Here in the northeast I've used the leaves of both striped maple (also called goosefoot maple due to its shape) and witch hobble. Both are large, soft, supple and strong. During the winter months I've also used snow. It's a bit brisk on the bum first thing in the morning but it really does clean you up pretty well.
That's all for now. Take care and until next time...Be well.
ANOTHER POOP IN THE WOODS THREAD!!!
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A smooth rock, really? I am all about leaving the woods cleaner than you found them. However, if my used toilet paper gets covered up (and it always does), how long before it rots away to nothing down in into the ground. Maybe I was being willfully ignorant but I never figured i was leaving much of a footprint when i was burying waste and toilet paper.
I've used everything from my underwear to leaves to socks to water from a creek. In an emergency you have to adapt and overcome, or suffer the screaming itchies. Slightly off topic but related is this; The mystery of yellow poop. Why is it always yellow in the woods?
I'm another TP carrier. I pack it out, though. Always.
But if you want ideas, check out Mike Clelland. He's an ultralighter that never carries TP and has some good ideas on how how to stay hygienic. "Liberate yourself from toilet paper".
"Luck favors the prepared mind." ~L. Pasteur
You can see evidence of this if you camp in parks that allow backcountry camping but don't have thunderboxes or other latrine facilities. People bury their soiled toilet paper in the ground just a few inches down (which is optimal for fecal decomposition), but animals sometimes still smell it, dig it up, and then you get 'white roses' or 'paper roses' littered about and these accumulate until park volunteers do a cleanup. It's pretty unpleasant work.
For this reason, I either use natural materials (a handful of folded up bracken ferns or large leafy plants work well for me). My wife prefers toilet paper, she puts her soiled paper in a little paper bag - the type you get when you buy a muffin or doughnut - and then discretely tosses the bag into the campfire. Tampons and pads should be disposed of like this too, never buried.
I have also tried smooth rocks for wiping, but that doesn't always work because it can be hard to find enough of the correct size where I camp (it's mostly course and sharp-edged granite rock around here).
And when winter camping, snowballs are what I use. Better than a bidet!
Hope this helps,
A smooth rock? What's wrong with you
In a pinch I have used oak leaves and washed off in a creek a few times, but as a general rule I just bring TP in my pack and burn it or bury it.