Pack It Out! Day on Upper Colorado River
KREMMLING, Colo. — “WAG Bags” may not currently be on the equipment lists of many river rafters, but the Bureau of Land Management in Kremmling and several partners will be working to change that this summer by offering free bags on specific days.
“Simply put,” says Kremmling Outdoor Recreation Planner Andy Windsor, “WAG Bags will make a river trip more enjoyable for you, and the people who follow you.”
The Waste Alleviation and Gelling Bags are biodegradable bag systems that are designed to be used as a portable toilet system for packing out solid human waste to protect campsites. Otherwise, river campsites, which are limited in number and occupied many times during the summer, can become unpleasant fairly quickly.
“It’s not the kind of thing everyone wants to talk about,” Windsor says, “But when you consider that we have up to 20 boater camps on the river each summer weekend on the Colorado River between Pumphouse and Rancho del Rio , and that most campsites do not have pit privies, you can get the picture.”
The first free WAG Bag day will be Saturday, Aug. 14 at the Pumphouse Recreation Site on the Colorado River near Kremmling. BLM, American Whitewater and the river equipment company NRS are teaming to hand out free WAG Bags to overnight campers in an effort to promote sustainable river recreation.
Currently on this stretch of the Colorado River the only overnight campers that are required to carry and use portable toilet systems are commercial outfitters. Most of the overnight use on the river, however, is from private boaters
“WAG Bags are used throughout the West at popular river destinations and other sensitive areas,” says Nathan Fey, Director of the Colorado Stewardship Program for American Whitewater. “With more and more people enjoying these areas each year, these WAG Bags are one easy but important way to minimize impacts.”
Each bag contains enough gelling powder for three to four uses and is approved for disposal in any garbage can. This powder neutralizes the odors, and starts the decaying process of waste. All of the WAG Bags that are being handed out have been donated by the American Whitewater and the NRS.