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#92104 - 03/07/08 05:59 PM Biodegradable wipes?
Heber Offline
member

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 245
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
I occasionally cruise the camping section at Walmart to see what they have. I came across something which seems super cool to me. Wanted to get the opinion of others here.

My least favorite thing is packing out soiled toilet paper. Well it seems there is a line of biodegradable wipes that claims to be 100% biodegradable in 21 days. In fact on the back of the package they detail the testing a bit. They show a wipe that was buried in soil and by day 21 it was all gone. I would dearly love to believe that I could leave one of these in a cat hole and feel that I was still living by "Leave No Trace" principles.

Now these things aren't light. They are pre-moistened towelettes after all. I suppose that since they are stronger than toilet paper one would tend to use a lot less, but probably not enough less to make the difference.

Thoughts?

Heber

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#92105 - 03/07/08 06:36 PM Re: Biodegradable wipes? [Re: Heber]
tchiker Offline
member

Registered: 08/28/06
Posts: 162
Loc: Atlanta, GA, USA
I'm no expert on this topic, but I suspect that most will agree with me that they are probably far from truly biodegradable in 21 days...especially if you buried them where moisture and air and sun might not help the process. And you wouldn't want to leave them above ground for obvious reasons.

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#92106 - 03/07/08 09:33 PM Re: Biodegradable wipes? [Re: Heber]
OregonMouse Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 5234
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I'd still pack them out; they're liable to be dug up by various critters and scattered across the landscape for the next hikers to admire. "Biodegradable" for a wipe means it can be flushed down the toilet; it's pretty much equivalent to moistened TP.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#92107 - 03/08/08 07:38 AM Re: Biodegradable wipes? [Re: tchiker]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
I would agree that packing them out would be the "leave no trace" thing to do. You could dehydate the towellets and rehydrate them before use. I think they would do a better job of cleaning up and you would use less than using TP.

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#92108 - 03/08/08 11:40 AM Re: Biodegradable wipes? - Try Camco Rapid [Re: Heber]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
I occasionally cruise the camping section at Walmart to see what they have. I came across something which seems super cool to me. Wanted to get the opinion of others here.

My least favorite thing is packing out soiled toilet paper. Well it seems there is a line of biodegradable wipes that claims to be 100% biodegradable in 21 days. In fact on the back of the package they detail the testing a bit. They show a wipe that was buried in soil and by day 21 it was all gone. I would dearly love to believe that I could leave one of these in a cat hole and feel that I was still living by "Leave No Trace" principles.

Now these things aren't light. They are pre-moistened towelettes after all. I suppose that since they are stronger than toilet paper one would tend to use a lot less, but probably not enough less to make the difference.

Thoughts?

Heber


Brumfield wrote:

You might consider using Camco Rapid Dissolving Toilet Tissue. It's designed for use on marine vessels with masarators and holding tanks. I tried several different brands of biodegradable toilet tissue onboard my express cruiser and found the Camco Rapid dissolved the fastest. With a party of four living onboard over the summer, it became obvious that the traditional Coleman and Reliance brands biodegradable tissues were not REALLY biodegradable. Camco Rapid was the only tissue that would not plug up the inline masarator. Non fast-dissolving TP will plug up a masarator after just a few flushes, and it's not a nice chore to pull the pump and clean the blades by hand. YUK!

I carry Camco Rapid backpacking, and if you wet it after use, it'll melt before your eyes. No need to carry it out or burn it.

I don't carry TP out. Nature can handle breaking down TP if you do your part in purchasing the right brand, wetting it after use, or mixing it into your excrement, and burying it deep. I place a rock over the covered cat hole to deter animals. I try to call to mind that TP is made from wood and if buried correctly, nature can handle the recycling process with no problem.

Carrying out your excrement is contemporary mythos, illogical, and nasty. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

Take the time to find a place to use off trail, far away from the camp site, away from, and not uphill of, potable water supplies, and bury it after. Brum
_________________________



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#92109 - 03/09/08 09:49 PM Re: Biodegradable wipes? - Try Camco Rapid [Re: Brumfield]
OregonMouse Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 5234
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
To each his own. In many places these days you are required to carry out your used TP. In a few places (which I avoid) you have to bag and pack out your actual poop. I have found (doing some experimentation) that wetting the TP only helps it break down if soil conditions are not dry. I've tried the kind of TP you use on your boat, but I found that I have to use at least twice as much of it. I've found small squares of paper toweling to be the most effective for me. You can burn the TP, but this is not advisable when fire danger is high. More than one forest fire has been set by overzealous backpackers, leaving a lot more trace than they bargained for.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#92110 - 03/10/08 03:14 PM Re: Biodegradable wipes? [Re: Heber]
Buster_Martin Offline
member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
I'm pretty sure I know exactly the product you are talking about, because I buy them myself. If we're talking about the same things, then they are made out of 100% rayon and are made by Walmart themselves. They come in a green package with about 8 towels per package. They are called T-Towels, are very sturdy, and expand to about 9"x9". I couldn't find them on Walmart's site, but they are basically the same as EZ Towels. If you want to see them, check http://www.eztowel.com/.
_________________________
My site w/ photo journal: http://www.bustermartin101.com

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#92111 - 03/10/08 04:48 PM Re: Biodegradable wipes? [Re: Heber]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
The towelettes may be bio, but not the chemicals in them. Perfumes and god knows what.

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#92112 - 03/10/08 06:22 PM Re: Biodegradable wipes? [Re: Buster_Martin]
Heber Offline
member

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 245
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
I think this must be a different product. This is made by Wausau paper under the Eco Select brand. On the package it says "Pre-Moistened All Purpose WIPES, 100% biodegradable in 21 Days*" where the asterisk refers you to the back where it says "Certified tested in lab using ASTM D 2020-92 test method B, verifying complete compostability. Soil burial test results Showed Eco Select 100% Biodegradable Wipes totally degraded in 21 days."

It also claims to be fragrance free.

Now I know that there's soil and then there's soil. I grew up in New Mexico and went backpacking in New Mexico and Arizona and I learned first hand that the desert will preserve nasty stuff for years, buried or no. I've seen newspapers from years back you could still read out in the desert. So I would never believe that either this product or any other would degrade in the desert. Nothing to do in that case but pack it out. But now I live and hike in Missouri where the moist climate makes it a different story.

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#92113 - 03/11/08 07:15 AM Re: Biodegradable wipes? [Re: Heber]
Buster_Martin Offline
member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Ok, yeah, I guess they are different products. However, other than your being premoistened and mine not, they seem very similar. The T-Towels that I have also have something on the back about them being "100% biodegradable in 21 Days" and then shows pictures from a lab experiment where they buried the wipes in some soil and they were gone completely after the 21 day timeframe was up. Mine are also fragrance free. You know, I just might have to take one of mine out into my back yard and bury it to see what it looks like in 21 days. I could even take pictures and then post them here. Hmmm...
_________________________
My site w/ photo journal: http://www.bustermartin101.com

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