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Episode 67 | How to Poop in the Woods (Skills and Tools for Backcountry Pooping)


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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Episode 67 | How to Poop in the Woods (Skills and Tools for Backcountry Pooping)

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  • #3759610
    Backpacking Light
    Admin

    @backpackinglight

    Locale: Rocky Mountains

    Companion forum thread to: Episode 67 | How to Poop in the Woods (Skills and Tools for Backcountry Pooping)

    Ryan and Andrew chat about new gear and techniques for the age-old question: how to poop in the woods (safely, cleanly, and responsibly).

    #3759645
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    1) Wondering if Ryan uses TP before his described bidet use?

    2) of course, another way to mitigate the problem on concentration of cat holes in popular ares is to just say no… just say no to being a lemming who must go to the popular places… and/or to camp far away from the popular camp sites… which are typically near water… so pack some water to a dry camp…

    #3759646
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    And…

    Wonder if… for the alpine and desert areas where there is not enough soil bacteria to decompose poo in a reasonable amount of time… if a bacteria could be developed that you could just pack with you and sprinkle on the poo before covering it up…

    #3759647
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    just say no to being a lemming who must go to the popular places… and/or to camp far away from the popular camp sites

    I like this strategy for a number of reasons, in part because I enjoy solitude. Another approach, if you can manage it, is to pack up your camp and walk for a mile or two before taking a bathroom break.

    #3759650
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I do a lot of backpacking, maybe 70 nights per year.  I haven’t had a lot of problems.

    On my last trip I picked up a rock to use to hold something down.  It smelled like poop, so I just put it back down.  It was right at the campsite.  That was obnoxious, but after I set it back down it didn’t bother me.  Now that I think about it, I should have thrown it away from camp.  And covered the spot where it was.

    Occasionally I’ll see some toilet paper.  Do people think they’re doing a good thing, marking where they pooped so no one else will be surprised?  I’ll usually bury it.

    A time or two when I’ve dug my cat hole, I’ve encountered someone else’s business so I just backed out and moved over to a virgin spot.

    It’s not really a big deal.  I just don’t see why this is a big problem.

    But, I don’t do mountain climbing where there’s only rocks.  Or trips in river canyons that are too constricted to find good spots to poop.  In those cases, then yeah, you should pack it out.

    I just use a stick.  Not that carrying a one ounce trowel would be a big deal.  I am always able to dig a 6 inch hole so I can put 4 inches of dirt on top.

    There’s a campsite at Strawberry Point on the Olympics.  There is no good spot to poop because so many people camp there.  And the racoons dig it up at night.  I won’t camp there again.  There’s a couple better spots further south.

    Good idea about walking a mile away.  Even 100 feet away would be far enough to avoid any conflict in most cases.

     

     

     

    #3759671
    John S.
    BPL Member

    @jshann

    More and more locations will require wag bags in the coming years most likely. Better practice up!

    #3759674
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    Yosemite is my nearest, best, backpacking destination. Or Tahoe. So, lots of people. Even so: six hours in away from trailheads, and their are no crowds; further still, fewer people still.

    It’s always obvious which campsites are heavily used. Sometimes I stay in them. In the morning, if I can, I wait until I’m well away on trail to find a good looking, not used, area to do my business. There are many thousands of acres of land just off the trail. Bear and deer and coyote and all animals are pooping there regularly. If done well, my little dump will merely add to the biomass over the years.

    I try to scout out a spot at evening for the next morning’s business, knowing that coffee may force the issue. I usually stay within timberline. As such, there’s going to be soil out in the trees. I wet down my tp to help it dissolve.

    However, After a lot of initial reservation, I’m warming to the idea of a bidet. I’ll have to practice at home to convince me.

    #3759679
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    I bought a bidet seat for my home toilet, when the great TP hoarding of April 2020 was happening. It is the best! Brondell Swash, with warm rinse, warm air dry. No music on the model I have though, that was too expensive. I never use TP at home now.

    I’m using a bidet on trail too, so so so much cleaner and nicer than TP. Scratching your behind with dead trees is so 2019; give it up. I bring some dried wet wipes in case I need them, but rarely do. Shower clean every time, and clean hands too. (I still sanitize but cleaner even before sanitizing).

    #3759690
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    I have never used a bidet. But thinking about how it might work, I wonder about this:

    It seems to me that there would be a high probability of getting splash on your pants as you squat and squirt water at your butt. Poo splash on my hiking pants would be a very bad thing. So… questions for experienced bidet users: Does poo splash onto your hiking pants or underwear ever happen? And, if not, how so? How do you keep that from happening?

     

    #3759699
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    No, never any splash. Your pants are far from your behind, at your ankles. If your poo is a 5 or 6 on the scale you might have to practice a bit more with the bidet. But I’ve found it is so easy.

    #3759712
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    “Your pants are far from your behind,”

    “Far…”…. far depends on how tall you are and how far back you can squat… I be challenged on both counts… seems like max opportunity to create a stinking mess…

    #3759713
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    Ah, well it might not work for you if you can’t squat.

    #3759715
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    5 or 6 on the scale?

    what scale?

    please don’t answer : )

    #3759787
    Tom Clark
    BPL Member

    @tomclark

    Locale: East Coast

    As with other backpacking techniques, it’s best to practice at home (in the shower).  Encouragingly, lots of other people have made it work and are very happy with this approach, so you should be able to do it too.

    #3759813
    MJ H
    BPL Member

    @mjh

    People are happy when they poop in the shower?

    #3759840
    Doug Coe
    BPL Member

    @sierradoug

    Locale: Bay Area, CA, USA

    @jerry OK, I’ll answer. Someone out there (Philmont scouts?) came up with a “firmness” scale for poop. I imagine firmer leaves less to clean off with a bidet and softer leaves more, generally.

    You’re welcome!

    #3759841
    Doug Coe
    BPL Member

    @sierradoug

    Locale: Bay Area, CA, USA

    Where can I get a mylar bag like Ryan mentioned for carrying out used TP?

    #3759846
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    The poop scale I was referring to is the Bristol Stool Chart.  You’re welcome.

    #3760131
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    1) Wondering if Ryan uses TP before his described bidet use?

    No, but I will use natural materials.

    Where can I get a mylar bag like Ryan mentioned for carrying out used TP?

    I buy ShieldPro bags with zip closure in 8×8 and 10×10 sizes, on Amazon.

     

    #3760319
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    Just got back from the Sierra. Sad to see so many piles of tp near camps. That and people going on the surface and putting rocks on top. I had to walk 200-300 yards to find a place that hadn’t been crapped in/on. This was a popular lake fwiw.

    #3760320
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    Ryan, do you find these more odor resistant than Opsak brand?

    #3760324
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    Yes, and more durable.

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