Where to poop when camping? The prospect of defecating outdoors is perhaps the most frightening aspect of any new camper. The idea of having to excrete in a hole may be unpleasant when you are used to flushing toilets.
So, how do you poop while camping? Fortunately, taking a dump in the woods is not as unpleasant as it appears. When it comes to relieving oneself outside, you have lots of alternatives, from building a camp toilet also called “Wag Bag” to digging a hole. It becomes simply another element of the camping experience with practice and expertise.
However, it is understandable if you are a little hesitant about your toilet options while camping. So, to put all of your concerns to rest, we have put up this pooping while camping guide with answers to all of your most pressing inquiries.
How To Poop In The Backcountry
Before you go to your outdoor rest stop, make sure you have everything you need and that you know how to properly use it.
Supplies: Aside from the basics—toilet paper and hand sanitizer—you should bring the following as needed:
- Sealable plastic bag: Packing out used toilet paper is now the norm, and even if it is not required, it is still the best way to minimize your environmental impact (and even conceal the things inside). If you want the contents to be disguised, wrap them in aluminum foil, and cover using duct tape.
- Camp trowel: Many are extremely light and may be used to dig a cat hole.
- Solid waste bags or containers: People must bring solid human waste out of high-elevation, delicate, or heavily traveled regions. If this is the case, you will need portable waste disposal options. Some are single-layer sealed bags called “blue bags,” while others are double-layer sealable bags with gel for absorption. Carrying out your bags; they are supposed to be leakproof, but place them in another plastic bag just to be on the safe side. A storing container lined with a closeable lid and a big compostable bag is a portable solid-waste toilet if you can carry larger gear.
Find The Appropriate Spot:
- Carry your equipment for 200 feet (70 steps) from a trail, campsite, or water source. If you want to be alone, use an underbrush for privacy. Check how far you are from your camp or trail to make sure you can return there after finding out about the area’s plants and animals.
- Choose a location that has loose, rich soil and lots of sunshine. Both of these circumstances aid in the decomposition process. Make a small hole about 4.5 inches wide enough and 7 to 8 inches dept using a trowel, stick, rock, or boot heel.
- If the soil is too hard to dig, consider moving a stone and making use of that location. When you have finished, replace the rock. Alternatively, carry your trash out in a bag.
Managing Toilet Paper:
- Use the least amount of toilet paper feasible. To save money on TP, wipe with natural things like big leaves (be sure they are not poisonous), smooth stones, and snowballs. Make sure you have your chosen thing on hand beforehand.
- To transport, gather all of the TP in a waste bag and carry it out. (Disposing of the TP is permitted is becoming increasingly rare—only do it if your cathole is deep enough and you are certain that land managers allow it.)
- Pre-moistened wipes may be handy on occasion, but do not drop them into the hole; they must be packed out in your waste bag as well (as do menstrual supplies).
- After the grass has grown back in, cover the cathole with earth from the original excavation. With your foot, tamp it down. To keep animals from digging beneath it, place a rock or limb over the area. The presence of an upright pole may be used to deter future humans in need of a hole.
- Finally, wash your hands with some disinfectant and rub hard, paying attention to the tips.
Is It Right To Poop In The Woods?
We would like to start by assuring you that it is fine to defecate in the woods. Defecating is a typical bodily function, and if you spend enough time outside, you will eventually have to go when you are away from a flushing toilet.
In reality, getting comfortable with the concept of outdoor defecation over avoiding it is preferable since it will allow you to go out on longer trips in more remote regions, away from modern plumbing.
Should I Avoid Pooping When Camping?
In short: No! When you are outside and do not want to go, forcing your feces back inside can cause a slew of severe health problems. According to the University of Utah, delaying defecation can lead to constipation. Furthermore, holding it in for longer might make your stool harder, resulting in “fecal impaction,” which is when your poop becomes trapped in the intestine.
According to BMC Geriatrics research, fecal impaction occurs when individuals have hard, dry stools that they can not pass. This might be extremely unpleasant and even deadly if it is not treated promptly. Holding it in so you do not spoil yourself on a weekend camping trip is not likely to result in a severe case of fecal impaction, but doing so on a long journey is dangerous.
Although you may be apprehensive about defecating in the woods, keep in mind that it is preferable to handle your concerns properly rather than develop a serious medical problem. It is normal to be nervous about pooping outdoors, but forcing yourself not to poop is not the answer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are bears get attracted to human poop?
Bears are, according to the National Park Service, attracted to human feces. This is one of the several reasons why it is critical to poop at least 200 feet from your campsite and pathways. Bears will be more drawn to your food than your cathole, however.
If you are camping in bear country, make sure you dispose of human waste properly and store your food using a bear-resistant container.
Can I leave the toilet paper in the woods?
Whether or not to leave toilet paper in the woods is a fiercely debated subject. While LNT standards allow for burying toilet paper, it is better to pack it out – particularly in arid regions – according to some experts.
Although toilet paper biodegrades over time, human feces attracts wildlife that will dig up the TP and distribute it throughout the region.