Winter Poo Kit

Andy, from Lupine Adventure Cooperative , wrote in to provide the details of his own winter poo kit.

His kit consists of

  1. Newspaper: Lay out a square of newspaper and do your business on it.
  2. Toilet Paper: You know what to do with that
  3. Cigarette Lighter: You may want to burn your used toilet paper and any excess newspaper rather than carry it out.  (I am a little concerned that the box may be too small for 3 days so volume is important.)
  4. Biodegradable dog poo bags: Roll up your newspaper and put it in a bag and tie it off. Bought from a pet shop
  5. Liquid Safe lunch box: put the Dog poo bag in the box
  6. Hand Sanitizer: Wash your hands
  7. Waterproof bag: Put the lot in a waterproof bag and either put in your rucksack or attach to the outside.


Lupine Adventure Co-operative Ltd is registered with The Adventure Activities Licensing Service as licensed to provide specified activities under the following headings: Rock Climbing, Abseiling, Gorge/Ghyll Scrambling, Orienteering, Hill Walking & Mountaineering.  You can read more about Lupine Adventure Co-operative  here .

For more on the details of Andy’s kit read here.  For more on alternatives for packing out winter poo read here.

The Cairngorms National Park, in Scotland, developed a rather elegant solution to the problem of winter waster or frozen faeces.  Although by no means an unique idea, the Poo Project provides snow campers with special water/air tight containers, and biodegradable plastic poo bags. The aim of this free service is to reduce the amount of human waste out on the high plateau areas by carrying waste back in special pots and carry bags, where the contents are then treated at the sewage treatment plant. Snow white bags have been specially sourced for this project and are made from corn starch. These break up once they are in the treatment facility. The pots are reusable, water tight & air tight containers which come with a carry pouch.   Read here for more.

Poo Pots. Not every backcountry location is as generous, as the Cairngorms, even outside of the snowbound months. In New Zealand, for instance, the Department of Conservation (DOC) do offer trampers Poo Pots. But they go for $5 NZ, which seems reasonable, until you read their caveat, “Lids can sometimes come off so you may want to carry it inside plastic bags in case this happens.” Uh oh!

Poo TubesSome years ago, at the Australian Alps Best Practice Human Waste Management Workshop (I kid you not — this is a big issue for public land managers) the Australian Army’s Adventurous Training Unit and Parks Victoria detailed their many trials with poo tubes. And how they’d come to believe they are the future for protecting wilderness waterways.

Of course, it is possible to make your own poop tube from a few sections of polypipe as these DIY instructions from WikiHow and Canberra Cross Country Ski Club clearly explain.

Bog Bags Special, commercially produced, portable waste bags are also available, known variously as a WagBag or a Wilderness Waste Containment Pouch. Each such product is provided with a biodegradable powder that users add to their Number Twos to gel them into a more transportable form.

The Hole TruthWhy not just dig hole and bury the waste. At least in the summer months? An exhaustive study undertaking in Tasmania’s alpine country found that such ground was often too hard and rocky for the requisite 15cm (6 inch) deep hole to be dug. Particularly with the usual plastic trowel sold in outdoor stores. Furthermore, they determined that whilst in some environments the waste might decompose in 6 months, in other higher locations no degradation had occurred even after two years. That study’s recommendation was that there be no disposal of faeces, toilet paper or tissues in treeless vegetation above 800 m (2,600 ft) in particular alpine environments.

Possibly responding to such calls, the Australian outdoor company (with broad distribution in others countries like the US) Sea to Summit, developed their iPood, which is a 99g (3.5 oz) collapsible trowel with a hardened blade and a hollow handle for storing toilet paper.

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