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Waste and Sanitation Supplies and Devices

Types of Waste and Sanitation Supplies and Devices

photo of a camp shovel/trowel

Camp Shovels and Trowels

Top Picks

How we choose: The best waste and sanitation supplies and devices highlighted here were selected based on 80 reviews of 18 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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Top Camp Shovel/Trowel

TheTentLab Deuce of Spades #2

user rating: 5 of 5 (7 reviews)

This is a very light, durable, and functional camp shovel with the added benefit of being very useful for a number of other applications around camp that might not be so obvious.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very lightweight
  • Great for digging holes
  • Has a number of other useful applications
  • Takes up zero space in your pack

I want to first knowledge that I received my Deuce of Spades as a gift for being a past Reviewer of the Month here on Trailspace and I also want to confess (and I hate to admit...) that I was really excited to be receiving this "potty" shovel as a gift. I have always been interested in gear and equipment and when I first saw the Deuce of Spades I thought it looked like a really cool shovel, but more importantly also thought that it could be very useful for a number of other applications which would make it a great addition to my pack.

Read more: TheTentLab Deuce of Spades #2 reviews (7)

Top Urination Device


user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

pStyle allows active women to be able to go to the bathroom without having to sit, squat, or pull your drawers down! I use this for ALL my outdoor activities and for road trips. You can discreetly go to the bathroom without having to expose all or search for a place to do it. It's even great for porta-potties!

Reasons to Buy

  • Portable
  • Easy to clean
  • Discreet

Reasons to Avoid

  • Takes a couple of tries to learn proper placement

This amazing product has been discovered mostly by word of mouth among active women seeking an easier, more discreet way to go to the bathroom while doing outdoor activities. Most of us had to hide somewhere, drop trou and squat, then have to deal with toilet paper after. With this product, we can go just like the boys do — standing up!! To use it, just unzip or pull down the front of your drawers, slide it into place and go! There's a technique for removing it that eliminates the need for toilet paper.

Read more: pStyle reviews (2)

Camp Shovel/Trowel

Coghlan's Backpackers Trowel

user rating: 5 of 5 (3 reviews)

Been a durable dependable camp tool for over 10 years. It has taken its share of abuse with rock, roots, and hard ground and shows no real sign of any plastic fatigue.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Strong material
  • Orange color makes it easy to find

Reasons to Avoid

  • A luxury item many backpackers find unecessary

This is one of our camp staples, both for car camping and backpacking. I find it more convenient than trying to find a stick that's strong enough to dig in our rocky CO soil or using the heel of my boot. Plus, when you gotta go, sometimes you gotta go and it's nice to just have the tool right there. It has worked for us for more than 10 years and I can see it going another 10. Update (July '14): My trusty trowel snapped in half on my last backpacking trip. Trying to coax a hole in some very rocky terrain ended up being too much for it after many years of use. Oh well, maybe it's time to save the few ounces of weight and try the stick method for a while.

Read more: Coghlan's Backpackers Trowel reviews (3)

Top Waste Bag

Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Toilet Kit Wag Bag

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

The Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Toilet Kit Wag Bag has all of the basic elements needed to handle, treat, and then transport your poop while in the outdoors. Wag Bags are also a great way for you to help keep the popular outdoor areas you visit a joy for others by enabling you to properly dispose of your waste in areas where mother nature just doesn't have the capability to do it for you.

Reasons to Buy

  • Simple, light, and does the job
  • NASA-developed absorber really works
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonably secure for carrying out your waste over multiple days

Reasons to Avoid

  • Potential loss of Poo Powder if not careful when handling the larger bag
  • The toilet paper included is very thin, so I would recommend supplementing with some of your own

On a section hike of the John Muir Trail this last summer, I exited my hike out through Mt. Whitney portal which required me to pass through what is referred to as the "Whitney Zone," and in general covers the area from Crabtree Meadows to Whitney Portal if you're hiking on the JMT. Due to the high altitude and lack of soil in the Whitney Zone, human waste doesn't decompose very well and because such a large number of people visit this area (it's a cool place to visit if you haven't been there before),  you are required to pack out all of your solid waste (i.e.

Read more: Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Toilet Kit Wag Bag review (1)

Camp Shovel/Trowel

Vargo Dig Dig Tool

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

This is a very strong, durable, and functional backpacking potty shovel and spare tent stake with the added benefit of potentially being useful for a number of other applications on a backcountry trip or around camp.

Reasons to Buy

  • Chisel point and not so wide shovel allow good penetration
  • Works well in tough soil conditions
  • Has other potentially useful applications

Reasons to Avoid

  • It’s not the lightest option available
  • Color or lack of, may make it easier to misplace
  • Cost

When I first received the Dig Dig Tool my general impression was that the design was very utilitarian/functional. After taking the Dig Dig Tool out on several trips I have found that it does a great job doing what it is intended to do, which is to dig catholes. Design and Construction The Dig Dig Tool’s overall length is 8 1/8 inches, it is about 1 5/8 inches wide and weighs 1.3 ounces, and it is made from a grade 2 Titanium. So while the shovel is reasonably light the material and method of construction make it very stiff and strong, so there is little to no risk that it would ever bend or be damaged during normal use.

Read more: Vargo Dig Dig Tool review (1)

Camp Shovel/Trowel

U-Dig-It Pro Folding Shovel

user rating: 4 of 5 (3 reviews)

A sturdy folding trowel for doing trowel-related business. Not exactly UL, but it won't break or bend even when prying rocks or chipping at compacted soil.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very durable
  • Good lock, does not fold accidentally
  • Stainless steel, will not rust

Reasons to Avoid

  • Weight
  • Could be a bit longer

Needless to say, this was a very popular item on our 8-person, 24-day hike on the JMT. The U-Dig-It Pro handled all that traffic with aplomb, allowing for safe and adequately deep deposits of bodily fruits in the Sierra's tough, rocky soils. My daughter kept it on one of the compression straps on the outside of her pack so it was always available and everybody knew where it was, and the words "have a U-Dig-It experience" entered our trail vocabulary! Ralph wants one too! Ready for action! Ours is called "U-Dig-It Pro" but it seems to be the same item with a new name.

Read more: U-Dig-It Pro Folding Shovel reviews (3)

Urination Device

GoGirl Female Urination Device

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Just the image on the website alone made me giggle. In the store at the camping hygiene section, I would lurk quietly; look furtively over both shoulders to ensure nobody was watching as I got a closer look at a competitor brand's doo-hicky that could enable me to sign my name in the snow. In the end, like a teenager too embarrassed to buy condoms, I moved onto the shoe section. I am secure in my femininity! I don’t have penis envy! At the Outdoor Retailer Summer show, GoGirl made it easy by giving me one (and a T-shirt, too!).

Read more: GoGirl Female Urination Device reviews (4)

Waste Bag

Restop 2: Disposable Solid & Liquid Waste Bags

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

Restop 2 is a solid waste disposal system ideal for outdoor adventures in locations where "packing it out" is a must. While heavier and more bulky than a plastic baggie, the Restop 2 ensures you won't be worrying about what's happening in your pack.

Reasons to Buy

  • Double baggie protection
  • Nuetralizes odors
  • Enzymes begin to neuturalize waste

Reasons to Avoid

  • Heavier than other options
  • Bulkier than other options

Most of us know how to poop in the woods, but what about a cave or other location where burying is not an option? Imagine this true scenario: You're a good hour from the nearest cave exit, when your 10-year-old son declares he needs to go "Number 2." It's happen to me! And as I squatted there holding my ziplock lunch baggie under my son's delicate heinie, I cursed the fact that I left a Restop 2 at home in order to carry a smaller cave pack! On another occasion, I received a 4 a.m. phone call from a concerned wife.

Read more: Restop RESTOP2: Disposable Solid & Liquid Waste Bags review (1)

Waste Bag

Biffy Bag

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (5 reviews)

I am a weekend backpacker, enjoying solo excursions to a wilderness area near my home a few times a year. I haven't written a gear review before, because it seemed like everyone had already said it all about my equipment, but this product is so great, and I don't think many people know about it, I just had to write. Okay, let's talk about poo. One of the questions inquisitive friends always ask is, "But where do you GO out there?" I explain that I spend some time digging a hole, fighting my way through roots and rocks, to get to the required depth, then just squat and go, covering up the hole when I'm ready to head home.

Read more: Biffy Bag reviews (5)

Camp Shovel/Trowel

Sea to Summit iPood Alloy Pocket Trowel

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (5 reviews)

What can one say about a small little trowel, designed to dig cat-holes in the woods to bury crap in? Well, how about it’s well designed, has a really fun name, and does what it’s supposed to do? This thing is not designed to dig trenches around your tent in a rainstorm, make fire pits, cut kindling, mine for gold, or stir your scrambled egg breakfast. It’s designed to dig small hole in the ground. Remember that. Remember, too, that while the iPood Pocket Trowel is a really neat item, it’s not 100% perfect.

Read more: Sea to Summit iPood Alloy Pocket Trowel reviews (5)

More Reviews of Waste and Sanitation Supplies and Devices

Trailspace reviewers have shared 80 reviews of 18 different waste and sanitation supplies and devices.

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