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Thread: Pooping in the woods: natural toilet paper

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    Default Pooping in the woods: natural toilet paper

    Anyone else here have experience using natural materials as toilet paper?

    I used to use toilet paper but hated the idea of carrying out my soiled tp in my pack. So I started using natural toilet paper on my backpacking trips. It requires that you manipulate a few things in the environment, but I think overall it's much more environmentally friendly, since you aren't using something manufactured at a factory somewhere.

    I like using smooth, flat rocks most of the time, though i've used leaves and spruce branches (though you gotta be careful with those)

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    Don't ever use sugar cane leaves.

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    Default More than I care to mention...

    I once found myself on a barren mountain top with the only vegetation being inches high brambles, low growth like common juniper and blackberry (Empetrum spp), and a most pressing need.
    The Arctic Hare and Rock Ptarmigan looked on with humour as the silly human dragged his backside, crab-walk style, across the rough foliage and broken quartzite.
    I remember thinking how soft that Hare's fur would be...
    Since then I've stuck with 40 grit sandpaper - much smoother.

    Seriously, I will use leaves, stone, bark when available (with careful selection), but to me TP might just be one of the most difficult modern conveniences to give up.
    Then there's my brother, who always comes home from a round of Golf wearing only one sock...

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    I'll stick to toilet paper...just burn it seperately if you don't wanna bury it or take it out with you.

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    Bushmaster Bush Class Basic Certified madmax's Avatar
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    I can tell you one thing not to try. On a recent 3 day challenge we only had a pot, a piece of plastic, and a blade. I did fine (with my choices of material)until the last day. I was right by a palm tree and that furry stuff on it looked good to go. I spent the last day feeling like I had stuffed a box of shredded wheat where the sun don't shine.

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    Mullien leaves work great and feels better then most toilet paper. When your on the trail grab it when you see it and keep it in your pockets or pack cause it seems when you need it you cant find it
    "The coward believes he will live forever If he holds back in the battle, But in old age he shall have no peace Though spears have spared his limbs ." - Havamal


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    Spanish moss works but here in Florida you have to get it hot or just to a boil in water first because of red bugs/chigers. I learned the hard way, and the ammonia bath was no fun at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerri View Post
    Mullien leaves work great and feels better then most toilet paper. When your on the trail grab it when you see it and keep it in your pockets or pack cause it seems when you need it you cant find it
    When I was only 4 or 5 years old, I'd walk with my dad down through the woods to find the old cows and drive them up to the barn to milk. On one such occasion, I heard the "call of nature." and I was introduced to the mullein leaf! I have used them many times since, but be careful: they're just as soft, but definitely not as strong as Charmin.

    Another standard of days gone by was the corn cob. After corn harvest, there are thousands of them lying in the field, just going to waste. Depending on corn variety, the cobs can be red or white. The well-stocked privy had both: red for rough work, and the softer, white ones for finishing up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheProfessor View Post
    When I was only 4 or 5 years old, I'd walk with my dad down through the woods to find the old cows and drive them up to the barn to milk. On one such occasion, I heard the "call of nature." and I was introduced to the mullein leaf! I have used them many times since, but be careful: they're just as soft, but definitely not as strong as Charmin.

    Another standard of days gone by was the corn cob. After corn harvest, there are thousands of them lying in the field, just going to waste. Depending on corn variety, the cobs can be red or white. The well-stocked privy had both: red for rough work, and the softer, white ones for finishing up.

    My pops always said that first you used a red cob, then you used a white cob to see if you needed to use another red one!

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