Pact's one-handed poop-anywhere kit lightens the backcountry load
Pact Outdoors launched the world's most convenient pooping kit in 2021, quickly taking home an Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award a few months later for its efforts. While technically compact enough for foot travel, its dutiful tool roll isn't quite as sleek and lightweight as some backcountry users demand. So the company has done away with the carry case, turning the shovel itself into a dual-purpose holder for all the Pact #2 essentials. The Pact Lite kit can carry in a pocket, bringing everything you need for a smoother, more natural response to nature's call.
Pact gets to streamlining by stripping away non-essentials, starting with the carry case and including the bottle of hand sanitizer. Washing up after a vigorous defecation may not seem "non-essential," but the user can adjust by carrying a more universal solution, such as an all-purpose biodegradable soap or shower wipe.
Pact organizes the Lite kit by making the hollow shovel its own case. It adds in a two-part organizer that loads a week's worth of compressed wipes and mycelium tabs inside the handle, securely storing everything right where it's needed. As with the original Pact kit, the compressed plant-based tabs expand into 9-in (23-cm) wipes with a quick squirt of water, and the mycelium tabs get buried in the cat hole to speed up the decomposition process.
Pact says the fungi-based mycelium decomposes excrement 10 times faster and that burying the biodegradable wipe with the tabs speeds the process further – a contrast to traditional wet wipes, which don't decompose and should be packed out. In fact, some guidelines, such as those from the Appalachian Mountain Club, also suggest packing toilet paper out and only burying it if you have no other choice. So being able to bury your wipes confidently knowing they're helping decomposition is a nice bonus.
The mycelium tabs are also designed to neutralize harmful pathogens such as e-coli. This could curb the spread of disease, should the waste end up rising to the surface, such as during a flood.
The Pact Lite internal organizer stores away neatly in the shovel handle, leaving only the 8.5-in (21.6-cm) shovel to pack in a backpack, bag or pocket. The design also caps the shovel blade, preventing it from poking through fabric or into the user.
Pact's streamlining also pays off in cutting weight by over two-thirds to just 4 oz (120 g) for the trowel packed with a week's worth of compressed wipes and mycelium tabs, down from 12.8 oz (363 g) for the original fully stocked kit. That's not much more weight than some mini-shovels alone, including the 3.5-oz (99-g) iPood pocket trowel from Sea to Summit or the 3.1-oz (88-g) Cathole Trowel from GSI. Considering how functional, neat and convenient the Pact Lite kit is in comparison to storing and packing out toilet paper, it seems like a superior choice for backpackers, cyclists, hikers, kayakers and other day or multi-day backcountry users.
Pact launched the Lite kit in late May – around the same time we were doing things the old fashioned way with a shovel, roll of toilet paper and pack-out bag in the wilderness outside of Overland Expo West. The kit retails for $35, with 20 wipes and 60 mycelium tabs, enough for an estimated 20 bathroom breaks. 20-wipe/60-mycelium tab combination refill packs can be purchased for $22.
Source: Pact Outdoors