We all do it at home and when we're out on the trail we find ourselves needing to do it, when we would rather not. But going to the toilet in the woods is something, at some point you are going to need to do.
It's not really a subject you hear talked about on bushcraft forums, but I feel it's something we should be aware of. And hopefully if you haven't yet needed to learn about what is involved or required, this post will be of use to you.
(I now have an image of somebody, in a woodland, cross legged, hastily reading this post on their iphone...)
Anyway, lets get down to business (Sorry !... I'm sure there will be more comments like that to follow)
Toilet Kit - What To Carry
It's not a piece of kit you are going to need very often, but when you do, you'll be glad you prepared yourself in advance.
Put yourself together a simple toilet kit, with all the items required for general toilet maintenance :
- Pack of tissues (or toilet paper in a plastic ziplock bag)
- Small folding trowel or spade
- Hand cleanser
- Small torch (I know, sound silly... But could be very beneficial)
- Bag to carry everything in (The kit contents, not the... well, you know !)
- Pack of Tissues
I don't think I need to explain what these are for, just make sure what ever you decided to use in your kit it kept in a waterproof bag for obvious reasons.
This is used to burn the tissues once the required maintenance has been carried out. Just keeps everything more hygienic.
Small Folding Trowel
This is used to dig yourself a suitable hole in the chosen ground to receive the necessary.
Used to clean your hands afterwards, again to ensure everything is kept hygenic. You can buy small bottles of this stuff with handy dispenser pumps. Wipes can also be used.
Chances are you will need to go the toilet in the night and you will need to find your way to the chosen site without having to hack your way threw brambles or get lost. Most people have their own torch, but if you have one in your kit, you know its always there.
Bag To Carry Everything In
Just keeps everything together in a handy kit, which can be stored in a rucksack pocket
If you are spending a night or two in the woods, I would advise choosing a suitable spot for your toilet setup prior to anything else you do. This way, you know everything is there ready should you be caught short. You don't want to be digging a hole with your pants round your ankles.
Chose a secluded spot, well away from camp and away from any running water, ponds or lakes.
Ensure the ground you chose is easy to dig into. You don't want to be spending hours excavating rocks and stone.
If there are several people in your camp or you like a bit of comfort, you may want to build yourself a small framework out of branches and paracord. Giving you something to lean or sit on (This post isn't very dignified I know, but needs must). You could also use a... (Dare I say it) log to sit on.
If you are just out for the day and the time arises, just find yourself a suitable spot (As above), dig yourself a hole no deeper than 6" and away you go.
The reason you shouldn't dig any deeper than 6" is that all the bacteria, that will assist in the breakdown of your waste, is present in those first 6" of the ground.
Once the operation is complete, carry out the required maintenance, drop the tissue into the hole and burn it using your lighter. Then cover everything up with the soil you have just excavated.