(COLORADO) — For those who love the backcountry, a new initiative is working to make going number two, the number one priority.

  • Doo Colorado Right with sustainable backcountry bathroom practices
  • Doo Colorado Right with sustainable backcountry bathroom practices
  • Doo Colorado Right with sustainable backcountry bathroom practices

With an increase of people recreating outdoors, there’s been a rise in mishandled human waste on public lands, creating not only an environmental issue, but a public health concern.

The Doo Colorado Right Campaign funded by the Colorado Tourism Office is providing some relief with backcountry bathroom kits to make sustainable practices easier and faster.

PACT Outdoors will distribute 3,500 backcountry bathroom kits to visitors at trailheads and welcome centers all across Colorado starting Friday, May 26.

“When human waste isn’t buried or packed out appropriately, the pathogens, things that are in our food can normalize in the soil and they can make their way into waterways,” stated Jake Thomas, Co-Founder of PACT Outdoors. “They can harm wildlife and ultimately become a public health issue.”

You may wonder what makes human waste so different from that of wildlife – it’s our diet.

“We consume preservatives, pharmaceuticals, refined sugar, meats… All of these lead to the growth of really harmful bacteria,” said Thomas.

Public health officials are already seeing the effect on wildlife and waterways.

“Mountain goats on Mount Evans, which is a really popular 14er hiking area, and the Slate River… has elevated levels of E.coli from human poop. And that’s a result of outdoor recreation and people not managing their waste properly,” stated Thomas.

So to ‘Doo Colorado Right,’ PACT Outdoors will be providing bathroom kits that have everything you need for going outside.

“This is a shovel for digging a six-inch hole. You squat over the hole and do your business. These are packed wipes and they are dehydrated and compressed. So you add a squirt of water and they unfold into a nine-inch towel,” explained Thomas.

PACT kits also come with tabs that use a species of mycelium that effectively decomposes human waste while also killing harmful bacteria.

“Users drop three pack tabs into the cat hole with their poop and fill it with dirt and let nature do the rest,” said Thomas.