Pooping when Camping or Hiking


So you’re going camping and you’ve realised you’re going to have to poop in the wild… When doing your business in the great outdoors there are a few rules you should follow – poop protocol if you will.

We have put together a guide to help you relieve yourself in the most efficient and hygienic way possible.

Choosing the Right Place to Poo

Choosing a spot to take a poop is obviously a crucial decision. You don’t want to be seen yet you don’t want to have to trek for miles to find the perfect area. For a much more comfortable solution you could use a pop up toilet tent. Check out the various options here.

Ideally you’d like to venture about 150 yards away from your camp (maybe more if you ate the canned beans for dinner) and stay away from any water sources and hiking trails. If a certain area looks like an obvious pooping ground be sure to tread carefully. Other courteous hikers should mark their excrements with obviously placed sticks to mark their drop zone… but unfortunately not everyone is that considerate.

Methods of Personal Waste Disposal Around the Campsite

There are various methods of disposing of your poop but the easiest and most convenient is to dig a hold and bury it. The hole should be about six to eight inches deep – deep enough to prevent anyone from standing in it and shallow enough to let the decomposing process be a speedy one. If you don’t have a small shovel you can use a stick or your hands to dig a decent size hole. Look for a spot with dark, rich soil – the natural bacteria will break down the fecal matter faster.

A second option is to bag it. Yes, treat your poop like you treat your dog’s poop. There are many different bags you can use for this but if you want to keep it simple just use a ziploc bag and add specially designed absorbent gel to it– it breaks down the waste and also acts as a deodorizer. You can find the gel at most outdoor and camping stores.

Wiping Your Butt

Hopefully you remembered to bring toilet paper but if you didn’t, don’t fret – a few decent sized leaves will do the trick and are also perfect for burying with your poop. You can rub the leaf against your skin first and leave it a few minutes to see if there’s any kind of allergic reaction.

A lot of people like to use wet wipes but please be sure NOT to bury these with your poop as they usually aren’t biodegradable.

Camping Hygiene

Personal hygiene is very important, especially when dealing with excrements. If possible you should take sanitizer with you and clean your hands and any other areas of your body that may have come in contact with your poop (it can be a messy business) If you don’t have sanitizer warm soapy water is also a good option.

And there you have it, a guide to taking a poop in the woods!

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1 Comment on "Pooping when Camping or Hiking"

  1. Great post:)
    My choice: Camping within a short hike to a campground or ranger station equipped with facilities (Rangers like creature comforts as much as the rest of us.); even if it’s an outhouse, it’s less to be concerned with.

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