WAG BAGS

The route to hike in to the Havasu Falls area, campground, and points beyond the campground, see a tremendously high concentration of visitors. All compacted into a very narrow piece of real estate.

While this area seems like a wilderness in some respects, you shouldn’t follow some wilderness practices of cat holes, 200 ft from water, etc. In most cases you can’t even get more than 200 ft from a water source.

That dry wash you hike to the village on. Becomes a large water source during periods of heavy rain. Flushing all the poop and TP people leave behind. Right toward the village and the pools of Havasu Creek you want to swim in.

Can you image 300 people a day doing their business along the trail, and leaving it. Even urine?  None of this really soaks in and composts itself.  It dries out in the desert heat and low humidity.  All to be reconstituted during the next rain.

Many of the Western USA waterways now have mandatory requirements such as these for river rafters, kayakers, etc. River travelers have to carry and use a “Poop Box” or “Groover”.

These waterways have far less traffic and visitor concentration than the Supai Trail. Most of us that have experienced this mandatory requirement in other areas, expect someday the Havasupai Tribe with mandate such requirements. It just makes sense to practice this without being told.

Once you come to terms and accept this practice, you wonder why it isn’t mandatory in a situation like this.

It is highly recommended you carry some type of human waste bag/WAG Bag.  W.A.G. or WAG Bags (Waste Alleviating and Gelling) typically contain enough gelling powder for 3 to 4 uses. They absorb urine as well. WAG Bags are available under several brand names.

Purchase from Sporting Goods stores, Military Surplus, or On-Line.  I personally have been using a Restop 2 product for many years.  For backpacking, hiking, kayaking.

I always have several stashed in my vehicle. The Restop2 has a pouch that is virtually puncture proof, chemical absorbent power for liquids and smell.  I have used these on numerous backpacking trips without failure.  While I use the bag (alone) while backpacking or kayaking. I have the whole bucket/seat/bag configuration I carry in my vehicle.

See images of the Restop2 products below. There are other brands including military surplus retailers.

If you are squeamish about putting a “WAG Bag” in your pack, or in an external pack pouch, consider making yourself a lightweight “Groover”.

Though it will add a small amount of weight. Some backpackers construct a “Groover” out of lightweight solid 3 inch drain pipe. They glue a cap on one end.

Then use a Plumber drain pipe test plug on the other end.

A plumbers drain pipe test plug is a device that has a small cylinder of rubber sandwiched between 2 metal discs. A bolt with a wingnut that can be tightened to expand the rubber, to seal the pipe. Loosened to pull the plug.  [Test Plugs are available at plumbing supply, Home Depot, and other Hardware’s carrying plumbing supplies.

Used WAG bags are placed in the “Groover” and the plug put back in place to seal the tube. You pack it out!

You can buy Restop2 from various sources including Amazon.  Buying in volume, the price per unit is better.  They last for years on the shelf or in the trunk of your vehicle.

There is also a wilderness version that comes with a containment pouch. But I have never had an issue with the one above….and have add many in my pack over the years. If you want more security from a puncture you may want the wilderness version?

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