- Jun 12, 2017 at 10:48 am #3472931
I’m looking for suggestions on a way to comply with river regulations requiring a firepan. What is the lightest way to be legal in areas that require a firepan? Specifically, Canyonlands NP river regulations.
I’m also trying to figure out the lightest way to have a way to pack out human waste. Wag bags have to be stored in a sealed container. I obviously don’t want to carry a groover.
Thanks!Jun 12, 2017 at 12:12 pm #3472945Sep 16, 2017 at 8:34 pm #3491381
David RodriguezBPL Member
Some people use the Imlay Canyon Gear small dry keg for poop. It can be wrapped in bubble-wrap and stowed in the cargo fly of many boats.
I’ve also met people who use a screw-top plastic jug which nuts come in.
Turkey roasting bags can be useful liners as they are fairly smell proof.Sep 16, 2017 at 8:37 pm #3491382
David RodriguezBPL Member
There is this fire pan.Sep 16, 2017 at 8:50 pm #3491386
Here’s the poopy punchline from Link’s link:
“Many land management agencies will require some type of human waste disposal system, such as groovers or wag bags. For the DIY’er interested in a lightweight solution, you can poop on the ground, pick it up with an inside-out quart sized ziplock (use it like a glove, then turn it back inside-in), sprinkle some waste gelation “bio-gel” powder into the bag, seal it, and then store it in a second, more durable zip closure bag – some type of tough, odor-proof bag is ideal.” I’d go further and suggest that sil-nylon dry bags are now so cheap at Walmart, that you could use them as disposable garbage bags – garbage bags far more robust (and compact) than Hefty trash-can liners.
Those “dry kegs” at DavidR’s link look pretty good. I think I see a gasket in the lid that might make them more airtight than other options. One potentially free option are the protein-drink containers I see in the #2 HDPE recycling bin at the transfer station.
They are stronger. more voluminous and have a larger opening than most any other container. Since one’s aim is rarely perfect, I’d imagine (1) peeing elsewhere, first and then (2) doing the deed on a paper towel or flushable diaper wipe placed on the ground, gathering it by its four corners afterwards, and dropping it in the container’s opening. Then everything is flushable and degradable and could be deposited in any RV dump station or the receptacle for groover contents at the GCNP/etc takeouts.Sep 16, 2017 at 9:04 pm #3491388
As for fire pans, an aluminum baking pan (like for cooking a turkey) *might* meet the letter of the regulations, but in practice, aluminum is just not tolerant of the temps generated once the camp fire burns down to coals.
The cheapest thing I can think of is a wok from a thrift store for $5. Or a wok from Walmart for $5 (for their 13.75″ model) to $20. It will last forever, is readily available, and is fairly multipurpose. You can haul water in it, use it as a uplands basin for washing hair or taking a sponge bath, digging holes in soft sand and even as, *gasp*, a wok.
I’ll repeat my suggestion from other threads for a charcoal starter as a fire place on rafting / boating / car camping trips.
About $12 at Home Depot or Walmart, anything you burn will burn MUCH cleaner and with less smoke in such a chimney with great draft than in a traditional campfire. A few Ti tent pegs over the top allow you to place a pot of water, asparagus spears (done that) or some bear meat (done that, too) to roast , but be prepared for it to cook REALLY fast unless you’ve let it burn down to coals first. Such a charcoal lighter, placed on a small steel wok or piece of Ti foil would be better, in every way (less smoke, fewer sparks, better heat output) than any open campfire. 3 and 4 of us have gathered around one in our folding chairs. That’s about the limit and for a larger group, a more open fire (with all of its drawbacks) would allow more people around it.Sep 17, 2017 at 11:01 pm #3491631
Poo offgases, especially in hot weather. Expect expansion and smells, unless your container is exceptionally strong and airtight. Try to keep it cool. Release pressure from time to time to prevent catastrophes. Store downwind of camp!
Poo container liners are prohibited on many rivers. Some rivers even require rugged containers you won’t be tempted to throw away – 5 gallon buckets are barely acceptable. They don’t want you dumping human waste in the landfill to contaminate acres of used Pampers and Huggies.
Some rivers even require your HWRS (Human Waste Removal Systems in government-speak) to be cleanable in a SCAT machine or RV dump. You could make or buy something like the YakTube:
Show the rangers what they want to see, then follow your conscience.
I like David’s charcoal starter idea, but it won’t meet fire pan requirements on many rivers: ~300 square inches, ~4 inch sides. Even for self-supported kayakers or packrafters. Even if you bring a double-burner propane stove and it’s summer and the night time temperature won’t drop below 75° F and you have no intention of building a fire (BTDT.) The rangers have their checklists. And they won’t allow aluminum baking pans, either.
— RexSep 17, 2017 at 11:13 pm #3491634
If you need 300 square inches, that’s a circle of radius 10 inches, diameter 20 inches. A metal garbage can lid? I’m sure they’re spread all over south Florida, now, after Irma. Ah, now I see “4-inch sides”. Okay, then, the bottom 4 inches of a trash can? Or, if weight is no object on a rafting trip, the bottom 4 inches of a 55-gallon drum? Those are 22.5 inches in diameter and closed-top ones are available for $5 each (which would make two fire pans). Would the charcoal lighter chimney then be acceptable, placed on top of such a circle of galvanized steel?Sep 19, 2017 at 12:19 am #3491838
The traditional river fire pan was a galvanized steel oil changing pan. Those are harder to find now (try farm supply stores), but I’m pretty sure that’s where the 300 sq in / 4.5 in spec started. Too bulky and heavy for kayaking or packrafting.
We’ve used charcoal lighter chimneys in those pans for lighting dutch oven charcoal. Rangers have a required equipment checklist – either you have something or you don’t, other stuff mostly doesn’t matter.
Still stuck for a lightweight packable HWRS or firepan? Call the rangers for that river, ask what other self-supported kayakers have done, packrafters are still relatively rare. Most are happy to help you meet their rules – and what’s acceptable on one river might be verboten on another.
— RexSep 19, 2017 at 1:00 am #3491840
Checking the parks’ web site sometimes helps:
“A metal fire pan that is at least 12 inches in diameter with a 2½-inch lip around the edge.”
Much smaller than GCNP!
“A means to securely contain and remove human waste from the backcountry. Systems approved for river use are washable, reusable containers equipped with RV dump fittings, or commercial bag systems (e.g. Wag Bag, Restop II) that render human waste into a non-hazardous material. Bag systems must be stored in hard-sided containers or heavy-duty, waterproof bags labeled “Human Waste.”
Looks like creative uses of Ziplocs won’t be approved. Try Wag Bags or calling the park for guidance.
But wait! On their Packrafting page:
“A fire pan. You may carry a turkey basting pan April 1–September 30 for emergency use only.”
I’ve often found conflicting guidance on National Park web sites. Don’t assume you can quote one web page over another, the put-in ranger is usually the final authority. Check with the park if you want to use something outside-the-box.
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