Picture this: you’re three quarters of the way up a fourteener in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains, you’re enjoying the hike, enjoying your friends, and enjoying the view. Everything’s great until, out of no where, you feel last night’s beef chili hit your bowels. “Why did I eat chili the day before hiking a fourteener?”, you ask yourself. “There are no toilets, no trees, and no bushes for me to relieve myself, what am I going to do?”
Unfortunately, above the treeline, as well as in other, more sensitive environments, burying your waste just isn’t enough, as feces doesn’t decompose well in those areas. Generally, the recommended move is to bring your poo out of the wilderness and dispose of it in a more appropriate area, but that can be a bit… unpleasant for some people. Fortunately, one Colorado group is working to fix the problem, and they just received a $40,000 grant from the state to do exactly that.
According to the Colorado Sun, the Gunnison Crested Butte Tourism Association’s “Doo” Colorado Right effort is looking to distribute 3,600 free waste-disposal kits to individuals and organizations that tend to interact with the backcountry crowd, hoping to encourage tourists to properly dispose of their poo. The PACT Kit, developed by two Coloradans, contains a small and durable shovel, PACT wipes, hand sanitizer, and PACT tabs made from mycelium.
Essentially, the kit allows users to dig a quick hole in the ground, relieve themselves, and add a small amount of fungus into the feces, allowing the poop to breakdown 10x faster than it would without the tablets, and killing harmful bacteria to protect wildlife. Right now, the PACT Kit doesn’t work for snow, deserts, or near waterways, but it definitely makes the concern of pooping in the woods significantly lighter. You can buy your own kit here for $50.
This definitely seems like a must have for hiking and camping enthusiasts, and the next time I find myself doing a long distance hike, I might have to get one of these kits for myself. It’s, also, definitely great to see the state of Colorado putting in the effort to clean up the backcountry!
Image Credit: PACT Outdoors via Instagram