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Saturday, January 24, 2009

improved cat hole

Have you heard about Portable Dwelling newsletter? It's been around for about twenty years, a small print newsletter that tells you how to live cheaply in the woods with light weight and improvised gear. A bleach jug drip shower, foam pad insulated tents, that kind of thing. For the longest time I really didn't see much point in that existence. It was hard to make a living, you were squatting on land and were subject to harassment. The only advantage was you could pick the ideal climate and location you liked. Of course, with the economy now it makes a lot more sense. The price to join is almost zero. If you want to check them out the address is Portable Dwelling, PO Box 190, Philomath OR 97370.
That was my free plug for their mag so I could steal one of their ideas. An improved cat hole. When I see a new idea I get excited about, I automatically assume you will feel the same way. Not that it is that exciting, but luckily my thresh hold for wonderment is low. The problem with cat holes ( the wilds way of crapping- scoop out a shallow hole, deposit your scented fertilizer, cover ) is that if you stay in any one area too long the fields surrounding your abode come to resemble a mine field. Little mounds everywhere. And about as dangerous. The problem with a large hole for your latrine is that the wastes form a anthill in the middle of the hole and before long there is no clearance right below you. The sides are still not filled in but you either have to move the mound or dig a new hole. But the new and improved cat hole does away with both of these problems. You dig a narrow hole, but much farther down. When you throw dirt on top of your creation the hole is filled up evenly. And it takers awhile to fill up.
If you are really lucky, you have a post hole digger which is about the perfect width and allows you to get down pretty far. Otherwise, you must improvise. Stick and can, pointed shovel for reach with a trowel for digging out the loose soil, etc. Dig your first hole before the big event. Then, go a foot or two away ( depending on soil type- the looser the soil the farther away ) and pick the spot for the next hole. Do your business, then go to the second hole and dig out enough soil to cover what you just did, carrying it over to the hole being used. I would actual have enough loose soil already to go. Cut down on the offensive nature quickly. Then, dig out enough for the next time. This way you can dig a little at a time and not kill yourself.
In my neck of the woods, there are no woods. I would feel kind of silly squatting over a hole in broad daylight. This is where the plastic bucket with seat inside comes in handy. Do your thing, cover with sawdust or pine shavings if you are wealthy or dirt if you are not. At night you can slink out to your hole and dump in the turds. Like I said, not that exciting of an idea. But to me, it was a forehead slapping "duh". Why didn't I think about that? So, in the spirit of sharing, here you go.


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