A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

A Wonderful Discovery


I have a composting toilet in the camper.  I removed the factory flushing toilet back in 2016 and installed the composting toilet before hitting the road for good.  One of the best modifications I have ever made.  You can use various mediums in composting toilets such as pine pellets, wood shavings (like for hamster cages) and coco coir which is what I have always used.  Coco coir is compressed coconut husk fiber and is used in gardening.  I chose it because it comes in compressed bricks (the size of a brick) which makes for easy storage where storage space is at a premium in a camper.

The only drawback is they are a bear to breakdown.  I usually wait until I am at a campground that has concrete picnic tables.  There I can beat the crap out of them with my hatchet and shave off chunks and slices with a large military knife with great effort.  Most of the time my wrists give out before I get halfway breaking down the brick.  I have to stop.

Here at San Pedro there was a concrete table.  Okay, I gotta do this.  The first whack with the hatchet the sound was amplified within that metal roofed awning resonating throughout the campground.  Crap!  Not putting up with that.  I put everything away and went inside to brew a cup of tea.  What to do?

There’s gotta be a better way.  I Googled it.  
Well golly Sargent Carter!  Soak the brick in water!

I went back outside, dug out my collapsable bucket, dumped in a gallon of water and dropped in my partially shaved brick from the last time of fruitless labor.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  The brick began to separate away in layers within a minute.  This just might work.  I reached in and the layers were soft to the touch easily crumbling away like peat moss garden mulch you buy in big bags at the garden center.

I dug out from the back these cookie sheet pans I bought years ago in a failed attempt to create a windbreak screen for my little barbecue.  I have been hauling them around for years, never using them.  Now finally, they have a use.  The brick easily crumbled away.  I spread the crumbly coconut coir out in the three pans to dry in the sun.

Now most people would whoop and holler, jumping for joy when they come upon a great solution for a problem they have long suffered with for years  Me?  I just quietly stand there shaking my head trying to not say to myself stupid, stupid, STUPID!


Upriverdavid said...

No matter how old I get I find myself doing stupid stuff now and then..That's life.
Just a month ago I put an iron on patch on a pair of jeans. Instead of using the ironing board or placing the jeans on the kitchen counter on top of a towel.
It shouldn't hurt to just place them on my living room carpet..Ha! I can see where the rug sorta melted. Guess I'll park a chair on it in case my Kat starts laying on it and laughing at me?

Barbara Rogers said...

Hooray! An answer was found! That's the part that I'd focus on...forget all those exercises in vain, unless you think they were really good for strengthening your wrists!

Ellen D. said...

Thank goodness for Google!

Damselfly said...

Glad you found a better way to separate the coir brick. I'm a firm believer in taking my victories when & where they occur. So whoop & holler and cease being hard on yourself. 😊
Stay safe & well.

Kathe said...

How can you know what you didn't know until you know it? You're not God, you know. ;)
Find that Stupid Tape in your head and put it down the compost toilet with the rest of it's cousins. We're all just stumbling along out here. Some just fake it better.

Debby said...

Bahhhaaaaaaaaaaaa....That is the first thing that I thought as I read this: 'Couldn't you just add water?' Anyhow, you figured it out, and I know for a fact there are plenty of things I am doing the hard way as well, I suppose.

Upriverdavid said...

This A.M. the Seattle news had a story about Mt. Rainier NP going cashless. I didn't catch the whole story, but maybe the same machines you are enjoying?
Now if we could just get rid of Reserve amuurika...