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Still going without tp?
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Willie Evenstop
(redmonk) - F

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

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

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

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.

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

From LNT:

"•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:

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.