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Pooping in the Woods while Hiking

Ever wondered how to poop in the woods while hiking? Everybody poops, and everybody who enjoys the backcountry has probably heard talk about how to poop in the woods. There are many good reasons why this is such a popular topic– pooping without a toilet is something most people in the developed world find uncomfortable at best, and when done incorrectly, it can leave unpleasant and toxic piles near campsites or trails. Nobody wants to see a human poo sitting on the side of the trail, nor would they want invisible poo particles leeching into a pristine stream where they may need to get their drinking water. With that in mind, the proper etiquette for Leave No Trace pooping is one of the most important things you can learn before hitting the trail.
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8 Responses to Pooping in the Woods while Hiking

  1. Walter Underwood April 6, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    The first two outhouses are clearly from Philmont. The first is called “pilot and bombardier” to distinguish it from the side-by-side “pilot and copilot” privies. The second is a classic “red roof inn”, perhaps at Apache Springs?

  2. Brendan Sando April 7, 2015 at 8:46 am #

    Haha, never heard them called TP flowers before, we call them Poo tickets in Australia, and they quickly identify the most popular/easiest to reach poop locations or the places to avoid! Yes they aren’t pleasant to encounter – So please follow leave no trace principles. Thanks

  3. runnernana April 10, 2015 at 7:46 am #

    Well-written expository on a necessary topic for both experienced and newbie backcountry hikers. Will be using this as a referral guide to share with my group hikes.

  4. Marco April 10, 2015 at 8:09 am #

    Avoid trees, too. They are generally harder to dig around roots than more open areas. Arms reach is good enough with the tree providing some stability for the position. Aiming can be another problem with smaller holes. Practice. I generally like to use a small stick in the upright position to mark where I have to go. It avoids the problem of others using the same spot.

  5. Rubs April 10, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    I like to pre dig the night before. It helps if there are issues ” if you know what I mean;)” and you can take ur time in picking the spot. Also, don’t double dig. By this I mean if the ground is hard all around you and you can usually tell and your hole seems way to easy to dig up you may be choosing a spot already “taken”. It has happened to me before. If you found it there’s always a chance someone else may have too.

  6. Evan Ravitz April 11, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    The best bio-TP is mullein leaves.

    • Dale Gates November 24, 2015 at 7:08 am #

      I agree and you can brew a tea or even smoke this toilet paper !

  7. Pooper May 9, 2015 at 12:23 am #

    Another method for dry climates is the smear technique. Use it only in areas where the odds of someone happening by in the next few months are about nil. Just poop on the ground, then use a stick or rock to smear the poop all around. It will dry out and just blow away after a short time. You’ll want to pack out or bury any TP.

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