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Owen McMurrey
(OwenM) - F

Locale: SE US
Re: Re: TOILET PAPER on 05/03/2014 10:27:33 MDT Print View

"Will Reitveld posted somewhere about how paper towels are a great multi-use item. Since they are much stronger than TP, he (and I) found that you can generally complete the task with 1/2 of a towel (buy the ones that are cut that way). Also great for cleaning the floor of your tent, wiping spills, etc. etc."

Same here. Try Viva, if you haven't. 3g each, and I use about two per day. One for TP duty(soft, but much more durable than TP, so you can fold and wipe with the same piece several times), and the other in halves for a hot handle holder when boiling water, then wiping my bowl or mug after rinsing.

TKB 1979

Re: Please on 05/03/2014 10:51:59 MDT Print View

I was hesitant to ask about toilet paper, but I've recently been re-thinking everything I pack, how I pack, and how I camp. At a certain point, nothing seemed to be beyond scrutiny anymore, including my own concept of "common sense," so was interested in what people actually do. And the tp was conspicuously bulky (not heavy).

Honestly, I think the tp-less option is viable. I'm a little anal about washing my hands anyway (couldn't resist). :) And watching the video, I was thinking more about how not to soak my pants with that water bottle ... and then, do I really *need* pants ... no maybe that's going too far ....

I've noticed a couple things as I get better at this. What can occur to me in the field in minutes, usually takes hours sitting in my garage, staring at my gear. I like the feedback here, as it's sort of the middle ground - I can't always get out, full time job and all. Also, my pack is now only half full, which is cool, but gets me thinking about a smaller one ... which means I have to submit for additional wife clearance to pick up more gear. It's a vicious cycle! :)

Cameron Habib
(camhabib) - F
Re: Re: Re: TOILET PAPER on 05/03/2014 11:04:34 MDT Print View

@David Drake: In fact, as luck would have it, I can:

One of hundreds of papers on FMT, showing feasibility of alteration of gut micro biome through rectal delivery (I won't go into any vivid detail but suffice to say, surface contact in that area, due to micro-abrasions and capillary effects, are sufficient for transmission without actual insertion):
Fecal microbiota transplantation and emerging applications. (2012). 9(2), 88–96. doi:10.1038/nrgastro.2011.244

Again, one of numerous papers on the emerging evidence that gut microbiome controls numerous physiological aspects, including central nervous system:
The microbiome-gut-brain axis: from bowel to behavior. (2011). 23(3), 187–192. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2982.2010.01664.x

And finally, one of millions of papers on plant pathogens, this one in particular which is known to pathogenic to humans:
Pantoea agglomerans, a plant pathogen causing human disease. (2007). 45(6), 1989–1992. doi:10.1128/JCM.00632-07

Similar to how there are unlikely to be any papers showing that using a dirty needle found on the street is a bad idea, there are unlikely many biological / biomedical studies done on this exact topic. However, all of the components of such a study have been performed in one way or another with fairly conclusive evidence.

All that said, I understand that everyone likes to think their way is the best way, and I'm not trying to change anyones behaviors or style. I'm simply trying to give a perspective on the matter that some may have not otherwise considered.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: Re: Re: TOILET PAPER on 05/03/2014 11:55:11 MDT Print View

>"I'm simply trying to give a perspective on the matter that some may have not otherwise considered."

I'd say you've managed that. The TP or not-TP question has been discussed endlessly on these forums; I don't recall anyone before suggesting going TP-free might result in alteration of the gut microbiome, such that FMT would be necessary. Or could cause overwhelming sepsis.

I read the third paper you cited. From the abstract:

"P. agglomerans was most associated with penetrating trauma by vegetative material and catheter-related bacteremia."

"Penetrative trauma by vegetative material" seems somewhat different from wiping with leaves, a smooth stone, or a handful of snow. I'm not a PhD in microbiology, but I'm not sure the dots here are as clearly connected as they might be.

Edited by DavidDrake on 05/03/2014 11:57:33 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Please on 05/03/2014 17:12:12 MDT Print View

Jerry, I don't blame you for thinking that way, but do you know that's how everyone does it in India? Really a huge portion of the world does it that way. It's sanitary as long as you wash your hands well with soap after.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Please on 05/03/2014 17:17:28 MDT Print View

"Please tell me there are not fellow BP'ers out there wiping themselves with their bare hands!"

Nope...just my left.

Been doing it for years.

So when you take a shower, who washes your butt?

tp on 05/03/2014 21:02:29 MDT Print View

makes you wonder sometimes how did the human race ever survive this long

Owen McMurrey
(OwenM) - F

Locale: SE US
Re: tp on 05/03/2014 22:31:55 MDT Print View

Makes me wonder just how insecure and desperate a person has to be for something, anything, to grasp onto that they have to make an issue over how someone else wipes their butt.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
TP on 05/03/2014 22:56:02 MDT Print View

I only eat constipating foods on trips so that I won't need TP.

Kidding... really I'm another natural materials fan, although I do use wet wipes as the final stage to avoid monkey butt or needing a Nalgene bidet.

Jake S
Re: TP on 05/03/2014 22:59:04 MDT Print View

> I only eat constipating foods on trips so that I won't need TP.

For some reason I pictured you wiping your butt with a wheel of cheese. :)

Dave Ploessel
(mailesdad) - F
Owen FTW on 05/03/2014 23:18:53 MDT Print View

Seriously. HYOH. This has been debated enough.


Locale: Western Michigan
Toilet Paper Free Expeditions on 05/04/2014 06:26:27 MDT Print View


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Please on 05/04/2014 17:40:44 MDT Print View

"It's sanitary as long as you wash your hands well with soap after."

Nonetheless, everyone over there wipes with their left and eats with their right. Apparently they learned the hard way, probably before the invention of soap, that it wasn't quite as sanitary as it was cracked up to be.

Robert Richey
(BobR) - M

Locale: San Luis Obispo
Boulder Bidet on 05/07/2014 11:21:11 MDT Print View

I recently started using the Boulder Bidet ( which is inexpensive and weighs almost nothing. A few well aimed squirts of water using this product reduces the need for TP consumed by about 50-70%. At this point I am still using TP but am considering latex gloves which can be washed after use, turned inside out, and placed in a baggie for reuse at the next pit stop. The bulk of standard TP rolls is a significant issue for those of us trying to reduce pack volume. Coughlan TP ( without the cardboard roll is one way to deal with that.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: TOILET PAPER on 05/07/2014 13:36:12 MDT Print View

Blue Shop Paper Towels....automotive section of the store???

I cut these into squares or rectangles.

Less weight by getting more efficiency from my TP.

They are very strong and easily allows for multiple wipes with the same square/retangle, simply by folding the TP in half or even thirds so you are using clean TP with each wipe.

I also have liquid soap and water with me to wash my backside completely clean to avoid "itchiness" later on.

I finish up by washing my hands with soap and water.

Only takes maybe 1/3 a liter to clean up nicely.

1 or 2 squares can be buried, burned, or packed out.

I personally bury them and realize that these probably are slower to break down, but given that I make a point to really go way off from the trail, I see no harm and little chance that anyone might see my cat hole to accidentally dig up my 1 or 2 squares of TP.


Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Blue Shop Towels on 05/08/2014 06:58:09 MDT Print View

Like Tony I'm a big fan of the blue shop towels (available at any Wal-Mart). I cut them in half and then fold it into quarters. In addition to being able to fold them over and wipe multiple times with a single square, they're actually usable in the rain.

If you ever had a clumpy/tearing experience with regular TP in the rain you'll really appreciate the blue shop towel.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"TOILET PAPER" on 05/08/2014 11:33:49 MDT Print View

I just grab a small partial roll from the bathroom, and pull the cardboard tube out so it will pack flat. I put that into a ziploc along with some hand santizer and a couple dog-poop bags for packing out my paper (I tend to pack out, rather than bury or burn).

Virginia Craft
( - F

Locale: Feet dangling from the perimeter
Poopy on 05/08/2014 12:37:07 MDT Print View

Sure, using your hand to wipe works just so long as you wash your hands thoroughly, but I am not sure I want to use my water supply as well as carry more soap than I typically would carry just so I could avoid carrying TP or wet wipes.
Plus, personally, it doesn't sound like gooey fun to start my morning with a poopy hand.

For me, there are perfectly good leaves, bark, and pine cones out there, not to mention the oh-so-pleasing large, smooth stone.
A small stash of TP or a couple dried wet wipes wouldn't hurt as back up if you felt the need.

In the end, your butt is your butt so do with it what you want!

Edited by on 05/08/2014 14:16:36 MDT.

Kat ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Poopy on 05/08/2014 13:35:39 MDT Print View

When I hear about using your hands and then washing them...all I think about are fingernails and what it takes to really get those clean.
No thanks.
Butt..HYOH or....WYOB in this case.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Toilet Paper Free Expeditions on 05/08/2014 13:55:24 MDT Print View

Ken, one thing about the table in Mike's article has always bothered me. I KNOW he loves river rocks, but 3/5 rating under "absorbancy"? Where can I find some of those rocks?

Edited by millonas on 05/08/2014 13:56:54 MDT.