GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) — Starting next week, anyone planning to spend time outdoors in Colorado can get a free bathroom kit to help keep themselves and the trails clean. 

“It’s called the Doo Colorado Right campaign, and that’s spelled with two O’s,” Jake Thomas said. 

Thomas is a co-founder of the Colorado-based Pact Outdoors. The company makes and sells backcountry bathroom kits aimed at helping people properly dispose of their waste on trails. 

“For us, when we saw the increase in this rising poop problem we realized that we have kits for everything we do outdoors. We have first aid kits, we have cook kits and these kits make it easier to be prepared. So why, if going to the bathroom is something we generally do every day, do we not have simple easy-to-use kits for people to poop in the woods?” Thomas said. 

The kits contain a trowel, water-activated wipes and special tablets made of fungi roots to help waste break down more easily. 

Pact Outdoors and Gunnison Crested Butte Tourism started an initiative funded by the Colorado Tourism Office to stock more than 3,500 kits at visitor centers and trail organizations across the state. They will be available for free beginning May 26 while supplies last. 

Thomas says the idea came about after noticing an increase in human waste at popular outdoor areas. 

“Participation in outdoor recreation has grown rapidly in recent years and that’s amazing for a state like Colorado,” Thomas said. “But with more people means a rise in mishandled human poop and it’s really just a result of people either not knowing best practices or finding themselves in the outdoors and being unprepared.”

Not only is the waste unsightly, but it can also be harmful. 

“Humans consume preservatives, alcohol, refined sugars, pharmaceuticals, meat. All these things work together in our guts to lead to this growth of really unhealthy bacteria and it makes our poop quite hazardous actually. When poop isn’t disposed of properly outdoors the bacteria can lead to contamination of waterways, it can harm wildlife and it’s ultimately becoming a public health issue,” Thomas said. 

In some cases, he says land managers have had to reduce access to certain outdoor spaces in order to minimize the impact human waste has on the environment. 

“The most important thing we can do outdoors is bury our waste because that helps to limit the spread of disease and things like that,” Thomas said. 

If it is not possible to bury waste, it must be carried out the same way pet owners must pick up and pack out pet waste.