Backwoods Bathroom

Trail Etiquette

  • Try to time your bathroom time for before or after hiking or during breaks.

  • At some point everyone will have to go while hiking necessitating a stop

    • No teasing or shame

    • Person could be ill (dealing with gastro issues) or just harried

Peeing on the Trail for Men

  • Generally hide behind a tree and go

Peeing on the Trail (Women) and Pooping on the Trail (Men or Women)

  • vulnerable and exposed

  • need privacy / need time

What if there's nowhere to go?

  • Turn your backs

  • Post lookouts

Toilet Paper

  • Carry out all toilet paper

  • Ziplocks are fine.

  • I prefer used dehydrated food bags because they are already present (one less thing to pack), they can be thrown out incrementally, and they are NOT see through.

Pee Rags

  • Women may prefer to used a designated bandana or cloth instead of toilet paper for peeing to reduce the amount of toilet paper to be packed in and out.

  • Rinse out in the evenings or when near a water source

When to Poop

  • Try to poop mornings or evenings while at camp (even if you don't feel the urge.)

  • GO whenever you do feel the urge if at all possible. Meaning - don't try to hold it in because it's embarrassing and a hassle.

Pooping in the Woods

  • Find a spot where you can dig a hole

    • You may have to try to dig several spots before you find a good spot.

    • Try not to to use a spot the someone else has used (You don't want to accidently dig up their poop!)

  • Set the scene

    • Before you squat, place your toilet paper, trowel, light, toilet paper bag, and water bottle within arms reach (otherwise you're doing the squat walk).

    • Make sure if you pee, your pee will not flow onto your equipment (important when peeing on a slope).

  • Dig a cathole 6 inches deep

    • If it all doesn't fit in, dig a second hole.

    • Dig your hole before you poop, or dig a hole after you poop.

    • Move the poop if you miss your hole.

    • Try not to use your trowel to move the poop (use a stick instead).

    • If you don't have a trowel, use a stick or rock to dig.

  • Make poop soup

    • Pour water or pee in the hole.

    • Use a stick to break up the poop and mix it with soil.

  • Cover the hole

    • Put soil, leaves, moss or rocks to cover and bury the poop.

    • Try to make your hole camouflaged so no one can tell a hole was dug.

  • Put your soiled toilet paper in the ziplock or used food bag.

  • Use water from your water bottle to wash your hands.


  • Flies

  • Getting poop on yourself or your clothes

  • It's scary being alone in the woods in the dark

  • I haven't pooped for days?!

Equipment Needed

  • Trowel

  • Toilet paper

  • Toilet paper disposal bag

  • Pee rag (women)

  • Water bottle

  • Light (for night poops)