May 2, 2014 at 8:41 pm #1316378
Okay, after doing some research & re-evaluating my pack, I shaved off 3 lbs. So weight without water or food went from 14 lbs. to 11 lbs. (still have a 4 oz. fuel canister in there).
I took out the bulky roll of toilet paper. I've heard to use dried wet wipes, which I have packed now, then to rehydrate in the field for use.
So, I'm curious what others do to solve the toilet paper problem?May 2, 2014 at 8:45 pm #2098773
No TP. No Problem.May 2, 2014 at 8:45 pm #2098774
There is a toilet paper problem?
My roll of TP weighs 1/4 of an ounce. What issue are we talking about here?May 2, 2014 at 8:46 pm #2098775
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Use it, then burn it with a lighter and bury the ashes with everything else.
I classify that as a consumable item.
–B.G.–May 2, 2014 at 8:58 pm #2098779
Lol – okay, maybe I'm over thinking it. It was more the bulk I had in mind. Then I was thinking maybe there was some sort of trick to it … but I guess not. Wipe & burn – got it. :)May 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm #2098786
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
start at 4:50
this is how i do it.May 2, 2014 at 9:26 pm #2098788
I'm scared to click on that link ….May 2, 2014 at 9:28 pm #2098789
@dandruLocale: Down Under
That's a valid point and lots of people would over compensate but when a roll weighs in at around 110 grams, it's not a major problem.
If you look at the gear lists, you'll see an allowance for sheets/squares etc. I noticed the other day, one person allowed three sheets a day, 5 sheets weighs 2 grams.
I take half a roll because I'll be using it for other things, but if I run out, I'll use my bushcraft skills.May 2, 2014 at 9:30 pm #2098792
Actually, that was pretty funny.May 2, 2014 at 9:32 pm #2098793
Don't take a full roll. When the roll at home gets about 80% used replace it. You then have an adequate supply for a few days. You will find that you can flatten the roll and even remove the centre cardboad tube. I pack in a zip lock bag with a dropper bottle of sanitising gel.
I have been on a 10 day trip when one member of the party rationed their tp to 3 sheets a day. A couple of days in, a mild bout of the runs and only very spikey foliage had the going rate for a sheet up to a $1.May 2, 2014 at 10:22 pm #2098799
@anotherdyementionLocale: NE Ohio
Did that person clip their nails and get their hai cut before the trip? Prolly coulda saved em another half of gram. Clip the toenails too and they coulda went crazy and used four sheets a day.May 2, 2014 at 10:38 pm #2098801
@pitsyLocale: Central Texas
Depending on location, burning TP can be hazardous. Burying it is not ideal either. Packing out used TP is the only method I endorse. Personally, I avoid the problem all together by either using natural materials, or my hand. You wash your hands after pooping anyway, right?May 2, 2014 at 11:26 pm #2098804
Using bacterial and fungal harboring leaves, because what's potentially altering your gut microbiome (I urge you to look up FMT and how it's performed), which has repeatedly been shown to control countless wide ranging things from psychological to epigenetic to health related topics, when you're trying to save 0.15% of your body weight from your pack.
It's my personal opinion that sometimes there is more to gear choices than simply weight. As a quick example, not using full coverage while sleeping outdoors in New England. Ticks which carry Staph, Lyme Disease (which current research indicates may never be eradicated from your system), and numerous other bacterial pathogens, which is to mention nothing of flying insects (EEE anyone?). Sure, you save a few ounces (keep in mind, 1oz for a 150lbs person is 0.04% body weight) by not packing an enclosed sleeping arrangement (or in this case toilet paper), but you run the risk of potentially picking up a viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection that may lay dormant for years.May 3, 2014 at 3:03 am #2098816
I use wet wipes, 60 grams for 15 of them
Usually have 2 packets, one for washing the other for toilet duties.
Usually leave my poop in the hole and bag the wipes to carry them out.May 3, 2014 at 4:27 am #2098817
@pgasbyLocale: North Carolina
I've not really worried about weight but have worried about lnt. I've been in a campsite in panthertown valley that was less than ideal despite a lovely riverside location by tp remnants exposed by high waters. I sharpened a stick and threw as much as I could into our troops campfire later that night. It seems like the bigger challenge is getting people to go 200 feet from water and dig a proper cathole. In the rich damp southeast soil I expect the tp properly buried would decompose pretty quickly but that debate gets lost when you have too many people not getting the most basics right…
Anyway I carry tp and don't worry about the weight really and I for sure have more than 3 sheets a day. No desire to have a backcountry stomach ache and not have a reasonable amount of tp available. I also have some flushable wipes available but those get packed out even if they are supposed to break down quickly.May 3, 2014 at 7:25 am #2098828
Daryl and DarylParticipant
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
I dared to watch the video (I've actually seen it before).
Looks like good advice. I wince when I she him throw the "sh.t cones" to the side, however. I'd sure prefer to see them go into the cat hole.
I also notice that he is waaay more flexible than me.May 3, 2014 at 8:17 am #2098835
@crossfox21Locale: East Oregon
Please tell me there are not fellow BP'ers out there wiping themselves with their bare hands! This is a recipe for disaster! Let's see…save a few ounces on TP…or catch some crazy fecal matter disease.May 3, 2014 at 8:55 am #2098843
@ Cameron Habib:
I suppose you can point to peer-reviewed literature providing evidence that going TP-free in the North American backcountry poses a significant risk of "picking up a viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection that may lay dormant for years."
I assume anyone not new to lightweight backpacking knows of safe, effective, and sanitary methods for going TP-free. Some of us do, some of us don't. But that choice has little to do with saving a few grams.May 3, 2014 at 9:05 am #2098845
@pastyj-2-2Locale: SE US
I take hypoallergenic baby wipes and paper towels. The wipes are pretty heavy so I budget 4-5 per day. I keep meaning to try the dehydration trick…anybody else do that regularly?
Will Reitveld posted somewhere about how paper towels are a great multi-use item. Since they are much stronger than TP, he (and I) found that you can generally complete the task with 1/2 of a towel (buy the ones that are cut that way). Also great for cleaning the floor of your tent, wiping spills, etc. etc. The baby wipes generally are reserved for a quick "shower" at the end of the day, face washing in the morning, or if you are unlucky enough to have your constitution disrupted mid-trip (yikes).
Buried properly I doubt that a paper towel does much damage to the environment, and packing it out is also an option.May 3, 2014 at 9:18 am #2098852
For a long time I was a user of Wet Ones, in the field and at home. Then one day the septic system guy was doing his regular maintenance thing, and he pointed out a slew of "white things" floating around in the septic tank. So I switched over to the "flushable" or biodegradable unscented baby wipes. I open the bulk package and air dry them for hiking use. When they're needed, I just wet them with a splash of water and they're ready for action again. They are fairly strong and quite light–I think 8 of them in a pint Ziploc freezer bag weigh about 0.6 oz.May 3, 2014 at 9:27 am #2098855
@owenmLocale: SE US
"Will Reitveld posted somewhere about how paper towels are a great multi-use item. Since they are much stronger than TP, he (and I) found that you can generally complete the task with 1/2 of a towel (buy the ones that are cut that way). Also great for cleaning the floor of your tent, wiping spills, etc. etc."
Same here. Try Viva, if you haven't. 3g each, and I use about two per day. One for TP duty(soft, but much more durable than TP, so you can fold and wipe with the same piece several times), and the other in halves for a hot handle holder when boiling water, then wiping my bowl or mug after rinsing.May 3, 2014 at 9:51 am #2098859
I was hesitant to ask about toilet paper, but I've recently been re-thinking everything I pack, how I pack, and how I camp. At a certain point, nothing seemed to be beyond scrutiny anymore, including my own concept of "common sense," so was interested in what people actually do. And the tp was conspicuously bulky (not heavy).
Honestly, I think the tp-less option is viable. I'm a little anal about washing my hands anyway (couldn't resist). :) And watching the video, I was thinking more about how not to soak my pants with that water bottle … and then, do I really *need* pants … no maybe that's going too far ….
I've noticed a couple things as I get better at this. What can occur to me in the field in minutes, usually takes hours sitting in my garage, staring at my gear. I like the feedback here, as it's sort of the middle ground – I can't always get out, full time job and all. Also, my pack is now only half full, which is cool, but gets me thinking about a smaller one … which means I have to submit for additional wife clearance to pick up more gear. It's a vicious cycle! :)May 3, 2014 at 10:04 am #2098862
@David Drake: In fact, as luck would have it, I can:
One of hundreds of papers on FMT, showing feasibility of alteration of gut micro biome through rectal delivery (I won't go into any vivid detail but suffice to say, surface contact in that area, due to micro-abrasions and capillary effects, are sufficient for transmission without actual insertion):
Fecal microbiota transplantation and emerging applications. (2012). 9(2), 88–96. doi:10.1038/nrgastro.2011.244
Again, one of numerous papers on the emerging evidence that gut microbiome controls numerous physiological aspects, including central nervous system:
The microbiome-gut-brain axis: from bowel to behavior. (2011). 23(3), 187–192. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2982.2010.01664.x
And finally, one of millions of papers on plant pathogens, this one in particular which is known to pathogenic to humans:
Pantoea agglomerans, a plant pathogen causing human disease. (2007). 45(6), 1989–1992. doi:10.1128/JCM.00632-07
Similar to how there are unlikely to be any papers showing that using a dirty needle found on the street is a bad idea, there are unlikely many biological / biomedical studies done on this exact topic. However, all of the components of such a study have been performed in one way or another with fairly conclusive evidence.
All that said, I understand that everyone likes to think their way is the best way, and I'm not trying to change anyones behaviors or style. I'm simply trying to give a perspective on the matter that some may have not otherwise considered.May 3, 2014 at 10:55 am #2098872
>"I'm simply trying to give a perspective on the matter that some may have not otherwise considered."
I'd say you've managed that. The TP or not-TP question has been discussed endlessly on these forums; I don't recall anyone before suggesting going TP-free might result in alteration of the gut microbiome, such that FMT would be necessary. Or could cause overwhelming sepsis.
I read the third paper you cited. From the abstract:
"P. agglomerans was most associated with penetrating trauma by vegetative material and catheter-related bacteremia."
"Penetrative trauma by vegetative material" seems somewhat different from wiping with leaves, a smooth stone, or a handful of snow. I'm not a PhD in microbiology, but I'm not sure the dots here are as clearly connected as they might be.May 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm #2098919
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Jerry, I don't blame you for thinking that way, but do you know that's how everyone does it in India? Really a huge portion of the world does it that way. It's sanitary as long as you wash your hands well with soap after.
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