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Wag Bag (Human Waste) Disposal - Mt Whitney Zone, California

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Published on Jul 31, 2012

In many climbing areas around the U.S. (and the world) it's now required that human waste be packed out - due, obviously, to the heavy amount of foot-traffic these areas endure each year.

In this video I've recorded the disposal of a "Wag Bag" at Whitney Portal (formerly, Hunter Flat and Hunters Camp) near the "Whitney Zone" in California's Sierra Nevada range. (Whitney Portal is located 14 kilometres (9 miles) west of Lone Pine, California. Waste disposal companies/trucks periodically make their way up the winding road to Whitney Portal to perform a variety of sanitation duties at the site.

Human waste management has been a major problem at Mount Whitney so in 2006 the Inyo National Forest instituted a mandatory "pack it out" program. The Forest Service removed the solar latrines at Outpost Camp and Trail Camp, and instead issue "WAG Bags" to trail users for human waste. Used bags must be deposited in special containers for that purpose located at the Whitney Portal trailhead. Unfortunately, many hikers and climbers seem to "forget" to carry out their bags - without even search I discovered at least a half dozen bags along the Mt Whitney trail in as many hours time. Since my own pack (and wag bag) was full I couldn't bring back much extra trash although I did carry some...

Here's my personal webpage about toilet issues in general:
http://www.rogerwendell.com/toilet.html

Here's my page about travel:
http://www.rogerwendell.com/travel.html

07-26-2012

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