At the beginning of last year’s camping season, when I walked through my campground picking up microtrash, I found a used condom. Picking up a used condom was bad, but it had been lying on the ground for a while, so was quite dry. It wasn’t as bad as it would have been if the condom had been recently used.
What I found at the beginning of this camping season was worse than a freshly used condom.
Around site #2, quite a bit of toilet paper had been left by people or scattered there by the wind. It was kind of gross to think about picking up toilet paper, so I didn’t think about it too much and just went about my work. Then I picked up a piece of toilet paper and under it discovered a pile of human feces. Gross! Yuck! Disgusting!
Who does that?
I’m pretty sure at least two restrooms in the campground were not locked during the off season. Those two are older restrooms, with no locks on the outside of the doors. I don’t think anyone installed locks on those doors in the fall, then removed them in the spring. So whoever shit on the ground most likely had pit toilets at his/her disposal. The Camping Expert website reminds readers
If facilities exist, use facilities in the area. Pooping on a toilet is ALWAYS better than pooping in the woods.
If the ground shitter was such an avid outdoor enthusiast that s/he didn’t want to use the pit toilet, s/he should have taken care of business properly.
According to the Men’s Journal website, there is a proper way to shit in the woods (which I guess could apply to campgrounds, although the article says
Make sure you get at least 200 feet (about 70 paces) away from the trail, water, or campsite.)
The aforementioned article says burial works in areas that don’t have a sensitive environment or are located near water or a canyon, or where campers are required by law to carry their feces out with them.
In soil, dig a hole at least 6 inches deep. The National Outdoor Leadership School suggests scraping the sides of the hole to loosen some dirt to stir into your poop to speed up the natural breakdown process when you’re done. Always conclude the burial process by covering the hole and tamping it down.
The Camping Expert website also advises
Put a cross or stake into your pile to warn other poopers of your pile.
As for toilet paper, the Camping Expert says
DO NOT BURY the toilet paper. I cannot stress this enough.
I know that a lot of people recommend to bury it, and that it will decompose, it is paper after all… however, I have seen lots of toilet paper that hasn’t decomposed and looks gross, sticking out of a dirt pile and once, I even saw a little red squirrel running with a toilet paper strand in it’s [sic] mouth to use in it’s [sic] nest. EWW.
Once at an infoshop, I glanced through a book called How to Shit in the Woods by Kathleen Meyer. I always wanted to read the book but have never come across it at a thrift store or on BookMooch. [amazon template=image&asin=1580083633]
I bet the person who defecated on the ground and then covered it with a piece of toilet paper on site #2 never read Meyer’s book! I wonder if that person had any idea how long it takes human waste to biodegrade (about a year, according to an article on the Mother Jones websit.) I wonder if s/he gave any thought to the person (me!) who’d have to clean up the mess.
After discovering what was hidden under the toilet paper, I walked over to my storage room and got my shovel. I scooped everything up and deposited it in the trashcan. It was a gross job; it made me grumpy.
There are a lot of pigs out there! Those who don’t pick up after their dogs probably wouldn’t think twice about doing the same themselves.
I don’t think it’s a big issue about the paper, IF the feces are buried properly. They will decompose together. But the morons who don’t bury their feces (or just scratch a little dust over it) aren’t going to care about the contaminated paper blowing around; after all, they’ll be gone tomorrow and it will be someone else’s problem.
But I’ve seen worse. I was once van camping in the Olympic National Forest (WA). It was the week after Labor Day, so use was down, but I went into one campground and there was no one there. Then I discovered that someone had purposely emptied their holding tanks over every single picnic table in the campground. Of course, that’s Washington. More psychopaths, idiots and AHs. IOW, WA is Deliverance Country.
Thank you for being one of those people who do their job, and pick up after this human trash. You might want to stop at a Harbor Freight Tool places if you see one, and buy a box of latex or nitrile gloves, just to be safe. Their nitrile gloves only cost about $7 for a box of 100. Cheaper than a visit to a doctor. Be sure to keep them out of the sun.
The company I work for has provided me with latex (or whatever) gloves.
Thanks for reading and sharing your experiences.