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No TP?
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joseph baragon
(toejam) - F
No TP? on 08/01/2009 23:00:20 MDT Print View

Ive been reading various gear lists and several times i have seen people suggest leaving TP and or wet naps behind (haha) whats up with that? what are you doing, dragging your tail across the ground like a chihuahua? wipe with your hand then wash it? seriously though.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: No TP? on 08/01/2009 23:08:31 MDT Print View

Get a membership and read this article.

You will be liberated.

It exposes all the age-old secrets: The Vertical Butt Scrape (best done on trees with rough bark), The Baboon Drag...
Oh, and if you have rabbits in your area, you're in for a treat...

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: No TP? on 08/01/2009 23:08:37 MDT Print View

There are about a thousand threads on this already, so no need to start another one.

Maybe start with this one and add any questions on the end of it...

Edited by ashleyb on 08/01/2009 23:10:02 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Article on 08/01/2009 23:08:43 MDT Print View

Personally, I consider wiping without TP more of a survival skill than a hiking skill. Yesterday I weighed a full roll of toilet paper (280 sheets, 2 ply) at 88g. That's under 3 ounces and you wouldn't normally need a whole roll. An ounce or two would do for most trips. Just considering the time you'd save by not having to forge around for 'natural TP' I would say bringing it pays off. There are a lot of other things I'd leave behind first.

Edited by dandydan on 08/01/2009 23:09:19 MDT.

joseph baragon
(toejam) - F
. on 08/01/2009 23:23:54 MDT Print View

no offense, but I dont care how many threads there are or articles have been written...unless i have absolutely no choice (and i have used sleeves and tails of shirts, rocks, leaves and sticks, even my hand in a river) i will continue using TP. you others, enjoy.

if your using a man made product, please dispose of it properly and not just plunk a rock down on top of it.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
No TP? on 08/01/2009 23:28:59 MDT Print View

Uh-Oh, this again...

This is mostly me (I think) playing the role of NOLS instructor on this subject.

I've been sharing something that (to me) seems so simple and so normal, and my insights have been received with some "emotion" by a few readers.

I was introduced to camping at NOLS in 1988. I learned to camp without toilet paper, and in the last 21 years (over half of that as an outdoor educator) I have NEVER once used TP in the mountains. And, none of my students have either. And, no one has ever complained.

It's very easy.

I don't like taking something that I know I can get along without. I feel liberated when I have less.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: . on 08/01/2009 23:36:50 MDT Print View

no offense, but I dont care how many threads there are or articles have been written...unless i have absolutely no choice (and i have used sleeves and tails of shirts, rocks, leaves and sticks, even my hand in a river) i will continue using TP. you others, enjoy.

Joseph, it is entirely up to you whether you choose to use TP or not. Craig and I were just suggesting that if you want to know more about how to "go without" there is already a lot of info on the forums, so no need for another thread on it. If you just wanna say 'hey, I would never ever go without TP' then just add it on to an existing discussion. No probs.

FWIW I prefer to use TP, and my girlfriend wouldn't even consider going without.

Edited by ashleyb on 08/01/2009 23:39:03 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Q on 08/01/2009 23:47:03 MDT Print View

Mike you bring hand sanitizer? Or what do you do if you're wiping with a leaf and have an incident where not just the leaf contacts the excrement? Wash your hands with some of your precious water and a bit of soap?

Edited by dandydan on 08/01/2009 23:47:49 MDT.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
No TP? on 08/01/2009 23:57:28 MDT Print View

Reply to Dan:

I bring soap and a tiny bit of hand sanitizer.

I wash my hands after doing my duty. Sometimes I will follow up with hand sanitizer.

Also - I have done a lot of long trips, 30-days in the mountans. I've gotten good at using just a few drops of soap (Dr. Bronners) and minimal water. I rub my hands with the soap for a long time, close to a minute.

You should read the article posted above.

Mike C!

Ryan Harvey
(kulboy) - F

Locale: Meridian, ID
TP on 08/02/2009 00:18:52 MDT Print View

As long as you know what you are doing then you can go without TP. Just don't think because you have read an article that you can go out to the woods with no consequences. Until you are succesful with no TP I would highly suggest bringing TP as back up and even baby wipes in case you get raw. Once you are good at the process then I would suggest you can leave the TP at home.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: TP on 08/02/2009 00:26:14 MDT Print View

It's not rocket science!
In fact, you could even call it natural!

I've wiped with everything from Joshua Tree monzonite (think cheese grater to high sierra granite flake (sharp edges anyone?)
Raw? Never happened.

Edited by xnomanx on 08/02/2009 00:28:50 MDT.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: TP on 08/02/2009 00:26:28 MDT Print View

If you go for the hand method there is no danger of getting "raw". Just make sure you have some serious hand sanitizer and some water. You can't go wrong, although you may not find it to your taste.

EDIT: ha, excuse the unintended pun!

Edited by ashleyb on 08/02/2009 00:27:12 MDT.

Willie Evenstop
(redmonk) - F

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
No TP? on 08/02/2009 00:31:37 MDT Print View

I found going without TP to be faster and cleaner. Can't really see how it could be done wrong, just make sure to bring enough water to wash your hands after you finish washing your undercarriage.

Dewey Riesterer
(Kutenay) - F
A bit radical on 08/02/2009 02:53:39 MDT Print View

This is a "sensitive" topic and I will simply add that I prefer to carry TP, baby wipes and sanitizer, but, have often used Thimbleberry leaves and even Bigleaf Maple, when necessary while working in the mountains.

One of the aspects of this that immediately strikes me is the possibility of a hiker's being "allergic" to a given plant or plants and not knowing this UNTIL using the leaves as TP. This could lead to rather unpleasant results and in genuine wilderness, the remote regions of Canada and Alaska, you could be in very serious trouble.

I would be VERY perturbed at ANYONE using a watercourse of any type as a means of self hygiene and while I know this is done, I am strongly opposed to it. You can still safely drink from most streams in BC, especially in our vast wilderness preserves, such as the thousands of sq. miles of the "Muskwa-Kechika" in northern BC and I would like to keep it that way.

For very LONG wilderness sojourns, mine have been an average of 90 days, alone, in some of BC's most remote regions, starting in 1967, I like to have some means of keeping clean that is light, compact and very efficient. A small plastic bottle of beach, a couple of washcloths and you are good to go for months with NO problems of hygiene, health or polluting the environment.

Gordon Smith
(swearingen) - MLife

Locale: Portland, Oregon
Look to the future... on 08/02/2009 03:41:24 MDT Print View

I say let us not dwell on the wiping methods of yesterday or even today my friends. When it comes to backside hygiene there's a new sheriff in town: Comfort Wipes!

Finally there's a better way! I can't wait to add one to my kit.


Edited by swearingen on 08/02/2009 03:44:02 MDT.

stefan hoffman
(puckem) - F

Locale: between trees
Really? on 08/02/2009 03:57:41 MDT Print View

I really hope you are kidding. Comfort wipes? honestly pretty disturbed right now. Not UL, not usefull at all, just wrong. REALLY?

But really, i agree with the person who said wiping without TP is a survival skill. I think the issue should just not be talked about, we all find a way. But since somebody already got it started..........I find that its best to use a small round rock. LOL. For real though, just dont talk about it. :)

Dewey Riesterer
(Kutenay) - F
TIC on 08/02/2009 04:49:49 MDT Print View

I kinda think that our buddie's post was a bit "tongue in cheek"....

But, I HAVE now "seen it all"!

Edited by Kutenay on 08/02/2009 04:51:06 MDT.

James Patsalides
( - MLife

Locale: New England
TP: Let's not be slaves to mass marketing!!! on 08/02/2009 07:09:28 MDT Print View

Sooo, I brought 3x pre-bagged little baggies of TP and one prep-H wipe to the BPL wilderness skills school in July - I figured 3 days = 3 dumps. In gear prep, Mike C asked us all to leave our TP behind. Have to admit my nervousness at this idea, but, in a kind of leap of faith, I left it behind. Mike gave the class a fabulous pooping class once we got on trail, and you know what.. I am a CONVERT! The techniques work (of course they do, what do we think people did before TP was invented?)... late summer snow IS the best.

Anyway, for me it isn't even a weight issue... it is kind of a "zen" philosophy issue. All it takes is a little pre-dump planning, some thought abut what you're going to use, a little hygiene discipline (Dr B's). In each case, you would have had to do this anyway... but if you cut the TP, you just have to be in touch with your "inner wilderness". You have to read about HOW to do it, then TRY it! Let's not continue to be slaves to mass marketers over the past 75 years or so.

Edited by on 08/02/2009 07:10:28 MDT.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: No TP? on 08/02/2009 10:29:05 MDT Print View

Raw? I'd say it would be just the opposite, helping prevent monkey butt and all. Three "wipes" with a handful of water gets everything nice and clean. Maybe chilly in the winter I suppose?

I didn't bring soap. Just used some sanitizer afterward.

BTW, it was my first trip also. Would never of thought of going without if it wasn't for this forum. I tried it out once in the woods beforehand. As Mike and other proponents say, it just makes sense to not bother with it.

Edited by topshot on 08/02/2009 10:31:57 MDT.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Look to the future... on 08/02/2009 10:53:57 MDT Print View

That's hilarious, Gordon. Thanks for the laugh.