Frodo and Scout trained me so well! The day before day1 of our hike, we stayed at Trail Angel’s Frodo and Scout’s in San Diego.
We were blessed to have a bed in their home. They fed and cared for 40+ Thru Hikers that night and are incredibly kind.
After pizza and before the cupcakes, they gave us their Orientation and Welcome Speech.
One thing which really stuck with me was “Pack it in, Pack it out”.
Scout (Barney), spoke about the amount of hikers now doing the trail and how it was becoming a brown poop trail. When only 400 people were hiking the PCT a year, it may have been reasonable to bury your loo-paper the 6 inches below ground with your poop. With 2000+ now attempting the trail? But now the little critters were very interested in the ‘smells’ and now dig up the holes, placing a rock over the area is not going to make any difference.
Now soiled toilet paper hangs from the trees like disgusting brown ribbons.
To be honest, at the time, I thought, it cannot be that bad!
Day 1 of our hike, at camp, Cory and I went for a wee walk, away from the herd, to find a place to bathe where it might be a bit more private. I needed a peepee and went off to what I thought was a secluded spot. Clearly others had had that idea also. When I went behind the large boulder, the air was full of humming, lots of big bumbling glistening black flies! It was worse than anything Scout or Frodo could have described, I was confronted with lots of mounds of poop!
Whomever had been there had not even dug a poop hole! Their paper was strewn everywhere too.
I thought I might vomit with the sight and the smell!
I was a convert.
From day one, we had a little Ziplock bag in our ‘toilet’ bag, and the soiled paper goes in and I pack it out! Yes it is pretty gross having 5 days of poop paper with you but the wilderness shouldn’t have to endure any more than what we already put it through!
We also have scented bacterial gel in the ‘toilet’ bag. My stomach now revolts at the smell of the bacterial gel ( buy non-scented!), due to the ‘poop’ association but it gives us a higher degree of hygiene than we would otherwise enjoy where there are no facilities to wash our hands after the act!
And regular? Heck yes, it is as soon as we get up or not at all…. Unless we are heading into town that day for a resupply… then we both wait for the luxury of a toilet and washing facilities 🙂