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How to Poop in the Woods

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Pooping outdoors may seem intimidating at first, but with just a tiny amount of preparation, you can make it both easy and rewarding. Yes, rewarding. Wes Siler shows you how. 

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Video Transcript


Now is our starlight when truth is here. Now we can hear love done clear. Now is our-- 

WES SILER: Isn't this just the best feeling in the world? I'm going to show you how to poop outside. 


So there's a couple of basic rules to pooping outside. The first is 200 feet away from any water source, away from any campsite, away from any trail. 

Second, dig a hole 6 to 8 inches deep to bury your poop in. It's at surface level of the soil. That contains the bacteria that break down human waste best. Don't go deeper. Don't go shallower. Make sure you cover it up 

You're also going need some basic equipment to poop outside. This is my poop trowel. As you can see, I've had this for a number of years. Been used a lot of times, probably cost $3, good value. 

You're going to want something to wipe with. The problem is with toilet paper, you got to pack it out. So you also need a Ziploc bag. Do your business, put it in a Ziploc bag, seal it up. Carry all your waste out with you that isn't the poop itself. 

I've also got some convenience tips for you. It's nice to have clean butt. Baby wipes, pack them out. 

Do you want to wash your hands? Hand sanitizer. I don't go anywhere without it. This stuff lives in my truck all the time. Lives in my backpack, when I'm living out of my backpack. 

You see a lot of emphasis about filtering water outdoors. There's actually been a lot of studies done that everybody who gets sick on a camping trip and thinks they just drank dirty water actually just got some poop in their food. Use hand sanitizer. 

And third, most people aren't going to tell you this, Metamucil. I supplement heavily with this before and throughout any camping trips. It makes all my bowel movements predictable, quick, and easy to clean up. 

So what's a good spot to poop? Obviously, you're going to want privacy. We've already talked about being away from any water and any people. I like it so I can dig into, behind something I can hold on to. As we all know from our Squatty Potties, squatting aligns us best for a quick, firm bowel movements. Try to replicate that outdoors. 

This looks like a good spot. I got some bare soil. I'm not going to disturb it. This is going to be a good poop. There we go. That's pretty rocky. 

As a matter of courtesy, and just general non-grossness, if I'm doing this anywhere near a popular trail or camp site, I always put a rock on top afterwards. It keeps the dogs from digging. 

A couple places you're going to visit that are going to be hard to poop in, tall mountains, beaches. There's rules for both. 

If you know going to be visiting a high alpine environment, carry a wag bag or other poop disposal device. Do your business in it and pack it out. That's what every mountaineer does. It's not that gross. It's pretty easy to do. 

If you're visiting a remote beach, the rule is to poop below the high tide line. Bury it. And the high tide will take it out to sea. 

But sometimes you're going to find yourself in a place that's hard to poop, having to poop, and unprepared to poop. There's some rules for that, too. 

If you're on a rocky mountain and you're totally unprepared, you still need to dispose of your poop somehow. There's two ways to do that. 

The first is to smear it on a rock. The UV exposure will break that down. Over a summer, it'll be gone. Um, poop. 

The second, look around you. Make sure there's no water, places people are going to walk, things like that. And haul your poop into a crevasse. Nobody's going to step on that now. 

It doesn't matter how remote you are. Other people want to use these places, too. Please, for the love of God, dispose of your poop. 

Backcountry Camping