Stu's View from the Loo

Mon, 01/16/2012 - 09:32 — Compost Stu

The sun rises over the sandstone ridge line that delineates Glenworth Valley near Peates Ridge. Mist starts burning off and the tent littered valley floor reveals below. The festival is in its second day now and there are around12,000 people packed onto flat and sometimes soggy ground by a small tidal creek that dissects the site. I’ve walked a hundred meters or so up toward the northern ridge to dig my loo hole and find my view. About halfway through proceedings, I hear a sound behind me. Shit! I think I’ve been busted by some acid tripping sunrise seeking hippie kid. Slowly I turn my head and there’s a Lyrebird about ten feet away, scratching happily at the leaf litter without a care for my presence. Then another one turns up, a pair of young Superb Lyrebirds fossicking for tucker. They hang around, as if I’m not important, giving me the eye now and then. One wanders within a meter of me and I’m thinking it might be coming to scratch at my leavings so I bury them soundly and head back down the hill, almost tripping on someone else’s crap on the way. An unburied landmine that will wash down the hill after the flies have had a good feed and pollute the creek, the dam and spread e.coli bacteria far and wide. So many times have I witnessed this shameful human intrusion and every time it leaves me with a little more contempt for our race and sadness for those etiquettes we seem to have lost. How hard can it be to dig a hole somewhere off the track? This is how you do it.

The general rule for pissing out doors is 20 paces away from camp. This is just a courtesy to you fellow campers who may not enjoy the smell of your piss gassing off in the morning sunlight just next to their tent. There are no inherent evils in piss, unless you count the drugs that your body didn’t have room for the night before.
Shitting in the bush is slightly more complex, but nothing the average Neanderthal couldn’t cope with. Preparation is worthwhile, but if you haven’t included a small shovel in your kit then don’t panic, a sturdy stick will suffice. Go out of camp at least 50 paces up hill and away from gullies and creeks. Try and find some soft earth. I’ve used rotten tree stumps or natural build ups of organic matter that occur up hill of fallen logs etc. Dig a hole about six inches deep, pile the soil from the hole uphill of the hole and as close as possible. Find your squatting position and get comfortable. Older folk may need to consider a log to hang over. After you’ve made your deposit in to the soil bank, take a look (this seems weird but I bet you will) and bury it, tamping down the soil on top. Now go with the knowledge that the soil bank biology will break down your deposit and loan out the nutrients to the surrounding organisms, who will in turn pay back their loans.

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