused next time.

Also, look out for schemes such as Keep Cairngorm Snow White which provides biodegradable bags, a pot to carry the waste in, and a site to dispose of the waste into sewage treatment on your return (also described here).

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