Information on Showers, Toilets, Pit Toilets or Composting Toilets. The finer amenities of backpacking.
A word about TP. Anyone that has camped or backpacked knows you always carry your own TP (Toilet Paper) . Not only do you carry TP in your pack, you make sure you carry it on your person when you make a trip from your campsite, to one of the composting toilets.
I must say that normally the stalls are well stocked. But certain days of the week, and when larger groups are camping the camp provided TP can disappear fast. So as a precaution, act like when you gotta go, they are going to be out! It will save you the trouble if they are.
Showers are only available for those staying in the LODGE
There are no shower facilities for Campers/Backpackers
Real toilets are available for those staying in the LODGE.
Real toilets are available in the CAFE during normal hours (No Showers)
Pit or actually the Composting type Toilets are available at the Hilltop Trail Head Parking near the actual Trail Head where you start down the switchbacks.
Several Composting type Toilets are located in the Supai area Campground between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls.
There is no running water to wash hands. No mirrors. No counter.
These are composting type. After you do your business you have to scoop a hand full sized amount of wood shavings and drop it through the toilet hole.
There is no place to leave trash. Do not put trash down the toilets. Do not leave trash near or in the buildings. You are suppose to pack your trash out. This includes female products. Come prepared for this.
While they normally have TP supplied don’t bet on any being there. Better safe than sorry!
There is no electric in the campground so a night visit requires a flashlight for your trip. Don’t step out of your tent at night and do your business on the ground or in a bush. No “cat” holes. Too many people visiting! Take the time and effort to use the toilets!
DON’T BURY YOUR POOP or TOILET PAPER
This is a “Pack it in – Pack it out” area. Practice “Leave no Trace”. Do NOT bury TP, poop, and preferable urine. If you are on the trail or can’t make it to a toilet, use a WAG bag. Pack your waste out.
The route to hike in, 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?
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.
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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