toilet paper and flowers
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Failure to do it right can get you arrested, or worse.

You can’t just poop anywhere you want, in the woods. There are guidelines, rules, regulations, and laws concerning where you can and can’t poop. And, the more people there are in the woods, the stricter those rules are. I guarantee that if you poop in front of Old Faithful, you’re going to jail.

Fortunately, destinations which receive many visitors, wisely get restrooms built nearby. You know, it’s just easier than hauling a whole bunch of people to jail. I believe there is a visitor center right next to Old Faithful.

But, when you go off hiking or exploring in some secluded place, there most likely will not be a restroom. So then, what do you do in situations like this? Mother Nature loves for you to admire her beauty, but when nature #2 calls, what’s your plan? The odds are, that if you decide to just quickly squat on the trail, a large group of hikers will suddenly appear on that trail at that moment. And, hikers generally frown upon people pooping on the trail. That situation, in my opinion, might be worse than going to jail for pooping next to Old Faithful.

So, for sanitary concerns, and for the sake of your pride, most government-run recreation areas have a list of rules to follow when pooping on Mother Nature’s lawn. These rules are basically as follows:

1. Use any available restroom facilities whenever possible.

2. Otherwise, always poop at least 200ft (60m) from any water sources, trails, roads, and campsites.

3. Always bury your poop in a cathole that’s at least 6-8″ (15.2-20.3 cm) deep.

4. Don’t bury or burn your toilet paper.

5. Always pack out toilet paper, as well as menstrual hygiene products such as tampons and pads.

Some National Parks, and some major rafting rivers, have even more strict laws. These may require you to pack out human defecation in specially designed bags with human kitty litter.


Yes, on top of carrying water, snacks, a first-aid kit, emergency supplies, etc., you must also carry a poop kit. Tools include: something to dig the hole with (don’t use your hand, someone else may have just pooped in that exact spot); toilet paper (don’t use leaves, just trust me); a baggie for your toilet paper, etc.; and hand sanitizer (and maybe water and soap, because otherwise you’re just an animal).


Yes, it may be inconvenient to carry around a bunch of toilet paper. Why not just use natural objects such as:

Leaves- Don’t even go there. There are many leaves that you simply don’t want to be rubbing on your bottom. Besides Poison Ivy and Poison Oak, many plants can cause itching and irritation. Some are simply poison. And, all of them make sorry toilet paper,

Rocks- Kind of like corn cobs in the old days, but not as clean.

Snow- I’m told this actually works good, but I’ve never tried it.

Soft paper- Yeah, how about if we just carry around some toilet paper, like civilized people.


When you get the urge, just go. Trying to hold it too long can lead to fecal impaction, which can lead to death.

Look for a location that abides by the 200ft rule. Basically walk about 200ft away from any man-made or natural landmarks. At this point you’ll be lost, but you’ve found the spot to poop.

Don’t forget your poop kit. When lost, it will be your survival kit.

Watch for bears. Don’t let your guard down, just because your pants are.

Dig a cathole 6-8 inches deep. (A cathole refers to a hole big enough to bury a cat, I think). It should be deep enough to bury your poop, and wide enough you’ll hit the target.

Squat and aim. Wipe.

Bury your poop and toilet paper (or tote them out if laws demand it).

Wash your hands.

CONGRATULATIONS! You just set civilization back 100 years.

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