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Where to go when you need to go: pooping in the woods


Title Text: Shelter in the Greatest Place laid over a photo of the sun setting over a desert campground with a vault toilet outhouse in the foreground.

Nature is your bathroom, there I said it. There’s a right and many wrong ways to utilize the great outdoors for doing your business. Whether you’re on a road trip with the family or heading off on yet another rad dispersed camping trip, here’s some things you should know about utilizing the world’s largest bathroom.

So where do you go when you need to go? Here are my favorite spots:

  1. Gas. Stations. You’re on a road trip, right? Wear your mask the whole time and carry hand sanitizer for after you exit the building. You will be surprised how quickly you come to revel in warm, running water.
  2. Campgrounds. Most developed campgrounds have at least vault toilets (aka a ventilated pit with a toilet seat); many places are cleaning on a more regular schedule right now which is awesome. Again, mask and sanitizer are your best friends!
  3. Behind a bush or tree. Generally your liquid waste will not damage the natural environment, but particularly in desert settings be careful not to go directly on the fragile plants and consider pouring a little water on it after the fact to dilute the pee.
    As always, pack out your toilet paper. But ya know…

If you are in an outdoor setting, such as on a hike in the woods, there are 3 rules to follow (per Leave No Trace: Dispose of Waste Properly) for a sanitary outdoor bathroom experience:

  1. Pick a spot at least 200 feet/steps from water, running or standing.
  2. Dig a “cat hole” 6-8inches deep. I recommend getting a trowel to dig with, and dig some holes when you set up camp so you’re not running around in the middle of the night in need. The hole is where the poo goes.
  3. Pack out your toilet paper.

If you are in a desert setting or cannot get 200 feet from water (ie a canyon), you need to pack out your poo. You can get plastic or doggie doo doo bags, for example, and either squat and plop or clean up after yourself like the animal you are.

What’s in our Sh*t Kit:

Stay safe and have fun out there!

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