Saline Preservation Association

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Posts: 50

You packed it in, you pack it out.
San Felipe

Posts: 8
As most of you know, the vault toilet capacity at Palm Springs is much less than at the lower springs. At the 17 November 2019 meeting with park management at the springs, we were told that there will be no money for at least three years to do anything significant. Their first step is to have an engineering study done, so in all likelihood, it will be appreciably longer than three years.

There will be a lot of people visiting the springs in the near future, especially over Presidents Day.

They also said that they have few (three, if memory serves) pumper trucks for the entire park and that they are not in the best of condition so higher frequency pumping is unlikely.

There are "options" that are not on the table and hypotheticals that need no discussion. The land is managed by the park service and they have rules that we have to abide with regardless of history or our personal beliefs, so let's not digress into unproductive discussions.

There are things that we can do to lower our volume, some or all of which may be unappealing to some, but I overflowing vaults aren't appealing either. A park service solution is not in our immediate future.

Here are some options that I see:
1) People could plan to camp closer to the lower springs and use the toilets there.
2) We could pack out our toilet paper. A large percentage of the volume is paper.
3) Bring and use a portable toilet. I recommend a 20 mm ammunition can, a kitchen sized garbage bag liner, a toilet seat, and Poo Powder (A brand name of a powder that makes it legal to dispose of your feces in ordinary trash according to both the manufacturer and the park service. They require this combination in some areas in some parks. Rafters call them "groovers".)

There are other advantages of a sturdy, air-tight container. They make a fine step to get up into your rig and they are a good place to put food scraps and other garbage. They are burro proof and I suspect bear proof as well for those who also spend time around bears.

I mounted mine on the back of my truck so that I don't take up gear space with it. I have attached photos of mine. A small can of Poo Powder is shown and I keep my toilet paper in an old coffee can to keep it clean and dry.

I don't know the total capacity of a 20 mm ammunition box, but the most I have had in mine were 36 person-days. So they have enough capacity that people planning to meet at the springs could easily share one.

20 mm ammunition cans are readily available from army surplus stores and via the Internet. Poo Powder is also for sale from multiple vendors on the Internet. Ammunition boxes are much more secure than plastic bucket lids.

These options are clearly not mutually exclusive. They are options (along with others I may not have thought of), that don't require park service involvement nor are they option that should conflict with any of their rules. These are options where we can become more self reliant and less dependent on the park service all without negative impacts on the landscape that we camp in.

Philip Moss

Attached Images
jpeg crapper mounted.jpg (121.18 KB, 19 views)
jpeg crapper ready for use.jpg (226.00 KB, 19 views)

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