Besides being the title of a promising, but incredibly disappointing and outdated book (yes, pooping in the woods has come quite a long way), how to shit in the woods is a very real problem for many hikers around the world.
I still don’t know why something as trivial as whether or not your specialized ultralight multi-function compass can also start fires (when you already have matches and a lighter), but something as important (and relevant) as bowel movements are brushed to the wayside because such topics of conversation make the prude in us uneasy.
The combat the marginalization of the bathroom subjects in the backwoods, I have chosen to share with you some of the most intimate moments in my life; yes, the moments I spend thinking about the moments I am dropping children off at the pool (or in this case, into a quarry). If this subject makes you uncomfortable, then you should really loosen up (get it?), and realize that by addressing your questions (because I know you have them) early on, you can avoid countless problems (including chafe and BEAR attack) down the line.
DIGGING YOUR HOLE
Stage one in successfully executing a backwoods poop is digging a hole.
That’s right, simply plopping (or squirting) one out onto the ground is not advisable, nor is it by any means the “correct” way of doing things.
The hole you will dig serves a variety of purposes including: facilitating the successful decomposition of your composition, ensuring your waste stays out of water supplies and off hiker boots, and finally to prevent your rear from coming in contact with your production of chocolaty mass.
Using your hands, a trowel, your spork, or something equally dig-worthy, dig your cathole in the earth. Ensure that you are an adequate distance from any water sources, trails, or campsites (200 feet or more), that the hole should be at least six inches deep and about six inches wide (for aiming purposes), and that if you dispose of your store-bought toilet paper in the hole, that it somehow magically comes to rest beneath your poop. How? I will have to do some experimenting.
Make sure to bury it (and to stir that shit up with a stick beforehand)!
Then there is of course the cleanup.
How to cleanse your rear of fecal matter and dingleberries, how to return your hands to a state worthy of once again shoveling food into your mouth, and how to properly deal with the small toxic landfill you’ve just produced.
Hand sanitizer is a must-have in these situations, and the use of it will (hopefully) kill any giardia or other foul bacteria, virus, or parasite that may have escaped your intestines and somehow made it onto your hand (poor wiping technique?).
Have fun out there, guys!
If you would like to find out how to actually shit in the woods, then check out part two of this series: How To ACTUALLY Shit In The Woods.