Stool stool: Bog in a Bag serves as a backcountry toilet and seat
By C.C. Weiss
September 21, 2012
Have you ever tried to poop in a small plastic bag? Outside of a childhood dare or college prank, the answer is probably an emphatic NO. In certain backcountry and river camping scenarios, however, that's exactly what you're expected to do. The Bog in a Bag gives you a better way of doing that dirty work.
Those that don't commonly explore the fringes and defecate into baggies, may not realize that certain wilderness areas require you to carry out all human waste to prevent contamination of the natural environment. These types of restrictions affect athletes and explorers of many types – backpackers, climbers, mountaineers, boaters, etc.
The accepted way of carrying your feces out is by using a bag designed for the purpose. Often referred to by the proprietary name Wag Bag, these purpose-designed plastic bags include chemicals that solidify and deodorize your waste. The Wag Bag itself comes in what could be called a pooping mess kit, which includes toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
While bathroom bags like the Wag Bag greatly assist in the process of carrying out your waste, they leave one problem unsolved: getting that waste neatly inside. If you're at a base camp, you can use a portable toilet designed to work with a Wag, but if you're traveling lightly, you won't want the bulk or weight of such an apparatus.
That's where the Bog in a Bag comes in. Similar to other backpacking stools, Bog in a Bag uses folding legs to pack down into compact, portable form – 25.5 inches long x 5 inches in diameter (65 x 13 cm). Unlike a regular backpacking stool, Bog in a Bag has a hole from which you hang your potty bag. Then, you sit down and treat it like any toilet. The compatible plastic bag has absorbent crystals that turn even the sloppiest mess into a neat, carry-out package.
If you're thinking a toilet stool may not be worth the added weight and pack space, you should note that the stool also works as a regular seat. Slide the cover over the hole and you have somewhere to sit at camp. Sitting and eating on the same vessel you just pooped on may seem a little boorish and unsanitary, but etiquette tends to be secondary to convenience when in the wild. After a day of hiking 20 miles, that stool will be looking good, regardless of its "other" use.
At 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg), the Bog in a Bag is likely out of the running for fastpackers and weight weenies. However, it does offer a highly portable solution for those that are a little squeamish about crouching over a bag.
The Bog in a Bag comes with a carry case and retails for £19.95 (about US$32 as of publishing). Packs of five compatible baggies cost £2.95 (about $5). It appears like they are only sold in the U.K. at the moment, but the company does encourage folks from other countries to contact them for ordering and pricing information. In addition to campers and outdoor enthusiasts, Bog in a Bag is marketed at military and law enforcement, festival attendees, disaster site victims and long-distance drivers.