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Tag Archives | Pooping in the outdoors

Pooping outdoors is easy to do: squat and wipe.

It’s more difficult to do it well. A stroll around any popular frontcountry or backcountry area will attest that some fraction of hikers, backpackers, and campers struggle with this skill, due to ignorance of laziness, or a combination thereof.

A good poop job will avoid:

  • Contaminating water sources;
  • Degrading the natural setting and the experience that it offers; and,
  • Personal discomfort and/or group contagion resulting from poor personal hygiene.

In this four-part series I will share my know-how and practical tips. I address appropriate methods for the woodlands, alpine, desert, and snow. I also explain the backcountry bidet, which is the key for long-term hygiene and happiness in the outdoors.

felix-email-poop

Mailbox: My impact on crap

Recently, I received an email from Luke G., who had attended a gear & skills clinic at the flagship REI in Denver. It’s worth sharing: I field many emails from readers, most hoping to get some additional information, some expressing thanks for something that I had shared or done. But Felix’s story is one of […]

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A rolled rock at 11,500 feet in the Colorado Rockies. To dig a cathole in this hardpan, you'd need a 5-lb pick mattock.

How to poop in the outdoors || Part 2: Digging catholes & rolling rocks

The first step in pooping in the outdoors is finding a good location. Site selection was discussed in-depth in Part 1. But to quickly refresh, high quality pooping spots will be: At least 200 feet away from water, Inconspicuous, Biologically rich, and Conducive to a cathole. The next step is creating a hole. Notice my use of […]

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Like a bear hang, a perfect cathole is easier to draw than to execute in the field.

How to poop in the outdoors || Part 1: Site selection

Like real estate, pooping outdoors is all about location, location, location. Conventional wisdom mostly skips over this aspect, and puts more emphasis on the cathole — you know, the perfect 8-inch pit that, like the perfect bear hang, is much easier to draw than to accomplish in the field. By finding a good pooping location, more liberties […]

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