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We plan to go on a three day hike (two nights). The amount of food is no problem of course, but we want to avoid defecation while on the trail. Which kind of food comes into question?


Edit: It's really not a "health issue" or something to "hold it back" for about 50 hours. That's even quite normal (for me at least).

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    eye-catcher headline :D – Wills Apr 11 '16 at 7:25
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    Purely from context, I guess that "the big-game-toilet" is a synonym for defecation, but it's not a term I've ever seen and at least for me it had the effect of mystifying the question rather than clarifying it. I suggest you edit to something a little clearer -- if you've got "poop" in the title, I don't think there's any need for obscure euphemisms in the question body :-). – Pont Apr 11 '16 at 8:21
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    This is the first time I've given a +1 for a crappy title. – Olin Lathrop Apr 11 '16 at 11:07
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    If the goal is no poo for 3 days then that is not a healthy goal. The amount is a problem as more volume then more volume. Unless you are going to bring a cooler then food choices are limited. – paparazzo Apr 11 '16 at 11:54
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    I really, really advise against just sealing your bum-hole with the use of Imodium tablets. This can lead to some serious hospital-worthy health issues. – fgysin reinstate Monica Apr 11 '16 at 12:42
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The term you're looking for is "low-residue diet" or "low-residue meal" (for some reason, the medical community tends to avoid the term "poop" in their technical terminology). Simply googling on those terms will get you a lot of good advice; WebMD and Wikipedia are good starting points.

A low residue diet is a diet designed to reduce the frequency and volume of stools while prolonging intestinal transit time.

In general, you'll want to avoid dietary fibre. Minimize wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, and seeds. Tender meat, eggs, and dairy are good choices. Carbs should be of the heavily refined variety -- for example, white bread and white pasta. Pilots on long missions traditionally go for steak and eggs as their pre-flight meal.

Note that full digestion (from eating to defecation) can take well over 24 hours, so start your low-residue diet a day or two in advance.

Finally, I would very strongly advise to have a plan B! No matter how carefully you plan your diet, you can't 100% guarantee sealed bowels for your entire hike, and in that case it's much better to be prepared. If you're in a no-poop zone, carry a WAG bag, poop tube, or similar. A minimal poop pack-out kit doesn't weigh much, and everyone will feel happier knowing it's there even if nobody expects to use it.

  • I have never heard of 'no-poop zones', where in the world do you find those? #justToBePrepared – David Mulder Apr 12 '16 at 19:48
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    @DavidMulder In the USA, several national parks have a pack-it-out policy -- Canyonlands, for instance. Areas with such rules tend to be in arid climates where faeces decompose very slowly, or in ecologically sensitive regions like the Galápagos islands. – Pont Apr 12 '16 at 21:44
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    Or in wilderness areas that have lots of traffic. – whatsisname Apr 15 '16 at 5:42
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MREs. Not poop free, but if you start eating it a couple of days before the trek, you'll be amazed of how constipated you'll become. Sometimes I think this is by design, as a soldier doing his business on a bush with his pants down is an almost comical definition of a highly vulnerable target.

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    In the old British army ration packs, "Biscuits Brown" were infamous for this. As the Army Rumour Service wiki memorably puts it, "Apart from the (Debatable) nutritional value that the Biscuit Brown holds, its primary value is of the bunger-upper. As soon as any soldier worth his salt hit the field for exercise, he'd scoff down at least three packs, thus ensuring his arse would be blocked solid for days to come." – Pont Apr 12 '16 at 14:28
  • MRE is a good way to ruin your whole trip with how foul they are. – whatsisname Apr 15 '16 at 5:44

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