When the Bureau of Land Management was formed more than 70 years ago, we didn’t know as much about the environmental impact of human waste left in the wilderness as we do today.

Today, we know that urinating or defecating closer than 200 meters from a water source can contaminate it. We also know now that the viruses in human excrement can survive for weeks at low temperatures as they wait for a new host. And, with global warming melting snow in areas that have remained frozen for generations, we now realize that the feces left behind didn’t break down and may resurface. 

Managing public lands and resources to sustain their health and diversity is a huge responsibility that we all must contribute to today to help both the present and future generations. Because of limited resources, the BLM cannot clean up public lands entirely on their own. However, they can promote the best practices to help prevent the problem from growing and help restore the former beauty of these lands. 

The BLM aims to educate all nature-lovers and visitors to public lands on how to be responsible with their waste. Squatting on the ground and relieving yourself in the wilderness should no longer be an option; it spreads disease-causing pathogens and diseases, harming wildlife, nature, visitors, and neighboring communities.  

Packing Out Human Excreta with Portable Waste Bags 

A sanitary solution for packing out waste when visiting public lands is available in the form of portable waste bags. Waste Bags use specialized gelling technology to create unique waste alleviating solution. They are safer than using porta-potties and outhouses, which are notorious for their stench and for being contaminated with bacteria and disease, particularly if they are overflowing and haven’t been serviced in weeks due to budget constraints.  

The Brief Relief Liquid Waste Bag is designed for urine, while the Disposa-John is designed for both liquid and solid waste. The waste bag for liquid waste can handle a full 20 ounces of urine, making it ideal for long hikes and overnight trips in the backcountry. It has a wide opening with a semi-rigid rim, making it easy to use for both men and women. 

The Disposa-John safely contains and neutralizes both liquid and solid human waste thanks to a patented gas-impervious triple-barrier bag design. For added hygiene, the Disposa-John comes with ample toilet paper and antimicrobial wipes that you can throw in the bag before cinching it shut and sealing it. 

Brief Relief portable waste bags are odor-free, puncture-proof, and spill-proof. Both Brief Relief portable waste bags contain a sophisticated blend of polymers and enzymes that change the composition of the waste, accelerating its breakdown. The waste is encapsulated, eliminating odor in the process, and converted into a gel state. 

Because all Brief Relief waste bags are puncture-resistant and spill-proof, you can roll the used bags up and safely store them in your backpack. Brief Relief waste bags are non-toxic and landfill-safe and can be disposed of in any regular trash can.

To learn more about Brief Relief and why they are perfect for outdoor professions and leisure, visit our products page.