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beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Backpacking and camping basics and other general trip planning discussion for the uninitiated. Use this forum to learn where to look for the information you need, and to ask questions, related to the beginner basics of backpacking and camping, including technique and best practices.
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Re: beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Postby yosehiker » Thu May 26, 2011 1:28 pm

Another option is not to use TP in the first place. I haven't carried it for many years now. It takes a little getting used to, but it works well and I don't have to mess with any TP. Try it on your next backpack and see how it goes. You can bring some TP along too so you have a backup option in case it doesn't work out too well. Like almost anything, the first time isn't the best, but you figure out a system the more times you do it. And this summer would be a good time to try it out as snow is a really good natural TP. I do get some squeamish comments about it, but if you think about it how many people in the world now or in the past use or have regularly use TP? They did it somehow, so should you.

And my $0.02 for the TP debate. Just pack it out. You don't leave or burn other items that may decompose or burn, so why just TP? I can understand why the land management agencies don't want you to burn it, so not having small fires all over the place. The few times in the past that I have burned TP I found it problematic as it was windy, or didn't burn well as it was wet/damp or I didn't want to get my hand too close to my waste, etc I guess if you really want to burn, I would do it in a hot campfire so it burns completely and is in a contained spot.

And the putting a rock on it advice is horrible. Those rocks stick out like a sore thumb. It always makes me feel very disgusted and gross whenever I see that in an area in the woods. Even areas where I know there is a lot of waste don't bother me as much as when I see those upturned rocks. Maybe just because I now know exactly where the waste is whereas other areas I can only assume.



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Re: beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Postby rlown » Thu May 26, 2011 1:32 pm

so, you're not practical.. nice. the rock thing is what most of us do.
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Re: beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Postby yosehiker » Thu May 26, 2011 2:09 pm

Why the snarky comment rlown? I mean you certainly can disagree with me and post your own opinion but why go beyond that?
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Re: beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Postby rlown » Thu May 26, 2011 2:12 pm

i think i did say what i meant. it is what it is.. you go when you go.
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Re: beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Postby kpeter » Thu May 26, 2011 2:56 pm

yosehiker wrote:And the putting a rock on it advice is horrible. Those rocks stick out like a sore thumb.

Well, it is how it is done. If you can remove and reinsert a rock in place then it has been done well, and probably should not be detectable. In any case, it is often much less disruptive to the landscape than digging a hole.
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Re: beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Postby rlown » Thu May 26, 2011 5:54 pm

perfect reply. it is how it is.
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Re: beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu May 26, 2011 9:38 pm

I was talking to an old guy at Lodegpole last year and he was saying how no one talks about it but he thought it was a perfectly reasonable subject to ask how people wipe their butt in the wilderness. He said he likes to take a stick to get the more messy bits first to save on TP. I think I agree with him on the subject so I have to ask, do you people actually use the squares on the TP as they are? You actually take them and use maybe 3 or 4 stacked? If that is the case then that is why I use so much more because I have never used TP in squares like that. I unroll probably 10 or more squares and wad it up into a ball and use that.
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Re: beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Postby whrdafamI? » Fri May 27, 2011 8:40 am

Most all the answers can be had by simply reading "How to s h i t in the woods". That is the actual title of the book and is available at REI or any other similar store. The technics discussed here are unneccessary. I've always felt that going to take a **** was a private time to squat and reflect on days gone by...........
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Re: beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Postby rlown » Fri May 27, 2011 10:31 pm

RoguePhotonic wrote:I was talking to an old guy at Lodegpole last year and he was saying how no one talks about it but he thought it was a perfectly reasonable subject to ask how people wipe their butt in the wilderness. He said he likes to take a stick to get the more messy bits first to save on TP. I think I agree with him on the subject so I have to ask, do you people actually use the squares on the TP as they are? You actually take them and use maybe 3 or 4 stacked? If that is the case then that is why I use so much more because I have never used TP in squares like that. I unroll probably 10 or more squares and wad it up into a ball and use that.


squares.. until clean. Sorry Bill, but this way no one has to buy a silly book. If you don't like the subject, don't read it. yes, i've been told that before..
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Re: beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Postby whrdafamI? » Fri May 27, 2011 11:34 pm

Russ, the book is no more silly than people asking how to wipe their ass.
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Re: beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Postby AlmostThere » Sat May 28, 2011 6:34 am

At least ignorance is curable.

If someone asks me where the bathroom is (out on the trail) I'll explain it to them. I sure don't think any less of the newbs for not knowing poop protocols - I think of it as wilderness preservation, since there's so much rude, crude behavior out there and hey, a great opportunity to prevent some of it. When we are raised in a society with indoor plumbing, of course they are going to ask!

If putting a big flake of granite on it is so horrible, I wonder what "icing" rates.
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Re: beginner's questions on backcountry pooping

Postby whrdafamI? » Sat May 28, 2011 7:37 am

Agreed, but you can't fix stupid. If a person is new in the back country it is a understandable question. "Icing" is probably alright until it melts. However asking how many squares and the preparation of them is ridiculous. But since some seem to be embracing this discussion lets see how many ways you can possibly wipe your ass in the back country.

1. Sticks. The use of sticks is probably only reccomended if you are running low on squares. What type of stick is best? Should it be straight or somewhat bent to fit the curvature of your ass? What species of tree makes for the best stick? Is one type of pine better than another? Should it be free of needles or not? With the bark on or stripped off? What to do if above treeline? Uh Oh, no sticks. Pack sticks in your pack for just in case? It should be noted that using a stick would be best on flat and stable footing lest you lose your balance, go over backwards and end up having a "Rectal Romance" with the stick. What to do with the stick when done? Well if your below the treeline you most likely can't burn it so do you bury it too or stick it in the ground so as not to look suspicious?
2. Pine cones. Do you use them complete or look for the ones that the squirrels have stripped? Stripped ones are probably best as at this point they now look somewhat like "corn cobs" and this will give you a chance to play "Pioneer" ass wiping.
3.Leaves. For obvious reasons they should be large and somewhat rough in texture. Dried leaves are probably not reccomended as they would probably crumble if used in a vigorous wiping of your ass. Stinging nettles should be avoided unless time is of the essence and you need prodding to wipe your ass fast.
4.Toilet Paper. OK. How many squares? What preparation of the squares is needed? Should you carry some Windex to apply to the paper before use so as to be streak free? Using more than one at a time might be reccomended if low quality paper due to danger of break through unless multiply folded. Should you use it square or would it be better folded into a triangle so as to look like a turnover? How many fingers should I use? Do you drape the paper over them or just stick it on the end? Should you carry scented paper just in case you didn't do a good job? Is plain white better than designer type paper?
5. Pack towel or bandana. Should only be used in emergency or at the end of your trip. Wiping your ass on either one of these and then using them for other things might have a unpleasant outcome.
Last edited by whrdafamI? on Sat May 28, 2011 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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