How do you build a poop toob?


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Trad climber
The High And Lonely
Mar 11, 2009 - 06:11pm PT
I just wear Depends like the astronauts.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 8, 2009 - 02:31pm PT
This is a rough draft of what will go in my How To Big Wall Climb Guide. You can see other rough draft chapters here:

Poop Tubes, Turd Cages, Coiler Cans – Your Step By Step Guide
It is essential to poo in a bag then carry it to the summit. Pooing in bags and tossing them or just pooing on the wall is not an option. The is nothing worse than being on the best climb in the world (The Nose) and coming across splattered crap.

Step 1 – Go in a bag. There are a few variations:

a) Buy a disposable waste bag ($3-4 each). Sealable plastic bags that come with an odor killing powder, TP, hand sanitizer.

Here are some common brands:
 Wag Bags
  Restop 2
 Restop 2 Wilderness

b) Make your own:
 go in brown paper bag (lunch size or giant)
 go in a large Ziploc bag
 go in a small brown bag then put it in a large Ziploc bag

Its nice to have some powder laundry detergent or kitty litter to then sprinkle on the poo to knock down the odor. Or prepage your bags with powdered detergent and “shake n’ bake.”

Step 2 – put the bag in a sturdy turd cage
Here a few options for how to carry the poo to the summit (AND BACK DOWN!).

Metolius Waste Case - Best Option
A mini-haulbag designed for turds that comes with 6 Wag Bags
Pros: lightweight, can haul outside of haulbag, doesn’t require assembly
Cons: cost $59.50, can’t get completely airtight seal

Bulk Container - Best Option on a budget
get a bulk food container from a store like Costco that is over a foot tall and has at least 4" diameter opening and a lid that screws tight. Usually these containers have Biscotti, Pretzles, Candy, etc in them. Now, imagine you were sewing webbing to create a haulbag. Make a harness for the container just like that. Secure with duct tape. A keeper string so you don’t lose the lid is optional. Or bring and extra lid in case you drop one.
Pros: lightweight, cheap, can haul outside of [url="
"]haul bag[/url]
, minimal assembly, seals tight
Cons: takes time to find container, some assembly, lose lid halfway up wall and you are hurting.

image from

PVC Tube - Fish Big Wall John
4-inch PVC tube, seal one end and use a screw cap at the other end. (see Mike.’s post above for more details on construction)
Pros: sturdy, can haul under bag, airtight seal: good at keeping down odor, cheap
Cons: heavy, requires some time to assemble and hardware store visit, have a habit of being abandoned mid route or on summit

Or you can buy save the hassle and buy one pre-made by Fish - Fish - Big Wall John

Painters Bucket
Take a 5 gallon or smaller painter bucket, improvise a harness system and either poo directly into the bucket or go in bags and then store them in the bucket.
Pros: comfortable, cheap, can be hauled outside [url="
"]haul bag[/url]
Cons: tricky to rig a good harness, bulky on the hike down, hard to maintain air tight seal, lose the lid and you are screwed!

River Bag/ Dry Bag
Pros: lightweight, relatively easy to find, air tight (depending on who you talk to)
Cons: can’t haul outside of haul bag or lower-angle rock so you have to deal with it every time you unpack and repack bag, while a good bag won’t leak feces – the odor may leak out, air tight (depending on who you talk to), not that much cheaper than Metolius Waste Case

2-Liter Bottles
Crap in a paper bag, then slit an empty two liter water bottle and stick your bag of business in the bottle. As you move up the wall you'll have more emties to fill as you drink more water. Duct take up the slit, and carry the collection under your haul bag. Don't have to carry an extra container. Careful on lower angle routes (don't want the duct tape to ware off). Back on the ground it's easy to slice off the tops and dump the contents of each bottle into a pit toilet.
Pro: cheap and easy to make, great for "in a pinch"
Con: not good for low angle routes, takes lots of duct tape to get secure seal, must be very careful they don't separate from haulbag

Step 3
Have [url="
"] hand sanitizer [/url] handy

Step 4
When done with wall and you have returned to the ground, dispose of brownpaper bags in pit toilet. The sooner the better!! If you went in a plastic bag, Restop, or WagBag, dispose of in garbage can or dumpster.

Boulder climber
May 13, 2009 - 07:21am PT
Why don't you just use a soccer ball and stick a big cork in the top?

It'll bounce off the rock, hence no worries!

May 13, 2009 - 10:43am PT
Looks pretty comprehensive, Chris.

One important detail: Drain pipe, not PVC. PVC is needlessly expensive, much heavier and much harder to cut. And if dropped, PVC shatters whereas drain pipe will not. The photo/illustration shows threaded fittings which can bind. (Ask my bros who had to drop bags in Zion when their threaded fittings locked up, not cool.)

Right on.
Craig Muderlak

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Feb 9, 2010 - 02:31pm PT
I avoid the bulky, heavy poop-tube all together. It seems as though there's a certain level of fecalphobia amongst wall climbers. A very simply and lightweight way to deal with poop on the wall is to bring one wagbag which can work for one person for three or four days. use the wag bag and store in an empty 2 liter soda bottle used for water. After a two liter is empty, cut it in half, store the wag bag inside and then duck tape the bottle back together. I then simply store this inside the haul bag (of course away from any food). This has worked great for me. The benefits are: no added weight and no bulky tube dangling from the bottom of the haul bag. Sometimes I think folks like geeking out on fancy poop-tubes which simply seems more complex and heavy than necessary. One exception: If I were on a wall for more than four days I might go with the tube. However, you could simply take another wag bag and use another empty 2-liter.


Trad climber
Feb 22, 2012 - 11:03pm PT
Here's a question for the ladies to answer. How do you pee without taking your harness and pants off? are there Big Wall pants out there with a butt flap?

Feb 23, 2012 - 12:32am PT
Wife sez drop your leg loops and pull your pants down.

An emply Wet Ones canister makes a good lady's pee bottle. Rig a keeper for the cap and put a clip in loop on the bottom so it can hang dry.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 23, 2012 - 12:35am PT
Just use an extra strong garbage bag. It doubles as a soft pillow when sleeping in the ledge.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Feb 23, 2012 - 02:19am PT
I then simply store this inside the haul bag (of course away from any food

No way dude. No way!


Trad climber
Brooklyn Park, MD
Feb 23, 2012 - 06:06am PT
Paaul: My wife likes to use one of these.
She can write her name in the snow just like we can. It also makes it so she can pee in a bottle with a small mouth if she needs to.

Trad climber
Feb 23, 2012 - 09:23am PT
I then simply store this inside the haul bag (of course away from any food

Oh man I hope he was joking.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 23, 2012 - 09:33am PT
Proper disposal post-climb is ESSENTIAL.....

My buddy Kevin and I came down from a Yosemite wall with a tube well-stuffed. We're both environmentally sensitive enough not to toss that sh#t in the garbage nor dump the stained and smashed paper bags in a latrine (VERY UNCOOL).

We're also not the kind to pick our sh#t out of wet paper bags either, mind you.

Nor did we possess EPA Hazmat equipment, nor blue bags.

So we ambled over to the RV sewage tank dump over by Curry Village. No one was around so we uncrewed the cap to the tank, whence the RVers stick their drain hoses in the hole in the ground?

Sitting there on the concrete apron of the septic tank we disasseble the poop tube and using a handy stick push the contents out.

Mmmmm, smells good!

Then we started pushing the mushed up bags into the hole in the ground. But one problem Batman.... our poop tube had a slightly larger circumference than the septic tank hole - the smushed up bags wouldn't quite fit.

So there ensued this comical situation where we'd position a bag over the hole and then use the same stick to smush them into the hole, ramming them home like a bullet in a black powder rifle.

Or more like a cannon ramrod, haha.

Well, the bags aren't made of kevlar, they're rather composed of soggy brown paper. And they quickly breakdown when, um, poked.

So after ramming the 3rd bag in the hole I was nearly over come by the fumes and needed to be spelled. I gave the sh#t soaked stick (looked like a giant sh#t-dip-stick haha) to my bro and 'backed away from the hole' for some more wholesome air.

Keep in mind what we were doing is strictly illegal OK?

Anyway, as I stepped back I noticed a giant RV in the turn lane about to enter the septic station. So I uum, well I er, I (hehe) just stepped into the bushes, out of sight. I didn't bother telling my buddy either, he had a job to finish damnit.

By then my buddy had crammed the last of the bags in the hole, one after another like a sh#t-train, and they were all jammed up in there.

He needed some liquid plummer by god!

But all he had was that stick. As the RVer pulled in he spies my climbing mate ramming that stick in the hole in the ground for all he's worth, little klingons of sh#t sticking to it as he brougth it up each time.

Hahahahahaha! Imagine yourself in the driver's seat! What he had to be thinking???? Oh I howl to this day, LOL!

So intent was Kevin on completing his task he failed to notice the 50 foot RV idling behind him. Finally, distasteful task complete, he screws the cap back on the tank, screws the caps back on the sh#t tube and looks up to see a pot-bellied open-mouthed tourist staring at him though the windshield of his motorhome.

"Wassup Bro?" He smiled as he walked right past the driver's window, like nothing was the matter, like he did this sort of 'shit' every day, poop tube in one hand, sh#t-stick in the other.

Me? I'm DYING! Convulsions, I can't breathe, I can't even MOVE!. He hears me, sees me and says just as conversationally as he saunters back toward our gear -

"Dingus you BASTARD!"




Trad climber
Feb 23, 2012 - 12:38pm PT
Good stuff you bastard!

That reminds me of when I used to be a river guide in the Grand Canyon.

The current sh#t can system is pretty clean sanitary and straight forward.

When I was there we had a 50 mil ammo can, which we would double line with trash bags, then balance a toilet seat on top. Our instructions to the passengers was to pee first, either in the river or a coffee can which would then be dumped into the river, then take a dump in the can, wipe, and sprinkle with powder bleech. The next morning our job would be to compress all the air out of the sh#t bags and transfer them to a 20 mil Ammo can. We called it sucking the air out of the bag. It was usually dripping wer with piss, and stunk really really bad. One guide would get a mega gag reflex any morning he had the job. Ahhhhh the good old days!


Big Wall climber
Yosemite, CA
Feb 27, 2012 - 01:58pm PT
Did not read any of this but please, don't make a poop tube. They just end up broken with poop everywhere.

Consider instead a waste case or a clean mountain can. Poop tubes are a pain to deal with and not reliable to stay intact when hauling.

I used to use my water bottles, but they have failed, including almost landing on two people at the base one time. Not worth it and frankly I got tired of "Playing with the poo" to squeeze it into the opening before duct taping it back up.

I use wag bags and use them at least four times before switching to a new one. They are rated for many uses and I don't want to carry tons nor do I really like the idea of the plastic so I try to use as few as possible to reduce the impact a little there.


Feb 27, 2012 - 03:40pm PT
"They just end up broken with poop everywhere."

A surprising sweeping statement from someone so well traveled on grade 6 rock. (Maybe read the thread?)

If you make a decent tube, it'll work great. I bought a Waste Case that's no longer being used because the smell of sh#t emanates from it on the wall. Even if using wag bags.

A tube made of drain pipe and a plastic test plug is lightweight, inexpensive, easy to find parts/materials for and construct, customizable for the route length, structurally bomber and completely contains odor. Had one minor casualty early on when trying a new bottom cap style, but beyond that every one has been bomber and never hinted at any sort of failure.

Drain pipe:

All-plastic test plug:

As we discussed earlier, you must have tiny turds, Holly. There's no effing way I'm gonna get even two uses out of a wag bag. I wouldn't even try. Opening up that sh#t after hot days on end...that'll make ya do walls in a push.

This 31" tube weighs about 22 oz and costs ± ten bucks. Holds roughly 10 once-used wag bags. (Don't bother with the outer wag bag and don't put trash in there unless it's shitty.)

 Cut drain pipe with hand wood saw (Erik can set you up there).
 Roughen glue surfaces with an Xacto knife, etc.
 Use two-part epoxy, mix it in the base cap.
 Be sure a good amount of epoxy sits inside, around the base cap's bottom and coated on inside circumference.
 Slide the tube into it, push it in firmly. (What she said.)
 Add some epoxy around the resulting exterior joint for sealing and strength (duct tape in addition if for a not-steep route).
 Hose clamp under duct tape is completely optional for hanging sling. Either work fine alone.
 If you drill into the plug to create a keeper like I did, epoxy around the hole (inside and out) to seal.
 Smooth inside of plug end opening with sharp knife; add a small amount of veg oil (etc.) to the plug opening.

No dealing with a drybag that smells like a turd. (And farts when anything pushes against it.)


Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Feb 27, 2012 - 04:07pm PT

Personally, I close up like a submarine hatch whilst bigwallin.

+1 on the waste case/wag bag rig harboring the fumes of stankonia.


Mountain climber
Apr 23, 2012 - 02:12pm PT
i am very sorry but the best method for the environment and weight to carry is:

shit in a paper bag and throw it as far from the wall as you can, paper is degradable and so is sh#t, the bag will land somewhere in the woods and maybe in about a year will be completely gone.

sorry if what i am saying is stupid, i am not a big wall climber, i am a beginner climber from europe

Social climber
Apr 23, 2012 - 02:21pm PT
shit in a paper bag and throw it as far from the wall as you can, paper is degradable and so is sh#t, the bag will land somewhere in the woods and maybe in about a year will be completely gone

Here's the polite response: DO NOT EVER EVER EVER do this if you happen to come to North America. Read up a little on why poop tubes and this thread may exist. Want a history of poop? Some horrible cartoonist did a 2page spread all about POO in a recent issue of ALpinist magazine.

Fecal disposal is a REALLY BIG DEAL. Throwing paper bags is NOT SMART. Don't EVER do it.


Mountain climber
Apr 23, 2012 - 02:35pm PT
yeah, you're right, i figured that out after i posted, it would be so not cool to do what i just described in places like Yosemite. sorry people, thanks for the feedback :)

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Apr 23, 2012 - 03:28pm PT
Private Matters reporting for "dooty"!

* Mucci.....just in case your ballast blows the hatch ;)
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