Left a trace.

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by DarrenM, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    North Abous Bay camp site, Ahous Bay, Vargas Island, Clayoquot Sound BC
    [​IMG]

    Not much to this one... but the view out over Ahous Bay through the trees would be remarkable! When was the last time you sat on your throne overlooking another gorgeous West Coast sunset, amid the mist of a grey whale surfacing in the distance?

    Edit: Oops - except the 'throne' is set up in the wrong direction! :oops:
     
  2. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    This was the only one of it's type that we saw -- there may have been more but we didn't stop at all the campsites.

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  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    1. Those minimalist "thrones" such as the one Dan posted, and the one Mark posted seem to be the up and coming model. We saw two on Dick and Jane's Beach, Vargas Island, Clayoquot. They are simplicity itself, demand no overstructure, and are easily relocated when the pit is full.

    So far, they seem to be in just BC Provincial Parks.

    2. The Phoenix composting toilets in the Broken Group have been in place for at least ten seasons -- I used some in the summer of 1996. They seem to be holding up well -- better than their overstructures, in some cases. Prime casualties appear to be the walkways which provide entry -- they are in direct ground contact. They are very good at minimalizing odor, perhaps because the fee collectors are also responsible for their upkeep and maintenance.

    A key ingredient is a regular supplement of wood chips -- human waste being too rich in nitrogen and not rich enough in cellulose for the microbes below to stay happy and healthy. I understand the decomposition process in the Phoenix units is aerobic, while ordinary outhouses are anaerobic ... resulting in quite a stink for the latter, and very little odor for the former.

    One of the local municipalities, which has no community sewer system (all the homes are on septic systems), supports those composting units, as a way of reducing the septic system output into the local ground water. They have good quality ground water, and they want to keep it that way. Their secret? Seven feet of rain each year, and near-surface geology composed entirely of beach sand -- drains like a bat to the ocean, carrying only water-borne nutrients, and no bacteria (the sand traps the microbes).
     
  4. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    That's the part that bugs me the most -- this is BC where it rains. A lot. Some sort of cover over the unit would be nice. Not absolutely necessary, but nice.

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  5. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Perhaps Darren's wording was a bit off -- I suspect that what he was getting at was the "superior" attitude that some have shown towards others during these discussions. In that sense, perhaps "elitist" would have been the better choice of words.

    elitism: The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.

    If the shoe fits...

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  6. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    Yup
     
  7. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    They have been on the WCT for about as long (same park...) I find that they do tend to have a heavy ammonia smell... Could be worse I suppose...
     
  8. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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  9. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    I guess, as usual, it depends on the location. In Clayoquot it rains - a lot. The most annual rainfall of anywhere in North America, by some reports (I have yet to confirm that). But as we've discussed before, I don't think we need more 'facilities' out there - we go out there to get away, to rough it for a while. I didn't use a single outhouse or 'facility' while I was there (there were none near where I was camped). If you're out there when it rains you're going to get wet - weather you're out for a walk, a paddle, preparing a meal or even, yes, lightening your load. Not having a structure over these 'units' means less maintenance required, lower costs, and ultimately perhaps that means the places can be fee-free a while longer. And, if it keeps a few more people at home each year, I can live with that too. :wink:
     
  10. andreas

    andreas Paddler

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    i have one too :lol:

    [​IMG]

    (mantario trail in manitoba)
     
  11. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Thanks for the "action" shot, andreas. 8O :roll:

    I've taken an umbrella on a few trips and found them to be excellent for around camp -- this will just be one more use for it.

    The one that we saw at the Bowron's was located up a small hill from the campsite, nestled amongst the trees -- not much of a view, but it was a nice quiet spot.

    I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing this style of commode at construction sites? Or outdoor gatherings? 8O

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  12. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Those minimalist thrones make sense to me. Anybody who is camped out in those wild places has rain gear, anyway. An umbrella is a good idea, though!
     
  13. ztar

    ztar Paddler

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    Very creative... A fun (but informative) thread. Must be my perverse sense of curiosity, but I'd love to see more pictures.
     
  14. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Dark Creek campsite on Pitt Lake. Note the cement walls:

    [​IMG]

    Dave, the umbrella is a great piece of gear when it's raining -- you can find stuff in your open hatches without getting everything inside soaked -- it's great for keeping water out of your tent when you've got the fly open -- and it's really nice when you've got to get up in the middle of the night to answer natures call.

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  15. HeavyK

    HeavyK New Member

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  16. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    Crappy Halloween everyone! :lol:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. andreas

    andreas Paddler

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  18. Robert_Meier

    Robert_Meier Paddler

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    That's very cool Darren! 8)
     
  19. glock

    glock Paddler

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    Hey that "Old Man's Beard on your chin, looks a little brown." I suppose that's what you call secondary treatment. :lol:

    glock
     
  20. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    LOL! I thought for sure you'd be going as an inukshuk this year, but this is very good. Nice job.

    And a Happy Halloween to you to, ya little sh... :lol: :wink:

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