Ask Zimo: You don't want your potty tent turning into a kite

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comMay 2, 2013 

Q: Have you been able to find a shower tent that won't blow over in a stiff breeze and has zippers that will work for a while?

Some of the ones that I've seen are really flimsy.

KEN HELMS, email

A: I've stuck with one brand of potty/shower tent for 12 years because it's easy to set up and holds up in a hurricane.

The Cleanwaste PUP Tent - Portable Privacy Shelter is available from Northwest River Supply and gets my vote. Since my wife and I camp 40 to 45 nights a year, we have really put the tent through a stress test.

It has withstood desert winds and heavy mountain snow. During that time, it has been set up and taken down about 480 times.

Once on the Grande Ronde River in northeast Oregon, a strong wind had it bent practically down to the ground, but it always bounced back up. It's pretty flexible.

What I also like is that there are no separate parts. The collapsible poles stay attached to the tent when it is set up and down. It's like an umbrella and sets up in a snap.

The PUP can be used as a shower room, changing room and outhouse. Probably not at the same time, I guess.

It is 6-feet, 6-inches high and 4-feet by 4-feet wide. The tent has windows for ventilation.

Frankly, I will not use any other porta-potty tent than this one.

It costs $162.95, and it's well worth it. See it at by doing a product search.


Q: At Bonneville Point I recently went off road following the Oregon Trail ruts and a mile into it there was a locked gate preventing further travel toward Boise. I thought this was public land and that access could not be denied.

DON , email

A: My trusty BLM surface management map for that area shows that within a mile of the kiosk at Bonneville Point off Blacks Creek Road, you'll hit private land, depending on which two-track trail you were following. Maybe that's the reason for the locked gate. BLM doesn't have a locked gate out there.

Although it may look like wide-open sagebrush country to explore endlessly, there is a lot more private land than you might think between Bonneville Point and the Idaho 21 bridge near Columbia Village.

Hiking in from the opposite end at the Oregon Trail Recreation Area trailhead on the southeast side of Idaho 21 bridge, you'll hit private land within 2 miles.

We have miles and miles of Oregon Trail in Southwest Idaho. A lot is on public land, but some of it is on private land. Just because the trail is a historic resource, doesn't mean you have access to it. You've got to respect private land.

You can look at land ownership and Oregon Trail maps at the BLM District Office at 3948 S. Development Ave. in Boise.

When it's all said and done, I think public land managers and private landowners frown on anyone driving on Oregon Trail ruts.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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