Toilet Manners: How to answer nature’s calls on a backpacking trip


Call it personal hygiene, funk removal or by whatever name you choose, camping sanitation practices have much to do with the aesthetics of the wilderness. It also involves avoiding fines, your personal comfort as well as your health and the health of your fellow hikers. But how can you keep your trail area clean when you probably won’t have any faucet, bidet or garbage disposals at hand? It doesn’t take much to do it, actually.

But to ensure proper hygiene in the wilderness, make sure that you keep certain things handy well in advance. These include:

  • Biodegradable toilet papers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Plastic trowel
  • Sanitary napkins ( for women)
  • Small bottle of isopropyl alcohol ( to keep yourself clean)
  • Some cotton balls ( to keep yourself clean)
Now the question that arises here is:

How To Pee Or Poop While Backpacking?

Well, you may not want to “go” out in the wilderness because you are too bashful or uncomfortable in the process. But honestly, guys don’t need a “toilet” to pee. But don’t   relieve yourself near camp sites as the urine odor can linger in the air. Ladies, you might face a little difficulty, but even then, with a backpacking trowel, you can bury your excreta at a permissible spot.
 
Now, comes the BIGGER problem……..

If you need to excrete in the woods (of course you will need to), you can follow the following tips to maintain hygiene.

  • Use a place which is at least 200 feet away from any water source.
  • Don’t forget to carry a lightweight plastic backpacker’s trowel
  • Dig a hole about 4-6 inches deep and just squat over it. Okay, you may find it a little uncomfortable initially. But have faith; it can result in a more healthful natural elimination.
  • Use a tissue paper to wipe yourself, and then, cover the hole with soil and tissue paper.
  • However, if you backpack in an area where fires are allowed, you can also burn the used TPs to ashes.
  • Always clean your hands with a sanitizer.
  • Also, keep your trowel as clean as feasible.
Regarding the choice of place to poop or urinate, Livestrong.com mentions that you need to

“Learn to recognize harmful plants and bushes when you know you will need to drop your drawers in the great outdoors. A case of poison ivy spreading across your bottom and genitals will put a real damper on your walking. Poison oak, ragweed, primrose and sumac all can put a damper on your comfort. Watch for bugs and snakes.”
Now ladies, there is something for you to pay heed to….

What Should You Do If You Have Periods?

Of course, you will make use of your sanitary napkins. However, most commercially available tampons and pads contain chemicals to absorb liquid. They are pollutants and you cannot decompose them. However, why don’t you bring an extra trash bag with you so that you can throw out the “trash” just like anything else?

Since you will need lots of toilet paper during the trip, you can carry a TP pack that contains sufficient sheet rolls. The Seventh Generation Bathroom Tissue, 2-Ply Sheets, 500-Sheet Rolls (Pack of 48)

…is the numero uno choice of numerous tissue paper users as:

  • The tissue is made from 100% recycled paper
  • It is whitened with chemicals that strictly do not make use of chlorine.
  • It contains septic-safe and hypoallergenic materials

Till date, 200 reviewers have reviewed the product at Amazon.com and it gains a very decent rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. Do you want to consider this product? Then don’t forget to visit the Amazon website…

So, maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in wilderness is not a Herculean job. What say you?

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