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#50501 - 07/01/17 09:50 AM WAG bags left on trail
pd tahoe Offline


Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Truckee, Ca
What's going on with people leaving their WAG bags on the trail? We saw around 20 of them in various places on the Main Trail. Are people leaving them to retrieve later? Put the WAG bag in your pack and take it with you!

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#50503 - 07/01/17 11:13 AM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: pd tahoe]
John Gillingham Offline


Registered: 05/21/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Valley Village, CA
It is despicable that people can't be responsible for taking with them, whether it be up or down, their wag bags, and garbage they produce. Yesterday, the ranger that hikes the trail asking for permits and packing out micro trash had seven wag bags in her back pack of which one had leaked on to her arm. She had six pairs of shoes tied to and in her hands, and a full pack of wag bags, bottles, and trash that had been pulled off from trail camp on down the trail. I find it extremely sad, that some people don't think of their actions and items and how they effect anything or anyone else. Just another reminder of how some people ruin things for other people. If you are big enough to go up a mountain, be big enough to take everything you brought in, off and out with you.

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#50504 - 07/01/17 11:38 AM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: John Gillingham]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 715
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
This has been a problem for years, especially after the USFS removed the toilet at trail camp. The USFS needs to bring those "unsightly" toilets back, and perhaps install several along the trail for those folks who don't know the proper way to shit-in-the-woods.

One of my favorite hikes, the Bishop Pass trail, is also polluted with human waste at most of the better camp sites. When I backpack there, I avoid the more populated areas and get way off the beaten path to select a camp site.

Another popular hike, the Camino De Santiago, in northern Spain is notorious for the amount of human waste along the route, most of which is left by European hikers.

While tempted to blame certain ethnic groups at Mt. Whitney who have bad toilet habits, I realize it is a universal problem. I believe that when a trail becomes famous, like Mt. Whitney, it tends to attract people who have little knowledge or regard for human impact on the environment. Mt. Whitney is a tourist magnet for people who have the need to add it to their "bucket list", regardless of the mess they leave behind.

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#50507 - 07/01/17 01:09 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: Bob West]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 506
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Originally Posted By: Bob West
This has been a problem for years, especially after the USFS removed the toilet at trail camp. The USFS needs to bring those "unsightly" toilets back, and perhaps install several along the trail for those folks who don't know the proper way to shit-in-the-woods.

One of my favorite hikes, the Bishop Pass trail, is also polluted with human waste at most of the better camp sites. When I backpack there, I avoid the more populated areas and get way off the beaten path to select a camp site.

Another popular hike, the Camino De Santiago, in northern Spain is notorious for the amount of human waste along the route, most of which is left by European hikers.

While tempted to blame certain ethnic groups at Mt. Whitney who have bad toilet habits, I realize it is a universal problem. I believe that when a trail becomes famous, like Mt. Whitney, it tends to attract people who have little knowledge or regard for human impact on the environment. Mt. Whitney is a tourist magnet for people who have the need to add it to their "bucket list", regardless of the mess they leave behind.


Well said

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#50509 - 07/01/17 01:42 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: Bob West]
John Gillingham Offline


Registered: 05/21/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Valley Village, CA
Got to wonder what it costs to haul off toilet from trail camp. Maybe some signage at trailheads and pics of damage could help. Maybe, increase the permit fees and make it so you get your deposit back on your return of full wag bag!

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#50533 - 07/02/17 03:49 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: John Gillingham]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 715
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Excellent suggestions. Have them sign-out for their wag-bag and then inspect on return. If no wag bag on return, then cite 'em and fine 'em. Problem is...it would require a 24 hour shit inspector at the trailhead.

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#50534 - 07/02/17 04:35 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: Bob West]
vknyvz Offline


Registered: 07/02/17
Posts: 6
Loc: Los Angeles
lol 'shit inspector'

I heard couple years back park services was sued by an angry adventurer over the adventure pass, not sure about the result but I know it was ruled against the adventure pass. It was my understanding that if there is any facilities like toilets and you must have an adventure pass in your car.

This is that thing, I dont think any of us mind to pay extra fees for such facilities, especially for Whitney zone, increase the fees put couple toilets, problem solved.

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#50537 - 07/02/17 07:11 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: John Sims]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 239
Loc: SoCal
This is a lot of the reason they stopped allowing camping up on top of Half Dome a couple decades ago. There was so much human feces building up everywhere that they couldn't do much of anything about it.
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#50540 - 07/02/17 09:17 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: GandC]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7075
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here are several old threads, and a video to watch:

  Torching Whitney Toilets --   Garry Oye got really upset over this one.

  Whitney Waste Solutions: WAG bags, toilets, or ???

From 2011:   Solar Toilets vs Carrying Wag Bags


Edited by Steve C (07/03/17 10:03 AM)

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#50541 - 07/02/17 11:01 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: Bob West]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 339
Loc: Wildomar
Originally Posted By: Bob West
Excellent suggestions. Have them sign-out for their wag-bag and then inspect on return. If no wag bag on return, then cite 'em and fine 'em. Problem is...it would require a 24 hour shit inspector at the trailhead.


It could easily be done with a vending machine. When you pick up your permit you leave $100 (or whatever) deposit on your credit card and get your WAG bag. When you finish your hike you go to the machine at the trail head (or close by) and have your WAG bag barcode read. It then deposits it in a tamper proof bin designed to be easily swapped out and hauled away. Your card is credited back the deposit. You leave your bag somewhere, you lose the deposit.

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#50543 - 07/03/17 08:20 AM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: Bob West]
Encinitas_Guy Offline


Registered: 05/16/16
Posts: 9
Loc: Encinitas, CA
I'm pretty sure this is more or less what the do on Aconcagua right? If the Argentinians can do it, the USFS should be able to make it work too.

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#50588 - 07/05/17 07:59 AM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: DUG]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 747
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Originally Posted By: DUG

It could easily be done with a vending machine. When you pick up your permit you leave $100 (or whatever) deposit on your credit card and get your WAG bag. When you finish your hike you go to the machine at the trail head (or close by) and have your WAG bag barcode read. It then deposits it in a tamper proof bin designed to be easily swapped out and hauled away. Your card is credited back the deposit. You leave your bag somewhere, you lose the deposit.


Excellent idea, DUG!
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#50597 - 07/05/17 09:24 AM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: DUG]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 291
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Originally Posted By: DUG
It could easily be done with a vending machine. When you pick up your permit you leave $100 (or whatever) deposit on your credit card and get your WAG bag. When you finish your hike you go to the machine at the trail head (or close by) and have your WAG bag barcode read. It then deposits it in a tamper proof bin designed to be easily swapped out and hauled away. Your card is credited back the deposit. You leave your bag somewhere, you lose the deposit.

Iíve read dozens of schemes like this for making people use and remove their wag bags. They are all either totally unworkable or trivial to defeat.

Pay your $100 deposit and then leave the bag in your car. (Thatís the smart thing to do; if you lose the bag, youíre out $100.) Climb the mountain and poop wherever you like. Get the bag out of your car and have it scanned. If the machine weighs the bag to make sure you used it, just scoop a little dirt into it, or poop in the bag at the trailhead. Even with a live 24-7 bag inspector (obscenely expensive), there is no way to confirm that the bag contains ALL of your poop from the trip. And what if you did a dayhike or one-nighter, and didnít take a crap?


Edited by bobpickering (07/05/17 09:25 AM)

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#50603 - 07/05/17 10:25 AM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: bobpickering]
JMH Offline


Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Aurora, Illinois
I would think that hikers who assumably appreciate nature and etc would understand that they need to be responsible and do their part to preserve the beauty of whitney.
I agree that you cant police what people put in the bag or if they use their bag or not. But if a hiker is issued a bar coded bag and that bag does not show up as bar coded into the trail head deposit station then that hiker could get a fine. That would at least be a way to keep the bags from being left on the mountain. Kind of like red box works.......terd box.

These people that hurt the environment undoubtedly cause increased fees and quotas.

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#50611 - 07/05/17 03:03 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: JMH]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 291
Loc: Reno, Nevada
People have been vandalizing vending machines since the days when they dispensed candy for a nickel. What do you think will happen the first time someone with a bag of shit doesnít get his $100 back? Does the machine keep the bag anyway, depriving the hiker of the evidence that he used and returned his bag? Or does it return the bag of shit to the furious hiker? If the machine goes down, what will the next 50 hikers do when they canít get their $100 back or deposit their shit? How will they collect the deposit in the off-season when permits are self-issue? And who empties and repairs the machine in the off-season when the road is closed?

As I said before, these schemes are either totally unworkable or trivial to defeat. They are usually both.

We can try to educate everybody, and shame the jerks who donít want to be responsible. Or the USFS could re-install the outhouses.

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#50612 - 07/05/17 03:43 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: bobpickering]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1488
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: bobpickering
Or the USFS could re-install the outhouses.


Aye there's the rub. Is silly to pretend that toilets don't belong in a "Wilderness" area where Inyo issues 100 permits a day. They may be backed into a corner, however, since the toilets were removed without all the necessary approvals, and it may open a real can of worms to start the approval process up again. Meanwhile . . .
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#50613 - 07/05/17 03:43 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: pd tahoe]
BrianBlair Offline


Registered: 07/05/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Silverado, CA
The solution is rather simple to me:

Stamp every bag with a permit number.

The Rangers patrolling the trail see bags left behind. They jot down the permit number.

Once back at the ranger station they pull up the permit and inform the permit holder that they will not be issued another permit for a yead.....or 5 years.....or life as far as I'm concerned.

Simple and would fix the problem.

BB

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#50620 - 07/05/17 07:21 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: BrianBlair]
JMH Offline


Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Aurora, Illinois
Devices like this rely in part on the hawthorne effect. If someone thinks they are being monitored and because they want their $100 deposit back a vast majority will comply.
Also consider the penalty threshold and probability of being caught for the two acts. Flipping your wag bag down one of the backside main trail windows with no one watching is almost a zero risk and only a fine if caught. Taking your ice axe to a national park service device with cameras and in the portal with people sometimes around is potentially a federal offense and is a much more risk adverse behavior
You would have multiple readers if one failed. In the unlikely event of a total system crash refunds could be credited for those who requested them during that time period.
Unmanned reader technology devices and their security and monitoring have been vetted for decades.
There are half a million atm machines in the us and all the comparable barriers are managed. Managing an unmanned atm device is way more complex than a terd bag device.

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#50624 - 07/05/17 08:49 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: bobpickering]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 339
Loc: Wildomar
Originally Posted By: bobpickering
Originally Posted By: DUG
It could easily be done with a vending machine. When you pick up your permit you leave $100 (or whatever) deposit on your credit card and get your WAG bag. When you finish your hike you go to the machine at the trail head (or close by) and have your WAG bag barcode read. It then deposits it in a tamper proof bin designed to be easily swapped out and hauled away. Your card is credited back the deposit. You leave your bag somewhere, you lose the deposit.

"Iíve read dozens of schemes like this for making people use and remove their wag bags."

Yeah, you didn't like the idea when I brought it up a few years ago either. Glad you're consistent.

"They are all either totally unworkable or trivial to defeat."

Your opinion. Not to be confused with fact.

"Pay your $100 deposit and then leave the bag in your car. (Thatís the smart thing to do; if you lose the bag, youíre out $100.) Climb the mountain and poop wherever you like. Get the bag out of your car and have it scanned. "

Why bother getting a permit then? Obviously, the ranger could take an extra second to see if you had your wag bag with you. I mean I suppose you could leave it behind and safe in the car, much like I could hike in the Whitney Zone without a permit. I could get caught too.

"If the machine weighs the bag to make sure you used it, just scoop a little dirt into it, or poop in the bag at the trailhead. Even with a live 24-7 bag inspector (obscenely expensive), there is no way to confirm that the bag contains ALL of your poop from the trip. And what if you did a dayhike or one-nighter, and didnít take a crap?"

Who said anything about weighing it? Who said it had to be used? Don't make things up and then question them. Getting it brought back is the start. Of course douchebags are going to still shit on the trail. You can't stop that 100 percent. Even your super novel idea of putting the toilets back won't solve that. What if I need to shit on the switchbacks? What if I didn't have to go at Outpost (we used to call it Outhouse Camp cuz of the smell) but I need to go a mile later? Am I going to backtrack? Will I be miserable on the climb to Trail camp? Or will I be a douche and just take the dump?

And if you have ever traveled outside of the US, you will know that in many countries that have vending machines that are slightly more advanced than the Pepsi machine outside of Walmart. It could be done. It won't be, we can agree upon that, just like putting the shitters back, will never happen. Appreciate the same ole feedback as years ago, have a fine Navy day. smile


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#50626 - 07/05/17 09:57 PM Re: WAG bags left on trail [Re: DUG]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 339
Loc: Wildomar
I've also been known to need to take a dump going up the Mountaineers Route and several times while hiking to the Gambler's Special I had to offload a gas station burrito. Those old toilets coming back would not have helped me in either situation.

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