The Ultimate Guide on When Camping, Where Do You Poop?

The Ultimate Guide on When Camping, Where Do You Poop?

You’re outdoors, huddled around a campfire under the star-studded sky, engaged in a captivating story, or savoring the aroma of the grilled delights. For some, camping is a way to reconnect with nature and get a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Nature blesses us with tranquility, beauty, and solitude. But nature doesn’t offer any of the conveniences we are used to at home – particularly your comfortable, cleansed, and private powder room. So this raises a rather basic but vital question: when camping, where do you poop?

Well, you are not alone to ask this question. Most beginners have this concern at one point or another. Here is the ultimate guide to understanding how to handle the “business” appropriately while camping.

Leave No Trace Principles

Before delving into the specifics, it’s important that we acknowledge the “Leave No Trace” principles. As the name suggests, these principles guide us to respect the natural world by minimizing our impact on it. Hence, how and where we manage our waste can have a significant impact on natural resources. By adhering to these principles, we will not only protect the environment, but also help ensure a pleasant experience for those who come camping after us.

Digging a Cathole

One of the most common methods of disposal is to dig a cathole. The concept is quite simple: you dig a hole in the ground, do your thing, and then fill the hole back in. The simplicity of this method belies its effectiveness.

A cathole should be dug about six to eight inches deep and approximately four to six inches wide. The cathole should be at least 200 feet away from any water source, campsite, or trail to avoid contamination and allow for privacy. After use, the cathole should be covered with the removed dirt and disguised with natural materials. The waste and toilet paper (if used and it’s biodegradable) will decompose naturally over time.

Using a Portable Toilet

While the cathole is effective and straightforward, some campers may prefer a more comfortable and familiar method, hence a portable toilet. Portable toilets provide a convenient and sometimes more sanitary alternative to the cathole. These typically come with disposable waste bags that can be sealed and packed out, leaving no trace behind.

Toilet Trowel

Having the right tools can make the job easier, cleaner, and safer for the environment – a toilet trowel’s primary job is to help you dig the cathole. It is lightweight, easy to carry, and a must-have addition to your camping gear if you plan to use catholes.

Waste Disposal Bags and Buckets

Waste disposal bags, sometimes known as “poop bags,” are another alternative. These are designed for simple and sanitary waste disposal. They contain chemicals that break down and deodorize waste, making them an excellent option when camping in places where digging a cathole isn’t possible or allowed.

Then there are waste disposal buckets — basically a toilet with a sealing lid. These are larger and more cumbersome than the other options, but they can be a good solution for car camping or for those that need or prefer a more toilet-like experience.

Properly Using Toilet Paper and Sanitizers

When you’re using the bathroom in the great outdoors, toilet paper is not always a given. However, if you choose to use it, there are a right way and a wrong way to do it. By following some simple guidelines, you can minimize your impact on the environment.

If you choose to use toilet paper, make sure it’s unscented and not dyed as these types can slow down decomposition or, worse, attract wildlife. After use, the paper should be buried in the cathole. Some campers also prefer to pack out their used toilet paper in a sealed bag to leave no trace – this is especially important in high traffic or sensitive areas where leaving toilet paper behind isn’t feasible.

Cleaning your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer after doing your business is essential. This simple step can help prevent gastrointestinal illnesses from spreading among your camping party.

Considerations and Etiquette

When you’re out in nature, respecting the environment and others should always be top of mind. When choosing where to relieve yourself, consider your proximity to trails, campsites, and water sources. Choose a spot that’s out of sight and at least 200 feet away from these places. Try to find a secluded location that won’t bother others.

Each campground or national park might have specific rules about human waste disposal. Always do your research beforehand and adhere to the given guidelines. If facilities are provided, please use them.

Final Words

To embrace the wilderness and engage in a liberating experience, addressing the poop question is crucial. It’s not the most glamorous aspect of camping, but it’s a fundamental part of the adventure that can’t be ignored. By following appropriate disposal practices and leaving no trace, you’ll not only preserve the environment for future, but you’ll also contribute to a more enjoyable experience for yourself and fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

Remember, camping is a way to reconnect with nature – let’s do it responsibly, protecting the awe-inspiring wilderness we are so privileged to enjoy.

By Kokoda Gear Uncategorized