Why would you want to poop in the woods? Sometimes You Get Caught Unprepared.

Originally published: Copyright © 2021 Chickfly LLC | All rights reserved | Chickfly.com

Sometimes a horrible thing happens. You are driving on a country
road between point A and point B, with no facilities in between, and
you have to go poop. This isn’t just any normal poop. With those you
can suffer a few cramps and survive. This is when something went
wrong in your digestive tract and whatever it is must be immediately

Another common scenario is you take a trip to a beautiful swimming
spot with some friends and you don’t prepare. After some activity and
some picnicking and some drinks you have to go and there are no
facilities in sight.

Some version of this scenario will happen to everyone in their lives. We
have all seen the results of such shituations: an abundance of
scattered feces with napkins on the ground. I have come across this
scene many times when visiting a beautiful river spot, about to get
naked, and setting the kids loose to play. When I see this I think “didn’t
your parents teach you to shit in the woods?” How can you raise a
child without teaching them such basic techniques? Seriously, take
your toddler to the nearest National Forest or Bureau of Reclamation
lands and give them a chance to learn the most underrated outdoor
skill: how to take a shit.

First, I am going to tell you how to prepare, next I am going to tell you
what to do if you get caught unprepared...

If One Were to Prepare…
A little preparation goes a long way.
Preparing to shit in the woods is easy. Keep a zip lock bag and toilet
paper in your car. Also keep a small shovel. You can keep a narrow
garden trowel inserted into a smashed toilet paper roll inside your car.
The roll will stay on the trowel and you will always have both items
available when you need them. If you want to be able to dig larger
holes or holes for multiple days, medium size foldable shovel works
well (think army surplus).

When you get to camp, the river, or wherever you are enjoying nature,
assess the situation. Take a little walk around and identify your spot.
Notice where the soil is soft, what is available for wiping, and if there is
an easy log or rock to move to give you a head start on your dig.

That’s right. That is exactly how it feels when you know you gotta go
and you didn’t prepare. This section is about damage reduction, not so
much to you, but to the environment and the people who will come to
enjoy the outdoors after you have passed through. I might be writing
out of a slight bit of mild sympathy for the woeful shitter, but mostly I
am writing to preserve nature for itself and for others to enjoy.
As soon as you have an inkling that you are in a pickle and might have
to poop, acknowledge the reality of the situation and make a plan. This
isn’t the time for avoidance techniques and pretending it isn’t going to
happen. Assess how close you are to waterways or even dry ditches
that might carry water in the winter. Go uphill. You don’t want to
contaminate water or future water with your feces. One-hundred feet
away from the high water mark is a good goal. Sometimes the high
water mark is actually hundreds of feet away from the edge of the
river, so you may need to go several hundred feet away from water,
depending on the situation.

Find a spot where you can bury your poop even though you don’t have
a shovel. If the ground is soft, you may be able to dig a hole with a
stout stick. Usually this isn’t the case. Remember, your goal is to get
your poop underground and covered both by something heavy and by
something that prevents the smell from escaping. My parents taught
me that, when shitting in the woods, a foot deep was the minimum.
Can you imagine little four-year-old Anna in the forest with a shovel
digging and digging? Yes, that actually happened more than once; part
of the reason I am qualified to write a synopsis on shitting responsibly

If you don’t bury your poop, something will eat it. It might be your
friend’s dog that comes and licks your kids' faces. Most definitely, this
is a likely scenario.

I have a secret. Nine out of ten times I find myself in this situation I
find either a partially buried rock or a log and I move it (another
reason I am qualified to write this shitstory is that I have had dozens of
personal incidents; the dirt roads where I live can last for hours, I often
work in the wilderness, and I like to hike and camp - pooping outside is
something to which I have become accustomed). When you move the
log or rock, its indentation is revealed in the form of a hole. Hopefully
the hole is deep. If you can, try to deepen it with a stick. Try to get one
foot of depth.

Now, squat over the hole and poop. Oh wait, before you do that (I
hope I’m not too late telling you this), gather your sticks, leaves, or
rocks. You will want to wipe and waddling around after pooping
looking for something with which to wipe can be inconvenient, if not

Not just any rock or stick will do; they must be just right so as not to
cause injury. Leaves can be great if you happen to be next to a fluffy
mullen plant, but most leaves are too glossy and lacking in absorbing
qualities. However, in a pinch a waxy leaf is still useful because it will
knock off the most offensive clumps.

The perfect stick is older, barkless, branchless, and smooth. Dead
sticks are porous and absorbent. When wiping I twirl the stick between
my cheeks. I do not pull along the same grain as the wood, but rather
counter spin against the grain to avoid splinters. As I twirl, I slowly pull
the stick up and out of the wedgy. This is super effective.
Try to find a round rock. Sedimentary rocks such as sandstone and
siltstone are porous and absorbent. Again, I use a gently spinning
technique to wipe my ass with a round rock. If you only have a jagged
rock, you must be more careful and your technique will vary.
Once you are done pooping, cover everything up. First, cover the poop
with dirt. The dirt will help mask the smell and help prevent animals
from being attracted to the source. Next, put the large object, rock or
log back in place. Is it heavy? Good, you want it to be too heavy for
most beasts to lift, and animals are much stronger than you for their
size. I want you to struggle.

Now, it’s time to practice (winky face). Just kidding. It is time to prepare
though. Get yourself your pooping kit. Next time you hike, move a few
large rocks and logs and check out the holes they create. Envision a
sanitary nature poop. And never just plop poop in a pile with a parcel
of paper on top. Bury Bury Bury. Thank you.

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