The Scoop on Pee and Poop
This is the big question that everyone wants to know but many are afraid to ask!
Let's start by reviewing the National Park Service regulations
URINATION MUST OCCUR IN THE RIVER OR IN YOUR TOILET. When in the main corridor of the Colorado River, urinate directly in the Colorado River. Go “HIGH and FAR” at least 100 feet from trails, backcountry campsites, and side streams, to urinate at off-river places to avoid the buildup of feces and urine. Due to the impact of high volumes of people visiting the same areas, when hiking away from your river camp, bag all human waste (feces) and bring it back to your river camp and deposit it in your reusable toilet.
Ok, to summarize, you must pee in the river (or, on the wet sand if the daily river level is at the low point) and you must either poop in the camp toilet or in a special "poop bag" which you can get from the boatmen or people on your support boat. They will be carrying these bags whenever you go on hikes, feel free to ask for one if the situations requires. If you must pee on a hike (away from the main river), you should go "high and far" from the main trail and stay away from all water sources.
Modesty is thrown by the wayside on a river trip!
If you are unable to pee in front of other people, then a trip like this is likely not for you. People are quite modest on day one, searching for a rock or boat to stand behind but after a day or two, well, you just look the other way. Hey, no big deal.
The toilets we had were strong aluminum boxes with screw on lids. With the lid off, a seat was attached and the toilet was placed usually in a scenic and private place. These toilets are called "groovers" because before the seats were installed, people using them would have a "groove" ring on their butt from sitting on them. Toilet lines will be the longest in the morning just after breakfast and it is the toilet line that determines how soon you will be able to pack up and get going each day.
For those of you who pee at night, you should borrow one of the bailing buckets from a boat or raft or bring a spare water bottle. Since all pee must go into the river, it can be a chore finding your way to the river at 2am and then getting wet and cold feet. The bucket or bottle can be dumped in the river the following morning. If you are using a private "pee bottle", suggest you mark it as such. Women can use a tupperware type container with snap on lid.
We opened this website so that we could share our adventures and travels with you. Please feel free to email us if you have any questions or comments.