Outdoor Toileting Best Practice

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Thoth

Nomad
Aug 5, 2008
327
18
Hertford, Hertfordshire
Does anyone have any links to reliable online advice on how to **** in the woods?

I recently contacted Explorers Connect, who promote Wild Night Out https://www.explorersconnect.com/wild-night-out to point out that they had no advice on this subject on thier website and that I thought that encouraging first-timers out, potentially wild camping, with no guidance on the subject wasn't good practice. They responded by suggesting I might like to contribute a blog post for thier website. So I'm looking for any useful links and references to flesh things out.

I'm aware of the advice in the leaflet produced by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the fairly recent, lighthearted but good advice, video from Simon, a Bloke in the Woods on YouTube:

I also pointed out that they used nice photos of people sitting around camp fires but gave no guidance on that subject either. I'll press them further on that matter. Both these issues have been very much in the media recently due to the idiots that have been despoiling our green and pleasant places whilst campsites etc. have been closed due to the Coronavirus crisis and rather than just moan on about it I'd do something posative. Even though I know it won't help the selfish idiots out there, something is better than nothing.

Any ideas anyone?
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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This is probably the most 'real' one I've read for a while:


replace the **** with the word sh*t - the forum won't let me use that word :)

I think encouraging anyone to light fires in the British countryside in mid July is close to criminal. Whereas I support the concept of what they are trying to do, the way it is presented is irresponsible in my opinion. Not just the fire aspect; there are no 'act responsibly' statements visible at all as far as I can see.
 
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srod

Forager
Feb 9, 2017
111
59
argyll
I was just about to start a thread on this!

- Please remember to pack a shovel!

- If you feel the need to dig a hole, maybe take the time to walk reasonable distance away from the camp spot. Especially if it's a popular spot, used by others. It's only something you need to do once a day, so a 5 minute walk isn't going too much of a drag.

I'm just back from a short trip in the north of Scotland. Every camp spot and layby and carpark in was surrounded by jobbies. Disgusting behaviour. I even stepped in one!
 
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Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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One thing that needs pointing out and highlighting is that covid is being shed through faeces. It has been detected in pumping stations which are tested for pathogens.
A person can shed the virus through faeces up to a week before symptoms show in the individual.
They are thinking of using this fact to help predict outbreaks in certain areas.
Leaving such a present for others to clear up can endanger lives. If someone treads in it the virus can be transfered from shoes to cars and into houses. This needs to be highlighted strongly!
Pack it in...pack it out.
That means ALL YOUR WASTE.
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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I am amazed that this has even been raised, this is surely plain common sense. You dig a hole & fill it in afterwards.
Keith.
With respect Keith, in a crowded island like this, that is not considered responsible in the more regularly used parts of the countryside. There's also the 'how close to water course?' subject to be raised for beginners. It is a subject that needs discussing with people new to stepping out into the countryside IMO and too often avoided.
 

oldtimer

Full Member
I am amazed that this has even been raised, this is surely plain common sense. You dig a hole & fill it in afterwards.
Keith.
Unfortunately, this sense is clearly NOT common. You know what to do, I know what to and so do most contributors to this forum. It is the ignorant and feckless who cause the problems. We, however, get lumped in with them in the minds of legislators. Unless we can teach people how to behave responsibly we will ALL find ourselves subjected to one size fits all laws such as have been applied to all overnighting in the countryside and all who carry knives.
 

Laurentius

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Aug 13, 2009
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Knowhere
Unfortunately, this sense is clearly NOT common. You know what to do, I know what to and so do most contributors to this forum. It is the ignorant and feckless who cause the problems. We, however, get lumped in with them in the minds of legislators. Unless we can teach people how to behave responsibly we will ALL find ourselves subjected to one size fits all laws such as have been applied to all overnighting in the countryside and all who carry knives.
Indeed, the problem is that we all live on a very crowded Island and due to Covid restrictions everybody is more or less stuck on it for the summer, where once I could walk and not meet a soul is crowded territory. It makes me sound like an old elitist who is peeved when the hoi polloi have discovered my sport and want to practice it for themselves as shambling amateurs but "Bushcraft" for one reason or another has had a lot of exposure over the years since I first stumbled on this forum, and the evidence of the wannabes, the beer cans, the scorched earth are everywhere. If one person digs a cat hole and craps in it, that is fine, but if a hundred do in the same area it becomes a health hazard.
 
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With respect Keith, in a crowded island like this, that is not considered responsible in the more regularly used parts of the countryside. There's also the 'how close to water course?' subject to be raised for beginners. It is a subject that needs discussing with people new to stepping out into the countryside IMO and too often avoided.
Fair enough Broch, that too I had taken for granted. I suppose city people don't think about these things.
Regards, Keith.
 

Billy-o

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Apr 19, 2018
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Canada
... we will ALL find ourselves subjected to one size fits all laws ...
I think I'd like to see a law that bans taking a dump. Enforcing would be a hoot :) Like something out of Benny Hill. People are nervy enough about dropping off their luggage al fresco. Throw the toley cops into the equation, with their binoculars and distinctive uniforms, and I foresee a world of grim constipation and flocks of people waddling as quick as they can with their breeks at their knees and a handful of leaves to the rear. Minted! We should lobby for it. Then all the wise rural folk can educate all the city people who don't know what their back end is for. There could be classes. Licenses to practise, even. Manuals.
 
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Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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Well things have got so bad with anti social behaviour, rubbish, human waste, fires etc that wild camping has been banned on dartmoor for the next month.
Those stupid people have spoilt it for everyone. They found 50 fire sites!!!
Had to happen eventually I suppose.
I have literally just planned to go for a wild camping on dartmoor with a friend this weekend as the moot is not on.
Now even that had to be cancelled only a day after we finalised plans.
I don't know why I keep seeing ads for the best spots to wild camp in the uk. The whole point of a best spot to wild camping, is that nobody else is there!
Ordainary people are clueless and don't realy care what the rules are and obviously have no intention to respect the wild areas.
 
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Thoth

Nomad
Aug 5, 2008
327
18
Hertford, Hertfordshire
Thanks for comments posted so far. There seems to be agreement that the subject needs to be discussed at least. I agree that in some locations and circumstances human waste needs to be packed out. In other instances a cat hole an appropriate distance from watercourses (30m, 50m, ?m) is okay with toilet paper being either packed out or burned if it is safe to do so. My primary question remains largely unanswered though: is anyone aware of any online best practice advice for outdoor toileting?
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Just realised, my original link won't work 'cos the forum doesn't allow the word sh*t - just replace the **** in the link :)
 

Laurentius

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Aug 13, 2009
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Knowhere
I don't know why I keep seeing ads for the best spots to wild camp in the uk. The whole point of a best spot to wild camping, is that nobody else is there!
Ordainary people are clueless and don't realy care what the rules are and obviously have no intention to respect the wild areas.
Well I think you can take any ad for a best wild place to swim/camp/visit as a recommendation of a place to avoid.
 
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Woody girl

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Thanks for comments posted so far. There seems to be agreement that the subject needs to be discussed at least. I agree that in some locations and circumstances human waste needs to be packed out. In other instances a cat hole an appropriate distance from watercourses (30m, 50m, ?m) is okay with toilet paper being either packed out or burned if it is safe to do so. My primary question remains largely unanswered though: is anyone aware of any online best practice advice for outdoor toileting?
With respect it's a subject avoided generaly so you won't find a lot of official advice.
I think that this forum is online is it not? :)
Lots of good advice here!
If you are going to dig a cat hole it needs to be at least 6"deep, preferably a bit more.
It needs to be in a place where others won't dig it up while digging another cat hole... easier said than done, and the correct distance away from any watercourses.
This method should only be used if it is not possible to pack it out.... which if you come prepared shouldn't be a problem.
Ziplock bags are your friends! These can be put into a cheap dry bag which is fastened outside your pack suitably marked as human waste, and disposed of at the first public loo or at home... wearing suitable gloves of course.
The other option is biodegradable doggie bags and disposal in a dog toilet bin, which is my preferred method of packed out disposal.
A bottle of dettol spray will help disinfect the dry bag before a good wash by hand in warm not hot water after contents are disposed of readies it for next use.
The trouble is this is too much hard and distasteful work for most. There are areas in the states, I forget exactly where national parks perhaps or maybe it is along a river canyon somewhere, you have to pack out all waste and can be fined for not doing so.
 
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Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
Actually, the advice is no more than six inches. The reason is that in most topsoil it's only the top six inches that is really 'alive' and if you bury it deeper it will take longer to be broken down. In arid countries the advice is to spread it over rocks (yuck) because the sun will deal with it faster than dry hard ground.

However, that may be the best method for decomposing but for cleanliness I agree, get it deep :)
 
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