35

In more temperate climates (forests, jungles, etc.) burying feces is preferred as it will be broken up by microbes in the soil while being somewhat protected from the environment. Plant growth in these areas is also rapid enough that cut roots are generally a non-issue. (I'm assuming you aren't hacking through larger roots.) In general the warmer the ...


33

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 ...


28

Okay, we a all adults here (I hope) and our bodies have a regular internal rhythm which they are accustomed to deal with. This point is well brought out in James Jenkin's answer. Recommending medications or even laxatives is a bad solution to this hygienic problem. I would hate to have someone get sick or ill at my recommending something of this nature. ...


26

Leave no Trace The basic guideline is do not leave your feces anywhere that it can be discovered or uncovered in the future. As far as upsetting the ecosystem equilibrium, good luck with that, there are much bigger things than you in the woods are that are indiscriminately defecating on the ground and in watercourses. It's less of a sanitary hazard to the ...


19

Bring toilet paper and a shovel, exercise is a recognized method of increasing bowel motility (making you poo). Other than planning for the likely need, there are no reasonable medical measures you can take that will have a positive influence. There are things you can take, but for occasional use, the results are unlike to give the results you desire. Do ...


17

The main reason it's buried is to keep it from washing into water supplies. The ground provides natural filtration, where surface waste is fully exposed to the elements and can flow along the surface until it reaches a stream or pond. Yes, digging holes might be bad for one plant, but it's a whole lot better than polluting a water supply that animals (or ...


13

I follow the idea of leaving as less a trace as possible. So what I do is to reuse the cathole. The problem with multiple catholes is how much damage it does to the landscape (especially if the ground is covered with grass). And anyway, it goes without saying that once you are done with your business you'll put some soil into the cathole to reduce the ...


12

If you were the only visitor to the area, the lowest impact would be to defecate on the surface and leave it. Few animals bury their waste, so natural disposal has evolved around dealing with surface waste. However, you aren't the only visitor. Burial slows decomposition and disrupts the soil, but it reduces the ability of microorganisms to reach water ...


10

Thimbleberry leaves are my favourite (Rubus spectabilis), They're all over the place in the Kootenays in British Columbia (Southern Canadian Rockies). They're soft and they're about the size of your hand or bigger. The berries are very tasty too, so you you can have a peachy-fuzz-tart-raspberry snack while you do your business. Hand for reference, this leaf ...


10

The leaves of the Striped Maple ("Moose Maple") are a no-contest winner, at least in the forests of the northeastern US. The leaves are large, and softer than some forms of toilet paper. As for availability: Anecdotally, I tend to see this plant in most deciduous forests of New Hampshire. It tends to grow bush-like near the ground, at least while it's ...


10

I've carried them out, and I've burned them in the nightly fires we were having anyway. This was canoe-camping rather than hiking, so weight was less of an issue - but a weeklong trip accumulating diapers from two toddlers: smell was a problem. We used a dedicated bag for them, and kept it well away from everything else at campsites. Bags within bags within ...


9

In some heavily used areas, especially where there's little chance for natural decomposition to occur (such as at high altitudes where there is poor soil), you're required to pack out all human waste. For example, climbers on Mt. Rainier in Washington are required to carry specific bags to pack out their waste. This is not the most desirable configuration ...


9

To my knowledge, all popular routes in the United States require packing out all waste. Here are the rules for Yosemite, which has good guidelines applicable everywhere: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/climbingtrash.htm Obviously, back country climbing might not have rangers to enforce those rules, but you should abide by the Yosemite rules ...


9

The solution to this and especially when you have multiple people in a group and so want to limit the number of holes, is to use a single hand width trench instead individual catholes. You start by making one cathole that is wider than long, and as it is used, you fill in and the dig to one one side using the diggings to cover up as needed. When you move on,...


8

I've got experience with this. The first trick is prevention: we would encourage our kid at any rest break to walk around bare-bottom and try to get them to go pee (there's tons of techniques, I'm a fan of making a hissing sound every time you go pee or take your kid to go pee, and having them regularly watch others go pee). We probably saved 1-2 diapers ...


8

The answer is the same for burying toilet paper as it is for burying poop: see: When is it not OK to leave feces behind? Burying toilet paper with your poop is acceptable in areas where it can break down and decompose. If you are in arid dirt that doesn't get much moisture, or in rocks or sand, then it is not acceptable to bury toilet paper. Paper is ...


7

I'll start with a local favorite: great mullein or common mullein (Verbascum thapsus) Introduced to the North America. I've found it from New York to North Carolina. Apparently originated in Europe and Asia, I think. The leaves are large, moderately durable, thick, but soft and fuzzy. Their usefulness is somewhat limited by the fact that they tend to be ...


7

It is not. The lowest-impact solution is to use a poo-pot. These are compulsory in alpine areas here in New Zealand. Pack it out - Poo pots


7

My gut reaction is this - it's a can full of human waste, it's going to smell whatever you do with it. However, I wonder whether you might be going down the wrong kind of route with things such as bleach etc. - such chemicals may do more harm than good if they kill the micro-organisms that break down the waste. It may sound silly, I would try something like ...


7

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.


7

For making the bags, here is what I have done in the past when I worked for an outdoor organization. You need a sheet of wax paper, a brown paper lunch bag, a zip lock and baking soda. When putting the bags together you, Put a scoop of backing soda inside the lunch bag Fold up the wax paper and place that and the lunch bag inside the ziplock until ready to ...


6

Use a biodegradable (e.g. cornstarch-based) bag to pick up waste and then pack it in a airtight container. For obvious reasons the container should only be used for that purpose and disinfected when you return home ready to be reused next time. Also, look out for schemes such as Keep Cairngorm Snow White which provides biodegradable bags, a pot to carry the ...


6

There are several aspects to take under consideration: Group holes are not a good practice because your deposits can't be buried too deep. The soil needs enough organic material to eliminate your deposits. But, if the upper layers of the soil are big enough, you could make your hole bigger (so making it appropriate for larger groups). The type of group who ...


6

BTDT I think, but I don't remember ever having a 'problem'. As a guy who camps and also gets to use squatty potties once in a while, here's my advice: First, ditch the shorts/pants it'll be much more comfortable to squat. Second, the ground doesn't splash as much as a bowl full of water, so the problem probably isn't as bad as you might think. Third, if ...


6

Based on Rickeyship's feedback, I'm changing my answer. Environmental Context The answer depends on your environment, so try to find out what makes sense in the context of where you'll be. My original answer works well in the woods of Missouri where your droppings will be subsumed into the environment, and you can make your catholes undetectable. However, ...


5

I have found that digging a deep group latrine works far better when taking youth and other folks who are hesitant about the whole "pooping in the woods" idea. I make it one of the task as we set up camp, one group cooks, one group sets up tents, one group get water then digs the latrine. I oversee that the hole is deep enough to accommodate the group for ...


5

Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettle) while it grows over much of the world, It grows in abundance in the Pacific Northwest, especially in places where annual rainfall is high. Found in large patches where much of the vegetation is evergreen and resembling a mint plant. A couple of hand fulls may easily be harvested and may appear to be the best choice in the ...


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