The in's, but mostly the out's, of pooing in the bush!
So, you’re a little afraid to poo 💩 in the bush? That’s fine, we get it, you’re certainly not alone. One of the biggest concerns for first-timers is the topic of toileting in the bush. Where, how (hopefully we don’t have to explain this one in too much detail…), what do I do with my paper etc. etc.
I’m going to break down the, ahem, process for you below, and we promise that once you give it a go - you’ll actually look forward to your next chance to drop your dacks in the wild.
Oh yes, pooing in the bush requires a few handy little tools, but I like to think of them as dear acquaintances. At the start of all my tours, I like to introduce my guests to their new three best friends:
Doug; is my trowel. You’ll be needing him to dig your hole 🕳 at least 15cm deep (more on that later).
Loo; is the paper. We’re not savages, of course you can use real toilet paper in the wild, no need to find a soft bit of foliage 🌿. When packing paper though, please consider using something more natural, that has no artificial perfumes or dies that might leak into the soil. We proudly use Who Gives a Crap ♻️.
Hans; is hand sanitiser 🖐, because we can’t really think of many things worse than getting sick in the bush.
These three buddies sit inside my toilet kit, which hangs off the side of my pack in a drybag (no soggy toilet paper 🧻 for me thankyou!).
If you're heading out anywhere more remote though, such as an alpine region, you'll need to pack out your poo! In that case, you'll also need to carry a poo tube and some plastic bags (think doggy bags for a handy visual). Always check out the rules before heading out, to make sure you're well equipped.
So, you're ready to go are you? Well if you’re following the industry’s widely accepted 7 Leave No Trace Principles, then you’ll need to find a spot that is at least 50m away from any water source. Common sense also prevails in this situation, and you'd want to be picking a spot that inconspicuous, off the track and a decent distance away from your campground. As I like to tell my guests:
“Any tree is a lava-tree 🌳”
Once you’ve selected your special place, then it’s time to get down to business. If you’re just doing a number 1, then you won’t be needing Doug. Ladies, it’s also preferable that you don’t use any toilet paper 🧻. However, if you’d prefer too, then please make sure you use as little as possible, and bury the paper in the ground.
If you’re ready for number two though, then you’ll need to be digging a hole at least 15cm deep (which is typically the length of a trowel). Now, sometimes, especially in places such as the Blue Mountains, the ground can be extremely hard to break through. A 15cm hole, with a tiny plastic trowel, will probably take you all day to dig. In these situations, please attempt to dig the deepest hole you can, and then cover it well with a large rock, to prevent any little critters 🦔 dining on your defecation.
Now, repeat after me:
Everything goes into the HOLE!
We’re emphasising this point, because (thankfully it wasn’t my guest), but a fellow colleague shared a story about a woman who ventured off into the bush and returned with everything (poo and all) crammed back into the communal toilet bag. They were only 2 days into a 6-day Overland Track and had to carry this women’s poo the entire way out. YUCK! 🤢
Once you’re finished, fill your hole back in with some soil, pat it all down and then squirt some Hans on your hands to finish the job.
Well done - you've just had your first 'toileting in the bush' experience!
Perhaps for some of you though, you still might not be entirely sold on the idea 🙅♀️. If you're nodding your head along, then consider the following (very) true fact:
“Statistically speaking, when in the bush, the discussion of toileting goes from topic #427 of importance to #2. Studies have also shown that the longer the experience, the more likely by the end to be sharing your poo stories in great detail with your fellow hikers… “
And this (perhaps slightly more verifiable fact), that there is nothing more rewarding than conquering your fears. So what are you waiting for? Come out bush with us (post-COVID-19 of course), and get ready to meet your new three best friends! 🤣🌿💩