Pinnell Mountain Trail
What about sanitation?
I was tempted to title this section "What do I do with the Doodoo". But then "why be crude"? On the other hand, "why not"?
Let's face it, "it happens" and when it happens you have to deal with it. I have seen various recommendations all of which should be performed away from the trail and also away from water sources. The recommendations generally fall into four categories:
1. Bury it: This is BLM's recommendation and also the recommendation found on the trail guide from the Fairbanks Alaska Public Lands Information Center (FAPLIC) Basically you remove a portion of the tundra (don't get carried away), remove some of the underlying soil (if the soil is frozen, you'll need a rock pick), do it, scrape it into the hole, replace some of the soil (not all of the soil or you'll have a mound), and finally replace the tundra. Properly replacing the tundra will insulate the soil beneath and prevent decomposition. Take the TP with you (you won't just stuff it in your backpack will you?) Naturally no animal will undo all your hard work. Right!
2. Spread it out: This method given on the information sign at Eagle Summit and which I also found on the web (you can find all sorts of ideas on the web) consists of: find a big rock, position yourself over the big rock, do it and spread it out on the rock (don't get too creative, no finger-painting). Take the TP with you (toilet paper doesn't spread easily). This method works best in a rocky area. Besides being gross this method can lead to complications. The stuff on the rock could be mistaken by a budding scientist for a petroglyph and end up a the subject of a doctoral thesis and perhaps a publication (certainly as a subject for further study). I can imagine the increased traffic on the trail after publication. For you petroglyph fans remember (standard petroglyph caution) take pictures only, do not damage the petroglyph. For those who googled "petroglyph", I'm somewhat sorry.
3. Take it with you: Get out a Ziploc bag, do it, somehow get it into the bag (don't forget the TP), seal bag, place bag in backpack (remember to remove bag from backpack sometime). This method is preferred by those who don't mind ridicule.
4. Wait until the end of the trail. This doesn't work. Well maybe for a few hours, but not days. As of April, 2011 there is a pit toilet at Twelvemile Summit. The good thing about this method is that you don't have to deal with TP. Also this method can speed up the trip considerably.
The first three methods become more difficult if the mosquitos are swarming.
Substituting sphagnum moss for toilet paper is not recommended, but if you must, use the area near the roots. The top tends to cut little slices in tender tissues.