How to go bathroom in the outdoors when camping.

To go bathroom in the woods is an uncomfortable subject for most, but one of the most important.

It’s one of those subjects nobody cares to talk about. Yet, it is an activity that doesn’t single any particular person out from the other. We all have to go, sooner or later, even when you’re in the outdoors and there are no other bathroom facilities!

Some camping areas have excellent facilities, clean flushing toilets. Others have pit outhouses that are really nice too but others may be….kind of smelly. If you’re free camping, most likely, there are no facilities at all.

Tip: If you need to go use a dark smelly outhouse. All you need to do is prop the door open with some personal item such as a backpack. That way others know the outhouse is occupied and in return you have some light and fresh(er) air coming in.

Don’t worry, people are really good about not bothering you while you’re in there.

If you need to go bathroom out in the wild take these items:A shovel, trowel or a good sturdy stick for digging.

  • Some “biodegradable” toilet paper.
  • Sealable plastic bag, zip-lock (If you don’t have biodegradable toilet paper)
  • Hand sanitizer (If you have no access to soap and water back at camp)
  • Flashlight if it’s getting late in the evening.

Finding the right spot to go:

The next step is to find a spot to go do your business. (Preferably not in front of a bear cave, or on an ant hill, or near a hornets nest.)

But, before you go, tell someone at camp where and which direction you are going.

This is particularly important if it’s late and you have a tendency to get lost easily.

Steps for when you need to go:

  1. It’s best to stay away at least 200 ft away from any water source because we don’t want contaminated water.
  2. Take your shovel, trowel or stick and dig a hole about 6 inches deep.
  3. Squat over the hole go bathroom in the hole.
  4. If you have biodegradable toilet paper it’s probably okay to put that in the hole. Otherwise, place the used toilet paper in the seal-able plastic bag. Take the bag back to camp and dispose of it there.
  5. Cover up the hole with dirt and gently pat that down with your shovel.
  6. Place a rock or piece of wood or stump over the hole. This is good to do because animals have a tendency to want to otherwise dig up the hole. Also, it’s a sign for others, so they can see not to dig there.
  7. Wash or sanitize your hands.

A few more thoughts on if you need to go bathroom out in the boondocks.

Squatting tip: Because many of us are a bit spoiled after being used to using a sit down toilet, squatting down low can be a bit of a chore. Throw in a lack of balance and the subject can become even more interesting.

For balance holding on to a tree limb or bush can help, or even resting an elbow on a boulder. What works best however is elevating your heels by putting a rock or piece of wood underneath. This will make the squatting position a lot more stable and comfortable!

Note regarding this topic: You DON'T need to let us know how it went.

Click here to head from the go bathroom page to the free camping section.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.