Considerate hikers always leave the trails clean. Check whether there are any regulations on human waste in the area as some places require travelers to pack out solid human waste, if that’s the case then you’ll need pack out supplies.
Peeing in the Woods
Choose a spot away from the trail or campsite. Move 200 feet (around 70 steps) away from a primary water source. You can pee directly into large bodies of water, like rivers. The river volume dilutes your urine and will help to prevent the camping area from becoming oversaturated.
If you’ve set up camp in the mountains, pee on rock surfaces. Peeing on the ground will attract mountain goats that will ruin vegetation trying to get at the salt deposits from your urine.
Ladies need to find a spot that absorbs water quickly and is located uphill. It will help prevent boot laces and pants from getting splashed. You could also use a pee funnel especially if you’re in an area where there is little privacy. Practice using it at home before your trip, rinse it after use, and store it inside a clean plastic bag.
Another idea is to wrap a lightweight sarong or a hiking skirt around you. If you plan on using a “pee rag,” use a bandana that you can tie on your pack. Let it dry in the sun and rinse it when you can.
Pooping in the Backcountry
You really need the right supplies when you poop in the woods. Your poop tools are wet wipes, hand sanitizers, and resealable plastic bags to tuck your used toilet paper or wipes into, solid, leakproof waste bags, and a camp trowel. Biodegradable wet wipes are the bomb as they can be used for no-rinse bathing and for cleaning up around the campsite too - a handy multi-use, space saver.
Gather your supplies and find a soft spot some 200 feet away from your trail, water source, or campsite. A sunny spot with loose soil helps to decompose the waste quicker.
Dig a hole about 4 inches wide with a depth of 6-8 inches. Once you’re set, do your deed and cover the cat hole with the original dirt. Tamp it down and cover it with a heavy rock or branch. This will prevent animals from digging it up. It will help to place a stick near it to inform other hikers that someone has already used the spot. Once you’re done, let your sanitizer do its magic.
Have some outdoor hygiene questions? Or some hiking bathroom practices that you want to share? Comment below.