For better or worse, the subject of outdoor urination and deffacation is often glossed over or not even
discussed, however it is a fact of life and a very important one. In many cases it is one of the reasons that
many people don’t even venture beyond the realm of the porclien throne!
If you are not willing to travel beyond the comforatable confines of your personal water closet, you will be
missing great opportunities! Up until the turn of the last century, indoor plumbing has been reserved for the
wealthy. If you are going to be spending extended time in the out of doors, you need to get your bladder,
bowels and technique in order!
I checked the toiletry section of a national outdoor outfitter and found over 100 items pertaining to camping
bathroom accessories. Everything from the “Luggable lou” to the deluxe “Cat Trowel!” There even was a
portable propane powered hot water heater. I am not sure how it can be portable as it weighed 24 lbs?
As with most things in the out of doors, if you don’t have the skills, you need to practice. Leave the portable
toilets and digging trowels at home. What you need is the ability to Squat and do the deed!
Granted it is easier for men when it comes to urination, but both sexes have to deal with the squat for
deffication. Here is where the practice comes in, learn how to squat and defficate or urinate. If you can’t do
that, then stay to the hotels! If you can do the basics then you are ready to move on! Don’t worry if you pee
on your shoe, it will dry off in short order.
Some real hard core environmentalist types belive that you should Crap in a bag and even pee in a bag and
carry it out with you. That is B.S. in my opinion! I have seen Grizzly bear and moose scat in the wild and belive
you me, what you leave behind will not hurt the environment at all. I shared a camp with some real hard core
folks in Yosemetie a few years back, they were proud of the fact that they were packing out all of their urine and
deffication. During the night a mouse got into their pack and defiled their waste bag. It was quite a mess the
next day. I laughed so hard, I had to go down the trail and take a shit!!!
Feel free to pee and poop in the wild. Just don’t leave a little flower of toilet paper to mark your triumph. Don’t
drag around the nifty little orange trowel to dig your “Cat Hole” with.
There are some very important things to keep in mind when doing your outdoor eliminations. First of all don’t
do the deed near water, or near areas that shed water to a creek or stream. This also goes for doing any type
of washing of clothing or cooking utinsils. Don’t waste your money on the fancy types of toilet paper that is sold
for camping purposes. All toilet paper is bio degrabable, you will spend twice the money for a small roll of
single ply, tough on the hind end paper thinking it will degrade quicker.
I did a test and took a 10 sheet wad high end bio degradaple camping toilet paper and 10 sheets of double
quilted charmin from “Sams” club. I threw them in my front yard and let them lay until nature took over. In two
days both of them were gone!
During my through hike of the Appalachian trail, we called toilet paper, “Mountain Money.” If you were out of it,
the trade value for toilet paper was extreme. People would give up every other luxury for just a few sheets of
The secret of outdoor eliminate has less to do with equipment, it is all about technique and preparation. First of
all we assume that you are able to squat and poop, or pee. Site location is important, once you have found a
place that is off of the trail, and away from a water source. Establish a perimeter, make sure there is no
vegetation that could cause problems, ie; (stinging nettles, posion ivy etc..) after you have controlled the
vegetation, make sure there are no animals, or reptiles that are of concern. (I once was in a defication squat
and was “Rattled” by a rattle snake!) Once the coast is clear, use the heel of your boot to dig a small hole,
squat, aim the best you can, do the deed. Then cover with debris from the forrest floor! That is the basic
Tips for outdoor elimination success.
If you have read this far, you obviously are open minded to learning. As I stated previously, preparation and
practice is key. Who would have ever thought that you would have to prepare for outdoor elimination?
Fiber is King! Many people who are camping, hiking or out in the wild for a few days have troubles adjusting in
the short term. The change of diet and physical activity can cause the body to react in ways that are different
from normal day to day activities. There is nothing worse than a case of diarrhea when out in the wild. It is one
thing to have the luxury of modern conveniences when a case of loose bowels hits. It is multiplied 10 times
when in the wilderness. Whether you are 8 or 80, fiber up while in the wilderness.
Metimucil is a popular form of fiber that can be obtained at most stores. Its main ingredient is psylium husks.
Before you head out on your adventure, start taking fiber for a week, then take psyllium capsules during your
trip. Metiumcial also makes travel packs that are single serve type packs that are orange flavored, that you can
add to your water bottle in the morning, that will insure a firm bowel movement later in the day. This may sound
like overkill, but belive you me, there is nothing worse than loose bowels on the trail.