When doing an overnight rafting trip most people overlook the details, such as proper waste management disposal. While it may not be the most appealing topic to discuss, it is something that needs attention.
Groovers were developed as a way to eliminate our impact on the environment. The groover is one of the main ways paddling enthusiasts can properly dispose of human waste and avoid costly fines.
What is a groover you may ask? Well a groover refers to the practice of using 20MM metal ammunition boxes to sit on while you did your business. A groover is defined as, “A hollow, plastic, toilet-shaped box, which is often used on camping and rafting trips.” It is a slang term, named after the grooves that it would leave on your backside when you would sit to do natures business. However, the grooves disappeared when the ingenious thought of adding a toilet seat to the top was thought of (thank goodness!).
Initially groovers were constructed from heavy duty ammunition boxes. However, over the years metal and welded plastic have become the common materials for groover construction. Additionally, strict regulations and expectations of groover construction have developed over the years. River police closely monitor waste disposal. If a groover is not up to BLM, NPS, and USFS standards you can be subject to heavy fines. Also, keep in mind that groovers are not meant to be used for liquid waste, just solid.
When spending the night on the river, nature will eventually call, so you want to make sure you have your groover handy. While they may not be the most appealing pieces of river gear, they are a necessity. Colorado River Rentals offers groover rentals and even cleans them out for you!