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Thread: Trowel test

  1. #21
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    I'm so curious about the Vargo stake/trowel.. wondering if it will tear things up in my pack?! ��������

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by V Eight View Post
    After using my heel, sticks, my trekking pole (IF it was not holding up my tent) I decided to just make one from some on-hand stock. My trowel is 7.5" x.75" x .125 Hi-carbon steel the end has 3 cutting surfaces. The long end 7.5" is chisel sharpened on the end and the "inside" edge. The short end 7" with a chisel sharpened end. Roots do not stand a chance and has stood up well to sand and small rocks. It weighs 2oz but I like to make stuff and for now willing to carry it.
    Pictures!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Pictures!!!
    Apologies to perrymk I do not mean to derail original post.

    I added a "Duck Tape sheath" and some 550 cord interstring, total weight = 2.17 oz
    The Sheath can also be a handle cover if I really have to chop roots.


    Trowel1.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    ______
    /l ,[____],
    l---L -OlllllllO-
    ()_) ()_)--o-)_)


  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by V Eight View Post
    Thanks.
    Yup, a picture is worth a 1000 words. Makes a lot of sense now... pretty cool,

    Just looking at it (and thinking of the tools in my toolbox... like a chisel), it looks stout... not surprised you have no trouble with roots with that thing.

  5. #25

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    The last of the test trowels arrived today. Hopefully I can get started this weekend. I plan to be done this month (I'm in no rush).

  6. #26

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    I’ve got 10 pages of specs plus completed two sets of tests. Hopefully next weekend I can do one or two more sets of tests and write a few reviews and thoughts.

  7. #27
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    I have the small QiWiz titanium trowel and found nowhere along the AT that I couldn't dig one... may have had to start a new hole a few times. Still surprises me how good it works for weight/size. I probably dug more holes then privys used to.
    NoDoz
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    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  8. #28

  9. #29

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    Ive never understood trowels... Animals don't burry their poo... other than a few that cover it.. is there a recommended depth of hole? isn't scraping to the "forrest floor" good enough? I guess I haven't pooed in the woods enough.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioHiker View Post
    Ive never understood trowels... Animals don't burry their poo... other than a few that cover it.. is there a recommended depth of hole? isn't scraping to the "forrest floor" good enough? I guess I haven't pooed in the woods enough.
    Trowels can be difficult to understand. There is a handle end and a digging end. Hold the trowel by the handle end, dig with the digging end. Recommended depth is 6-inch minimum. These are called Cat Holes. Use the cat hole for its intended purpose and if using TP, place it in the Cat Hole before burying the biomass. If using baby wipes or other such products, carry them out separately as they do not break down well, despite manufacturers printed labels. Carry out TP along with wet-wipes if you are on rocky or hardscrabble terrain that does not allow digging a proper Cat Hole. Animals will dig up the Cat Hole if it is too shallow and spread paper around the area along with pathogens in the biomass.

    The problem with "scraping to the forest floor" is people are coming behind you that can get tangled up in the biomass you leave behind. Odors alone can be nausea inducing, never mind the TP "blossoms" that you will probably come across along the way if you do enough hiking. Animals get into the biomass and spread the pathogens they contain, including dogs that then get into shelters, walk on the gear of others, and the list grows from there.

    Suffice to say, this is simple human waste sanitation that if everyone practices can prevent nano-virus type infections and other lower intestinal issues that can develop.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by perrymk View Post
    I’ve got 10 pages of specs plus completed two sets of tests. Hopefully next weekend I can do one or two more sets of tests and write a few reviews and thoughts.
    What a relief. I'd been monitoring this thread for movement. Looking forward to your test results.

    willi'

  12. #32

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    I would like to second what Traveler said only with a recommendation to pack out your tp.Chances are you're going to have wet wipes which must be packed out anyway.Few things more gross than tp blossoms on the ground other than "deposits" that were not properly buried.......still trying to unsee what I saw at Dockery Lake last year...oh the horror!

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    I would like to second what Traveler said only with a recommendation to pack out your tp.Chances are you're going to have wet wipes which must be packed out anyway.Few things more gross than tp blossoms on the ground other than "deposits" that were not properly buried.......still trying to unsee what I saw at Dockery Lake last year...oh the horror!
    Here's another option I learned from a Leave No Trace (LNT) Master Educator: Rather than packing out your TP, make "Poop Soup" (I have included general information on good cathole technique.

    A problem with catholes is that animals will often dig them up to get at partially digested buried food particles in feces. This tends to mix soil with feces (a good thing), but changes animal behavior (a bad thing), and possibly worst of all can leave dug-up toilet paper “flowers” in the area (another bad thing). One solution is to pack out toilet paper (TP) or use leaves or other natural materials as TP, but animals will still be attracted to the cathole as a food source. Another solution is to make Poop Soup.
    Selecting a Cathole Site:
    1. Select a cathole site far from water sources and campsites, 200 feet (approximately 70 adult paces) is the recommended range.
    2. Select an inconspicuous site untraveled by people. Examples of cathole sites include thick undergrowth, near downed timber, or on gentle hillsides.
    3. If camping with a group or if camping in the same place for more than one night, disperse the catholes over a wide area; don’t go to the same place twice.
    4. Try to find a site with deep organic soil. This contains organisms which will help decompose the feces. (Organic soil is usually dark and rich in color.) The desert does not have as much organic soil as a forested area. (See below.)
    5. If possible, locate your cathole where it will receive maximum sunlight. The heat from the sun will aid decomposition. Choose a site where water would not normally collect during runoff or rain storms. The idea here is to keep the feces out of water. Over time, the decomposing feces will percolate into the soil before reaching water sources.
    Digging a Cathole:
    1. A good trowel is the perfect tool for digging a cathole. You can use a stick, a rock, a tent stake, or a hiking pole tip, but with much more difficulty and frustration.
    2. Dig the hole 6-8 inches deep (about the length of the trowel) and 4-6 inches or more in diameter. In a hot desert, human waste does not biodegrade easily because there is little organic soil to help break it down. In the desert, the cathole should be only 4-6 inches deep. This will allow the heat and sun to hasten the decay process.

    Making Poop Soup:
    After depositing waste and TP /materials into the cathole, use a sturdy stick (not your trowel) to mix all of this with some loose soil, then add a cup or so of water* and mix again. The TP, soil, and feces should not be recognizable as such once thoroughly mixed in this soup. The thorough mixing of all of the cathole contents with soil and water will speed decomposition, make animal digging less likely, and will completely avoid the “TP flower” problem.
    * there is some disagreement as to how essential it really is to add water to the mix, but if you can spare some, it does speed the mixing process,
    Topping Off the Cathole:
    When finished, the cathole should be topped off with the rest of the original dirt and disguised with native materials. Remember to pick up your trowel before you leave the vicinity.





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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioHiker View Post
    Ive never understood trowels... Animals don't burry their poo... other than a few that cover it.. is there a recommended depth of hole? isn't scraping to the "forrest floor" good enough? I guess I haven't pooed in the woods enough.
    Animals don’t eat anything they didn’t forage.

    Strange how few people who espouse not digging cat holes (not you, but they do exist) never limit their diet that way.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioHiker View Post
    Ive never understood trowels... Animals don't burry their poo... isn't scraping to the "forrest floor" good enough? I guess I haven't pooed in the woods enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ethesis View Post
    Animals don’t eat anything they didn’t forage. . .
    Three Things:
    1) It's not your experience pooing that helps wake one up to the need for cat holes, it's your experience hiking and camping in areas where others have done a poor job of burying their poo that one becomes abundantly aware of how disgusting poorly buried human waste is.
    2) From the perspective of a human, running into human waste has a much higher risk of infection with a nasty disease than animal waste. So, even if we ran into more wild animal waste, the human waste has significantly greater risk to other humans than the animal waste does.
    3) There are a crap-load more people visiting most wild areas than there are other large carnivores. A typical black bear territory ranges from 10 to 60 square miles. AND, people tend to stay along the narrowest of ribbons (trails) transecting wild areas and then camping in places where others have camped before. So, in the areas where most people are, the density of humanity is yet another order of magnitude higher than if we didn't congregate along trails. Heck, I would argue that if you're an hour or more away from the nearest trail, traveling cross country, the likelihood of an unburied poo being a problem is nearly zero.

    BUT, please, please, please, take the time to process you poo properly so the rest of us don't have our trip spoiled by smelling, seeing or getting sick my coming near or contacting your poo! You may think you're 200 yards off a trail and nobody else will walk past that same spot for another year or so. Sadly, most of us tend to take breaks in common locations and walk off the trail to go poo via some route of least resistance to "seclusion" all of which are surprisingly the same routes and spots other people use thinking they are the only ones.

    So, hike and camp and backpack more, and, don't forget to master the joy of a good wilderness BM topped off with the pride of knowing whomever comes after you will never be able to figure out where you dropped your deuce.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  16. #36

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    The basic write-up is done. I'm going to let it percolate a few days so I can attempt to proof my own work. It's not intended for publication in a journal but I would like the grammar and spelling to exceed that found in an internet post.

  17. #37

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    I don't spend an hour taking a dump and then making poo soup but it is unlike you will ever find where I did my business.

  18. #38

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    I always put a stick vertically planted in the spot so the next person can put 2+2 together and realize it's not a good idea to dig there.

  19. #39

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    Stick left standing upright to mark it. Cool, I'd not heard of that, that I recall.
    Years ago I heard someone mention making an "X" (like "X" marks the spot) over the top of the covered hole, and that's what I've always done. Made with old dead sticks/limbs/etc... pretty obvious when you see it.
    Needless to say - Do Not Dig There - lol

    willin'

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    I always put a stick vertically planted in the spot so the next person can put 2+2 together and realize it's not a good idea to dig there.
    I seem to recall park service instruction (perhaps the speel I had to listen to when I picked up my JMT permit) specifically saying NOT to do this... because inevitably someone is not going to see the stick, step on or kick it, and create a poop catapult.

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