BP 101 - Washing Your Bottom W/O TP
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Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/09/2008 21:40:17 MST Print View

Tom,

Since you've read the article, here's the one thing you need to do.

1) go camping without toilet paper.



I can read between the lines, and I feel pretty sure you've never tried it. You are WAY over analizing the process. It's very easy.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/09/2008 21:45:26 MST Print View

> You are WAY over analizing the process

LOL! I think you mean analyzing, but that is a hilarious pun!

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/09/2008 21:49:49 MST Print View

Oooooops!

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/10/2008 08:22:17 MST Print View

Whoever said that we are just smelly, dirty animals and we should embrace that - I AGREE! Bodily fluids, germs and odors are a fact of life and despite trying mightily to overcome that in recent centuries with chemicals, sprays, perfumes, wipes, and Charmin... if you look at the big picture, all you need in life is some soap and water and you'll be fine.

This whole squeamishness about no TP is very first-world. As I'm sure it's been pointed out already, there are people all over the world not using toilet paper on a daily basis. And I've held hands with some of them :)

ps: When backpacking, I swing both ways (and pack it out when using TP) but on a regular basis I always do a very thorough bathing of certain areas with a limited amount of soap and water - using my hands. So what's the difference between washing up at the end of the day and washing up immediately after? I'd say for me personally, not a huge difference. You're going to be smelly and germy regardless of whether you use toilet paper or leaves.

edited to add pps: This thread has been really entertaining... and educational! I liked learning about the Romans :)

Edited by AngelaZ on 12/10/2008 08:23:15 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/10/2008 10:07:03 MST Print View

Good points, Angela!

One thing though, much of the so-called First World -- Europe and Japan -- have already moved on to bidets -- which is much more sanitary than mere wiping with paper. All the places I stayed at in Spain featured bidets -- even the crappy $16 a night Madrid hotel right above the shop with the huge neon sign flashing SEX all night.

Even in Turkey, a comparatively poorer country, all the sit-down toilets feature a "poor man's" version of a bidet: their toilets are fitted with a metal tube that connects with the cold water pipe to allow for washing.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/10/2008 10:15:19 MST Print View

Great thread!

I have NEVER used toilet paper.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Washing Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/10/2008 10:26:42 MST Print View

Huzefa, You are from Sahyadris (in West India) right?

Just so you know - I use toilet paper when I have a toilet (most of the time).

I teach techniques to beginner campers, and I am amazed at how squeamish and downright intimidated they are by something SO easy (Joe The Backpacker, this means you) At first they want to deny it is even possible, and once they do it, it's never an issue again.

In a way - it's sad - we americans are culturally cut off from the simplest of human duties.

Edited by mikeclelland on 12/10/2008 10:45:56 MST.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Washing Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/10/2008 11:45:56 MST Print View

You can have my TP when you pry it from my cold dead (but clean) hands......

>Edited second joke for the sake of a little taste.

Edited by MAYNARD76 on 12/10/2008 12:58:54 MST.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Washing Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/10/2008 11:49:39 MST Print View

Seriously though, I tried to go TP-less on the JMT this year. But all I could find to use was pine cones. They just couldnt get the job done right. There were a few leafy greens but since Im not a westerner I couldnt identify them so that was that. So I got TP the first chance I had.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
tp fun. on 12/10/2008 12:46:51 MST Print View

i didn't have the intestinal fortitude to read all of this thread (it's just before lunch!), but i can't see much of a reason to get wound up about all this. i mean, CYOC! (crap your own crap). i don't see much value in trying to demean folks who don't want to do it with water alone(e.g. "you are SOOOO first world!").

i like a combo approach myself. dig a cathole, do your business, use some tp, put it in the hole and burn it up, mix the burned paper and organic material up with the waste with a stick, cover with dirt. as necessary, wash up with some water (good for chaffing reduction), and always use purell afterwards.

i don't see much of a problem with this approach, as long as you are careful on windy days, so the burning paper doesn't fly off and start a fire (i heard this happened on the PCT in 2004). just please don't LEAVE the paper on the ground or even buried.

i heard that the USFS is opposed to burning now, and was suggesting folks bury the paper (w/o burning) or pack it out. i agree with the latter, but i don't support the former.

anyway, CYOC!

p.s. tom, i agree with you fully. always the voice of reason!

Edited by DaveT on 12/10/2008 12:49:38 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/10/2008 12:47:19 MST Print View

Thanks, Dave. Much appreciated.

Edited by ouzel on 12/10/2008 16:46:58 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: tp fun. on 12/10/2008 12:53:47 MST Print View

Dave,
I'm with you on the wind concern. I always pee on it afterward, or douse it with a little water from a bottle, same as I used to do with fires back when I was still building them, wind or no wind, but especially when it's windy.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Washing Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/10/2008 12:57:46 MST Print View

Brian,

Do you use TP hiking in the east in your home area?

I still carry TP because on those rare occasions I need to dig a hole at night I want the quick and dirty method. Sometimes my digestive tract works quicker than normal and I use TP. When I hike in the Grand Canyon most everything is sharp and prickly -- on a five night trip I expect to use TP once.

It is not a perfect technique, but it is my primary technique.

Before my conversion I would get monkey butt a couple of times a year -- after never. YMMV

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Washing Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/10/2008 13:02:57 MST Print View

Yes, I feel the soil around here can easily handle it.
I try to use leaves and stuff to. It lets me carry less paper. But sometimes ist just faster and easier to whip out the TP.

Let me add that in special environments I fully accept that TP is unacceptable. I just cant remember the last time I was in such a place.

Edited by MAYNARD76 on 12/10/2008 13:06:06 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Washing Your Bottom W/O TP on 12/10/2008 13:25:13 MST Print View

"Seriously though, I tried to go TP-less on the JMT this year. But all I could find to use was pine cones."

I did the whole JMT sans TP.

Rocks!!!!

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Like golf on 12/10/2008 13:41:30 MST Print View

Brian,

To be a complete golfer you need to have a long game, a short game and a hot putter. You need the full bundle of techniques. I think you need the complete bundle of technique to be a skilled hiker. Primarily I use no TP, but sometimes I do use TP and carry it out when appropriate.

On very rare occasions the smear technique is appropriate. In slot canyons you need to use a blue bag, but there are places in the desert where there is no biological activity in the soil, but lots of sun and a dry wind. UV may be the best best way to eliminate the biological hazards.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Culture Vulture on 12/10/2008 13:57:26 MST Print View

Huzefa:

Since you've never actually used toilet paper before -- what do you think of this Western concept of smearing paper around and around the hole to "capture" most of the stuff -- but rarely if ever all of it -- and thus forever leaving just a bit to dry and cake up inside -- until the next shower or bath?

Edited by ben2world on 12/10/2008 13:58:53 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Culture Vulture on 12/10/2008 14:24:46 MST Print View

Ben,
Just for your consideration -

The 'fecal load' of a typical public swimming pool is around 5 Pounds, not taking into consideration toddlers is diapers.

Even with the request to "shower before swimming".

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Culture Vulture on 12/10/2008 14:45:57 MST Print View

The studies I have read is that you are more likely to get giardia from a public pool than untreated water in the backcountry.

My local Recreation center is down to about one diaper accident per week. Still closes the pool for about 2 hours.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Culture Vulture on 12/10/2008 15:05:57 MST Print View

Coming to think of it, why are folks so darn squeamish about touching their own residue -- but think nothing about immersing their faces into a fecal pool -- with a hundred butts bobbing about -- that's euphemistically rechristened "swimming" pool? Culture -- all learned.

Edited by ben2world on 12/10/2008 15:11:28 MST.