In 2021, Pact Outdoors introduced a very convenient kit for going to the bathroom outdoors. It quickly received an Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award for its efforts. Although it is small enough for traveling by foot, some backcountry users wanted a more lightweight and streamlined option.
So, the company removed the carrying case and made the shovel itself a holder for all the necessary items. The Pact Lite kit can fit in a pocket and contains everything you need for a comfortable and natural bathroom experience.
Pact simplifies the kit by getting rid of non-essential items, such as the carry case and hand sanitizer. While it may seem important to clean up after using the bathroom, users can find alternative solutions like using biodegradable soap or shower wipes.
To organize the Lite kit, Pact transforms the hollow shovel into a storage compartment. It includes a two-part organizer that can hold a week’s worth of compressed wipes and mycelium tabs inside the handle, keeping everything securely in place.
Just like the original Pact kit, the compressed plant-based tabs expand into 9-inch wipes when water is added, and the mycelium tabs are buried in the designated hole to speed up the decomposition process.
According to Pact, the mycelium tabs, made from fungi, decompose waste 10 times faster. Burying the biodegradable wipes along with the tabs helps speed up the process. This is different from traditional wet wipes that don’t decompose and should be taken with you.
Some guidelines, like those from the Appalachian Mountain Club, even suggest packing out toilet paper and only burying it as a last resort. So, being able to confidently bury the wipes knowing they aid decomposition is a great advantage.
The mycelium tabs are also designed to neutralize harmful bacteria like E.coli. This can help prevent the spread of disease if the waste ends up resurfacing, such as during a flood.
The Pact Lite kit’s internal organizer neatly fits inside the shovel handle, leaving only the 8.5-inch shovel to pack in a backpack, bag, or pocket. The design also includes a cap for the shovel blade, preventing it from poking through fabric or injuring the user.
Pact’s efforts to streamline the kit have significantly reduced its weight to just 4 ounces (120 grams) when packed with a week’s worth of compressed wipes and mycelium tabs. The original fully stocked kit weighed 12.8 ounces (363 grams).
This weight reduction makes the Pact Lite kit comparable to some mini-shovels alone, like the 3.5-ounce (99-gram) iPood pocket trowel from Sea to Summit or the 3.1-ounce (88-gram) Cathole Trowel from GSI. Considering the functionality, neatness, and convenience of the Pact Lite kit compared to carrying and packing out toilet paper, it appears to be a superior choice for backpackers, cyclists, hikers, kayakers, and other outdoor enthusiasts on the day or multi-day trips.
Pact released the Lite kit in late May, around the same time we were using the old-fashioned method with a shovel, toilet paper roll, and pack-out bag in the wilderness outside of Overland Expo West. The kit is priced at $35 and comes with 20 wipes and 60 mycelium tabs, enough for approximately 20 bathroom breaks. Refill packs containing a combination of 20 wipes and 60 mycelium tabs can be purchased for $22.