- May 25, 2016 at 10:43 am #3404642
the tp I use is made from…wood.
There’s a Star Trek episode where the Enterprise encounters a swarm of space creatures who are heading towards a black hole. The crew tries to warn them. Deanna Troy finally establishes telepathic communication with them as they’re entering the hole. Turns out, they’re merely returning home. Their origin and home is the black hole. They are happy.
that’s how I feel about tp. in the wilderness.May 25, 2016 at 1:32 pm #3404663
A+ job on the Star Trek reference. :DMay 25, 2016 at 5:47 pm #3404706
OK, Roger, just when those folks think that BPL is dying a slow death, you come along and link us to a study of ice worms. What strange critters they seem to be, with a reverse ATP activity when exposed to cold and their cellular anti-freeze capability.
But I’ve never seen an earthworm in my mountains. Well, for that matter, I’ve not seen a mountain lion either. So maybe they both actually exist but are quite sneaky about not letting me see them.
Still, I think somebody needs to do a time lapse video of worms eating TP. For science, you understand.May 25, 2016 at 5:59 pm #3404710
“somebody needs to do a time lapse video of worms eating TP. For science, you understand.”
Sounds like a good idea. When can I expect your video to be available?
CheersMay 25, 2016 at 6:11 pm #3404721
To the tune of Fixing a Hole (my apologies to Mr. McCartney…)
I’m digging a hole so the rain gets in
Just because my mind was wandering
To my poo holes……
I’m filling the hole with various wipes
To see how well they disintegrate
In my poo holes……
And it really doesn’t matter that
it’s near my flower beds
My neighbor just shakes his head
And turns away
He often sees me standing there
With no idea what I’ll do next
I wonder why he hurries for his door
I’m ‘painting’ my lawn in a colorful way
With Wet Wipes and Charmin paper squares
In my poo holes….
Ooh ooh ooh ah ah
Hey, hey, hey, heyMay 25, 2016 at 7:32 pm #3404734
Now we know how many cat holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall of Doug’s imagination, and make him sing!
Bravissimo!May 25, 2016 at 8:07 pm #3404743
Justin WBPL Member
I vote that we petition for a motion in the US congress, to divert some of the NSA’s spying resources, to spy on these poop holes, listen in on the conversations of the nice ice and other worms. We need to get the dirt on these activities. It’s a matter of National Security after all, and heck of a lot more constructive/worthwhile activity than most they’re currently involved with. Then we can truly say that congress does some important sh!t, rather than, “doesn’t do sh!t”.May 25, 2016 at 8:15 pm #3404744
May all hail the prolific and poetic Idester! But where is Roger, with his technical gear, his cameras and other gizmos, his scientific curiosity, and his want to study all things heretofore unknown? I mean, worms, TP degradation, and you know, life, the universe, and everything. Maybe it’s all just “42” and we can just be done with it? (a tip of my hat to Douglas Adams)May 25, 2016 at 10:02 pm #3404759
Perhaps not quite all things?
I am happy to remain ignorant sometimes.
CheersMay 25, 2016 at 10:18 pm #3404762
Blimy, Roger, what am going to do with you?May 25, 2016 at 10:25 pm #3404764
The solution, my dear Waston, is obvious. You will have to do the experiments yourself. :)
PS: please forgive the typo/pun. Bad, I know.Aug 17, 2016 at 1:01 pm #3420839
Spending time hiking high alpine and desert environments, I have wondered about this. In these areas there is intense UV radiation from the sun. In the desert, few seeds survive unless covered by soil or microbiotic crusts. This may sound gross, but i wonder if spreading out the poo and letting the sun hit it might degrade and sterilize it far faster than burying it where either the temperature is very cold most of the year in the alpine or there is so little moisture that nothing decomposes in the desert. Inquiring minds want to know!
<h1 id=”yui_3_17_2_2_1471460405109_1328″ class=”Fz-24 Fw-300 Mb-10″></h1>Aug 23, 2016 at 8:05 am #3421926
Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
There was a series of research papers published around 2000 after research done in conjunction with NOLS.
A much abbreviated version of the paper can be found here
I just took a Leave No Trace certified trainer course. The coarse summary of fecal smearing I received during the course was: not recommended. Material remains biologically hot long enough to be a concern.
If you can find the report, it sounds like it actually depends on the environment: arid, temperate, or alpine, with temperate showing significantly higher levels of E-Coli after a given amount of time than the other 2.Sep 5, 2016 at 7:34 pm #3424570
Piper S.BPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
I find that rabbit sage, white sage, clumps of grasses collected along the trail and small conifer branches make adequate TP. Smooth rocks and really soft, degraded pine cones work, too. I don’t feel too bad using these things.Sep 6, 2016 at 9:59 am #3424632
I realized that I had neglected to report on my experience with TP degradation while car camping with my pal in late May. We were at an elevation of ~ 8300′. I did my morning duty, deposited a “significant log” (which is a technical term used by all accomplished forensic scatologists), placed two 3-section Charmin tissues and then 2 moistened flushable baby wipes which were used for “final cleanup.” I poured 1 cup of water into the cat hole, stirred things up with a stick, and then filled the 6″ cat hole with the dirt.
The intent was to check the hole after a month and see what had happened. 32 days later, as we were driving by the area to get to a nearby trailhead for a day hike, we took a quick detour so that I could check the test site. I was pleased to find that the only traces of any TP were 2-3 bits about 1 square inch each. Nearly all of the TP had decomposed, whereas the feces didn’t look much different (but it was noticeably dried out). We didn’t have much rain during that month, and the temperatures were fairly warm-to-hot . I haven’t been back since that day in late June, but I intend to return to the site within a week or so. I want to see what the results are after 3.5 months, as there has been a decent amount of rain there the past couple of months. Then I feel that I can put this whole project to rest.Apr 12, 2017 at 3:33 pm #3462896
Jay JohnsonBPL Member
So was your turd still there?Apr 12, 2017 at 4:37 pm #3462919
“I was pleased to find that the only traces of any TP were 2-3 bits about 1 square inch each. Nearly all of the TP had decomposed…”
I would have guessed this. This pretty much puts a final nail in the “haul out your used tp” coffin…or something…I mean, I remain more convinced than ever that, with careful placement, using tp in the woods is benign.Apr 12, 2017 at 4:52 pm #3462923
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
but the feces was pretty much unchanged
maybe we should haul that out and leave the TP?Apr 12, 2017 at 5:04 pm #3462928
This pretty much puts a final nail in the “haul out your used tp” coffin
Well, most TP is designed to degrade like this, so it is hardly surpring. One can take PC a little too far sometimes.
CheersApr 12, 2017 at 5:17 pm #3462931
It’s interesting that this thread has been resurrected. I haven’t been back to that campsite until…yesterday, when my pal and I did a quick and dirty 24-hour car camp to burn wood, sip whiskey, and talk smart. We hadn’t ever camped together during the month of April, so we had to lay that one to rest.
So of course I had to check out the infamous cat hole. The trouble was that I couldn’t find it! I wandered around the area for 1/2 hour and then gave up. So I don’t have the 11-month follow-up for you guys. Sorry.
Regarding whether burying TP is OK, keep in mind that we (I) have learned that regular toilet paper, and also flushable (bio-degradable) baby wipes, will indeed degrade in a timely manner in all but (probably) the most arid climates. But Wet Ones will not. They degrade about like a bandana would.
As far as carrying out the feces, you are on your own with that one. I know what I’m going to do…Mar 6, 2018 at 5:46 pm #3522698
Roleigh MartinBPL Member
@marti124Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Thanks Jeff for the link, in the paper you linked to is a great link, more interesting to me. It links to:
An analysis of the breakdown of paper products (toilet paper, tissues
and tampons) in natural environments, Tasmania, Australia
Kerry L. Bridle*, J.B. Kirkpatrick
School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 78, Hobart 7001, Tasmania, Australia
Received 8 August 2003; revised 21 June 2004; accepted 25 August 2004
Journal of Environmental Management 74 (2005) 21–30
Full text here: https://sci-hub.tw/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2004.08.004
In the experimentation I’ve (Roleigh has) done (not in violation of any rules of course), I find in a cathole that mixing used ordinary TP, water, poo, (urine if available), and dirt, mixing with a stick and stirring at least 2.5 minutes, makes any visible trace of there being any TP (ordinary TP only) ever utilized at the scene. Cover with dirt when you can no longer see any trace of TP ever being used. It seems to take that long of time to make it disappear. About 12-16 ounces of water is about all one needs too. Plenty of dirt with it. The stirring is absolutely critical. Anyone else do experiments in this regard?
PS – the scientific papers citing the above science article are listed here:
Scopus LinkMar 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm #3522744
Yay for Sci-Hub!
(It was my taxes which paid their salaries.)
CheersMar 7, 2018 at 1:58 am #3522825
Brad WBPL Member
glad this old thread was resurrected! I was thinking of doing a similar experiment since I had not read of anyone else doing it….
side note, recently I saw a video of a guy looking at various wet wipes and how they break down in water…under the context for use in RV tanks. Turns out the scott wet wipes break down in water faster than some types of TP. A couple years ago he did a similar study comparing different brands of TP…some break down way faster in water than others….Mar 7, 2018 at 2:15 am #3522830
It took quite awhile, but I finally went TP free last year. A few thumb-sized sticks, some water for final cleaning, and some Dr. Bronner for washing up my hands.
I understand some folks will never go TP free, so let’s just agree to disagree and shake on it….Mar 7, 2018 at 3:40 am #3522843
Brad, we should be aware of just which of those ‘wet ones’ degrade faster (or as fast as) toilet paper. Please tell us that. And as for you, Doug, I’m not going to shake your hand until I see you actually doing that Dr. Bonner’s thing. Purely in the interest of global infection control, you understand…
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