I get asked a lot of questions from curious people. I know some people who read this blog are seasoned hikers. However, there are a lot of people who have never even considered a hike. My ability to poop in the woods and how I will accomplish such a feat is a frequent topic of conversation. One person mortified that I would poop in a hole, even suggested I attach a bucket to my pack to use instead. Clearly, this person has never thought about backpacking.
Yes, I will be pooping in the woods, and no I will not be carrying a bucket! Buckets are heavy and completely unnecessary. I appreciate the concern others are showing for my pooping comfort, although no one has ever seemed to care about it before. For those that are concerned…have no fear, I have pooped in the woods before. It isn’t that difficult and there are actually rules to using the bathroom in the woods.
REI has an article “How to Go to the Bathroom in the Woods”
and it lays out the rules pretty clearly. (https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/hygiene-sanitation.html)
Some places require that toilet paper is carried out and some people think this is the only proper etiquette. It is my least favorite rule and I will only pack it out if it is required. I know it’s kind of gross. I will, of course, have a light trowel to assist in digging that hole I was talking about.
Rules state that I need to be 200 feet from any water source and the trail, which shouldn’t be hard…I don’t want to poop where people can see me anyway! Then dig a hole 6-8 inches deep and 4 inches wide.
Then you guessed it…pop a squat and poop! If the local requirements don’t require me to pack out the toilet paper it will go in the hole and be covered with everything else. Done, and no need for a bucket!
So…yes, to pooping in the woods. No, to carrying a bucket and for those of you who find the idea of pooping in a hole abhorrent at least you won’t be stepping in it!