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USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Still going without tp? on 03/20/2013 20:39:48 MDT Print View

Anyone still going w/o tp? What's your cleaning setup? Small water bottle and a light washcloth to dry oneself? Has this been working ok for you? I could sell my ti trowel and bring enough tp to blow my nose and leave the fishing gear at home, not quite to 5 lbs. then.
Duane

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
No TP!!! Picking up the torch. on 03/20/2013 21:10:19 MDT Print View

Since Clelland isn't around, I'm happy to preach the Good Word.

I haven't carried any in many years now, not since I learned properly from the original publishing of Clelland's original article.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/toilet_paper_free.html#.UUp0uVerH0Q

That says everything.

I'm not exaggerating- I feel that this was one of the most beneficial things I have learned through BPL. It's quite liberating, especially as a distance runner and hiker that's often out with no gear.

Honestly, what self-respecting creature or self-proclaimed outdoors person can't figure out how to hygienically poop in the woods without bring bringing stuff from home? Seems to be a real disconnect between us and nature there, civilization carrying us backwards in this regard.


The anatomy of popping a proper squat is part of the key. If done right, everything is wide open and it's a straight shot down. I do not believe people are meant to sit on porcelain thrones while crapping (but yes, I do at home). That's where half the mess we associate with crapping comes from. Perhaps I am gifted with natural ease in this department.

Rocks have always been sufficient for cleaning. Gather 5 or 6 before doing your business. If there's a little dry grass to be found, making a little whisk brush helps finish things off- but I notice that with a few rocks and a dexterous hand, there's typically nothing left by then anyway.

I rarely have to use water to wash anything but my hands after- and that's just a precaution as they don't touch anything. I believe that if done properly, going TP free is actually cleaner than smearing stuff all over yourself with a piece of paper and calling it good.

I have never, anywhere, been unable to find suitable natural materials to wipe well.

OK, maybe in the middle of endless sand dunes, but then you just wash with water and your hand and then soap up (I've always wondered, why is that gross to some to use water and a hand in the woods yet good enough for all of us in a bath or shower?). If you don't have water and you're in the sand dunes, wiping is the least of your worries.

I don't like carrying used TP either. I think burying is akin to littering, though you're just hiding it. Lighting TP fires is tedious, possibly illegal, and potentially dangerous for knuckleheads. I don't like seeing TP dug up and strewn strewn everywhere. Guess what? Only people that use TP can cause this. Maybe not you, but someone. I realize there are people that practice very ethical TP use, but I think they're in the minority.

So eat your fiber.
Flame on.

___________________________________________

On a side note, Japan was the first place I've traveled/lived in which bidets are commonplace. Amazing that with our germ-phobic, anti-bacterial, sanitize everything culture in the US we're still stuck on smearing stuff around with paper and not washing.

I think the anxiety of walking around with dirty butts is what's driving the violence in this country.

Harrison Carpenter
(carpenh) - M

Locale: St. Vrain River Valley
Re: Still going without tp? on 03/20/2013 21:12:45 MDT Print View

Here's what I do: the morning I embark for the trailhead, I stop at McDonald's to visit the bathroom. I grab about 4-6 napkins adorned with the logo, which then serve as my TP. Somehow, using them as TP feels like a silent protest against corporate domination.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Still going without tp? on 03/20/2013 21:13:38 MDT Print View

I'll give up my tp only when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Edited by jshann on 03/20/2013 21:14:09 MDT.

A W
(lost_01)
Re: No TP!!! Picking up the torch. on 03/20/2013 21:49:06 MDT Print View

Quick note on the link - I don't know what the % of people are are premium members but just about every authoritative BPL thread on No-TP just links to that same article.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Still going without tp? on 03/20/2013 23:23:11 MDT Print View

Big fan of mosses, the best moss for tp comes right when you hit the treeline. I will wait to go until I find my favourite moss.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Marmots on 03/20/2013 23:41:15 MDT Print View

Work surprising well as TP.

I've used snow and natural material in the past but prefer TP. Going to try using quartered paper towels and 1/2 of a baby wipe to "clean up my act." I'm going to shop around for stuff that will quickly decompose so I don't leave any buried artifacts for future generations to unearth.

I'm aware that stirring up the soup and mixing in natural material will help the waste break down quicker but I was wondering if adding a pinch of septic tank pro biotics would help speed the process along. Maybe it would be hostile to the local fauna? Dunno, not my area of expertise. In the remote areas it's not such a big deal but the busier trails can become a virtual ces pool over time if hikers aren't considerate in this department. This was a real problem in the military which needed to be managed with care.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Still going without tp? on 03/20/2013 23:44:30 MDT Print View

I would never go back to TP.

Grass, rocks, sticks, moss, hands, water and soap.

Nelson Sherry
(nsherry61)

Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Re: Still going without tp? on 03/21/2013 00:00:37 MDT Print View

I think this topic is kinda funny. Good golly, half the world doesn't use TP even at home. If TP is an issue for you, make sure you never travel in the middle east. I suspect this is a topic that wouldn't get a second thought even on a Euopean based site. Just use a little water, wash up and be done with it.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Um...what about the womenfolk?? on 03/21/2013 06:15:50 MDT Print View

Since we're going there...

I myself prefer not to use tp...and as far as poop goes I'm cool. It's number one that I need to figure out what to do...

Nothing absorbent means a smelly mess as I hike on, yet to have to deal with tp every time I pee in the woods is just shameful.

Any advice from the ladies...or those who love them??

Karen Kennedy
(karenk) - MLife

Locale: NE NSW - Australian subtropics
TP free in Oz?? on 03/21/2013 06:33:50 MDT Print View

Any Australians game enough to go TP free? This is a pretty rugged landscape and I for one don't fancy applying our rocks or vegetation to sensitive nether regions! OK I admit it, I'm not brave enough to try!

Some female only options - guys, cover your eyes, these ideas will sound gross, but hey we have to deal with it! ...

I've read a post on here from a woman who carried a "pee rag" or cloth which she used after each pee, attached to the outside of her pack to dry, re-used etc, then rinsed it out when the opportunity arose. Seems viable.

Another method could be referred to as a "manual bidet" - use hand to wipe up, rinse hand with water, good to go! Urine is sterile, not as icky as it sounds - and very simple. OK if fresh water is plentiful.

Another option which minimises TP use is the one I use most frequently - the "recycling" method. Wipe up with nice thick wad of TP, fold TP and place in pants pocket. Body heat dries out the TP and it's good to go for next time! Repeat. Again, a reminder that urine is sterile, and personal experience shows that this method doesn't result in stinky pocket linings.

Graphic descriptions unavoidable.

Go for it guys!!

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Um...what about the womenfolk?? on 03/21/2013 06:35:30 MDT Print View

Jennifer,
Use a dedicated kerchief for pee, hang it on your pack to dry.
It doesn't smell, so I've been told.
This is the standard NOLS approach.

All NOLS trips are TP free.

Edited by greg23 on 03/21/2013 06:38:16 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Um...authoritative ...?? on 03/21/2013 06:39:57 MDT Print View

"...just about every authoritative BPL thread...

Now that's funny.

Edited by greg23 on 03/21/2013 06:40:54 MDT.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
I use natural, vegan cholla on 03/21/2013 07:23:24 MDT Print View

I'm going to switch to a hybrid combination of TP and the smear method. I call it "TP Tinsel" and it's all the rage in elite european hiking circles.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: I use natural, vegan cholla on 03/21/2013 07:26:29 MDT Print View

> I use natural, vegan cholla


You're a manlier man than I. You got a titanium arsehole?

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
The best of both worlds? on 03/21/2013 07:39:20 MDT Print View

I still take TP, but I will use natural materials too. Sometimes, natural materials that are ideal for the job are abundant--like a big, firm patch of moss, which I think is best out of all the natural stuff I have used. However sometimes there is less than ideal stuff around, that is when I will start with natural and then finish with one or at most two pieces of TP.

What's great where I hike, with so much water around, is that there is often a puddle or small pool of rainwater around or after 5min of hiking. These are ideal for me to wash my hands with biodegradable soap, though I also carry a small bottle of alcohol gel as a back up should I run out of soap or can't find water to wash with.

One small pack of TP with 10 tissues in it lasts me about 3-5 days depending on...umm... frequency and consistency of... you know. I have run out before and just used natural stuff, and in this case, I have even saved in a small plastic bag some pieced of moss and grass to use later on just in case.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Um...what about the womenfolk?? on 03/21/2013 08:35:38 MDT Print View

Jennifer - I carry a small squeeze bottle filled with water and rinse off with that ("air dry"). It's also good with a drop of biodegradable soap as a mini bidet after #2. Carrying pee infused cloth to reuse has no appeal for me.

The squeeze bottle I use weighs half an ounce and is a saline nasal spray bottle with the top opening enlarged by me so that it shoots a very narrow high pressure stream of water out. I used to use a shampoo bottle with an older style flip up spout, but this is smaller and lighter.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Still going without tp? on 03/21/2013 08:39:24 MDT Print View

From LNT:

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

"•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."

An interesting study on TP decomposition:

http://hikethru.com/hiking-information/backyard-science/toilet-paper-decomposition

If you don't want to carry TP or enjoy playing with your pooh then HYOH but if TP will decompose with the waste what is the harm?

Admittedly I haven't studied this much.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 03/21/2013 09:39:23 MDT.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
TP Preferences on 03/21/2013 08:50:02 MDT Print View

After one trip where I had a bad case of the scoots in the rain I changed the TP I carry. Regular TP (or even a McD's napkin) becomes worthless if it gets wet.

A couple years ago I bought a roll of the Blue Shop Towels. I cut them into quarters and take two quarters per day of the trip. They work great - dry, damp, and even wet.

I pack out my used squares.

Edited by KBabione on 03/21/2013 09:57:03 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Still going without tp? on 03/21/2013 08:57:24 MDT Print View

I'd have to change my diet more as I can't get by with only a square or two. I'll use a few twigs or grass if I can. Too much of me is poking out to get a good wipe with few squares. Good replies.
Duane

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Americans don't know how to poop on 03/21/2013 09:15:34 MDT Print View

Is a fair statement. The toilet and lack of bidet are generally unhygienic and not anatomically ideal for efficient unloading. The eastern squatty potties seem to allow for ideal delivery of a carpet bomb, delivering a stink pickle, feeding of the fish, fighting with turdzilla, foraging for dungleberries, taking a Billy, releasing the kraken, baking a brown biscuit, having a code brown, launching a torpedo, dropping a deuce, pinching a grumpy, saying adios to Mr. Brown, and/or releasing a sewer snake.

Never pass on an opportunity to let your inner 9 y/o run wild.

Paul Mason
(dextersp1) - F
I can't squat on 03/21/2013 09:43:48 MDT Print View

I'll admit it - I can't squat. When I've try, I fall over.

Ian
"Going to try using quartered paper towels and 1/2 of a baby wipe to "clean up my act." I'm going to shop around for stuff that will quickly decompose so I don't leave any buried artifacts for future generations to unearth."

Please post when you find baby wipes that decompose.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: I can't squat on 03/21/2013 09:59:53 MDT Print View

"I'll admit it - I can't squat. When I've try, I fall over."

Haha, I still remember the first time I had to #2 in the woods. Pissed all over my pants... Totally forgot the other half of the equation, lol.

I notice a lot more women have an easier time going without TP, not surprising since they generally don't have any hair down there, or shouldn't...

For those of us who seem to have been born from apes, anything but an ideal diet can produce some difficult to clean potty breaks unless you have baby wipes or a shower.

Nate Lee
(nathan52) - MLife
trash everywhere on 03/21/2013 10:00:20 MDT Print View

You tp litterbugs should stay with your car camping fire having buck knife canned beans denim jeaned breathren and stop trashing the woods. Speak on what you know, outhouses are trashed in the woods and you're an embarrassment if you're contributing to this disaster.

Besides, much cleaner sans paper, don't be such a baby.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: trash everywhere on 03/21/2013 10:06:09 MDT Print View

Thanks for your helpful, kind words, Nate.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Re: I can't squat on 03/21/2013 10:15:19 MDT Print View

"they generally don't have any hair down there, or shouldn't..."

WHAATTTT????

I hope you're joking.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Chemical Decomposition on 03/21/2013 10:18:20 MDT Print View

I use a product called Gotta Go Waste Bags, however, I don't take the bags themselves just the package of powder they provide that contains enzymes and bacterial agents that speed decomposition of feces into organic soil. After doing your business you can sprinkle some of the powder, cover with soil.

http://www.greentoilet.net/products-/biodegadable-waste-bags

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: trash everywhere on 03/21/2013 10:19:18 MDT Print View

Little bit of a rant there Nate? Or was that sarcasm? Not sure if serious.

Not sure where you camp, but the outhouses I've used have always been in pretty good shape. Even next to lakes covered with empty worm containers and fishing line.

If you burn and bury your TP, ain't much litter left.

Some people where never taught growing up how to clean up with anything other than TP, but if you want to host a skills workshop at REI, I'm sure the classes will sell out.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Still going without tp? on 03/21/2013 10:23:40 MDT Print View

Yep.

Do my business, cup the hand and wash with water. Apply a dollop of Purell. No need to dry, unless you are wearing cotton -- heaven forbid. Polyester dries in just moments.

In my view, the best and most thorough cleaning is, of course, a full shower. Following that would be the method I just described. Pushing toilet paper around and around one's asshole cleans even less. But regardless of TP or no TP -- wash and/or sanitize your hands before returning to camp. :)

Edited by ben2world on 03/21/2013 10:26:55 MDT.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: I can't squat on 03/21/2013 10:28:50 MDT Print View

@Paul
Compostable baby wipes
http://www.elementsnaturals.com/

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Engineered cat holes on 03/21/2013 10:29:38 MDT Print View

>"I'm aware that stirring up the soup and mixing in natural material will help the waste break down quicker but I was wondering if adding a pinch of septic tank pro biotics would help speed the process along."

This comes rather close to my day job - the clean up of contaminated waste sites. Various practitioners and vendors offer their propriety bacteria that are supposedly optimized for different contaminants. The thing is, at least a dozen species of soil bacteria can metabolize gasoline and diesel-range hydrocarbons, amazing though that may seem. What you deposit is even easier for them to digest and is already loaded with bacteria.

If you want to help the process, here are things that universally help aerobic bacterial action: atmospheric air (poop in loose soil, not tight clay), water (pee in the same hole), fertilizer (pee in the same hole), and warmth (a south-facing, exposed-to-the-sun patch of soil will be >10C warmer in the summer at a 6" depth than a shaded area).

I don't suggest the following for several reasons, but if you (1) added a pinch of Scott lawn fertilizer, (2) stirred well, and (3) dusted the replaced surface with carbon-black soot (to increase solar heating); you'd increase the degradation rate at least 10-fold. Sewer treatment plants, with active management of oxygen and nutrients, can degrade human waste in about a day. In more controlled settings, I can take toxic-waste-containing water to drinking water standards in less than an hour.

An afterthought: for how helpful peeing in the hole is (especially in the dry summer Sierra), and to avoid peeing on the shorts around your ankles, how about this: Dig the hole. Pee on the spoils pile. Do #2 in the cat hole. Stir in the wettest soils. Finish filling hole. Cover with leaf litter.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: I can't squat on 03/21/2013 10:33:32 MDT Print View

"I notice a lot more women have an easier time going without TP"
Huh? I think some anatomy lessons are due here...

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: I can't squat on 03/21/2013 10:38:56 MDT Print View

"Please post when you find baby wipes that decompose."

http://www.target.com/p/attitude-eco-baby-biodegradable-baby-wipes-216-count/-/A-13313851

http://www.coolmompicks.com/2009/04/biodegradable_baby_wipes_that.php

http://ecosalon.com/reduce-your-childs-carbon-bumprint/

Because I won't be able to sleep unless I know that my pooping will meet Nate's approval, I will return to using marmots. You people with your pocket calculators and VCRs....

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Chicks use sticks on 03/21/2013 10:41:19 MDT Print View

>"It's number one that I need to figure out what to do..."

Jennifer: using grass or a twig to flick pubic hair back and forth removes most all of the urine.

>"not surprising since they generally don't have any hair down there, or shouldn't..."

Nick: Quite true for a Brownie troop or anyone posing as a prepubescent girl. But adult women are mammals, too.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Re: Re: I can't squat on 03/21/2013 10:43:38 MDT Print View

"Huh? I think some anatomy lessons are due here..."

My comment was in regards to #2.

I'd have less qualms about other cleaning methods if I was just dealing with urine.

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Re: Still going without tp? on 03/21/2013 10:55:00 MDT Print View

Yes

Faster, lighter and cleaner for me and mother nature....and the next guy!

It's a basic skill. Learn it and don't look back.

Angus A.
(mangus7175) - F

Locale: http://theshadedtrail.blogspot.com
Re: I can't squat on 03/21/2013 10:59:18 MDT Print View

For those that can't squat there is the Loop N' Poop or Strap N' Crap

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf2OwIcgEDw

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: I can't squat on 03/21/2013 11:12:24 MDT Print View

All joking and snarkiness aside, you people have convinced me to adopt a natural cleaning regimen. I will turn over a new leaf this season.... literally.

(editor's note - no marmots were harmed in the trolling of this thread)

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Bears do it in the woods. on 03/21/2013 11:17:22 MDT Print View

>"(editor's note - no marmots were harmed in the trolling of this thread)"

The bear asks the rabbit: "Don't you hate how the crap sticks to your fur?"

Rabbit, "Crap doesn't stick to my fur."

Bear: "Good." Visual: bear grabs rabbit and wipes himself.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Engineered cat holes on 03/21/2013 11:19:58 MDT Print View

David,

Thanks for your input on this topic. I enjoy reading your comments and appreciate your technical expertise.

I'm going to use your suggestions to improve my cat hole technique but I understand that you don't suggest pro biotics or fertilizer? Is this for environmental reasons or for weight? If only a pinch of fertilizer is needed, it would seem that an oz per movement would cover it and I'd be willing to carry it if it would appreciably reduce the impact.

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
Loop N' Poop (aka the Strap N' Crap) on 03/21/2013 11:25:28 MDT Print View

LOL !! funniest thing I've seen in a long time. Thanks Mangus for posting!

Edited by tr-browsing on 03/21/2013 11:27:27 MDT.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Bears do it in the woods. on 03/21/2013 11:26:03 MDT Print View

As usual, a thread about poop is enlightening, entertaining, and horrifying by turns (Purell, Ben?!?! Alcohol-based gel anywhere near a mucus membrane or orifice sounds like a recipe for regret).

Angus A.
(mangus7175) - F

Locale: http://theshadedtrail.blogspot.com
Re: Re: Engineered cat holes on 03/21/2013 11:26:49 MDT Print View

Here's another video posted by Andrew Skurka a few years back


-Backcountry Poo-Poo Clinic-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwmwxkD86Ec

Brandon =Þ
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Bears do it in the woods. on 03/21/2013 11:27:22 MDT Print View

"Bear: "Good." Visual: bear grabs rabbit and wipes himself."

Heard that joke as a kid, and immediately it didn't make sense to me, because a rabbit would make very poor toilet paper if crap didn't actually stick to his fur.

Edited by Beeen on 03/21/2013 12:02:54 MDT.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Re: Engineered cat holes on 03/21/2013 11:40:56 MDT Print View

If only a pinch of fertilizer is needed,

The "deposit" itself is actually fertilizer, though modern man bags it from cows and markets it as manure through ye olde' big box home improvement store. Depends on the microenvironment of the "deposit" is how fast it and any accompanying tissue decays (your own conscious and the land manager rules/regs). Leaves and stones work with hand sanitation and it's a good practice because there comes a time when one finds themselves tp-less ... but it's always good to have a "reserve" of tp/blue towel squares/etc.. in the pack just in case.

Think we can all find common sense solution but also check your land management office if "deposits" are even allowed. That would be an embarrassing ticket from a ranger...

(ed: add)

Edited by hknewman on 03/21/2013 11:43:20 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Engineered cat holes on 03/21/2013 11:49:15 MDT Print View

Ian: The pro-biotics are unnecessary. If the topsoils can support life, it is already there. Even in a sand dune, you're depositing trillions of bacteria with every dump.

I wouldn't suggest carrying fertilizer. There's a fair bit of biologically available NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium - the building blocks of DNA, proteins and enzymes) in poop and pee. If you were burying something without built-in fertilizer (paper only, clothing, gasoline in my work), then added fertilizer can make a big difference in kicking off development of a large bio mass.

Adding excess fertilizer would be a bad thing. Nitrates and nitrites are groundwater and surface water pollutants (they can lead to algae blooms in warm waters). Dissolved fertilizers can travel much further than bacteria - a well functioning septic leach field does all it's work with 2 feet of the perforated pipe, leaving no bacteria percolating deeper into the ground.

I was giving a pull-out-all-the-stops approach. Stuff I do to clean up a decades-old toxic waste site in months. For me, best backpacking practices would be:

Do it in a warm spot, mix with soil, add some water if easy. Those steps will result in many-fold faster degradation. And they weigh nothing.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Bears do it in the woods. on 03/21/2013 11:55:58 MDT Print View

>"because a rabbit would make very poor toilet paper if crap didn't actually stick to his fur."

Explaining a joke kills it, but:

It's not that rabbit fur is teflon. It's that vegan rabbit pellets aren't sticky. Omnivore bears, on the other hand. . . . Therein lies the humor, such as it was.

Brandon =Þ
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Still going without tp? on 03/21/2013 11:59:54 MDT Print View

"Anyone still going w/o tp?"

Did my first few TP free trips last year, previous years I'd use Corn Lily leaves and rocks most the time, but would take a little TP for the final clean up. It was very liberating to get beyond that and not have to deal with dirty paper anymore.

My girlfriend is fighting it though, and even though I've suggested she pack it out, she only brings back paper after peeing. After pooping she comes back and says, "don't look at me like that!". I think I somewhat enabled her by mentioning in her company to backpacking friends, that if people were going to be obstinate and leave their TP in the woods, they should at least dig a separate hole for the TP and stir it up with water and dirt so it doesn't end up being recognizable if dug up.

I think she needs is a good "how to" video with a woman instructor, in order to take away all her objections that women are somehow so different to men that pooping without TP is a life threatening practice.

Edited by Beeen on 03/21/2013 12:12:48 MDT.

Brandon =Þ
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Re: Re: Bears do it in the woods. on 03/21/2013 12:09:26 MDT Print View

"Explaining a joke kills it,"

When I was a kid my dad's response was, "and bears and rabbits don't talk either".

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Still going without tp? on 03/21/2013 12:27:10 MDT Print View

" It was very liberating"

Indeed. Heck, when I was a newbie back in 2004 -- my virgin overnight trip -- I wasn't scared of getting lost or getting eaten by lions -- no -- my big concern was how to do business without modern plumbing! I decided to try by going the full nine yards -- and indeed, it was most liberating. And since that trip, I've never carried TP for Business No. 2 out in the wilds. Still use TP at home though -- but followed by a wash as well.

Although in truth, this most natural of acts shouldn't be any kind of a big deal at all. Just shows how much we are prisoners of our own culture -- for better and for worse.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Every day is a learning day!! on 03/21/2013 12:49:16 MDT Print View

So lets review:

No alcohol based substances near mucus membranes.
The pee rag is NOT a myth!
TP may (or may not) be biodegradable, but it helps if its sunny and you pee in the hole
Baby wipes may (or may not) be biodegradable, but shall we assume it helps if its sunny and you pee in the hole?
Duane needs a LOT of toilet paper
Ian is very, very creative with poop
Paul would have a lot of trouble in Asia
Nate has issues
And Nick thinks all women love to wax or are actually forever 8 years old.

Very productive thread!!!!

Heather Hohnholz
(Hawke) - M
Trolling on 03/21/2013 12:53:10 MDT Print View

The single best thing about this thread:

"I think the anxiety of walking around with dirty butts is what's driving the violence in this country."

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Every day is a learning day!! on 03/21/2013 13:11:52 MDT Print View

Excellent summary!

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Southern Hair on 03/21/2013 13:13:08 MDT Print View

Not to defend Nick, but I interpreted his comment as saying that most women don't have a furry ass whereas some of us guys do...

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
I may need a doctor on 03/21/2013 13:22:18 MDT Print View

I ran out of TP on a remote 10 day hike and was forced to go au-naturel. I had read about it. I had thought about it. I hiked with a friend who had argued for it.

In my first "session" I nearly injured myself.

For the next three days I found myself endlessly and anxiously scouring the trail at my feet as I hiked. I would spy and pick up the best, smoothest most perfectly shaped rocks set for the delicate task.

I think I wound up carrying like 6 pounds of rocks. Very well-shaped comely rocks.

So now if ever asked, all I can say is:

Air-dried baby wipes; lighter than rocks.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Southern Hair on 03/21/2013 13:38:20 MDT Print View

I think it was the word "shouldn't" that really jumped out at me. Maybe not intended that way by him, but it sounded like more of a value judgement, sort of like saying that guys with hairy backs are abnormal (or that guys without hairy chests are not masculine). There's a wide spectrum out there for both sexes, folks - as David said, we're all mammals!

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Southern Hair on 03/21/2013 13:59:18 MDT Print View

>" "shouldn't" really jumped out at me"

dk: it sounded like a ageist, anti-adult/fertility, pro-pedaphilia value judgement to me, too, but I lived in Northampton MA for a year. I'll make a value judgement, too:

No one of any gender should hike with stubble down there, IMO.

But I suppose the ultimate ULer of any gender would sport a crewcut for the weight savings. By cutting her waist-length hair to shoulder-length, pilot Jeana Yeager saved enough weight to give Voyager's 1986, non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world an additional 11 miles of range.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: I may need a doctor on 03/21/2013 14:08:05 MDT Print View

"
I think I wound up carrying like 6 pounds of rocks. Very well-shaped comely rocks.

So now if ever asked, all I can say is:

Air-dried baby wipes; lighter than rocks."

So now you carry 6lbs of rock to cut the weight of your TP?

I now understand why hikers don't shake hands!

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Still going without tp?" on 03/21/2013 14:20:15 MDT Print View

So how is tearing moss off of trees to use for tp more ecologically correct than using paper? Paper is made from wood...gee, and I'm doing my business in the woods!

My guess is that we're instructed to carry out tp more because of bears digging up our poop and spreading tp around. Rangers then have to get rid of this. Definitely not their job. But if you do your business correctly and well away from any trails or camps, doesn't tp decompose pretty quickly? Or again, just burn it safely.

REI sells very compact rolls of tp with no center roll that take up very little space.

I'm afraid that going tp free is a bridge too far for me! In fact I'm going to wipe away my memory of this whole discussion!

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: "Still going without tp?" on 03/21/2013 14:39:49 MDT Print View

Problem solved

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpads8s5mik

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: Still going without tp? on 03/21/2013 15:13:58 MDT Print View

Holy crap Batman, this is turning into a rather long thread. Well, it does remind that there are two main types of people in this world, those who are a'holes and those who think overmuch about a'holes.


On the t.p. debate, i do bring some, but recycled, non chlorine kind and tend to use very little since the squat position is, as previously mentioned, rather efficient. That and i tend to eat a VERY high fiber diet (cue putting cool looking shades on now).

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Re: Still going without tp? on 03/21/2013 15:45:22 MDT Print View

I do both. I usually carry a small amount of TP, but I will usually use natural materials if they are available.
One thing I don't carry is soap. I use campfire ashes and water to sterilize my hands.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Still going without tp? on 03/21/2013 15:47:54 MDT Print View

You build a campfire to take a dump?

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
tp on 03/21/2013 15:50:32 MDT Print View

You actually need an amazingly small amount of TP per "session".
TP is very light. Checking the wt of a small ziplock of it at home, before and after, I found I use 0.1 oz per "session"

On the trail I go about every 2-3 days.
The amount I need for an trip, is fairly inconsequential
Im all for doing the dirty work first with a stick or such too btw.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: tp on 03/21/2013 16:06:40 MDT Print View

"You actually need an amazingly small amount of TP per "session"."

Correction -- No one needs to use any TP at all. However, you can choose to use an "amazingly small amount" -- or more.

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
Re: tp on 03/21/2013 16:28:29 MDT Print View

"I go every 2-3 days."

Wow. That sounds uncomfortably unhealthy. I'm fairly certain you cannot qualify as a true ultra-lighter if you carry all that around for days on end.

On my thru hike there was an unannounced competetion to see who could make a "movement" the most number of times in a 24 hour period.

The winner claimed 6.

I could never master the art of the afternoon-poo. Too much sun to illuminate my business. I'm strictly a morning or evening kinda guy.

Hmmm. My drift threatens to devolve this thread. Sorry.

Dale South
(dsouth) - M

Locale: Southeast
RE: Still going without tp on 03/21/2013 16:45:21 MDT Print View

After reading all of these posts I started wondering what most of the "would not go without tp" group would have done if raised in rural America in the days before tp. I grew up without indoor plumbing of any kind and we had no problem using corn cobs for years. Mot much different than using other natural materials that are found in the woods. Rocks, sticks, leaves, moss, etc. work as well if not better than tp.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: RE: Still going without tp on 03/21/2013 16:53:10 MDT Print View

Nothing works better than your hands for cleaning and tp is just a way to do that so your fingers never have to be soiled directly. You can use tp dry or damp and the right kind is soft and kind on your sensitive area. Don't know what the fuss is over if it didn't work better than sticks and rocks we would have sticks and rock next to the toilet at home but I don't know anyone who does.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Re: RE: Still going without tp on 03/21/2013 17:09:51 MDT Print View

Brian,

I'm remodeling the guest bathroom in a couple of months. I will suggest to the Mrs having a bucket of sticks, a bucket of stones, and a bucket of shaved snow ice.

I expected to be beaten with the sticks, pelted with stones and sleep outside in the snow.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: RE: Still going without tp on 03/21/2013 17:12:14 MDT Print View

"... tp is just a way to do that so your fingers never have to be soiled directly."

You may think so, but ...

Edited by greg23 on 03/21/2013 17:13:37 MDT.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Re: Re: RE: Still going without tp on 03/21/2013 17:15:34 MDT Print View

all joking aside, it's very interesting reading the History of Toilet Paper

paper invented in China. early mention of TP in literature 500 AD.

Before that, the Romans used a reusable rabbit-fur-on-a-stick that they dipped in highly salty water to keep the contamination minimal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper

and if you can't get enough on the subject, read up on the history of Pit Toilet and the magic of owning a pig.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Still going without tp on 03/21/2013 17:20:59 MDT Print View

"...rabbit-fur-on-a-stick ..."

So the bear was right...

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Still going without tp? on 03/21/2013 18:25:18 MDT Print View

"You build a campfire to take a dump?"
Lol, no. In the morning I will take some ash from whatever small cook fire I made the night before or I will take ashes out of fire pits at camps. It's just one less thing I have to worry about bringing.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: trash everywhere on 03/21/2013 18:57:18 MDT Print View

Best sign in a backcountry outhouse..

"If you can't hit a 12" hole. I'd hate to see your house."


I would ratheer go outside than use most of the backcountry loos I've seen.


@Debbie. Shaving the nethers helps mitigate a couple of problems that persistantly bother women.

Nate seems to have included some personal preference on his part.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Still going without tp on 03/21/2013 19:09:20 MDT Print View

Ken, is it Spirit Lake in the Marbles that has that wooden cover over the "pit"?
Duane

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: trash everywhere on 03/21/2013 21:40:29 MDT Print View

"I would ratheer go outside than use most of the backcountry loos I've seen."

I have never and I will never use an outhouse / pit toilet to do #2. EEEeeewwww!!! Truth be told, I can't remember the last time I used an outhouse to do #1 either. The GREAT OUTDOOR is all around!! :)

Randy Thornton
(Ochocoman)

Locale: Wet side of the Cascades
Most of the world... on 03/21/2013 23:13:52 MDT Print View

Most of the world manages this without toilet paper, the trick is to be as hygienic about it as you can.

I lived and worked in India for two years and was often out of the city. I learned right away to go without TP and am glad I did: it freed me never to have to worry about it. Western style toilets were rare to non-existent in most of the places I went, including my own house.

There really several aspects to the process:

1) Learn to squat and be comfortable at it. Indian style toilets are low to the floor with foot rests to step and squat on to help you aim. We are a sitting/chair culture, not a squatting culture, but you can get used to it with practice just like anything else.

In the outdoors, try digging a cat-hole in a more rectangular shape so you can look down and see the front of it to help your aim.

2) Clean yourself always and only with some water and with one hand; your left hand is the preferred one in India, as most people are right handed. But be consistent.

3) Use water to clean that hand immediately while still squatting. Indians typically carry a small pot of water (known as a lota) for this. Houses have water taps at hand squatting level to do this.

Outdoors, put your water bottle at the ready as you squat. Pour from your right hand onto your left to clean. When done, clean your hands again.

4) Be aware of your hands. Clean them whenever practical and try to keep them clean. Indians are very aware of handedness and using their 'clean' hand for handling food, touching people, etc., around which there are numerous social norms.

I use these methods and clean my hand with biodegradable soap. I carry some Purell to clean with before I handle food or water.

Edited by Ochocoman on 03/21/2013 23:17:28 MDT.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Southern Hair on 03/22/2013 01:12:13 MDT Print View

"Not to defend Nick, but I interpreted his comment as saying that most women don't have a furry ass whereas some of us guys do..."

Thanks Kevin. Sheesh!

Been married for 10 years and have a daughter, I'm well aware of the female anatomy. Like I said before, if you couldn't interperet my first post, I was talking about how it can be more difficult to clean a hairy ass if you have soft bowel movements, than to clean a smooth(or significantly less hairy) ass.
No question that guys have it easier in the urine department... I guess you just gotta spell things out around here.

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
less is more on 03/22/2013 02:28:18 MDT Print View

Actually, what i like the most about going No-TP, is that It's one less thing to bring. The fewer items in my pack the better.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Re: Southern Hair on 03/22/2013 02:51:17 MDT Print View

I'm glad to hear that's all you meant, Nick - perhaps your meaning would have been clearer to some of us if you had worded it differently, maybe substituting the word "less" for the somewhat ambiguous "shouldn't". And for me, your subsequent comments didn't necessarily dispel my original interpretation. But sorry to have jumped in and drawn so much attention to what I'd perceived as an odd comment, because your latest comment does make your meaning clear now.

Just another reminder to me that whether one is writing or reading on the internet, it's often too easy for things to seem different to a reader than they did to the writer.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Re: Re: Southern Hair on 03/22/2013 10:12:15 MDT Print View

Yeah, I suppose I should have just been more blunt. I was trying not to be, but it seems those commenting on this thread don't have an issue with it. Also, I thought the forum censored the word "ass", so I was trying to avoid using it.
Oh well, off to antagonize someone else in another thread...

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Finer points of outhouses. on 03/22/2013 14:36:00 MDT Print View

>"I have never and I will never use an outhouse / pit toilet to do #2."

When I do, I DO use some TP but for a different purpose. A factoid that stuck in my head from my First Aid instructor days is, "in 1900, the vast majority of black widow spider bites were inflicted on male genitalia." because that is what projects further into an outhouse and those bits have pretty thin skin.

Ever since, I've made a little TP "broom", lifted any seat, and swept under the seat and around the inside lip of the underlying outhouse. About 10% of the time, I'll dislodge a black widow.

TMI, I now.

For you non-TPer's, carry a small branch in with you as a whisk broom.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Origin of Spiderman on 03/22/2013 15:19:26 MDT Print View

"in 1900, the vast majority of black widow spider bites were inflicted on male genitalia." because that is what projects further into an outhouse"

The real truth -- those idiots were jacking off and it's the vibration that attracted the Black Widows! And it was a rare case of accidental impregnation of a Black Widow egg that produced Spider Man.