Friday, February 8, 2008

New gear #2

Another new bit of gear, and ethos, I’m packing with me for this year’s Everglades Challenge, is a personal waste system, and a pledge to pack it all out.

I’ve recently written an article, soon to be published by Sea Kayaker magazine, reviewing five or six poop systems that we kayakers can use while paddling out in the wild. And I must admit, testing the systems and writing the article has changed my own views on my personal responsibilities to lessening my impact in as many ways as possible.

So I’ll be including with all my EC gear, six or seven (I’m a pretty regular kind of gal) Phillips Environmental WAG Bag waste kits. (WAG stands for Waste Alleviation and Gelling). What I really like about these kits is that they're completely biodegradable once deposited anywhere destined for landfill.

I asked my fellow EC paddlers on the Watertribe discussion forum what their thoughts were on this sensitive subject, and a few folks wrote back with some interesting thoughts. One main point being that you don’t have to buy expensive systems to follow this ethos – newspaper and a ziplock or ordinary plastic bag will do the trick.

But something that did disappoint me a wee bit is that folks argued that if it’s allowed by “the authorities” to poop above high tide etc, then that’s okay to do so. My point here is that if we all keep pooping in the wild, even where we’re allowed to, it’s all one day going to come back and bite us in the… rear end.


Gigner Travis said...

Kiwibird, glad you're doing the article for SeaKayaker. Important topic. Toilet-paper-strewn shorelines and woods trails are a real drag.

Silbs said...

So nice to hear you have an area of expertise you can really roll up your sleeves and dig into.

DaveO said...

To expand on one of my recent posts, if you are comfortable strolling around your neighborhood toting a bag of dog dung, why not your own on a camping trip. I love the freedom of camping Crown land in Canada but the woods near popular sites is like a Serbian mine field, with little white scraps marking the 'bombs'.