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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

John Day River

Launch permits are required for all river segments. A non-refundable launch fee applies to trips entering the Wild and Scenic River section between May 20 & July 10 of $20 per overnight trip per group, or $10 per day-use trip per group.

Portable Toilet Information

A river toilet should be leak-proof, portable, and reusable. In case of a boating mishap, it must be able to bang against rocks in the river without leaking. It should be large enough to accommodate the entire party for the complete length of the trip (think use-days: number of people x number of days on the river). Plastic bags should not be used, except Wag Bags, Cleanwaste, Restop2, and similar human waste disposal pouches designed specifically for this purpose.

Low Cost Options

  • Standard 5 gallon paint bucket and a Gamma Seal lid ($10-20) - This combination makes a low tech toilet, with a good seal, that holds about 40 use days. The Gamma Seal lid is a double gasket system, with a ring that snaps securely onto a standard 5 gallon paint bucket, and a lid that unscrews for use. It passes the leak test - shaking a full toilet over your head with no leakage.
    • Where to Dump? BLM's dump stations at Clarno and Cottonwood take-outs, (designed to be used without water, as there is currently no water available at these sites), or at Scat Machines located in Maupin City Park and Heritage Landing on the Lower Deshcutes River.
  • Wag Bags, Cleanwaste, Restop2, and similar waste disposal pouches ($3-5 per pouch, up to 3-4 uses each) - These bags contain a special "poo powder" (like a baby diaper) that decompose waste and allow disposal in a landfill. Used Wag Bags must be transported in a leak-proof container until they are disposed of in a trash receptacle.
    • Where to Dump? Clarno and Cottonwood take-outs have special receptacles for disposing of used Wag Bags. EPA regulations prohibit dumping solid human waste into garbage receptacles and landfills, unless it is contained in a Wag Bag or similar waste disposal pouch.
    • Attention Wag Bag Users: Please do not dump Wag Bags into a river toilet dump station or vault toilet, as these bags cannot be pumped out by our pumping service and must be pulled out one-by-one, at great taxpayer expense.
  • Combination of bucket and bag - For easy clean-up and a sturdy seat, some boaters choose to use a Wag Bag or similar human waste pouch inside a Gamma Seal bucket, transporting the used pouches in the bottom of the sealed bucket.
  • Build your own kayak toilet system - Uses common pvc plumbing parts available at an RV supply store. See: www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/rogue/portable-toilets-kayak.php.

Dump Station Compatible Models

  • Eco-safe, River Bank, etc. ($100 and up) - Comfortable toilets that dispose of waste directly into an RV dump station or sewer line.
  • Wag Bags, Cleanwaste, Restop2, and similar waste disposal pouches ($3-5 per pouch, up to 3-4 uses each) - These bags contain a special "poo powder" (like a baby diaper) that decompose waste and allow disposal in a landfill. Used Wag Bags must be transported in a leak-proof container until they are disposed of in a trash receptacle.
    • Where to Dump? Please refer to the list of RV Dump Stations. Most of these RV dump stations are offered free of charge, and can make clean-up a lot easier.

Where to Buy a Toilet

  • Standard 5 Gallon Buckets (Note: Only the sturdy old-style buckets fit a Gamma Seal lid - the new cheap-style buckets don't fit a Gamma Seal lid and are too flimsy to sit on.)
    • Andy & Bax - Portland - 503-234-7538
    • Big R, Ace Hardware, and Home Depot (color is Home Depot orange)
  • Gamma Seal Lids
    • Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe - Bend - 541-317-9407
    • Andy & Bax - Portland - 503-234-7538
    • Online from www.sportsmansguide.com, and from many pet stores
  • Wag Bags, Cleanwaste Bags, and similar human waste pouches
    • Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe - Bend - 541-317-9407
    • Andy & Bax - Portland - 503-234-7538
    • Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe - Portland - 503-285-0464
    • REI, Cabela's, and online at river supply outfitters
  • RV Dump Station Compatible Models
    • Local and mail-order river supply outfitters such as Cascade Outfitters, NRS, and Wyoming River Raiders

Happy Toilets – How to use a toilet system

Before using any bucket or RV compatible system, spray waste storage area with cooking spray to help remove the waste more easily. Add two inches of water to the container. A splash of pine sol can be added to control odor.

To avoid extra weight and volume, urinating in the container is not recommended, unless capacity allows. At flows above 500 cfs, Leave No Trace recommends urinating in the river (the solution is dilution). At flows below 500 cfs, urinate on the ground, away from camp, in an area that remains shaded from the sun.

The only thing that should go into the toilet is solid deposits and toilet paper. No feminine hygiene products, wipes, or cardboard roll from the center of the toilet paper. Such items are trash and should go into a ziplock bag to be hauled out with your garbage.

Toilet supplies for use on the river (stored in an ammo can or other waterproof container):

  • disposable rubber gloves
  • 2lb. coffee can/lid for TP
  • extra roll TP in ziplock bag
  • ziplock bags for trash and for disposing of rubber gloves
  • disinfectant spray
  • anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitizer
  • many boaters also bring a toilet seat

Items to facilitate dumping (keep a box in car at the takeout):

  • disposable rubber gloves
  • anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitizer
    • For RV dump station compatible toilets: dump hose and fittings, a short piece of hose with a female end

Bucket Cleaning Tip: After dumping your bucket or toilet, add some leftover drinking water and bleach from your river kitchen, put the lid on tight, and let it slosh around on your drive home.