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Old 07-11-2013, 06:39 AM   #41
dundee
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They're called thunderboxes because they go "boom" when you drop the lid. Amazing what learning & info can be found on the net!
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:48 AM   #42
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To help reduce the risk of others being defiled like this, perhaps consider laying your sticks in a cross pattern, or maybe constructing a gentle cairn...
Seems I read in another thread that it is illegal to build a cairn unless trained in that type of activity
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:46 AM   #43
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Seems I read in another thread that it is illegal to build a cairn unless trained in that type of activity
I believe that is true, mostly. I don't know about the training part, but I believe that the cairn must be built by an official trail crew, DEC, ADK, ATIS, etc. I think DSettahr can provide more details.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:59 AM   #44
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A thunderbox is the box part of the outhouse you sit on without the surrounding walls. Typically there will be a cover.

I've noticed they've started replacing outhouses with them in some other parts of NY. I'm not opposed to them but the ones I have come across were not nearly private enough with the foliage down.
The DEC has started replacing outhouses in wilderness areas with the box toilets. I believe that the long term goal is the phase out the outhouses entirely within wilderness areas. There are 2 reasons for this- the box toilets are more in conformance with wilderness ideals and regulations (since they don't have 4 walls and a roof), and they are a lot easier to maintain and move, which makes a huge difference when it comes time for toilet relocation duty at shelters and campsites that are 5+ miles from the trailhead.

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I believe that is true, mostly. I don't know about the training part, but I believe that the cairn must be built by an official trail crew, DEC, ADK, ATIS, etc. I think DSettahr can provide more details.
Building a cairn along trails without permission I think could certainly be construed as "against the regulations." It'd be trail maintenance without proper authorization. There is valid reasoning behind this- those who don't have the proper experience and skills necessary for trail maintenance can ultimately make things worse in the long run. This has been a problem in the past- well-meaning individuals who've taken it upon themselves to adopt a trail, did so without going through any of the proper channels (ADK and DEC) and unfortunately only ended up making the trail worse.

With regards to cairns specifically, yes, there is a "proper" way to construct them, but it's really important mainly for alpine cairns- big cairns that need to be visible from a long distance and need to be able to withstand multiple winters without falling apart.

As far as using a cairn to mark your poop... regulations aside, I don't think it would fit within the scope of LNT. The advantage to using a stick is that the stick will decompose, probably about the same rate as the poop. Rocks are just going to stay there until someone (or something) moves them. If one person did it, sure, no big deal... but if everyone did it, soon every campsite and lean-to would be surrounded by cairns. So I think the ethical thing to do would be to just stick with the sticks (and watch where you squat).
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:40 AM   #45
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I occasionally use a portable folding commode ...
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File Type: jpg porto john.jpg (64.3 KB, 216 views)
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:56 AM   #46
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That thing looks scary...



Somebody left this at Fawn lake for all of us to use
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:50 AM   #47
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That thing looks scary...
So do some outhouses and Porto Johns.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:05 PM   #48
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I prefer squatting to sitting - our digestions are designed to work best that way...
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:45 PM   #49
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In high altitudes or tundra, I pack out my tp. The soil tends to be less active. In a forest, I bury it along with the goods; about 6-8".

The thing that I hate is when I pack out my tp in grizzly country. After a few days, my bear canister is a house of horrors. You can't help your spork from puncturing the wrong ziplock. Ugh!

H
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:51 PM   #50
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The thing that I hate is when I pack out my tp in grizzly country. After a few days, my bear canister is a house of horrors. You can't help your spork from puncturing the wrong ziplock. Ugh!

H
I don't care who you are... that's funny
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:32 PM   #51
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I don't care who you are... that's funny
If you cram 7 days worth of food into a bear canister, it gets tight. At some point, your food and your **** learn to co-mingle only to be thwarted by a sharp, space hoarding, 6" spork. It happens every time, without fail.

I suppose the chance of contracting e coli is welcome when the alternative is being eaten alive by a half-ton predator.

Again, if I'm in the Northeast where the soil is active, like you, I bury.

H
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:53 AM   #52
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I didn't mean that in a bad way... I meant even a non-backpacker would find that funny.

It sucks, but I can understand - something to look forward to when I head out west.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:50 AM   #53
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I didn't mean that in a bad way... I meant even a non-backpacker would find that funny.
No problem. I didn't take it that way. I just wanted to elaborate!

H
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:33 PM   #54
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I do most of my camping during the late fall and winter (hot tenting) and follow the practice in Carl Rutstrum's book Paradise Below Zero the classic guide to winter camping.

Page 18 "... explaining how they might go about most comfortably performing their urgent body functions in sub-zero temperatures and snow that could be waist-deep. A square of turned-up birch bark is used as a receptacle, the function performed in it inside the warm tent, and immediate disposition made in the wood stove. The bark creates a quick hot flame, and with ventilation no factor in a tent, all is sans gene."



Cheers, Bioguide
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:38 AM   #55
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Excellent! Probably has some fuel value,as well - dried animal feces is used as a primary fuel in a lot of the world. In Nepal, they spread the Yak dung on a sun facing wall and when it's dry they use it for fuel.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:41 PM   #56
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They're called thunderboxes because they go "boom" when you drop the lid. Amazing what learning & info can be found on the net!
That is one way of making them rumble.... the name made perfect sense to me before your perfectly adequate revelation...
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:13 PM   #57
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the best sanitary tool is a small garden shovel.... hole should be six inches down...obviously not near water or other activity. TP?... a leaf or two is perfectly fine with me
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:01 PM   #58
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Some things I have read say that nearer the surface is better, at a level where there are more micro-organisms to break it down. I don't know, I have seen both points of view explained in books in a lucid manner and I never stuck around long enough to find out for myself.
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:21 PM   #59
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TP in the woods

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Originally Posted by Zach View Post
Some things I have read say that nearer the surface is better, at a level where there are more micro-organisms to break it down. I don't know, I have seen both points of view explained in books in a lucid manner and I never stuck around long enough to find out for myself.

Zach

Sounds like an experiment is in order. Any volunteers?
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:33 PM   #60
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Some things I have read say that nearer the surface is better, at a level where there are more micro-organisms to break it down. I don't know, I have seen both points of view explained in books in a lucid manner and I never stuck around long enough to find out for myself.
Zach
My understanding is that yes, closer to the surface allows for faster decomposition, of both the waste and the TP.

I believe that we are encouraged to dig deeper (6+ inches) for a few reasons. Many hikers are unable or unwilling, for whatever reason, to travel very far into the woods to "do their duty." I think that this is probably due to a combination of the fear of getting lost, and pure lazyness. In any case, however, it is not uncommon for backcountry visitors to deposit their waste quite close to trails and campsites, or water bodies. In these cases, by encouraging folks to dig deep catholes, at least the poop and tp will be out of sight, and hopefully buried deep enough that contamination of water bodies is unlikely.

In other woods, deep catholes are just an extra layer of protection so that we don't have to see/smell it, or end up drinking it.
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