As a young boy, I’d go camping all the time. I loved being away from the city and communing with nature. We held one rule- Leave No Traces!
Many ocean- going vessels don’t actually adhere to that concept.. it’s not uncommon for cruise ships to dump their garbage prior to entering nationalized waters.. and other Pedal Powered boat projects either did or planned to dump waste overboard.
#LeaveNoTraces is a growing concern.. I’m going to adopt it as one of my main “hashtags” and it is my interest and intent to build my boat, my food sources, and storage options with waste in mind such that I won’t leave a trace of my passing!
Part One: The Combustion Shitter
When I was talking with the folks that had bult the boat “WiTHiN” they told me that they planned on just dumping waste overboard. As a person who grew up adhering to the concept of #LeaveNoTraces.. I felt that was pretty harsh. I don’t even want to dump coffee grinds overboard because~ to my mind~ Coffee Grinds are an UNNATURAL element within the ocean ecosystem so I would be introducing foreign matter and even the smallest ammount adds up- like the 900+ noxious fumes that one car pumps out just by turning it on.. most of those noxious fumes are NOMINAL when we look at ONE CAR but.. in a city of 500,000 people (or, over the course of one persons lifespan of auto use) running an estimated 150,000 autos.. it adds up… FAST.
So- I’ve been wrestling with the design and functionality behind a toilet system that won’t leave any waste.
Initially I thought about a composting toilet but that means I’d need soil and massive storage facilities for a month- long journey/ leg of my overall journey. Then I found out about Incinerating Shitters!!!
An incinerating Shitter does exactly that- low heat, evaporates all the liquids leaving nothing but.. powder. I’ll be able to put all of my bio- waste in to the contraption and slowly heat it until nothing is left but ash.. removing the ash for storage until I arrive at a designated landfall. I’m building the concept based on a 20LB propane tank (inspired by the tongue- drum that Gabe Cipes, of Summerhill Winery, showed me years ago, mixed with spacial needs) and a single burner white- gas camp stove..
I’ve opted for White Gas as my onboard fuel as my “trailer” can carry the stock and reloading single cannisters is easier than dealing with than the number of cannisters (and stowage requirements there of) I’d need were I to go with propane or another fuel. And.. I’ll be using only ONE burner- the burner that will be used for the incinerating toilet will, also, be my cooking burner! Simplified and easy peasy!