Pooping in the woods.

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by WILL, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Chazzle

    Chazzle Sapere aude Supporter

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    Nothing ruins a canoeing trip faster than seeing a human turd float downstream with youwhile paddling the Jacks Fork on a busy summer weekend. (SO gross, C'mon people!)

    Chazz
     
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  2. hidden_lion

    hidden_lion Supporter Supporter

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    poop is also a means of disease transmission and used toilet paper seems to last through the winter stuck to bushes to welcome you when you head tot he woods in the springs...ruins the natural feeling
     
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  3. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    That was more just me ranting about past experiences. This includes one time when car camping with a group including a self proclamed outdoor expert because she'd once worked at an outdoor retailer. I caught her pissing in the creek right behind my tent. When I confronted her about it she said "I peed past where all the beer is stashed, and it's all going downstream that way" I pointed out that others might be fishing, wading, or gathering water to drink down stream. I told her to pee up the bank like the rest of us. It's a pet peeve of mine so I apologise.

    Now that's funny :18:
     
  4. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Pictures are worth a 1000 words.
    poop1.jpg poop 2.png
     
  5. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Oh, no apology necessary. I understand. I have watched people in latin america do the laundry and dishes in the creek, just above where their neighbors pull their drinking water. Little riffles in the otherwise beautiful creeks are soap foam messes.
    Have seen the TV shows where the people make a special bridge to poop from. That means that the folks downstream can enjoy special additives to their drinking water too.
    Stupid reigns free, and for sure is getting worse here. Soon it will be over however...
     
  6. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    The solution to that is to require special permits to exit St. Louis. :12:
     
  7. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic

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    So what you really need is a survival knife...
     
  8. Ithica

    Ithica Tracker

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    Aim small and hit small. A lot of my hiking is in the AZ desert where every plant has thorns. There are no fallen trees or bushes that you want to sit on or hold onto. You certainly do not want to wipe with any of the local plant material. I carry TP and sanitary wipes. I try to carry a dog doo plastic bag to carry the TP out if I wasn't too messy. I would not recommend burning your TP after doing your duty. A consultant was working on a project in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, AZ and started a wildfire when a gust of wind carried off his burning TP, several hundred acres of desert were burnt.
     
  9. blind & lost

    blind & lost Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Not light for backpacking but a Cold Steel shovel digs great holes, holds a roll of TP on the handle, and stuck in the ground in front of you while pooping is great for your balance.
     
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  10. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker Supporter

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    How else can you dig a proper poo hole without a Smatchet? :dblthumb: :D
     
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  11. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    Cumbersome as it may seem, it is easier to squat with out lower extremity clothing .
    If you have any material identification skills and know how to find clay , you can make bricks and build a potty chair custom fit, and cover it with brush before you leave . If you carry something better than a trowel for making things it makes the job much easier .
    On a some what relevant note , just because your taking a break and becoming a bit vulnerable does not mean wild life is respecting your imposition . remain vigilant .
    Only a person living a fantasy thinks animals are fair.
     
  12. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    This my favorite way. It's a Home Depot bucket with the bottom cut out, and a snap on seat. We just dig a little hole with the army shovel, put the bucket over it, and enjoy the view.

    upload_2018-7-2_21-24-33.jpeg
     
  13. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic

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    You can wipe with it too! Good for stropping.
     
  14. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    I de-trou completely if I have the time... Just way easier for me, vs trying not to hit my pants. The Cheek Spreader idea is excellent and doesn't require de-trou. I have sometimes set up such an apparatus at my semi permanent campsites for this reason, usually over an old stump hole, which kinda works like an outhouse. you just throw leaves in to cover after your done (if it's deep enough).

    The only other thing I have to add to this is that I like a single use baby wipe when I'm done. It's armpit hot here most of the time, and any residue immediately melts and gets all over... you have to do a thorough job cleaning up... and a clean butt is a happy butt that doesn't get monkey butt. When I'm out for a few days, canoeing, I'll take along a whole packet of baby wipes. Way better than TP.
     
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  15. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    I've seen a lot of things strapped to peoples packs but that would be a first :18:
     
  16. 1Jesster

    1Jesster Supporter Supporter

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    I rarely ever get out for more then an over nighter and I squirrel that stuff up until i'm back to civilization. Makes for some interesting hikes back to the pickup but has served me well.


    1Jesster
     
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  17. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    I just bring along a bottle of that lemon flavored pre colonoscopy drink so my poop never solidifies and just sinks into the ground and or evaporates then clean my butt crack with a squirt of water.
     
  18. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    Before this thread, I'd heard of Leave no trace camping, but didn't realize there was an established set of rules. I looked up the Leave no trace principles, I posted them below. As an old school camper there's a few there I don't follow (highlighted in red).

    https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

    The Leave No Trace Seven Principles

    The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are the bedrock of the Leave No Trace program. They provide guidance to enjoy our natural world in a sustainable way that avoids human-created impacts. The principles have been adapted so they can be applied in your backyard or your backcountry.

    Note: click any of the headers below for a much deeper explanation on each principle.

    Plan Ahead and Prepare
    • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
    • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
    • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
    • Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
    • Repackage food to minimize waste.
    • Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.

    Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

    • Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
    • Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
    • Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
      • In popular areas:
        • Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
        • Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
        • Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
        • In pristine areas:
        • Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
        • Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.

    Dispose of Waste Properly

    • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter. I burn most of my trash.
    • Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
    • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
    • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.

    Leave What You Find

    • Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
    • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
    • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
    • Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.

    Minimize Campfire Impacts

    • Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the environment. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
    • Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
    • Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
    • Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.

    Respect Wildlife

    • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
    • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
    • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
    • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
    • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.

    Be Considerate of Other Visitors

    • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
    • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
    • Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
    • Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
    • Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
     
  19. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    It just occurred to me that one could just kneel down over a small trench/ hole ,knees spread far as you can and be almost completely stealthy .
    Of course you couldn't do it with your pants on but it might be more comfortable .relaxing .
    I need to try that.
     
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  20. Black5

    Black5 Supporter Supporter

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    Or there is the two man back to back over a slit trench option.

    Not sure how good your friends are, but you would find out, I reckon.
     
  21. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    I'm not really comfortable with that or synced up to my buddies poop cycles, but yea, you're only limited by imagination. Here we have the "cheek spreader technique" using legs instead of sticks LOL.....

    th3XVPSH3O.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
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  22. boomchakabowwow

    boomchakabowwow Guide

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    i have NOT read all the responses.

    i plain squat. you cant put your pants all the way down. you kinda pinch the pants in your folded knees..pull all the slack up as well. then poop away. there wont be a poop basket formed by your pants. if there is, you are doing it wrong.
     
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  23. hidden_lion

    hidden_lion Supporter Supporter

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    The walking single file is stupid. It will only create a deep rut in the pathway and make the trail problematic when saturated with rain. The ideas are well meaning but not necessarily well thought out.
     
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  24. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I disagree that walking single file is always a stupid idea. The core LNT principles are often mentioned without the reasoning behind them or discussion of the trade-offs that someone was facing when they came up with them, which can make them feel out of place or like they were made by sanctimonious people whose only goal was to inconvenience the rest of us, but both the reasoning and the trade-offs do exist, and I hope that as outdoor enthusiasts we'll periodically take some time to research deeper into those reasons and double check that our own choices make sense in light of the information discussed. For example: https://lnt.org/about/faq/should-you-walk-single-file-or-spread-out-cryptobiotic-soils-why .

    Reading that still-quick, but slightly more detailed explanation has suggested to me that someone was asking "is the damage involved with concentrating human travel impact into one small space is going to be less than the damage involved with spread out human travel?" when they came up with the "single file" guideline. I can consider my impact on the environment by asking myself a similar question for the specific environment I am in.

    On a wide, pre-established trail, where plants on the trail have already been impacted by the trail builders, spreading out within the confines of the trail isn't going to irreversibly damage a fragile ecosystem, and walking in single file would create deep ruts in the pathway that channel water in rainstorms and spring runoff. In the case, it will most likely cause more damage to walk single file there than the spread out (within the confines of the trail).

    In a much more sensitive environment, with plants that "grow by the inch and die by the foot" walking single file along a trail that someone else came up with means I'm concentrating whatever damage I do in a place that's already damaged, leaving plants just off the trail unharmed by mechanical impact. If in this environment, avoiding damaged plant life is more beneficial than avoiding trail ruts that water can more easily flow down, then concentrating where people walk makes sense for that particular environment.

    I think it's important for bushcrafters to think about this stuff, because we're often in places where it's up to us to take responsibility for knowing the impact of our actions--for example, there's not typically someone already to say "hey, by the way, cutting completely around the tree will girdle and kill it." So, me taking the time to learn about how saplings fit into a local ecosystem is beneficial when I bushcraft on private property, because I can better identify saplings that are going to die anyways and will stunt the development of neighboring trees before they expire. This way I can make a more informed decision to use a particular sapling, than if I simply followed (or didn't follow) the "don't cut live trees" rule to the letter without ever asking *why* and using the why behind the rule to try to improve my choices.

    Now that I probably sound like a full-blown treehugger to some of you, I'll get back on the topic of backcountry bathrooms and treehugging for that purpose:

    The best advice I've received for using the deep squat is to pull your pants down only to your knees, and then pull your pant legs below your knees *up* to your knees. When you squat, this gets the material as far away from your behind as possible without taking your clothes off. Knee-high gaiters also can help with this--when your pants literally cannot fall below your knees, it becomes pretty obvious how useful the technique is.
     
  25. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    I typically walk around a mud hole if possible, even if I'm stretching the trail's edges. That's where I vary from the principles on that issue.

    Anyhow, thanks to the open conversation we've had in this thread along with the book that's on its way, I believe I've got all my #2 details worked out. Appreciate it folks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  26. hidden_lion

    hidden_lion Supporter Supporter

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    Single file= deep divets in the ground over time. Which get multiplied during rainy seasons creating deep ruts that create safety hazards for people and animals alike. If you are trailblazing with a limited group creating a temporary trail it's one thing. Do it on established trails and you get ruts, not trails. Leave no trace is a good concept and we'll meaning, but religious adherence is not practical and in some cases not even a good idea
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
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  27. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    It sounds like we agree!
     
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  28. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Perpetually Off Topic, Sorry. Supporter

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    Do you take these tablets orally, or are they suppositories?
     
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  29. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    You'll only take it orally once. Guaranteed you'll never have pooping problems again, or breathing problems, or a heart beat.
     
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  30. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Perpetually Off Topic, Sorry. Supporter

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    So you're saying I can safely start hiking in bib overalls again?
     
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  31. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    I prefer a red union suit with trap door.
     
  32. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter

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    This has got to be one of the funniest threads I have seen. :)

    Crapping in the woods is a big thing. If you think about it, it's probably one of the most useful skills to master. You go out on a multi day trip, and dumping a good load in the morning without making a mess of yourself goes a long way towards having a great time. :)
     
  33. Crooked Penguin

    Crooked Penguin Scout

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    I'm one of those who digs first....assuming there's time for that... :eek:


    Just make it a rather wide/long hole (like a trench, put one foot one each side) and keep your digging stick handy to nudge "it" in in case you still miss target.

    As far as the pants getting in the way, I have no real solution for that. I just try to keep it out of the way with one hand while I use the other one to keep balance or hold on to whatever I can grab. So far it's gone well enough *knocks on wood*


    ps: am I the only one who buys bio-degradable napkins to use as TP just so I can burry it with the poopoo and don't have to take it with me to dispose of it properly?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
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  34. Swampdog

    Swampdog Supporter Supporter

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    Back in 1970 I went through (AIT) Advanced Infantry Training with the USMC, a Navy Corpsman gave us a class on how to properly poop in the field, including cleaning your fingernail with the C-Ration toilet paper (aka. John Wayne paper).
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
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  35. wizard

    wizard Guide

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    A Crap Circle?
     
  36. Danno

    Danno Scout

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    You don't find these out in the woods?? IMG_0384.JPG
     
  37. Chewuch

    Chewuch Supporter Supporter

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    I routinely use my iPhone to check areas of my body that I can't lay eyes on for ticks. I use the camera function. Maybe you can add a cross hair overlay, or maybe the new iScope to yours and head to the range. Should this be a skill to add to the Bushcraft school?
     
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  38. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide Vendor

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  39. backwoodstrails

    backwoodstrails anatidaephobic Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  40. Soilman

    Soilman Scout

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    You ought to see the expression on their faces...
    Being a soil scientist, I'm out in the woods, fields etc. using a 60 inch soil auger to identify soil types. Those not familiar with a soil auger, it is a T handled instrument with a shaft and an business end designed to "screw" into the earth and pull up soil. By screwing, pulling up and dumping, we can eventually work our way to the T of the handle if necessary. I often get asked by folks who tag along for one reason or another, "What do you do when you need to do #2?" I ask them to hold the auger while I explain. "Well, you see, I dig a shallow hole with my auger, maybe 10" deep." "Then I dig another hole with my auger about 6" away from the first hole, until the handle is only about 20 inches from the ground" " I then sit on the handle and poop into the other hole".
    As I said, at this point THEY are holding my auger, and you ought to see the expression on their faces!

    Actually, I look for a log to hang my rear end over. Depending upon the urgency, I'll either dig a hole first, or just kick a bunch of leaves over it on the ground.
     
  41. 1911srule

    1911srule Scout

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    I hate people who crap all around "wilderness" camping areas and leave it for all to deal with. This is common in the Adirondacks, I think its all the bums from NYC and NJ. All I know is ever since I had to cut my skivvies off for improvised wiping material...I carry a "shit kit" and have one in every vehicle. Never gave much thought to the process. But if ya do it on the side of a pine tree covered mountain , it disguises itself as it rolls downhill picking up pine needles. Then waits for the unsuspecting tree hugger that picks up unusual things in the woods. Not really, I use a natural depression, then add dirt, camouflage , cover and concealment...

    A "cheek spreader" ...really? I don't need one, my arse is not that big...
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  42. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    This is one of my favorite threads. Partly because I have the maturity level of a 12 year old, and partly because there is a lot of good information here.

    I subscribe to the 4S method. Squat, shoot, shovel, shut up.
     
  43. haunted

    haunted Guide

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    so the bear asked does a human poop in the woods.............................
     
  44. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Only if I gotta. Best part of that is, it still works as the joke.
     
  45. SideshowRaheem

    SideshowRaheem Tracker

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    My man! Thanks for so eloquently putting this! I see LNT principals get laughed at on this board WAY to much. Like you stated its important to think about the context of these rules. They're really for areas that see a ton of use like national and state parks and trails. With so many people the land couldnt handle it if everyone pooped and left it or just trampled over everything.

    Most places you dont really need to pack out your shit, but if you're in a slot canyon like the Narrows at Zion National Park you do. Again all about context. Also I did pack out my poo then and it wasnt really all that bad.

    Oh and another +1 for the Duece of Spades. I never use to carry a trowel but its so light I dont even notice it and it makes for quick and easy digging.
     
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  46. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Wanderer Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Lol, love this thread.

    I am also a deep squatter .

    Clear out a space, pants or shorts pulled down to the ankles. Squat low, tuck my bits downward, and let loose. Afterwards my preferred method is a splash of water from a cup in the hand, then a bit of tp to dry myself. Last step is making the hole or divot and burrying the mess. Afterwards I wash my hand and get back to my adventure.

    In the Army it was common knowledge that you could take your e-tool and fold the shovel 90° into the garden hoe position, and place one butt check on the shovel like a seat while you poop. Makes pooping more civilized for sure and burrying is extremely easy, but I usually only carry a shovel when I use a vehicle or canoe for my outings.

    I've used leaves many times for wiping, but for the most part I'll grab some water from a near by stream for the clean up and tromp off into the forest to find a hill with my paper, water, and a sharp stick. I prefer pooping off of inclines while facing the hill. Helps when things fall away from you.
     
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  47. S.Decker

    S.Decker Guide

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  48. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    You mean shit really does flow down hill?
     
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  49. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Wubba lubba dub dub Supporter

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    Maybe it was the two years in the Peace Corps, but I'm a b-52 bomber with a hole in the ground.

    Rolling over a log, or rock is my preferred method. I can usually get deep enough with the heel of my boot. Learning to wipe with sticks (a real art) helps reduce the amount of TP used if you're having a messy BM. Since I work in the woods, learning to poop comfortably is a necessity.

    If I'm really lucky, finding an old rotted stump I can pull out is a great expedient cat hole.
     
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  50. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    You guys are bush crafters, carve your self a toilet .
     

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